THE BIG IDEA: Déjà Vu
By Lee Silber from his May 2008 Newsletter Creativelee, Ideas and Insights to Improve Your Life
Anyone paying attention to the news knows times are tough. Just look at the headlines:
“OPEC Members Use Leverage To Raise Oil Prices”
“Banking Problems Result Of Unsound Real Estate Investing”
“Prices Rise During World Food Crisis”
“Increasing Unrest In The Middle East”
“Energy Crisis Leads To Greater Interest In Renewable Energy”
“Yankees defeat Redsox at Fenway”
Here’s the catch, the above headlines are from the mid to late 1970s. Gotcha. Thirty years ago we faced some of the same problems we are dealing with today. The importance of this similarity is the fact that as bad as things get, they will improve. They always do. Sure, a gallon of gas was under a dollar in 1978 (.63 cents) and is almost $4.00 today. But in 1978 people gladly paid higher prices for gasoline because a couple of years earlier it was almost impossible to get. (See, things could be worse.)
In addition to the economic similarities between now and the ‘70s, we face some of the same moral dilemmas. The point is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
It’s interesting many of the current problems we are facing were predicable. We should have been able to see the real estate bubble about to burst. Is anyone surprised the Middle East is in turmoil? This month postage is about to go up again (it was .15 cents in 1978).
There is comfort in knowing that as bad as things get they will always get better. The trick is to be prepared for each boom and bust cycle. When things go south it’s good to be ready to weather the storm and when the tides turns it uncovers opportunities for those who have the resources—and are ready to act.
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