Time to worry? News isn't what we wanted to hear, but we knew climb back would be tough
The significant drop in the stock market Friday was more about fear than anything else.
Over recent weeks, whenever there is news that might suggest further weakening in the economy, investors have collected their profits and headed back to cash.
And who could blame them. With job prospects a bit dicey and retirement funds dwindling, many people are simply not sure what to expect and are unsure if the right move is to trust anyone who comes on TV and tells them the economy is recovering.
Even though there has been a lot to criticize in the way the Obama administration has handled the economy to date, and even though the rosy picture some pundits paint suggests that they do not really understand what it is like in Main Street America, May's bad job news is not a reason to hide under your bed -- and to take your money with you.
There has been some progress, but not from irresponsible spending and bogus "stimulus" packages. Many American companies are leaner and more efficient and are building back the inventory and orders they need to start hiring again. And the firms with balance sheets that suggest that they have not made wise decisions in the past are either closing their doors or fixing their mistakes.
And that is what we want to see -- the marketplace supporting companies that have done the right things all along and motivating those that haven't to get their books in order.
That is how you create stable, lasting employment now and in the future.
There is still more work to be done. Despite what some government officials say, the way to grow an economy is to give businesses an incentive to add jobs and to expand production -- and to give taxpayers more money to keep for themselves and their families. Increasing taxes does nothing but create more government bureaucracy -- like Census jobs -- that does nothing to make this a stronger nation.
So while we would have liked to see job numbers skyrocketing -- and the economy thriving -- it is OK to be cautiously optimistic now.
Americans are starting to realize that they are an important part of controlling their own destinies -- and they are making more good decisions.
Now, all we have to do is keep our eye on Washington.
Published in Editorials on June 5, 2010 10:06 PM