08/09/11 — Market spooked: This is not easy to watch, but perhaps it is a much-needed wake-up call

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Market spooked: This is not easy to watch, but perhaps it is a much-needed wake-up call

There could not have been too many people too happy about watching a more-than-600-point market slide on the heels of a 500-point drop a business day earlier.

Some people are dependent on that money right now to live, while others are counting on returns for their retirement.

So, here's the question: What do we do now to turn this around?

Let's put it simply. If you have just watched your credit score drop and you are having trouble making the minimum payments on your maxed out credit cards, what would you do?

First, you better look hard at your budget.

Second, you better cut spending.

And there it is, in a nutshell, we have to change the way we plan our financial future, just like a family would if it were faced with the same concerns.

There are other factors, of course, that are contributing to this country's continuing economic malaise.

An anemic business climate where businesses are afraid to hire or to spend money is problem No. 1. Customers who are so spooked by the volatile market and continuing job concerns that they are staying out of the retail market isn't helping either. And then, of course, there is the job market that seems to offer nothing for anyone who needs a job that pays more than minimum wage.

These are just a few of the obstacles this country faces.

President Barack Obama is right about one of the things he said yesterday. This nation is strong enough to weather any storm -- or anyone's less-than-intelligent economic policies.

Monday was a wake-up call. What we need to do now is change the factors that have led us to this place. There is no time to waste.

Let's hope Washington gets that -- before the retirement age becomes 95.

Published in Editorials on August 9, 2011 10:57 AM