Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I think the fundamental problem is that there is an excess of just about everything. There is too much credit and too many houses and too many cars and too many stores and too many restaurants and on and on.

In a way there is too much because we have been too successful. I had this friend once who lived in another country. We shared a few pictures and one I sent him was of my son's home. My friend wrote me back asking if all of us in Oklahoma lived so luxuriously. My son's home at the time was very nice but would not be considered luxurious by any means. But that exchange made me think about how much we take for granted about how we live.

Then there is political influence. We have a mixed economic system. There is surely market forces at play but there is also political pressure.

And there is greed and corruption and lust and all the other vices with which we humans are afflicted.

But it is a system and like all systems it seeks equilibrium.

I think we are in one of those really out of balance periods now. The excess is going to have to be absorbed and purged. Credit is undergoing rapid balancing right now. The credit producers that survive will be better. But not all will survive.

There are too many cars and too much capacity for making cars and selling cars and most everything else about cars. Change is underway. There will be fewer cars and less capacity when the process is over.

There are too many houses but the excess will be absorbed eventually. In the meantime that industry will change.

There are too many stores but soon there won't be.

It is not a pain free process. It is not an instant process either.

The government can help make things easier and even attempt to point things one way or another. I personally think that government action will not really change the process that much either for good or bad.

And personally I would just as soon not have to go through all this at all. I don't like going through tornadoes either. But they just are and I have no choice about it.

When the process is over then we will already be in the process of building new things to excess. Maybe it will be electric cars or hydrogen fuel cells or some new kind of nanotechnology material or machines or whatever. Maybe we'll have too many Kindles and Net books. I don't know what but I know we'll make too many.

And about 70 years from now we'll go through this all again. Well I won't but my grandchildren will.

That's what I think.


dave said...

Terry, imagine the future for our kids and grandkids: Lower paying jobs, and a LOT fewer of them, little in line of benefits. No medical (unless big changes are made). Little or no retirement. Every one will work till they die, but there won't be enough jobs to go around.
I am glad to be retired, but I am not sure that is much consolation.
And I agree, we have had excess of everything, and that is almost world wide, even if the scale is different.

~Betsy said...

Friends of ours from Sweden who visited a few years back talked of how much we have of everything. They were blown away by choices in a grocery store, the amount and variation of cars, choices of restaurants, etc. You may have something with your theory.

The problem I have is the inability to change. The older I get, the more set in my ways I become. If I am to thrive in this new economy, I will have to learn to change. Ugh.

flintysooner said...

I am not pessimistic at all about either the future or our kind of capitalism.

I do believe that this is a permanent change and we are beginning a new cycle that is just as revolutionary as the one that began with the baby boomers.

Different geographical areas will be affected in different ways so it kind of depends on where one is located I think.

But I think we will see the return of smaller establishments that are not so dependent upon big volume for profit. Now the kind of stores and services will be tempered by technology.

For instance I think the big volume car dealers will likely be replaced by something quite different that will provide a more personal but technological experience.

I think perhaps Kohls and the new Penney's concepts with smaller stores more convenient to shoppers was the beginning of the trend.

Just this week I went to a small gelato store that a young married couple opened. They make gelato in small batches and they wait on you themselves. But it is very small. I think that could be a forerunner of things to come.

Whatever I think our children and grandchildren will adapt just fine as did we.

Lori1955 said...

I'm kind of stuck on the idea of too many homes. Yes, there are too many compared to those who are in the market to buy. There are developements out by me that were started and are now overgrown with weed. There are tons of foreclosures all across this country. So many homes sitting vacant and yet at the same time, we don't have enough shelters to house the homeless. There's just something very wrong with this.