It seems like the media and people in general have been talking about an upcoming recession for over 18 months now, and it is yet to arrive. It is like a bad guest that we keep anticipating – to get it done with – but they never show up. And while we wait for that guest to arrive, we are full of angst and dread. And the more they don’t show up, the worst these feelings get.
That’s been the case with the persistent chatter about an impending recession. For the record, a recession is a period of significant decline in economic activity that can last for months or even years. Similar to many aspects of life, the more attention and discussion it receives, the more likely it seems to occur. In other words, even if it’s not desired, constant discussion and contemplation by the masses can somehow manifest it.
Now imagine an alternative, where a recession may be possible or forthcoming based on current economic facts, but where it is rarely discussed: what happens in that alternative world? Firstly, people would likely keep on living their lives and spending without worrying. This in turns spurs economic activity, which keeps a recession at bay. You see how the simple act of not thinking or talking about it, makes people more hopeful and continue on providing the fuel for the economic engine to keep going.
However, it is also foolish to ignore reality by spending recklessly and irresponsibly, as this can lead to your own personal recession or worse. Striking a balance in how you approach your financial situation is crucial while being mindful of the macroeconomic situation. This principle similarly applies to the media; they should play a supportive role, occasionally discussing the possibility of a recession while also encouraging the public to lead a good life and find a simple balance. Avoid excessive spending, but also resist excessive fear and hoarding of resources. Talk of a recession is inherently negative and fear-inducing, generating more clicks and viewership. In other words, if the media consistently talks about how things are running smoothly or even great, it doesn’t provoke a reaction, making people less likely to tune in.
Watch your money by sticking to a budget, feel hopeful and abundant, and avoid most sensationalised headlines. This formula will ensure you have the right balance to deal with anything that comes your way, be it a recession or more economic prosperity. Now imagine each one of us, or at least majority of population doing this way, the result would have far reaching positive implications for the economy. Even if we acknowledge that certain economic realities are inevitable, no matter how we feel or act. But at the very least, it makes things less painful or stressful. After all, hope will always trumps despair.