Until yesterday morning I was blissfully unaware of this Gerald Celente guy. I tripped over him like a rock in the undertow when surfing the web for information about the B&N Nook Reader. People were quoting him, saying the recession was far from over, that there is going to mass panic, rioting in the streets, looting, killing, a tax revolution, and so forth. He apparently has some sort of track record, having predicted the economic downturn of 2008 before it happened. He claims to read a lot of news and remember a lot of history, so his predictions have a special sheen of legitimacy. Especially among those who love to sell fear–namely the news outlets.
Selling fear has become a specialty of the modern press. It’s one of the reasons I blame the current news system for turning their viewers off. And as a turned-off viewer it’s one of the reasons I hadn’t ever sat through one of Celente’s talking head pieces.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of America and the world economy. And after watching 10 minutes of Celente on something called Russia Today (via YouTube) it got me to thinking even more. Suppose he is right. After all, we saw massive drops in spending last Christmas. High-end stores are being shut down. People are changing their spending habits. Perhaps it IS true that America will be an undeveloped country in 2012.
But then I got to thinking even more. I actually know a lot of folks who have predicted the coming financial crisis. Many of them read this blog. But the thing is, none of us live in New York or Los Angeles. And from what I can see, the crisis is worse there because the correction was more needed. And I think when Celente makes his predictions he’s doing so as a New Yorker.
There are a lot of TV shows I could use as an example here, so I don’t mean to fault one program entirely, but I did watch Sex and the City and get really irritated. It appears that there is one part of America where people eat at restaurants all of the time, buy pairs of shoes that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars and give diamonds as STOCKING STUFFERS at Christmas. There is a part of America where you buy what you feel like and worry about paying for it in some far distant future when you are surely to have struck gold. And maybe it’s good that part of America is having its sails trimmed a bit.
Because folks like me, like dozens of my friends, we’re the ones who are saving America, who are going to reshape America. Folks like us who don’t live beyond our means, who eat meals at home and buy their clothes at Target. Folks who wait for the video because even buying the video is cheaper than two tickets to the movies and you can make your own popcorn.
I think Celente lives in New York and doesn’t realise that folks like me exist. I think he thinks that everyone is buying everything on credit.
What do I think will halt the “coming riots” of Celente’s nightmare universe? The same things that have propelled society forward for thousands of years. Love and innovation. All of these doomsayers forget those two things. They see only a world motivated by money, a world where new things never happen. They cry doom because the oil is running dry, the money is running dry. They don’t dare to see that people love their families and will strive to provide no matter what. They don’t see that there are people who are investing themselves in making better things, in being better people.
Not everyone is shopping and having martinis. And it’s the rest of us grownups who are going to keep this world afloat.