The business world is abuzz with concerns and speculation about where we are in this economy. Many business people and companies, in America, have just come through a banner and extraordinary year, buoyed by a growth rate of 5.5% in GDP, and many people think that this is the new way. That phenomenon, however, is the discernible product of several identifiable conditions that fostered this success. These include the general recovery, if we can fully claim that, from COVID - 19, the rush of substantially more money inserted into the economy and into many of our pockets, the somewhat artificial but very real surge in demand for goods and services brought on by deprivation imposed by COVID, and other factors.
So, we have this very real change in our basic economy, caused by the pandemic and our governmental response to it, and we have flourished because of it, or most of us have. Now, we find ourselves through the rush period and more in a return to a stabilized economy. If you ever questioned if governmental and other artificial factors could affect the economy, you should at this point realize that we can indeed change the course of commerce and money flow with implementations of governmental device.
As we settle now, the realities of a free economy come back into focus. Gone are the financial subsidies that many of us so enjoyed and that funded splurges of all varieties. Gone are the shock of the pandemic, the fear of death, which claimed so many citizens and family members, and the lock - downs that inhibited our activities and expenditures. Now, we are coming back to a normal, with supply and demand less fueled by artifice and more responsive to the natural ebb and flow of commerce and activity. How are things to proceed?
This is the question on the minds of many people focused on the economy, on their personal and business economies, and on those focused on this country. We hated the pandemic, its strife and calamity and finality, and we tolerated, for a while, the limitations. Then we burst forth like drunken sailors of consumption, spending what we had, regardless of its source or reliability.
Now, we have created some monsters. Demand has fueled inflation, and what was once reasonable is now dear, what was once reliable is now scarce, and what was once commonplace is now special. We made this demand, and the policies and money that flowed into our economy made this demand. We are a consumptive society, and when we have money, yes, we may save more than we have saved before, but we also spend more than we spent before. Everyone now wants to travel, everyone now wants to dine, fewer people now want to work hard, and we all want to relish in this newfound, if embellished, prosperity. Can it last?
As we think about the general business economy, we must consider the emotion and attitude of the populace. As noted, we were hurt by the wrath of COVID, and we exploded with mirth and cash and possibility. Now we face the other side of the curve, the return to a more normal economy, the way it was, the way it has been, the way it tends to be.
Our economy flourishes on optimism, and optimism emerges from flushness and security. When we have money and happiness and a good feeling about where we are and where we are going, markets prosper, sales soar, and money multiplies. When realities return, we may lose our inclinations to spend, to party, to take the risk, to make the investment, to stretch for something greater.
As our economy settles, following the deadly and awful scourge of COVID and all the death and woe that it brought and that it continues to bring as it becomes a commonplace in our lives, we face a different phase of our economic trajectory. We will see, and experience, and perhaps suffer, as we go forward, the return to that market - based economy that we hold so inviolate as the pinnacle of a society’s operation, of our American success story and economy.
This writer wishes our populace and our economy as smooth a transition, a return, to a less stimulated and market economy as we can have. I hope that we can maintain our optimism, our historical references, our belief in our systems, and our devotion to each other and to the free market that we hold so dear.