The recent front page issue for local and national newspapers has been the possibility of another recession. Everyone is worried, it’s the talk of the office, the worry of managers. What does it really mean? Certainly, since 2007 we’ve seen the continued increasing of oil/gas and heating costs, as well as the meltdown of the bloated housing market. Are these bad things?
A big recession cause always mentioned is the cost of oil and gas eating into the average citizen’s budget. It’s about time for this to happen - our economy is too dependent on cheap fuel from foreign nations. For too long, the argument has been used that alternative fuels are not viable because they’re not as cheap and plentiful as oil. Well, this is one sign of change - if oil gets more expensive, the alternatives become more viable. This should be good news - as with any change, it’s painful to feel the changes happening, but this one should be much better for us in the long run. Bring that recession on.
A second big recession driver always mentioned is the meltdown in the housing/mortgage industry. Housing starts in the North Texas area have dropped by 50% in 4Q07; it’s about time, with over 10,000 unoccupied housing units in the area, that builders would slow down on building even more units. Suburban sprawl increases pollution from longer commutes, and further displaces wildlife. Housing starts need to slow down, or stop altogether until they are really required to support the population. And at that time, I hope there is more practicality in what size home is really required to house a single family. One thousand square feet per family member seems a little excessive. Loose mortgage requirements only supported the impractical building, and it makes sense that they should both correct at the same time.
So instead of crying over unsustainable industries going through necessary corrections, let’s refocus on retraining those same workers to sustainable industries. Stop importing so much oil, but support our citizens working to produce local US fuels. Stop building homes no one needs, and encourage those construction specialists to put up more wind energy towers and solar panels on existing homes. Stop irresponsibly loaning mortgage funds to citizens unable to support the repayments and instead loan funds to new industries that create more local jobs. Instead of trying to prop up wasteful business models, let’s move on to better things, and create a stronger, better economy.
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