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May 5, 2008

My Coffee With the Economy


My client likes my plan, but he is reluctant to spend the money.


“It’s the economy, D.F. It has me jittery.”


Jittery? You don’t think he needs to cut down on the caffeine, do you?


Lots of people in the business world are nervous about the economy. It’s all people talk about. No one wants to spend. No one wants to expand. No one wants to hire. No one wants to launch anything. They’re all “jittery”.


Because they’re sheep.


The decision-makers within the business community have fallen for the biggest scam in the world. They’re scared to death that disaster is looming for them because of “the economy.”


I have told you this before. It bears repeating. There is no such thing as “the economy.” I’ll prove it.


Have you ever seen an economy? What color is it? What does it eat? (Besides all your confidence.) What does it do? What are its elements?


You have no idea, do you? Because the economy is a fictional bogeyman. It’s no more real than the Wizard of Oz. You think it’s this big scary thing that’s going to come and get you, when in fact it’s just a man behind a curtain making scary noises.


And who is this man? Alan Greenspan, of course.


But I’m getting tired of people not spending money because of “the economy.” So I insisted on a meeting with it. We met for coffee.


“Would you stop scaring people? I can’t get them to spend any money!”


“You think you have problems. I’m very misunderstood. I grow and grow and grow, and then I shrink a little and everyone thinks I’m disintegrating. If a fat guy gains 35 pounds and then loses one, dude is still a lard butt.”


“Speaking of which, that’s a pretty big sandwich.”


“I know, D.F. It’s a good thing you’re paying.”


“Why am I paying?”


“What do you think? I’m made of money?”




“You know nothing. Being the economy is no fun. For one thing, everyone is always predicting your demise, especially in an election year. Do they give me any credit when I’m going well? Not a chance! But let me slow down even a little and it’s the fall of the republic. I get tired of that crap. I have self-esteem issues. You don’t think I’m an idiot, do you?”


“What I think is that you’re everyone’s excuse for not spending money. I’ve got a client who’s been wanting to do a launch for four years, and I’ve finally got a plan ready for him, and now he’s afraid to do it. Because of you!”


“See? That’s exactly what I mean. What does he think I’m going to do to his launch?”


“Screw it up, I guess. Make people afraid to buy the product?”


“I’ve noticed that we keep coming back to people being afraid and nervous.”


“Because you make them that way.”


“Well, that’s what makes no sense to me. If you’re in business, isn’t it sort of a foregone conclusion that you’re comfortable taking risks? I mean, not dumb risks, obviously, but calculated ones? The kind where the reward is sizeable enough, and it’s reasonable enough to expect you’ll attain it, and you can afford the loss in the worst-case scenario.”


“I would have to agree with that.”


“So why are they afraid of me? Heck, let’s say I contract a little. Just for giggles. If I’m worth $3 trillion this quarter and $2.95 trillion the next, what makes you think the person who gets screwed out of that $50 billion is going to be you? Do you have that little confidence in yourself?”


“That’s true. Even in that scenario, there’s still a lot of wealth out there.”


“Exactly my point! And yet no matter what I do, everyone thinks they’re going to end up in the poor house, and it’s going to be my fault!”


“Sounds pretty stupid when you put it like that.”


“Almost as stupid as you sitting here in a coffee shop having a conversation with me, especially since, as you’ve pointed out, I don’t even exist.”


“Well, I feel better. The people here at the coffee shop think I’m a little weird, though.”


“That’s not new.”


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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