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Do You Live Your Life by the Leading Economic Indicators?

By Edited Mar 7, 2014 0 0

Does a Focus on Geopolitics Limit the Ability to See Local Opportunities?

It Takes a Village to Raise a Village

People in the U.S. usually put a lot of weight in economic statistics that they are constantly bombarded by in the news. These include the national unemployment rate, housing starts or more generally where the real estate market is headed, and such things as the rate of inflation and the rise or fall of interest rates.

Do these large-scale indicators really have a major effect on how successful we are in our lives however? In extreme cases, they have an obvious impact. Very high national unemployment rates (such as economies like Greece where its currently 23.1%) obviously make it harder to find an ordinary job, run of the mill job. Such a negative figure is bad in general if you are looking for any kind of work you can get. But who looks for a general job, just any job? Unless someone is truly desperate, aren't we all raised to specialize either through our education or job training, and because of this have developed fairly narrow preferences for the type of work we will do? If for instance the construction trade is experiencing a tremendous downturn, but you are a nurse, should you really be so concerned about a high unemployment rate in construction? Except for a vague sense of altruism for millions of people you don’t know, its not a statistic that really has a direct impact on your job as a nurse.

Broad based statistics don’t really tell us much about our particular life niche. The housing market may be down, but that’s a positive if you are looking to buy a house at a reduced price, or a positive if you live in an area where new housing is booming contrary to the overall trend. Whether interest rates are rising or falling affects you in different ways depending on if you are mostly borrowing money or investing, and even inflation can be a good thing if you run a business where it allows you to make increased profits on what you sell while what you buy to produce your product may be selling at bargain rates.

Since the government is in the business of trying to determine the overall economic direction of the country as an average, it really doesn’t have the resources or interest in focusing on the thousands of very small micro-markets that may play a dominant role in your life. Nor should your life revolve around vast economic trends that will likely never have any tremendous, direct impact on the specifics of how successful you are. Focusing on negative downward trends in general just gives you a negative outlook on your own personal future, and will likely cause you to overlook opportunities right in front of you.

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Bibliography

  1. George Georgiopoulos "Greek unemployment rate soars to new record, more pain ahead." Economy. 09/08/2012. 09/10/2012 <Web >

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