I can't help blaming the media lately for some of the economic issues lately. Sure, I can see that people are being laid off, retail numbers are down, manufacturing is losing ground, all that. What I can also see is that most of the people I know are in pretty much the same shape they were several years ago. Many people have stable jobs and incomes. A lot of people own houses they could and continue to be able to afford living in. A lot of people are doing just fine. It is hard to look at any source of media lately and find any good news at all. Last night's news spent very half the newscast on the latest economic numbers, the fact that Target laid off a bunch of people, and Obama's controversial new economic bail out package.
I have a hard time believing that dwelling on these issues day in and day out every day has a positive effect on the country as a whole. How can we every hope to get people out and spending money if everyone is preaching doom and gloom all the time? Sure, your house is worth less, don't sell it. Sure, your retirement account is worth less, don't retire. I know that this doesn't work for everyone, and sure there are a lot of problems we need to solve, but really, most people are doing well.
I talked to one of our bike reps the other day who seemed pretty bummed about what he had been hearing from shops in my area. People are apprehensive about the year in general. They don't know what bikes will sell, they worry about repair orders and stocking numbers. I gotta tell you we're all going to be fine. Last year we should have had a terrible year by all accounts. We had the economy in the tank, and our shop had no front entrance for over 9 weeks. In all actuality, we're still here.
In an environment of worry and apprehension, we're all rearing to go here. The shop will be redone, the new bikes look great, the shop will be ready for more efficient work. I think we'll have an even better year this year than last. All over the place, I've seen bike shops that have had record years both in sales and repairs in 2008. I think 2009 will be no different. I know that we are all doing it here, but try and do your best to talk to your fiends, family and coworkers. Try to be an example of optimism instead to pessimism. If you know someone in need, help them out as you can. Most of all though, do yourself and all of us a favor and turn the news off.