Saturday, 10 January 2009

The sunny side of the economic recession

I have good news for you. In case nobody told you yet, there is a sunny side to the recession. Many consumer and business products are dirt cheap and might stay so for a while. We might not see this kind of prices any more in our lifetime.

The media are reporting this situation as a reason for falling into apathy and despair. Will you allow me a few minutes of your time to express a different view? I believe that we are facing the opportunity of the century.

If runaway inflation is coming, let's ask ourselves how we can benefit from the price surge. If major shifts are taking place in mature industrial markets, let's ask ourselves how we can profit from the wild ride.

Economics teaches us to look beyond the obvious and think beyond immediacy. Social discomfort is often a by-product of figuring out the less visible consequences of human action, but those who try it once usually find it so fulfilling that will not consider any other option in the future.

Should we spend our time crying about how bad things are? Does it not make more sense to seek out ways to make the best of it? What we perceive today as a hopeless mess might be regarded
fifteen years from now as the decisive turn of the road, for the better.


[Image by René Ehrhardt under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]