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When Good News Goes Bad:

By       Message Mike Folkerth     Permalink
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U.S. NEWS: “So tell me,” one man says to another, “just how bad is the economy?” The other replies, “It’s so bad, that Ford losing $380 Million last quarter is the good news.” While this seems like a bad script for a comedy routine, the really quirky humor is that…it’s true.

Wall Street has spun Ford’s last dismal quarter into a positive saying, “Look how much better that was than last year when they lost $5.2 Billion.” Say what? Now, where I went to school, a lose is a lose and $380 Mill’ ain’t chump change.

Oil also falls into the spin till you win category. When only a short time ago, oil was about to hit $50 a barrel, Wall Street went berserko saying, “America can’t run on $50 oil and at the same time drive class “A” motor homes and Hummers, which is mandatory for our professional athletes.”

Today? The news looks something like this. “Oil plummets to $97 per barrel as demand falls.” (Al Gore wasn’t flying his G-4 that day and George Bush was lost in the airport, so Airforce “1” was sitting on the tarmac idling).

The truth is, we have one heck of mess right here in River City. The lack of leadership and planning over the past 100 years or so has left us at the dance without a ride home. Yet the ones that ‘brung’ us have limo service. Not to mention that it’s real cold outside and we are a long way from the house. One of my own sayings is, “If you find you are on the wrong train, get off at the next stop; it’s a much shorter trip back home.”

We have been on the wrong train for a long, long time and the bridge is out up ahead. The engineer and conductor did get off at the last stop and boarded a plane for China. Now, we are going to have to jump and it won’t be a soft landing like the one that Alan Greenspan, George Bush and Ben Bernanke predicted for housing. Let me think of nice way to say this…those guys were lying through their teeth.

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While I’m on this subject I need to once more declare that I am politically homeless. If it appears that I am slamming Republicans and giving the Democrats a pass, I’m not. Where were the Democrats when all this mess was coming down? Arguing politics is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after a few hours you realize you’re getting real dirty and the pig likes it!

I can’t begin to tell you how concerned I really am for Middle America. The rich have season tickets to the future and the very poor are simply a film clip of where ALL of Middle America is heading; real soon if we don’t get together and let go of the pig’s ear.

I’m amazed at how some words spark an immediate negative response; such as radical. Shall we examine that word? Yes we shall.

Webster’s definition of radical is: “favoring basic change, as in the social or economic structure.” Just call me ol’ Radical Mike then, cause I’m in favor of change; right now.

I often use analogies from my flying days to better explain the points or views that I’m trying to make. If a pilot starts out on a 3 hour trip with 4 hours of fuel on board and inadvertently allows the wind to drift him off course say a hundred miles or so toward a place called ‘Nowhere’, there are two choices. 1. Make a radical correction and go directly to the destination where he can make a safe landing. Or 2. Don’t do anything radical that would upset the passengers. Allow them to enjoy the flight until such time that you all go down together. Oh, I forgot, the pilot was from the government and had a golden parachute. The passengers didn’t qualify for that benefit.

In the above case, radical was a normal and obvious choice for the passengers and the pilot would have been a hero for his radical actions to save them. So the next time you hear someone say a particular idea or candidate is radical…think about it. Do you have a chute?

Wake up Middle America, it’s time to head home.
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Mike Folkerth is the author of "The Biggest Lie Ever Believed" and is not your run-of-the-mill author of finance and economics. The former real estate broker, developer, private real estate fund manager, auctioneer, Alaskan bush pilot, (more...)

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