By: John Mills
This week has been a very mixed one, emotionally speaking.
On Tuesday, SpaceX launched the first Falcon Heavy in spectacular fashion.
The only failure on that front was damage and ensuing loss of the main core after it separated from the second stage.
This shortcoming was wildly overshadowed by the successful twin landings, side-by-side, of the two booster cores, near simultaneously.
It’s a spectacular feat that I honestly never expected to see.
The launch was a truly inspiring moment of brevity and hope on a background miasma of bad news turned worse.
The success of SpaceX was quickly lost in the screaming plummet of the stock market.
The current falling state of the Dow and Nasdaq in equal numbers far too closely echoes the initial spasms of the 2007 crash for anyone’s comfort.
I can’t exactly claim deep economic insight, but when the Dow and Nasdaq have been losing successive record percentages, its easy to see that something isn’t quite right.
Experts seem to be yelling from every place they can that this is simply a “correction,” a natural return to average that occurs when stock prices get too high and investors get skittish.
I have to hope this is true, because I remember the 2007 crash all too clearly to ever want to see it happen again.
The Great Recession, as it became known, officially lasted from 2007-2012.
The United States, most of Europe, and other, generally wealthier nations around the world saw varying levels of economic downturn.
The crisis wiped out billions, if not trillions in capital worldwide and set the stage for Obama’s ascent to the White House in 2008.
Regardless of the nuances (which are far too great for a 500-word column), the Great Recession was a transformative and defining period in recent American history, one we would be fools to repeat if it were at all avoidable.
This quickly gets political in regards to the present day, something I try to avoid in this column as it doesn’t feel like the place.
But I think this is—unfortunately—the right time to get political, as it simply can’t be avoided.
The year-long increase in stock values is a direct result of an economy that has been improving consistently since about 2013, which is only a shock to people who haven’t seen the news since then.
That economic growth, and all the benefits that came with it, are products of Obama-era policies and laws, despite President Trump’s claims to the contrary.
The $1.5+ trillion tax cut enacted at the end of last year seemed like a boon to many, but it’s been followed up by a recently-agreed upon bill to massively increase spending by almost $300 billion over the next two years.
Where does that land the country? Deficit spending that would make Reagan blush.
All this worsens an already-bad situation with U.S. debt, and it’s all been spearheaded by the current administration—that still leaves behind those who need help the most.
It must be hoped that the stock market stabilizes in the coming days.
If not, the massive tax cut will have been for naught as many Americans will likely find themselves out of work once again just a decade after the last crash.
There are preventative measures that can be taken but it doesn’t seem like the administration is much interested until things really go wrong.
Until then, we have to cross our fingers for the stock market – because that’s gone so well in the past.