The Dow dropped 943 points today. The press made it sound like the sky was falling. It is falling, but not so much for we “common” folk as our sky has already fallen.
Yes, we might have some 401K money in stocks, causing a little hurt. For most of us though, the performance of the Dow has little effect on our day-to-day lives.
I’ve been wondering when, or how, the economic barometer of our nation became the stock market—Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500, etc. Did it become more prominent as millionaires become billionaires, where extremely wealthy people earn most of their money on the sale of stocks than actually making something?
For those of us not extremely wealthy, our economic barometer looks a little differently. We know we are doing well if we still have a job. If we can afford to pay all of our bills this month. If we can maybe go out to eat once or twice this month. If we can have a little dessert tonight. If the electricity, gas, cable, or phone service is still on. If we haven’t been evicted today. If we can afford school clothes and all those school supplies the teacher wants this year. If we have to ask for public assistance to put food on the table. If we are able to have health insurance through our employer. If we get enough hours at both our jobs this week. If the car still runs and all lights are working.
These are the types of things that tell us if we, and the people around us, are doing well. We see friends, family, and coworkers struggles to survive, just as we work to survive another day.
Don’t even talk to us about being able to put some money into savings or play the stock market. These things are pipe dreams we dare not think about least we get depressed, especially when we hear how politicians, corporations, and extremely wealthy people dodge paying their fair share, causing us to pay more than our fair share.
It is my hope that once we have a new administration they change how we measure the success of the economy to at least include, if not outright replace, what most Americans use to measure the economy. It’s past time to kick the stock market barometer to the curb. Let’s help make sure to put the pressure on our elected officials to make the change.
If you haven’t voted, please do so. DON’T mail in your ballot as it’s too late for them to arrive on time through the mail. Drop ballots off in official drop boxes, at your county election office, early vote in person, or in person on Election Day.
Let’s effect a change.