Ben Bernanke’s word choice, in describing our economy, was graphic, especially for those of us who have delivered a baby or two or eight. And I’m not talking about mid wives or obstetricians.

A severe economic contraction…ouch.

I get it. Everything and everybody (except the super rich) are pulling in, in a muscular inward strain, painful and intense.

As an owner of a small business, I understand the pain.
Twenty people depend on me for salary.

If I remember my Lamaze training of long long ago, one of the rewards for all of those contractions was a baby.

Bernanke tells us the baby won’t be coming for at least a year. Whew. Can we make it?

Sure we can.

We have no other viable choice.

In this agonizing gestation, while we wait for the baby, we will become more creative, more fiscally responsible.

Children will learn about the principles of economics.

Their parents might even establish the 3-jar method of saving:

One for immediate gratification.
One for long-term survival.
One for charity.

What a concept.

Watercolor by Ted Harpainter The Alviso Slough

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Ouch

  1. lakeviewer says:

    We’re all in boats going down the same stream, meeting the same challenges. We can encourage and share stories to keep up courage and energies.

    Right here in Oregon, the current budget allottment, for the rest of this year is ten percent less than anticipated. So, most districts will have to cut days or personnel, or both. Next year’s budget will not be any easier.

    It will be a difficult birth.

  2. Cheri Block Sabraw says:

    I am sorry to hear about the cuts in Oregon public schools. 😦 I know you are working hard at your level to make things work. We need more problem solvers like you.

    And, in keeping with our metaphor, let’s hope there are no more complications.

  3. ccsaw says:

    Nice metaphor! Watching the government work on this is, for me, like watching my wife’s four C-Sections. I worry about them killing the patient trying to get the baby out.

  4. My Teacher Hat says:

    As a mom, I appreciate the metaphor. Labor made me re-calibrate my pain scale (you know how they say “how bad is your pain on a scale of 1-10?” Well, now my 10 is the transition stage of labor … and the worst migraine ever only even approaches a 7 or 8.)

    Extending the metaphor, transition is the most painful stage of labor. The pain we’re in economically will only be unworthwhile if it turns out to be a non-transition … i.e., if nothing changes.

  5. ccsaw says:

    I agree with My Teacher Hat too; my concern is that there will not be a distinct point in time, like the birth of a baby, where we all say; wow, that was worth it. The Depression is most accurately referred to as an ERA. There were many years of grief before we entered WWII; although we were gearing up for it by the time Pearl Harbor was hit with Lend Lease and Cash Carry programs with Britian and Russia, respectively. And then 4 more years of great sacrifice during the war. With WWII, we had no choice but to start victory gardens, conserve rubber, and convert GM,Singer Sewing Machine, National Cash Register, and other industries into making war materials. Today, don’t have the clear threat, like the AXIS powers in WWII and no clear idea of what we all need to do. We have chuckle-heads in government, in my view anyway, who still have their pet projects; everything from more money for quitting smoking programs to the ever so popular “energy efficient” green projects that no one has any idea of how they will stimulate anything in a significant way in time to truly transition us out of this crisis. To me, many of the proferred ideas on where to spend our ever increasing tax burden seem only amorphously seem to related to the idea of a recovery. Sadly, if this was just a tough delivery of a child, (with due respect to women and the birthing process), we would look forward to a new birthday just around the corner. I don’t see any readily identifable birthdays on the economic front.

  6. andreaskluth.org says:

    I’ve gone through two contraction episodes (well, vicariously through my wife’s body, but that counts because I was, you know, THERE). Once we tried hypnobirthing; once the epidural. I won’t say in which order. Since Bernanke has no epidural to offer, we’re all back to hypnobirthing…

  7. Douglas says:

    I am probably in the minority when I say this economic downturn may be a good thing in the long run. I think we avoided several downturns over the last few decades, or minimized them, and that will make this one more severe. But we need it. Sometimes, pain is necessary (as in your birthing metaphor) and the long term reward is great.

    Now, everyone, breathe!

  8. Cheri Block Sabraw says:

    One comment dovetails into the other.

    We can have either a preemie or a late term baby. One arrives too early; the other, too late.
    Have I overdone this metaphor? Maybe.

    My biggest concern is wasteful governmental spending. So many of the politicians are like Tom Daschle, in bed with lobbyists and financially connected (like an umbilical cord…)

    CCsaw: Do you see any parallels between these economic circumstances and those in the 30’s? You seem to know your history well.

    Douglas, I agree with you, especially in the area of housing prices. But as a small business owner, I take exception to this downturn being good. Why should those of us who watched our accounts and lived within our means be punished for Wall Street’s greed? Any good reasons for that?

    February 26, 2009 8:07 AM

  9. Glorybelle says:

    Hi Mrs. Sabraw! Our kids have that 3 jar method!!! Very helpful for them to KNOW what they can use, what they can save and what they can give.

  10. Cheri says:

    Hi Glorybelle!

    Great to hear from you. I visited your blog the other day. You can’t tell I did because we are on the satellite for an isp, so it shows us in Missouri or Illinois..

    I am not surprised that you have your kids saving and understanding the value of money.

    How’s the running going?

  11. Chourou says:

    Hi,Cheri. How have you been since I got your kind message? I’m just wondering if your bussiness is getting better as Chourou-Yoda forcasted. Actually I have been so worry about you and your business.

    The economic downturn looks like a heavy rain here in Japan,too. The politics here is in brain dead, so to speak.

    Expect Barac.

    By the way, the title of your posting this time! Smashing. And….you refer to Lamaze traning you had taken…how graphic! LOL

  12. Cheri Block Sabraw says:

    Nice metaphor, Chourou….looks like a heavy rain…My business is still in the middle of a thunderstorm, but I am hopeful for the summer sun…

  13. Christopher says:

    “Depression” is another word in the Economics lexicon that is also used in the medical discipline – the psychiatric branch.

    This may not be accidental, for an economic depression multiplies the numbers of depressed people, whose resultant behaviour (buying less) exacerbates the economic depression.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s