Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Awareness horizons.

Chuck Arnold of the Bend Downtowners was in the store yesterday, and seemed rather upbeat. We have an extraordinary number of businesses down here, nowadays. And he thought he could come up with at least 30 businesses that were doing better than last year.

I mentioned that just because the spaces downtown were filling (single digit vacancy) doesn't mean that all the stores are doing well.

"But isn't that always true? Business is always a challenge. Businesses always come and go."

True enough, I suppose.

Once again I'm struck by the different horizons of awareness.

The locals seem very aware that conditions have worsened; indeed, the irony to me is that many have gone from no awareness at all, to maybe overestimating the harm.

Meanwhile, at mid-range, the local papers and media, the news tends to get lost in the mix, and to be downplayed.

At the national level. Oh, boy. That's a different story.

The more you look into what's being said, the scarier it gets. The big boys are really, really worried. Scared isn't too strong a word. I mean, really, really frightened. The only people not worried, the CNBC type crowd, have been so wrong so often and so clueless, that that's almost a warning in itself.

But then I take a step back. The more you look into any subject, the more dire it will appear, just by the nature of the commenter's. They've peeled back the layers and found the hidden dangers.

Ignorance is bliss.

If I were to really look into global warming, for instance, I'm sure I'd be much more alarmed than I am. We're all doomed, you know. I know it's there, I know it's pretty damned dangerous.

But I also know there is a small, but completely possible chance we'll be wiped out by an asteroid.

That's not to say I don't want to know, however, especially about the economy, especially about business. I still feel strongly that the more I know, the more I can prepare. Forewarned is forearmed.

Meanwhile, most of the public goes it's merry way. Aware of the conditions much as they're aware of who's in the running for the Academy Awards, which celebrity misbehaved this week, which new hot restaurant just opened. Which is appropriate enough. (Though I'm often amazed by how little people who are actually buying houses or opening stores seem to know -- that's when a bit or research would be even more appropriate.)

I do understand the general level of superficial knowledge. I feel the same way about the 'Stimulus Package' or the 'Bail-out.'

What the hell can I do about it?

4 comments:

BilboBend said...

What the hell can I do about it?

*

Cut your expenses to the Bone. Which you have done.

Spend more time at your shop. Which you are doing.

Listen to real customers, and quit fucking with these 'talkers' that come to your shop. Your working on it.

You'll survive, you already know that, most of the denial or chicken little crowd can't possible survive.

When times get bad, folks get back to the basics, taking care of themselves and their immediate family, this is why 'humans' have survived. Getting obsessed by that of which you have no control, or very little knowledge is a complete waste of time in times such as these.

Duncan McGeary said...

"Listen to real customers, and quit fucking with these 'talkers' that come to your shop. Your working on it."

Interesting you should say that. I've written a new chapter in my Time Travel Shop story....

Bend Economy Man said...

Not sure what you're talking about with "CNBC crowd." CNBC talking heads are pretty negative. Scared, but negative. Not a lot of bulls on CNBC.

RDC said...

CNBC does like to provide opposing viewpoints so they usually have someone that thinks the future is bleak on at the same time as an eternal optimist