Economic expert speaks to University of Utah students

Story by Chris Washington

The economic recession is something that many Americans felt very close to home. However, very few really understand what caused it and what can fix it. Floyd Norris is one of those people.

Norris is the chief financial correspondent for the New York Times. He has a wealth of knowledge regarding economics as a whole and particularly the current state of the economy. The economic situation is more to him than just a bunch of graphs and numbers; it is something that has affected millions of Americans directly.

“I love this country”, said Norris, “I’m proud to pay taxes and wouldn’t mind paying more if it helped us get out of this crisis.”

Economists tend to try to let things work themselves out regarding the economy. However, Norris believes that it is time to start taking action in order to fix what is happening in our economy. According to Norris, despite many people believing that the recession ended in 2010, it is actually still going on.

“People saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but were wrong.” explained Norris.

In Norris’ opinion it is both the American people’s and the banks’ fault for the economic crisis. He believes that a lot of the suffering that is affecting American lives, was brought on by people buying houses that they cannot afford. Many people borrow these great sums of money that they can’t pay back. The banks are partially responsible for this because they enable these people to make these decisions even though it wasn’t always expected to work out.

Many people believe that the crisis could have been avoided. Steven Blomquist, a University of Utah student, agreed.

“Regarding our economy, you can’t expect to go up forever and keep prospering more and more, eventually you will peak and then you begin to spiral downward, which is the phase we are in right now,” he said.

Norris said that people could see the recession coming in 2006 and 2007. When Americans can borrow a lot of money and credit is easy to come by, the country grows a lot like it did in the 1920s. However, much like The Great Depression, there is a price to pay after such a large amount of growth. Norris thinks that if economists would have paid more attention during America’s most recent episode of economic growth, that this could have been predicted and possibly prevented.

Norris understands the power of money and the importance of a good economy. When speaking about a past treasury secretary, Norris stated that in all actuality three presidents served under him. Although that is an exaggeration it is an example of just how important and how powerful the people who control and understand American money can be.

“Money makes the world go ‘round, if you don’t have it you really stand no chance.” said Rachel Thomas, a student and cheerleader for the University of Utah.

Although the economic situation American’s are in is something that cannot be mapped out perfectly, people like Floyd Norris exemplify the importance of a good base of knowledge and how being aware can empower Americans.