Story by Stephanie Graves
Norris Gives No One Right Answer to Economy
“The recession officially ended in 2009” said Floyd Norris to a packed room of University of Utah faculty and students. So if the recession has officially ended then why is the government still actively bailing out banks and companies? “We can hope that the government has learned its lessons with bailouts.” Said Norris
This is just one of the points that Norris touched upon in his Oct. 26 presentation in the Marriott Library on the U. of U. campus.
With the crowded auditorium of anxious college students and professors, many of who were looking for guidance in this unpredictable job market, Norris summed up how Americans found themselves in a recession.
“When credit is easy, it is a lot of fun” Norris said. It is no wonder that with banks granting loans of all kinds that the average person would rather take the money now and worry about the consequences later.
80 years ago, the United States was so fiscally conservative that the economist and Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon recommended “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… it will purge the rottenness out of the system,” to the present day bailout by the government of big companies. So what has changed?
Norris argued that by setting up the Central Bank in 1913 in the United States, suddenly the Federal Government felt like it was responsible for the well-being of iconic American companies such as Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
Norris said, “The good news is that Central Bank has learned a lesson.” He affirmed that it would be wise that the government not get involved on such a large scale again. To this assertion, student Bonnie Adison said, “The government must have some plan for the average citizen, whether it be a bailout or something else.”
Adison was not the only frustrated student after the presentation had concluded. Shawn Christophson said, “So personal ethics and self-control are the answers to the recession. I just thought there would be more.”
Although the presentation was brief, Norris did drive home his point that “Ethics are not being taught as well as they should be” and there are two parties involved on all loan defaults.
Investors need to do their homework, and if that is not possible, hire someone you can trust,” Norris said.
It is up to the American people to be responsible for their own financial decisions, and while not all newly established laws concerning the economy benefit everyone, it is still those individual’s duty to do their own research, balance their own expenses and ultimately make the decision on what they can afford.
Norris said, “When capital is wasted in a massive way there (are) consequences.” Whether he meant the government wasting the millions of dollars on the bailout of big businesses or the American population spending recklessly on non-necessities is unclear.
The point that Norris did make quite clear was that it is not wise to wait around for the government to bail out its citizens or solve their problems. One must weigh their own circumstances and make things work to the best of their ability to survive during this recession. (512)