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June 19, 2008

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Rachel Morgan

Layoffs, gas prices, unemployment...I keep hearing all bad things but I look at all the high paying jobs on popular employment sites...

realmatch.com
monster.com
simplyhired.com

I feel like the stats and the reality dont mesh...there are jobs if poeople know where to look.

Don Tepper

Good points, and I read the Washington Post article, too. However, I think it (and therefore your posting) missed part of the picture.

It's not just unemployment (which is up, but not terrible), inflation (a more likely possibility than a few months back), and rapidly rising prices of commodities.

We also have a very unpopular war. Or wars--Iraq and Afghanistan. We have a health care crisis. We have a ballooning national debt and a looming problem with Social Security. Many people (myself included) are concerned about the erosion of civil liberties in the country. Look at Congress' action just today. We have odd, unexplained increases in a variety of illnesses (autism, allergies). We have an undeniable problem with foreclosures, and a credit crunch that's spilled over from real estate to such areas as student loans.

I wrote a posting along those lines a few weeks ago on my blog http://realestatesolutions3d.wordpress.com/

It's not all doom and gloom, of course. But many average Americans are affected by two, three, or more of the negative issues I mentioned above. And that's what's getting people down. As convenient (and easy) as it is to blame George Bush...or Congress...or OPEC...or whomever, it's not that easy.

However, the American public isn't stupid. When gas is $4.25 a gallon, when supermarkets are rationing rice, when unemployment is up, when foreclosures are soaring, when it's no longer news when 2, 3, or more Americans die daily in Iraq and Afghanistan....all that affects the average American's attitude and outlook.

It's OK to say that things "aren't all that bad." But it's not OK for some to express puzzlement over why the American populace seems so unhappy lately.

Colin

I'll second the comment about "this is not 1990".

I'm originally from the UK and one of the great things I love about the US is the "can-do" attitude. Realism and dealing with facts are essential - but what happened to a positive approach? How much of this negativity is just media driven for political or sensationalist reasons?

Colin

Tim O'Keefe

Rachel, can I call you Debbie;-), the problem today is more of an over abundance of news. All around us is what you said. But there is really no difference than in any period. There have been periods of time where we simply decided to not accept bad news, like after 9/11. Or aggressive Government actions like Bosnia.

This is really controversial but I will lay it out. When I was a kid we were in a Global Freezing Crisis. I believe it was my Grandpas Newsweek where I first read this.(I was a reader early on)
denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm

Somewhere along the line our generation started fashioning ourselves smart. If I may say so we have delusions of grandeur as we are about as dumb as we always have been. As my 4th grade teacher Ms Bush pointed out there is a diferrence between dumb and stupid. Look at our behavior to define our intelligence. Our problem today is more of a problem of information overload. And somewhere we forgot the first thing I learned after learning how to read. Don't believe everything you read.
Global Warming, Global Freezing, ADD, Hyperactive. Just words to borrow from a recent famous speach. And man our medical industry loves to put words infront of ism. Watchout for those 'isms they will get you every time. Seems the more we have the more we are told but we still have that monster under our bed.

My point on the Newsweek thing is why has Global Warming all of a sudden caught on? Remember Acid Rain? What happened to that? I do not want this to get into a debate on environmenatalism, however, why did our supposed dumber parents scawf at that Newsweek article on Global Cooling? Why didn't it catch on?

Having more information does not make us smarter just quite often blind from the fog of information overload. We can choose whatever we want to believe these days and we have a plethora of information to back us up.

I see this all the time in online marketing. I got scorned the other day for not having more "earthshattering information on SEO." The guy was hungry for more information not for more marketing results. Often times the mind stimulation is a crutch for inaction. Information tends to do that. We forget why we are searching the info and tend to slip into this mental orgy.

The geopolitical world is not much diferent today than it was during Clintons time, or Carters for that matter. We as a country have always occupied about 180 Nations since I was a kid. Where is the outrage? We lost more men in about an hour or two on Normandie Beach than we have totally in Iraq. So why the concern now?

I remember one of my greatest sales lessons I ever learned . We buy with emotion and justify with logic.

The issues I just mentioned and you mention carry heavy emotional triggers with them. Our consumer society moves from emotion one way or the other. Why does the economic emotions go down or up?

For instance how can a movie like Farenheit 911 or Inconvenient Truth catch on and really start a movement,when there have always been tons of bad things that the people claim against our Government?
youtube.com/watch?v=fv8BuMQs2SE
youtube.com/watch?v=ZKpTJJ6W5EQ
youtube.com/watch?v=coPRpGQyS_c
youtube.com/watch?v=9QYZBMIBOck
A great series was done on Showtime called The Company.Net Flix it-Very Interesting.
You can spend all day in Youtube and the net for allegations against the U.S. going back 100 years.

However, our political leaders have done a good job of using the concept of news framing, an actual word in journalism to cause viewers to see the news in the desired frame:
journalism.org/node/44
hks.harvard.edu/wappp/research/working/carrollpippa5.pdf

I recently interviewed Dave Lakhani who wrote Subliminal Persuasion. I am only half way thru his book, but it starts off going into detail Bernaysian Psychology and how Bernays taught the U.S. Government how to use propoganda. (This guy got America to smoke!) Here is interview:
http://www.houseblogger.com/houseblogger/2008/03/dave-ends-the-r.html
This BBC Documentary speaks about Bernays as the Father of Public Relations:
youtube.com/watch?v=Bcr6e7IBHB0 Search for other videos calld Century of Self BBC to get the whole series.

It is the Leaders role to help the sheople understand how to logically help all this emotion to make sense. As an industry it is appaling that they have allowed the value of real estate to be defined like a stock. Forgetting the plethora of other actually more emotionally driven benefits (therefore more influential) that surround homeownership.

Someone is taking money out of your pocket to make this economy look worse than it is. How as a group are you combatting this?

The bozos leading us will do what they do. But as marketers we can influence the public too. You have at your disposal the world wide web.

Your post seems to explain the negativity as group think reaction to mechanisms beyond control. But as I pointed out why now? In other words if you look for crap on your lawn you could have found it 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

Your group is losing the argument PERIOD.

In fact I believe that is a Realtors duty to market the benefits and to believe in your product. Without apology for any market swings. Instead, its like everyone is trying to wait it out. How many times have you fell into the frame of waiting for the market to change.

The best time to buy is now. It always is, always will be. Those that are transacting believe this. If you have only sold a couple deals this year it is time to change your own belief.This is the greatest time to be alive in the history of the world. It is the greatest time to own real estate in the history of the world.

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