Saturday, March 8, 2008

Economic Armageddon- By Jackie

This semester I am taking Macroeconomics, and I feel the need to vent...Every day I have Macro, I leave class worried and depressed. My teacher, who could very well be my grandfather he is so old, is a crotchety old cynic who is borderline fatalistic about everything we talk about. He reads the Wall Street Journal every morning to make sure he is prepared to come to class and wow us all with his knowledge of the economy, and heaven forbid any of us try to make a comment or participate in a "discussion" about the economy. And another thing, why is it that every economics class I have taken has had the same types of people in them? There is ALWAYS an older man who just sits in class with his arms folded and a slight grin on his face, making comments like "Well you know Bush..." and "Bernankes at it again..." with an air of complete superiority because he obviously knows everything about the economy. I am convinced that he thinks it is just him and our professor in the class because he makes these comments as the professor is speaking and acts like they are in on a little joke together. The teacher doesn't see this bond they apparently share, which makes the older guy all the more pathetic and irritating. One of these days I am going to snap and I will walk up to him and slap him in the face, and as he sits there I will ask him why he even comes to class, and I will tell him that maybe he and the professor should get a room. He will seriously contemplate this statement, and then smugly walk away with that stupid grin on his face, briefcase in tow (and don't get me started on the concept of bringing briefcases to class). Besides all-knowing older guy, there are always the 25 to 28 year olds who like to chime in as well. They are the ones with the laptops who Google every topic the professor mentions in case he asks a question about it, and they can quickly answer with a dead-on response straight from Wikipedia. These brown-nosers are plentiful in not only my econ classes but also any business class I have taken. I describe all these people as male because in my experience, they all are. This is not being sexist, this is just my observations. In addition to being 1 of about 4 girls in every business class I am in, we are all surprisingly normal. I have never seen a girl in a business class give a smug little comment on the markets or the new rate cuts. It appears that girls who take business classes are actually there to learn about the subject of the class! Shocking I know. Also, this isn’t the 1950’s people! Girls take business classes and yes, girls can be business majors. I’m getting a little tired of getting oogled by the 98% male class as I walk in on the first day (and not in a dirty way because obviously they have no time for dating or other non-lucrative activities, but simply because they are surprised a girl is in the class). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a big deal and I’m not some crazy feminist lobbying for equality or something, but there is a serious disparity in the male to female ratio in the business school. I enjoy my classes and most of my teachers, too. All I’m saying is that if you come to class, come to learn and not to try to show everyone else how much you already know, because I can almost certainly speak for the rest of the class in saying that we did NOT come to listen to you.

One last thing, I need to elaborate on something I mentioned in the second sentence. I leave class every day depressed because of my teacher’s gloomy forecasts for the economy. According to him, in a few years we will all be jobless and the economy will have crashed and burned. Also, the world will have been taken over by monkeys. So you can see my emotions as I leave class, concerned about this economic Armageddon that is apparently right on the horizon. This is just my opinion and I expect no one to share it, I just want to give my perspective. There is so much talk these days about a recession and the sad state of the economy (i.e.: the housing crisis, subprime mortgages, the Federal Reserve cutting rates, inflation, gas prices, lagging consumer spending, unemployment, etc.) and everyone acts like it’s the end of the world! Yes, the economy isn’t’ the healthiest at the moment, but how many periods exactly like this or worse has the economy gone through in the past 70 years? Quite a few actually. So Dick and Jane have to cut back on their expenses and can’t buy that new flat screen TV they wanted to get… well how about the genocide in Darfur, the AIDS problem in Africa, or, I don’t know, the war in Iraq? We’re in a little recession, and all anyone can think about is the quickest way out (tax rebate?) and back to the spending and prosperity we’re used to. Well how about a little perspective. Maybe you have to budget a little more and maybe you need to cut back on expenses a little, but at least you have food on the table. Next time I am sitting in class getting ulcers because apparently recession= the end of the world, I am going to think about the fact that I am able to sit in class with my tuition fully paid, with an apartment to go home to and a car to go home to see my family, and enough money in the bank for gas money to do it. I’m going to think about how recession or not, we’re still doing pretty dang good.

Now how about that perspective?:

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