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POSTED: October 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.

With a grain of the old salt

It seems these days all that’s on the news is Sarah Palin, and how the economy is heading toward calamity. Call me what you will, an optimist or a seventeen year old boy, but I generally find the prior to be more captivating.

It’s not that I don’t care about what happens to our economy it all just seems a little distant to me. I based my Man on the Street question this week off of my thoughts and found, predictably so, that my classmates as well felt disconnected from the evidently perilous U.S. economy.

However, as you can see my Economics teacher thought, or rather witnessed, much differently than my peers and I. I have no doubt that Ms. Worsham is more attuned to the economy than me, as she should be, however a main reason she stated for this insight was her watching of financial news. As for the economic state of our own slice of the nation I remain unconvinced that we are, as the media very nearly makes it sound, spiraling down to the next great panic. In fact, the way I see it, most of these ‘panics’ seem to be rooted soundly in the media to begin with.

This is to say that I doubt that many Richmond Hill residents, excluding those closely following stocks, and certainly our local youth would be quite oblivious of our country’s economic plight without the media constantly pumping it up.

Now hold your horses, I’m not about to advocate city wide ignorance and propose that we all live under a big rock.

I’m merely trying to point out one of the dangers of a media system as large and widespread as our own. In this day and age information is not hard to come by, but it’s never a bad idea to take it with a pinch of salt.

I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that the media is sometimes guilty of blowing things out of proportion, and in a way this knowledge calms me in this time of trouble.

Although it could be that I should spend more time watching "financial news" as my teacher does instead of Sarah Palin and the Colbert Report and that our economy truly is in danger, thankfully not quite enough that growing towns like Richmond Hill are feeling the crunch yet; or at the very least that their young people are not feeling it yet. At any rate I think it’s important to remain true to what you see, feel, and experience, your common sense, before flying off the handle at something you hear from someone else, be it Joe Some or Dan Rather.

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Do you, in your daily life, see evidence that our ecnomy is in danger?

"Not in my daily life, no. However, I’m just a high school student living off of my parents"

TIm Sheehan

"No, our economy isn’t as great as usual, but it’s not like we’re about to enter another Great Depression"

Kevin Corr

"The price of groceries has gone up, my mutual funds have gone down, and I can see that people, maybe not here in Richmond Hill, but if you watch the news people are beginning to lose their jobs. I guess it’s because I watch more news than most people do, and financial news at that, so I see that there is more job loss."

 

Sharon Worsham (Honors Economics Teacher)

 

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