First the good news …
The largest economic boom the nation has ever seen is on the horizon.
There, doesn’t that feel good.
Read those words again and again, as if you’re savoring the scent of the season’s first rose or drinking an ice cold beer after a hot day on the lake.
I didn’t write that first sentence … it came in a press release, but there’s no way I’m going to let anything resembling positive economic news escape after the broken record reports of falling profits, falling home sales, falling employment and, frankly, falling morale.
That may surprise some people, who consider media types to be derived from vultures, looking for any opportunity to pick away at the scabs of a decaying economy. In fact, when the economy began to show signs of gangrene, there were those who said it was the fault of the media for perpetrating lies. Some called me and told me so personally.
I don’t agree, of course. The economic stories for the most part reflected what was happening, and that’s the primary mission of any news story.
But what I do agree with is that the overall effect of reading story after negative story about the economy is, well … depressing. There are some who believe that a key to leading a successful life is to repeat positive daily attributions over and over. If true, reverse logic suggests it’s possible that reading many negative stories can result in an overall funk both on an individual and societal basis, even if those stories are perfectly true.
Which is why I led this column with the statement that an economic boom is in sight. It was written by Carol Infranca, who is a public relations specialist, but was sending a press release about something that may well be legitimate. To take out all the euphemisms and state it plainly, it is based on the billions and billions of dollars that the children of baby boomers will inherit when their parents die.
The euphemism for that is “wealth transfer,” and a study by the Nevada Commission on Economic Development says it will be huge ” $41 trillion in all. In Nevada alone, the amount will be $33 billion by 2015. Says Infranca, who clearly has a gift for positive attributions, “If 33 billion dollar bills were laid end-to-end they would stretch from the Earth to the Moon and back ” 203 times.”
People who inherit money spend money, and that’s what makes the economy go round. Infranca says she can relate personally to that: When her mother-in-law died, she and her husband decided to buy a motor home with part of the inheritance.
The aim of the press release was to get baby boomers or the inheritors of their money to begin thinking about donating a portion of that money to charity, or even back to their communities.
“This is a whole new concept, a whole new line of thinking,” Infranca said when we talked Thursday.
I hope she’s right about the boom, although the analytical among us might take that to mean what I’m actually hoping for is that baby boomers begin, um … passing on their inheritances. Not true, I assure you.
What I am hoping sincerely for is that this week’s edition of Newsweek, which is open on my desk to page 21, is dead wrong. The headline: “For months, economic Pollyannas have looked beyond the dismal headlines and promised a quick recovery in the second half. They’re dead wrong. Why it’s worse that you think.”
Wait, that’s a bad way to end a column. Please go back and read the first sentence. Over and over and over until you feel good.
On Monday night, eight judges sealed themselves into a room at the Nevada Appeal and pored over dozens of nominations for the 2008 Community Awards. It was a tough job, which probably explains why I left the room before the work began (and I took a sandwich with me, too).
When I returned a few hours later (to see if there were any sandwiches left), they had chosen the top three nominees and a winner in each of 11 categories. And it’s an impressive list … incredibly generous people doing wonderful things for their communities.
The lunch banquet to honor those nominees is June 26 from 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at the Carson Nugget, and you are invited to attend. The emcees will be State Sen. Mark Amodei and Western Nevada College Vice President Helaine Jesse, and I’m aware of a few special surprises on the agenda this year.
If you’re interested in attending, the cost is $18 in advance or $23 at the door. You can purchase tickets in advance by calling 775-881-1221. You may also drop off your reservation and payment at the Appeal at 580 Mallory Way.
If attending an inspirational event to honor the great people of Northern Nevada isn’t reason enough to attend, I happen to know the Nugget has great sandwiches, too.
– Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at 881-1221, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.