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How A Soccer Game Made Me Better Understand the Economy

August 30, 2010 · 8 comments

in Life, Personal Finance

This past weekend, I was out of town yet again for a soccer tournament.   I really enjoy soccer (or any sport) tournaments, as they are enlightening in so many ways.  It was my son’s second tournament in a row, and each tournament had completely opposite results.

Weekend one, the team was on fire.  We never lost a game, we won the tournament, and everyone was happy.  (We will ignore the fact we were playing weaker teams.)  This past weekend, we soundly beat the first team.  Again, the sidelines were all chipper and upbeat.   Game 2 was against the second best team in the state, and we were destroyed.  Suddenly, the happiness is gone.  The frustration on the sidelines is palpable, and there is obvious discontent.

I started thinking about how the same group of people could go from completely happy to very angry in the span of a 60 minute game.  Keep in mind, this is a game being played by a bunch of middle schoolers, and the result really doesn’t impact anything one way or the other.  But it really affected many people, even though it was just a game.

The reaction of the parents on the soccer sidelines made me understand the continued negativity of our economy.  If the emotions of people can be so affected by a child’s soccer game, imagine how deeply job loss, foreclosure, etc must affect people.  I know many people that live in despair because our local economy is suffering more than most, and it is just plain difficult to get a job.   Many people that have ‘secure’ employment are afraid to invest their money in the stock market, so imagine how scary this economy must be for those that are really in desperate straits.

As was shown this past weekend, fear and negativity are both contagious.  I watched the negativity spread like wildfire during something as benign as a child’s soccer game.   Now think about all the negativity in the workplace from pay cuts, lay-offs and reduced benefits.  I can see why consumer sentiment is down.  There just isn’t a whole lot to cheer about yet, and it seems that good news never spreads as quickly as bad news.

I can only hope for our economy’s sake that we can get some positive news and that companies can start to reward employees like they deserve to be.  Negativity can be so poisonous, and it seems to be human nature to focus on the bad instead of the good.   It just seems like we need a whole lot of good to dig the economy out of the hole it is in.  The American mindset has a lot to do with the state of the economy, as when people are scared, they don’t spend or invest.   However, it is incredibly understandable why people are scared.  I just look forward to the time when Americans can be excited for the future instead of worrying about where the next mortgage payment is going to come from.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I figure that people will always find something to be down about in general, but I do hope the economy picks up soon. Hope your weekend went well!

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Yes. Negativity is contagious… It is scary and heartbreaking at the same time to see a coworker/friend getting laid off in the office, it is sad… it is also scary to think that we are next in line… The only good thing that came out of it is we finally got serious about our emergency fund. We had $1000 for emergency which will be enough for a week unfortunately… We finally made it a priority to save atleast 3 months worth of expenses before saving for anything else… I really hope the economy improves soon…

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Money Reasons August 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I know what you mean, people get upset by little triggers, not necessarily because the little things made them so angry… But the little things are often the times the straws that breaks the camel’s back. Plus it’s easier to direct anger at something so black and white.

Hopefully things will improve (like over in some part of Europe, like Germany, where growth is appearing).

Sorry to hear about the tournament…

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Kevin@InvestItWisely September 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm

That’s a good point, Money Reasons.

I have also heard that in some games they have to kick the parents out because they behave worse than the kids…

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Nicole August 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Yeah, I think you’re right.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Photos January 11, 2011 at 6:28 am

Cristiano Ronaldo said something similar on twitter.

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