COLUMN: Economists, not common sense, ruled scene in 2001

A new year has arrived and sometimes one has to wonder how we've gotten this far.

After a volatile year in 2001, weary souls are looking for something. People want anything to get to some kind of paradise that shelters them from the hostilities of normal life.

Usually we would hop on a plane and take off to a tropical paradise if we could afford it, but not this year. Whether the economy has you on a tight budget or you don't have the nerve to get on a plane yet, jetting out of anywhere isn't the first choice for many.

Economists tell us that we don't want to go shopping either, so what does that leave us to do for fun?

Well, don't flip on CNN because that certainly won't help you. CNN has been doing a comprehensive "Where's Waldo?"-type coverage of the search for Osama bin Laden.

The typical pattern is a report that he might be dead, and another report saying he might be alive. That's about an entire day's worth of coverage that will leave you with anything but a warm heart.

How about going to a football game? That might be good, except after so many fans threw beer bottles and other projectiles at the refs, you'll practically be strip-searched getting into the stadium. Once inside, don't stare at anything for too long or somebody might think you're suspicious and you'll be ejected.

Maybe a trip to Canada would be more to your liking. Let's explore that idea. First try crossing the border, especially if you're a college student or look fairly young. However, getting to play "100 Questions" with the border guard might be fun. After immigration, when after some miracle you were able to prove you were a citizen of the United States, maybe you head to a casino.

Of course, you wouldn't do that though, because economists tell us we have no money to spend. Therefore, unless we gamble with our food stamps, we won't be doing that either.

When you go to cross back over into the U.S. make sure you flip your "high alert" switch before you cross. It seems that everyday a new "high alert" statement is issued which makes one wonder just how much more alert we can get.

After taking a whole bottle of caffeine pills, drinking a pot of coffee and stunning myself with a Taser every five minutes, I don't know how much more I can do.

Good luck finding something to get your mind off of the world in 2002. If you listen to all the advice from the reporters, analysts and experts, you could be in for quite a miserable year.

Perhaps if you use some common sense, don't put fuses in the soles of your shoes and exercise a bit of caution so you can still find a way to enjoy life. After all, we are the most powerful country in the world, wouldn't you think that should grant us some bit of peace?

It's only January, so try to find something that can put a grin on your face and relieve some of the stress from classes, jobs, organizations and all your daily tasks.

Even so, don't forget to make every day count this year because we owe to everyone who has fought to make this the place it is today.

Write to Justin at


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...