Ebola Economics – The Panic is Worse than the Disease

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From my Desk

When I went to auctioneer’s school to get my license they said: “you will see it all, so be prepared for anything and everything!”

I never realized that a disease could  have an economic impact on the antiques & auction world, but apparently, that is possible. What to do? Let’s look at what is happening,  what we have control off, what we don’t, and what we can do about what we do have control of.

Ebola Economics

What’s happening?:

Right now a lot of people are going into panic mode, they are not spending because they fear some type of apocalyptic event could occur.  But the truth is at the time of this blog, 3-4 people have contracted the virus in the US. You have a better chance of hitting it big on the lottery right now, than you do of contracting this disease.

Many parts of the economy are suffering because of the ebola scare. The biggest sectors hurting are mostly involved in the travel businesses, and then the misery trickles down. Funny, it seems to trickle down a lot faster than those pennies from heaven that are supposed to descend from the other trickle down theory.

Who’s doing well?

Cable & Network News is milking this for all it’s worth. Fox, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, etc, all have a vested interest in keeping you scared. It translates to big bucks for them! It’s abhorrent, irresponsible and much more of a factor than the Ebola virus.

What we can do:

We can practice safer and cleaner hygiene. Try not to get sick and turn off that damn TV. Or at least don’t leave it on so much. I’m not a huge Twitter fan, but it’s true that now, you can get updated, emergency notifications on the site. It’s probably the only useful information that’s readily available on demand.

If you’re cutting down on your travel plans because of Ebola, fine, but get out and do business with your local merchants. Do everything you can to support small mom & pop stores and businesses in your area. If it’s true that all politics is local, then  it should be so for much more of the economy than it is at the present time.

What we can’t do: We personally can’t control the Ebola situation in Africa, nor stop the virus through a travel ban. By putting a travel ban to and from countries that have had Ebola outbreaks, we are isolating aid and treatment to them. By doing that, the virus will surely grow exponentially, get out of control and devastate those places. (And do you really think a travel ban will stop all of those which are trying to come into the US?)

I’m just an auctioneer, but these things seem to make sense to me. What are your thoughts?

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