Message on the economy

February 9, 2009 3:05:56 PM PST
With nearly 600-thousand jobs lost last month, many Americans said they don't need to be told by the government just how bad things are.

"I think it's a tactic they're using, to a certain extent I think its fear mongering, that if we don't pass this package it's catastrophic. I think we're already at that stage at this moment," said Eric Ford of Wynnewood.

Both President Barack Obama and Democrats in the House and the Senate have insisted that the $827-billion stimulus plan is absolutely necessary if the economy wants to emerge from this economic tailspin.

However, Wharton professor, Dr. Sigal Barsad said from a leadership perspective, our president and lawmakers have to be cautious with how they verbally convey the extent of our economic woes.

"You don't want to just stay mired in the language of fear because it does paralyze people. You have to show people there is a way out and that's a part of your role as a leader."

President of Long Financial Associates, EJ Long said the stimulus package may provide people with that way out and using fear is simply a tactic the government is using to get it passed and restore consumer confidence.

"If the lifeguard says you can go back in the water you might not swim out as far as possible but eventually, a little farther, farther."

"I feel like I don't have enough information about the stimulus package and I'm not confident. But I know there's a really big need for it," said Stephanie Newberg of Bryn Mawr.

But Barsad warns that lawmakers must balance fear with hope if they want to restore consumer confidence.

"The danger of over-stating fear is you actually put yourself in the position of having an either harder time getting out of it."

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