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CNN: Despite Economic Hype, It's Not the End of the World

     Although you might think otherwise given the wall-to-wall coverage of financial crisis in the midst of a presidential election, most people will probably be alright.


     CNN business correspondent Christine Romans gave viewers several reasons not to panic on the Oct. 27 “American Morning,” including a record drop in gas prices and an increase in Social Security benefits.


     “What’s different today than three days ago or four days ago?” Romans asked. “We’ve been feeling this for a month. I mean, October has been just a rotten month overall. A lot of concerns about the economy – how bad it’s going to be, how worldwide any kind of decline will be. But, you know, there are going to be millions of people who are going to do okay in all of this, you know? And there’s reasons why there’s been relief lately. Gas prices down 50 cents, more than 50 cents in just two weeks.”


     Oil has fallen to below $65 a barrel and the national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.67 Oct. 27 – well below the $4.11 record earlier this year. Romans called the lower prices a natural economic stimulus and said combined with jump in Social Security benefits they will make a difference in the economy.


     “That’s going to feel like a stimulus for a lot of people. And seniors are going to see about $63 on average more every Social Security check next year,” Romans said. “That’s going to be a little bit of help. There are some little things that are happening that are going to put billions of dollars back into the pockets of people … It doesn’t negate what’s happening in the economy, but is a little bit of relief, a silver lining, if you will.”


     Romans made a push for personal responsibility by advising people to live within their means as part of her tips for a “recession-proof” lifestyle.


     “There are at lot of people like that who might be able to take some opportunities over the next few years. But the most important thing is live within your means,” Romans said. “That’s what got us into this mess in the first place, you know. If you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it, don’t. Take care of your financial future.”


     Most journalists were not as calm as Romans while gas prices rose. For years – long before gas surpassed its previous record high – the media hyped gas prices as they rose, spun the debate by using graphics of higher than average prices and emphasized “high” or “rising” prices even as prices were retreating.