Economic Stress Therapies For Trying Times

Job cuts, budget cuts, housing crisis, financial crisis, taxes; STRESS! we are living in very trying times! With so much going on it's no wonder we are stressed.

How you handle stress will go a long way to making it through these tough times; with your family, sanity and health intact.

It isn't called being 'under pressure' for nothing.

Stress is a fight or flight response to an immediate threat, it was not meant to be lived in a constant waking state 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Yet most of us live our lives this way, unaware of the toll it takes on us and our families.

When going through economic and financial pressure, such as a job loss or mounting monthly bills, you're being subjected to more stress than normal. You feel a great weight is upon your shoulders forcing you down. Your whole body feels it and you just want to erupt.

Stress starts affecting your mind and body in negative ways. You may become sullen and withdrawn, depressed and irritable. You lose sleep and become fatigued. You begin to snap at those close to you, they in turn become stressed and start displaying symptoms themselves.

You don't want to feel and act this way, you just can't help it; you're in a downward spiral and you can't stop; you're going to take your family with you.

University of Michigan psychologist Richard H. Price, PhD, and some of his colleagues have examined how job loss affects individuals. In a 2002 article in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, the team found that job loss triggers what Price calls a "cascade of stressors," which in turn spurs on anxiety, depression and marital conflict.

Last year more people reported emotional and physical symptoms due to stress than the previous year. Symptoms included: fatigue, feelings of irritability or anger, and lying awake at night. Other symptoms included lack of interest or motivation, feeling depressed or sad, headaches and muscular tension.

With stress levels on the increase year to year, you need to know how you can you effectively manage stress, keep a positive healthy outlook and avoid the downward spiral.

Try these therapeutic remedies for thirty days and discover how calm, healthy and stress reduced you've become. Your family will thank you.

Recognize your stress symptoms. These can include irritability, problems sleeping, changes in appetite, Headaches, stomach aches, intestinal problems, nervousness, excessive worry, and feeling sad and depressed. Identifying your symptoms is the first step to choosing effective remedies to deal with the underlying causes of stress.

Communicate with family, friends and trusted advisors. Keeping your worries and concerns bottled up inside is like an active volcano ready to erupt. Receiving support and advice from others you know and trust can significantly help to manage your stress.

Keep a journal. Write down whats bothering you, your thoughts and feelings, your goals and ambitions, let it all out (your journal wont mind). Something magical happens when you put your thoughts on paper.

Eat healthy. One of the first things to go out the window when we stress, is our diet. We tend to skip meals and we start reaching for the quick snacks that are loaded with sugar and/or fat. When this happens our bodies don't receive the proper nutrients(see below) and serves to further worsen the symptoms of stress related conditions.Try snacking on celery,carrots and apples. Gnawing on something hard and crunchy can be a good stress reliever.

Exercise. Do something physical,even if it's just for a couple minutes several times a day. Try flexing your muscles starting at your feet and working your way upward, or you can try it in reverse. Tightening your muscles and groups of muscles for several seconds at a time and then releasing them, naturally forces them into a relaxed state. Breathing exercises, yoga and meditation are also good for relaxation and managing stress.

Visualize. Turn everything thing off that distracts you; tv, radio,computer, lights and just be still. Imagine your in a favorite peaceful place, listen to the sounds, smell the wonderful aromas, feel the fresh the breeze. 10 minutes in your favorite serene place can do wonders for quite a while. A good time for this is in a hot bath, with aromatic herbal oils and candles.

Use herbal remedies. Herbal remedies are an excellent therapy for addressing changes that occur in the body brought about by stress. Herbs contain complex compounds that work with your body in different ways to provide multiple benefits. Herbal remedies support your immune system to aide your bodies natural curative powers. They replace lost nutrients caused by skipping meals, calming sedative herbs help you sleep, further boosting your immune systems. There are many different herbal remedies you can take for the different effects caused by stress and most have low or no adverse side effects.

In Defense of Free Trade and Globalization

Suppose there are two countries: The United States and France. The people of both countries desire computers and wine, so businesses in both countries produce those products. Due to economic conditions, the United States produces computers that are fast and cheap, while its wine is bitter and expensive. Due to different conditions, France produces wine that is sweet and inexpensive, while its computers are slow and overpriced. As long as trade barriers exist between the two countries, two separate markets for each category of products will exist. As a result, consumers in the United States spend more money to purchase bad wine, and those in France waste money while buying slow computers.

What should both countries do? The logical answer is that the two countries should drop their trade barriers and become a single market: The United States should make more computers, and France should produce more wine. The United States should then sell its computers to France, and France should sell its wine to the United States. As a result of this trade policy, the people of both countries receive quality products in each category at low prices. Everyone wins. This, in a simplistic nutshell, is the economic justification for globalization and free trade. When countries trade, people generally win.

The central problem in economics is the issue of scarcity - in other words, how can societies can use their limited supplies of resources most efficiently? In the hypothetical example I provided earlier, is it better for the United States to produce wine or computers? Is it better for France to produce computers or wine?

The justification for the answer - that each country should produce that which it can make most efficiently - lies partly in the idea of economies of scale: "a production process in which an increase in the scale of the firm causes a decrease in the long-run, average cost of each unit." (This is why Wal-Mart is so successful - they purchase goods in such high quantities that they can resell them at the lowest prices.) In other words, increasing the size of the market increases the ability of companies and societies to produce better products at cheaper costs. When there is increased competition and access to more resources and labor, only the best and cheapest products will survive. The end beneficiary is the consumer.

Now, take the example I provided earlier, and extend it to the entire world. Every country would be competing with every other country for primacy in thousands of business sectors and over millions of products. When this process occurs uninhibited, the quality of products increases, and their prices fall. In the end, consumers throughout the world benefit because a single global market creates an immense economy of scale. This is why general worldwide inflation (not counting food and energy), is at historic lows at a level of roughly 2 percent. Globalization makes poor countries richer, and it keeps prices low in rich countries.

I have not written anything that should surprise anyone. Nearly all mainstream economists have made similar points because the theory is commonly known. But if the effects of free trade and globalization are obviously positive in the long run, then why are economists, U.S. presidential candidates before the 2008 election, and the American public becoming increasingly skeptical? The answers lie in psychology and journalism.

First, we need to return to my hypothetical example of the United States and France, and their computers and wine. If the United States and France were to stop producing wine and computers respectively because it became inefficient, then workers in those industries would lose their jobs. Those employees would reason that globalization cost them their jobs, and they would be correct. However, their understandable emotions do not recognize the larger, rational context. The effect of losing their jobs would understandably loom larger in their minds than the fact that they have generally paid less for many consumer goods - or, more accurately, that prices have increased at lower rates than in the past - over the past several years. They probably do not even realize that they have been paying less because the change has been incremental over time. However, they certainly know that they do not have jobs. So, to those workers, globalization is a negative trend. It is understandable that they cannot see the big picture because they are worried about the security of their families.

The mainstream media does little to help. The losers in globalization receive much more attention than the winners because those stories are exciting to tell - and sexy stories translate into more television viewers and newspaper subscribers. It is easier to tell a story about layoffs in a thirty-second soundbite on "Lou Dobbs Tonight" than to discuss a complex economic theory. Commentators who support globalization and free-trade, like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, need to explain the benefits of globalization as often as possible. But it is difficult in this media climate.

So, what should pundits and op-ed columnists tell the American public? Firstly, and most importantly, they should say that the people cannot stick their heads in the sand and hope to return to a world before globalization. That is not going to happen. The United States needs to adapt.

In my hypothetical example, the former wine manufacturers in the United States cannot simply complain about their lost jobs - they need to learn to make computers because that is where future economic growth will be. Likewise, former computer manufacturers in France need to improve their wine-harvesting skills. These two countries needed to revamp their societies in order to become successful in a world where only one market exists. In business terms, every country has its core competencies - the products it creates or the services it provides that are better than every other country. In a one-market, globalized world, only these industries in a given country will thrive.

The country that can produce and market the best coffee will corner that market around the world. The country that can produce consumer goods in mass quantities and at the cheapest price will be the world's leader in manufacturing. The country that can provide the best outsourcing to English-speaking countries will lead in customer service and basic administrative services in that area. Competition in all sectors is now worldwide.

But where does the United States fall in such a world? I do not have a set answer, but I do know where America's future does not lie. America's future is not in manufacturing - that belongs to China. America's future does not lie in low-level administrative and computer services - that belongs to India. America's future may not lie primarily in high-finance - London is slowly overtaking Wall Street. America's future cannot lie merely in consumer spending because an economy that is based only on people buying stuff cannot last. The United States needs to ask itself: What does it do better than every other country? What can it do that no other country can?

I know that I sound like a pessimist. But I'm not. It is important to state that globalization is neither inherently positive or negative; it is an amoral process. What matters is how individuals and countries react to globalization. If a country adapts to these fundamental changes in the world economy, then it will benefit greatly. (In my example, the Americans who formerly made wine would be learning how to produce computers, and the French who formerly made computers would be learning how to make wine.) If a country sticks its head in the global sand, then it will decline economically. Every country must make a choice. If every country does what it does best, then the entire world will benefit through access to the best goods at the lowest prices.

The United States will need to make some difficult choices if it is to benefit from the new global order. However, there is little hope if the country's educational system and national infrastructure are in shambles. American high schools leave a lot to be desired. Although American universities are currently the best in the world, their American students are not learning the skills - business, science, technology and engineering - that will be crucial in a globalized world. At a time when high schools should be inspiring more students to study science, many of them are still teaching that creationism is a valid scientific theory. (India must be laughing.) In addition, the skyrocketing cost of higher education is not helping to prepare students. Most importantly, the United States needs to start teaching different languages to the next generation and educating them about various cultures and countries. Americans need to travel internationally more often. You cannot engage the world if you do not know it.

In 2002, China spent more than $200 billion on improving and modernizing its infrastructure. I'd wager that the annual amount has only increased since that time. In one estimation, China has spent roughly $1 trillion. As the Asia Times notes:

China is investing its surplus in railroad, power, road and water management in a concerted way. There is no question that China still lacks adequate infrastructure, but it has understood clearly the importance of modernizing its basic infrastructure to generate employment and adequate utilization of its vast population.

India, for its part, has been looking for $320 billion in investment to improve its infrastructure. While these countries are preferring butter to guns, the United States has done the opposite by spending a projected $2 trillion on a mistaken war in Iraq at a time when its infrastructure is crumbling and the country becoming economically unstable. Even though the future will be a digital age, the United States is falling behind other countries in broadband capacity. Globalization rewards those countries that are as lean and wired as possible.

Careers That Can Be Yours With an Online Economics Degree

Do you have a passion for profit generation and are manic about making money? Do you have a bent toward refining research and raw data into final figures that impact business' bottom lines? If you enjoy following financial trends and predicting market directions and seek a platform upon which to practice these propensities, academic training in Economics may be what you need.

Take a momentary break from your furious figuring and abstract analyses. We are about to embark upon some very concrete study that can help cement your career firmly in place. Class is now in session to explore the vast array of occupational options open to those who earn an online economics degree.

Professional lives of economists

Economists evaluate market activity, consumer behavior, and economic patterns. In so doing, they must develop proper research methodologies such as mathematical models and accurate survey sampling. This insures research validity and compilation efficiency.

Ultimately, this information is used to prepare projections on economic issues such as inflation, interest rates, consumer behavior, employment, and taxes. Economists must know how to present the information they collect and analyze so that the average person can comprehend it.

Economic sub-specialties

When making your choice of an online economics degree program, be aware that Economics study features many subspecialties. A few of these are:

Microeconomics - the study of specific market segments and consumer consumption patterns. Data analyses pertaining to maximizing profits and projecting likely consumption levels of specific goods or services are commonly performed.

Industrial and organizational economics - studies particular industries' market structures such as competitor density and examines competitor decisions.

Macroeconomics - the study of entire economic systems to project future trends such as investment, employment, inflation, and overall economic growth.

Public finance economics - primarily concerned with governmental roles in economies and the impact of taxes, budget deficits, and public benefits policies.

Who employs economists?

Firms that specialize in consulting, research firms, and large corporations commonly employ economists. Consulting firm economists perform a large portion of the macroeconomic projections throughout the entire nation. Major news media and financial journals often report their findings.

The Federal Government is another large employer of economists. Government financial experts frequently advise agencies and lawmakers about the probable economic effects of proposed policies and legislation. Specific examples of this include analyzing likely impacts of tax cuts on the Federal budgetary deficit, or changes to the Social Security program.

Economic rewards of an Economics career

According to Uncle Sam's number crunchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for economists nationwide was $83,590.00 as of May 2008. As of March 2009, economists employed by the Federal government earned an average annual salary of $108,010.00.

Related occupations

By obtaining an online economics degree, you become qualified for a broad range of related careers that involve many of the same practical skills and theoretical knowledge of economists. Some of the most popular paths pursued by Economics majors are:

Accountants and auditors
Budget analysts
Cost estimators
Financial analysts
Financial managers
Insurance underwriters
Loan officers
Management analysts
Market and survey researchers
Personal financial advisors
Purchasing agents, buyers, and managers

Typically, Economics degrees at the bachelor's level are sufficient for entry-level positions. Uncle Sam generally requires those seeking entry-level economist positions in his employ to have at least 21 academic credit hours of Economics and three credit hours in Accounting, Calculus, or Statistics. He might waive the latter requirement for those with sufficient prior work experience.

Historical Review of Wall Street Journal

Are you looking for a good quality newspaper? One that has a very reputable reputation and is well respected among readers, journalists and industry leaders? You may be thinking of the New York Times or a foreign publication. When, in fact it is a newspaper published right here in the United States. It is our very own Wall Street Journal.

I consider myself a newspaper "connoisseur," I like to read different newspapers from around the country or international ones. For instance, I like to read the New York Times, USA Today or even the local newspaper. Internationally, speaking I like to read the London Times. To me, out of this eclectic group one newspaper stands head and shoulders above the rest; you may be asking yourself which one it is. The newspaper I am talking about is the Wall Street Journal. I have been a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal for a long time. Later on in the article I will talk more about why I have been such a long and loyal subscriber to this particular newspaper. I want to take a brief amount of time and provide a little background information about the newspaper. The Wall Street Journal is published by Dow Jones and Company. Now, it is owned by News Corporation. News Corp is owned by media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. News corp. bought the Journal in May 2007. In addition, to be being published in the United States, there are Asian and European editions as well. The Wall Street Journal is the largest newspaper by circulation in the United States with 2.1 million copies and 400,000 online subscriptions.

Now, I would like to provide a brief history of the newspaper. The Wall Street Journal is a very old newspaper, it first started publishing in August 1889. That makes the newspaper 121 years old. That is really old, but because of its reputation and respect among different segments of society it is still relevant today, in 2010. I think that is quite an accomplishment. The newspaper was formed by three men in 1889, Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. The newspaper was originally started in 1882 by these men as a small publication titled Customer's Afternoon Letter. I find it absolutely amazing that it started as a small publication and evolved over the the years and morphed into the powerhouse that it is. It has helped for the paper to morph into a powerhouse by winning thirty three Pulitzer Prizes, the most recent one in 2007.

Now, that I have provided some historical background of my favorite newspaper, I will take some time to explain why it is my favorite newspaper. As I stated earlier in my review, I have been a loyal subscriber tot he Wall Street Journal for many years, and wouldn't give up my subscription for anything. I think now it is even more important than ever to keep abreast of all the economical and financial news. Even though the Journal is best known for its economic and business coverage, it also has national and international news as well. There is also an opinion-editorial section, a book review section and even a weather page.