Wednesday, October 3, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 30


Come on Cougars: Go shopping!

Matthew E. Caster

Life is slowly getting back to normal. Amateur and professional sporting events are being held as planned, albeit with more stringent security. Trading on the stock market has smoothed out considerably, with no more 600-plus point drops anticipated within the foreseeable future. President Bush is still talking tough against the monsters that changed America forever. I've still got midterms.

Though our great nation is nowhere close to forgetting the terrorist attacks on our glimmering, 110-story symbols of economic prosperity, our military
headquarters or on the brave souls on an airplane in western Pennsylvania, we are recovering as only Americans can after an atrocity of this magnitude.
It's a long road ahead, but one that we must not be afraid to travel.

Many of you have aided our recovery by contributing blood, money or even just a shoulder to cry on for someone who needed it. But there is still a great
deal more to be done, and all of us must band together and do it. "But Matthew," you say, "I'm just a lowly college student. What can I do to help?"

One particular action stands out boldly in my mind: Spend money. Something we're all good at, right? This action is necessary to stimulate an already
weakened economy that was only further undermined by the terror attacks of last month.

I'm convinced that the terrorists involved in this act of war were motivated by the desire to see the American economy, and especially the American people,
brought to their knees. We've already proven that America is united as one force toward defeating the evils of terrorism. Now the time has come for us to
prove that our economy is as sound as our resolve.

When the terrorists wounded the very fabric of our nation, many people were scared. Consumer confidence dropped significantly to the lowest level since
before the Persian Gulf conflict. Many people began hoarding their savings, refusing to spend money for fear of a prolonged recession.

These fears are unfounded and unnecessary. Forecasts for the rest of this year are slightly sub-par, but the economic outlook for 2002 is quite promising,
a fact agreed upon by Congress, the Federal Reserve and Bush. There is no need to fear a forthcoming recession, because our prospects for recovery are

So what can you do? Take your friends out to eat. Go see a movie. Buy a new car or house. Interest rates haven't been this low in years, after all. I've been
quite impressed with companies such as General Motors and Ford that are financing cars at 0 percent just to encourage people to buy American products
and stimulate the economy. Greedy? Perhaps, but patriotically so.

The point is, get out there and live your normal life, just as you did before. I know college students aren't exactly the richest folks in the world, but every little
bit helps. Get out there and splurge a little bit. Believe it or not, you'll be providing a great service to your nation.

We cannot allow these acts of violence to undermine our economy any less than we can our sense of community. So go out there and do your part,
Cougars, and we will triumph over terror. God bless America.

Caster, a junior chemical engineering
major, can be reached at

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