Monday, December 21, 2009

Recession: it's a Good Thing

Okay, I'm tired of hearing all of the economists and TV pundits bemoaning what has become of our economy. I'm tired of reading all of the headlines that speculate about when exactly our nation's shopping obsession is going to start up again and when we can all take a collective sigh of relief and go back to being the spenders that got us here in the first place. Seriously, people.

Here's the deal. It was great that we had an economy and all, and I would love to see people employed again. I think it sucks that there aren't enough jobs and that people are struggling to get by. However. I've never known a time in my thirty-four years on this earth when people have been so thrifty, so fiscally responsible, so cool with the fact that they're not going on a shopping spree this Christmas season. According to some random news reports I've read lately, there are more handmade craft gifts this year than ever before. More families opting out of the gift-giving rat race and agreeing to exchange homemade gifts, single ornaments, or, gasp! nothing at all. Am I the only one who thinks that this recession might actually be good for us? If people are learning to scale back their spending, to turn in their SUV for a gas-efficient sedan, to give up the obnoxious 5,000sq ft McMansion, isn't this good for the soul? I think it's disgusting that the American economy was so damn reliant on all the average Joes out there shopping themselves into debt.

Years ago, I read the book Affluenza, which stated that our addiction to big spending was burning us out and that we needed to downshift our wants and reconsider what "the good life" was really all about. Isn't the good life about contentment? About wanting what you have and having what you want? Maybe I'm the only one who sees the good in this situation, but damn. Cutting up the credit cards and focusing your energy on simple pleasures instead of what model car your neighbors drive seems like a pretty good life to me.

1 comment:

Gorgon Zola said...

Ok good. I don't feel so bad about the gifts I'll be giving out this year. Home made baked goods and hand made scarves. And anyways I feel like people appreciate those kinds of gifts more so in the long run. I agree, recession...it is a good thing. Back to basics baby.