Let me preface this by saying more than two people i care about and my own mother have lost their jobs due to the "economic downturn" (read: recession). But I still have some nagging polyanna type thoughts in my head regarding the issue.
First of all is entertainment. I've read that during hard economic times people turn to booze and invariably live entertainment. I think this is awesome and am frankly a little disgusted when otherwise interesting people reveal their homes packed with DVDs, consoles, huge TVs and generally few books. It's not that I don't understand that some people leading fascinating social lives and in fact have large enough incomes to amass such status symbol level collections of personal entertainment. But I'm not entirely upset to see these things go from my own life if need be. And I've known a few people who cave in on themselves like this until they get diabetes, bankrupt, a really bad hernia or arrested for selling more than just a few 20 bags to friends.
Apparently Netflix is doing really well to this day and nobody is being deprived of an irreplaceable life experience by having to rent or borrow the complete 3rd season of Bewitched. You may even want to check your local public library where you can indeed borrow popular DVDs and CDs for free.
Online gaming seems to be a good value and will continue to stick around. Sorry WoW widows.
When it comes to our aspirations in life maybe it's not so horrible that one could make a living repairing appliances or shoes or making alterations to clothes again? Instead of selling shoes for somebody else for minimum wage. Realistically the professional world is for professionals and you'd best be both wicked smart and one of the hardest workers out there if you want that life. I know very few highly paid people who don't endure incredibly long work hours, public ridicule, lack or social life, an ulcer and a crisis or two for what they get. Realistically not all of us are that disciplined nor need to be it seems. Until now, for many of us, the pressure to succeed was solely ethical.
Love/family economies, DIY and living local. It's actually not just for foodie hipsters! At the grocery store that I work at there are several ethnic communities who's group actions I enjoy decoding. For instance Italians and Portuguese buy bussels of Roma tomatoes come august and make preserved sauces and antipesto. Everyone seems to buy whole hog shoulders and lamb in big plastic bags that are bought during the slaughter at ridiculously low prices. Young girls I work with, some even single Moms themselves, scoff and make disgusted faces. But they could learn from these folks. Aside from the really good chefs out there who here knows how to butcher a pig? Is there a more powerful message to the ConAgras, Altrius/Kraft and even Hain-Celestials of the world than taking the time to preserve your own soups, sauces, jams and meats?
Maybe it's a romantic vision and I am pretty realistic about the deductive nature of human beings. When credit and labour are cheap we can hire people to pick the blueberries that go in the smoothie that somebody else makes for our after gym snack. And I don't disagree that for some that's a great quality of life. But somebody help you if you find yourself on the other side of that equation. More and more of us will and are finding ourselves there.
Maybe it's my priviledged semi-socialist Canadian upbringing. But I don't fear living closer to the edge of poverty if it means I have greater control over my own well being. If banks never see a lick of interest because they won't loan to me or many others. I hope we find a hybrid system that can grant more of us less luxury for debt and more financial autonomy based on the quality of our work. More security through the resolve of our stewardship to the people around us, the things we need and what little we truly want.
In some sick way I feel the economy can't get worse enough.
Posted via LiveJournal.app.