The more I think about the financial crisis the more I don't care.
On one hand, I realize that whenever there are economic difficulties, those who generally bare the brunt of the turmoil, are those who already struggle. I realize that financial difficulties can lead to deeper problems. Barely being able to get by, and particularly Unemployment can lead to depression, straining relationships and families. That is something unfortunate, and I feel a sense of compassion to those who struggle. But I am glad we live in a country that offers assistance in a variety of ways to struggling families and individuals. I hope with the leftward shift our government has taken, more assistance will allotted to those in need, rather than to those in power.
All that aside, there are so many worse things that can happen than not having a lot of money. The large majority of people won't lose there jobs or receive wage cuts that seriously alter their cost of living. For most people the most this economic downturn will meet a slight decrease ability to be a consumer. (of course, hard economic times can lead to budget cuts for things like schools and libraries, but hopefully our new administration will take more a of a 'New Deal' approach and increase spending to stimulate the $ world)
Even for those who do lose there job, while it can cause strain and stress, it may not always be negative in its ultimate consequences. I remember my dad lost the job he had held for almost 20 years, and wasn't able to find an adequate replacement for almost 2 more. Times were tough for a while. (Well, I guess they were. I can't remember anything being at all different about the way we lived. I was 15-17). The Job he eventually got at the Post Office was much better than the job he had before. Working less hours for more pay in a better environment.
I don't think that all job losses will end up with a silver lining, some people will never be able to find work equal to what they had before. But for most people, things will even out, and for some even improve.
For the average person, whose life might be effected by having to cut back somewhat, I can't help but think: 'so what' or even 'good'. I wrote before about how an increase in choices does not create an increase in happiness, and can even lead to a decrease. We all know we are a nation obsessed with consumerism. When times are good, we have news reports praising our economy and spending, and others criticizing our high levels of consumer debt and materialism. It is almost as if there is a partition in the mass mind. There is a sense of wanting people to shop a lot and support industry, yet do it without being materialistic or in debt.
When of the cutbacks people will have to make, I don't see this is a 'crisis', or something that concerns me. Economies are always up and down. People are often going in and out of jobs. When I think of all the corporate executives not getting their bonuses this year, I don't know if anyone really cares but the executives and their families.
So, yeah, we might be in a crisis, but the crisis is one of being so attached to $ and products we think our lessened ability to live excessively really matters.
Of course, I might feel different if this economic instability led to an actual economic depression, or if I was being personally effected, but I was listening to some interviews conducted in the 50's with people who had lived through the depression. There seemed to be in most of them, while not explicitly stated this way, a sense not unlike gratitude for having gone through a period of extreme lack. It taught them a sense of appreciation for what they do have, and an repulsion to over indulgence. Perhaps times of economic turmoil can be ultimately beneficial for the nation's psyche.
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