I'm to Blame

I confess: I'm the reason the economy hasn't improved.

As I understand it, the way we as citizens are expected to help the economy is to go out and buy things we don't need. I'm not doing that. Not much anyway.

We're all going to spend money on the things we do need: food, mortgage/rent, utilities, car insurance (if you have a car), transportation to work, health care, etc. We pretty much have to do those things.

Now, we can cut back in those areas, of course. We don't have to buy potato chips; we can stick to buying just the healthy food our body needs and not the junk food. We can drive less and save money on gas (and we can bike/walk more and spend less money on health care). We can downsize. We can use less electricity and water and heat. We can be frugal and spend wisely. Personally, I think we should be doing most of that no matter how the economy is doing.

But it seems like we're expected to spend money where ever we can in order to boost the economy. Buy your espresso with added flavor shots. Detail your car. Get that new "As Seen on TV" product. Those things apparently are supposed to help the economy.

But then, I don't get our economy. It seems to go against a lot of what I believe. As I understand it, the economy does well when we're spending money. Then there are supposed to be more jobs with better pay so we can spend more money. All that is supposed to keep our economy healthy. Except that it hasn't.

Those who know me know that I'm a pretty frugal person. We don't rent movies, we wait until it's our turn on the reserve list at the library to get the DVD. If we see a movie in the theater, it's at the cheap theater a few months after it's been out. We don't subscribe to cable. I've only bought one app for my ipad (a word processing program). We attend free events and get passes from the library for museums, zoos and the like. We seldom eat out--we usually bring a packed lunch. We buy our food fairly cheaply and buy plenty of things at thrift stores.

If I could, I would be more self-sustaining: growing more of my own food, having a power source like a windmill or solar panels, making the things I need. And I would, if we had much more money, do more "splurges" on things I enjoy. I would also give more away. And I'd still be frugal.

So I'm clearly not going to be a stimulator of the economy. I also don't have the solution on how
to improve it. I personally think we need a whole different economic system (what was wrong with the trade-and-barter system of yore?), but, again, I don't have the answer for what that should be. However they did it on Star Trek seems to be the logical answer (I also think we need to work on getting their medical and transport technology). Of course, they never explained how their economy worked...they just showed that money didn't seem to be an issue for the crew at least. The Enterprise crew just seemed to all do their jobs (and enjoy them), have all their needs taken care of and enjoy life without worrying about stimulating the galactic economy. We're not there. Nor will we be anytime soon.

So don't expect the economy to improve because of me. I don't expect it to improve because of you, either. I think we're all best off learning to learn more within our means and help those who need help. If you've got other solutions, I'd love to hear them.

No comments: