Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Spending

I already wrote this post once but lost it when I tried to set it up on a schedule. So here's the shorter, reconstructed version.

In the little bit that I listen to or watch the news I've caught an awful lot of one thing in the last few weeks. Holiday spending is down, retailers are nervous. Well, I'm here to offer up a resounding "GOOD ON YA!" to everyone who spent sensibly this Christmas. While the media furrows its collective brow and says, "Shame on you, consumer" for not helping stores that sell useless crap move their useless crap." I'm handing out a big pat on the back to anyone who saved their money for frivolous things like bills.

It's not our fault as consumers that the business model is unsustainable. I for one would much rather be able to support myself unaided in retirement than rely on my offspring to support me through Social Security (and five or six of my friends) because I was more interested in big vehicles and big TVs than in being fiscally responsible.

If it's going to take the collapse of the luxury goods market to get the economy fixed around here then so be it. At least we'll be ahead of the Soviets in that we're pretty good at keeping everyone fed around here. To them it's a miracle that we can get the food from the field to the table. Having a PS3 and a sofa sized TV to boot is a fairy tale to most of the world. Even with the advent of cell phones there are still three BILLION people in the world who have never made a phone call.

I grew up in the echo of the Great Depression. My grandparents made do and scrimped and saved. As a result they were quite well off in their later years and were able to help put half a dozen grandkids through college as a result. My parents grew up in that ethos and passed it on to me. Now, don't make me out to be all crunchy granola because I'm not. I like my internet and my iPod. However, my family eats like kings (food that's not killing us) on money that wouldn't feed a trucker at McDonalds.

So if a few people loose their jobs because you didn't up for that new plasma screen or three ton SUV this Christmas, that's really too bad for them. When you rest your head on the pillow of luxury items, you live with the fact that in one swoop the feathers can all fly out and you're left holding the pillowcase. What's really going to fix things in this country is people handling their money sensibly. So, one last round of applause to everyone who bought a house they could afford, who didn't melt their credit cards in the mall, and who are putting away a few bucks for a rainy day.

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1 comment:

  1. dude, I hear ya! our motto is: We don't buy presents. Let the Grandparents handle it! and they do. We have a standing agreement with my brother and Brian's sister not to buy eachother anything until a time in which we all agree its ok. HereHere


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