17 November 2008

Local Thoughts

Lately everytime I turn on NPR I hear facts about how little we Americans are spending money these days. The host often rattles off percentages of how much we spent this quarter versus last quarter, versus 6 months ago, versus last year at this time; expenditures from home construction, to holiday shopping, to new cars.  

Everyone is "pinching pennies". We automatically assume this is all due to the economy, the stock market crashing, the car industry bankruptcy, etc. Isn't it also possible that the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle have hit the mark? Could we consider just for a moment that people are cutting back and spending less and buying local & reused items because it is the smart and responsible thing to to do? People are scared, I get that. We are all "tightening our belts".  But isn't it possible that people are just considering a new lifestyle of buying less crap. They want heirlooms and treasures versus things that will kick out on them in less than a years time. And Hummer isn't going out of business because their cars are expensive. People don't want gas guzzlers, plain and simple. 

Two of the people in my office are cutting back. They are cutting back because rents are higher and jobs are fewer and far between. They also discussed that while living locally is ideal - it can be more expensive. We started throwing around the idea that if food was cheaper, we might buy more of it, thus more would go bad. I personally find that I am very selective about the groceries I buy because of the high cost and the potential to waste.

I welcome thoughts on this topic.  

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