Lookin' for the down side

Last night ... local news ... daily rendition of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of local teeth ... over gas prices! They had so very many people on camera. Oh, it's terrible it's terrible. It's killin me here, man. Just look at what these outrageous prices have done to my life! Why some people have even had to:

1. Buy used clothing instead of new.

2. Cut back on vacation plans.

3. Take far fewer car trips.

4. Buy a smaller car.

5. Have only one family car.

6. Not buy a new car this year.

7. Start riding the bus - or even a bike! - to work instead of taking a car at all.

8. Cook food from groceries instead of buying food already made from a drive through on the way home.

9. Get out of consumer debt because the payments are killers.

Well, holy crap! This is just terrible news! The air's cleaner, the community is less wasteful, and families are staying home sometimes and being a bit more prudent with their money. Damn. The world just might come to an end if this keeps up. Why, people are mending things they already own instead of supporting the beautiful and patriotic market economy by buying new stuff!

But add all this to the HOUSING crisis? And the general LENDING crisis? Oh, doooom, dooom ... the death knell sounds! Some folks are having to get into smaller houses. Honest! I'm not kidding here. There are people in this country who have to live in housing they can afford. And banks are starting to lend only to consumers who can pay them back! And ... it's becoming less profitable to speculate in the real estate market too - so one of these days, average monthly RENT might just decrease!

This isn't progress! This isn't our America! Why ...

it sounds





where I grew up!

Now, listen, you absurdity of a local news broadcast. Just listen to me. I'm not a dinosaur. I have some grey hair, admittedly, but I'm not even fifty years old yet. So it just wasn't that long ago that ordinary, middle class, normal families has only one family car, parked in front of their modest homes, wherein lived children who were not scheduled to be on the other side of town for all kinds of activities seven days a week. This didn't happen a hundred years ago. We had running water and color TV and everything! I'm tellin' ya. Listen to me. It's possible to cut back on all the running around town, it's possible to learn to sew, and to buy quality in the first place, and to buy second hand clothes, and it's possible to grow up happy and healthy without a huge house to do it in.

Just pretend I'm a visitor from another planet.

I bring you good news.

Your life is not over.

Not yet.

In fact ... there might even be an upside to this modern disaster. An opportunity, maybe ... hm ... what could we do? What could we do?


Ami said...

Maybe you'll find this in Economics 101:
The cost of fuel means that transporting the means of production and tranporting your product to market double, and since the middleman's cut remains constant, the income of those of us at the bottom of the food chain - farmers - is cut in half. Meanwhile, the price of luxuries like food double.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

Yes, dear Ami, I know. And maybe when such things effect us as deeply and completely as they do people in other countries - places where they're glad if they have a house and clean water - maybe then there will be cause for the level of complaining and hysteria we're hearing on the nightly news over here.

So far, for us I mean, the actual effects have been a lot like finding out that your weight and fat and hormones and cholesterol and blood pressure are off the charts ... so you have to live like a healthy person or die. That's not bad news. It's an opportunity for good sense and resulting good health.