Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What am I missing?

I listen daily to Planet Money.

According to Tuesday's podcast this recession is remarkable because consumer spending is disappearing rather than corporations restructuring their bad spending (which is apparently the typical recessionary cause).

But I don't feel that my family has radically changed our spending habits despite the daily dire news.

So, what am I missing?

Lynda and I are very lucky to have two good jobs that appear solid and not in danger--either because our industry is more secure (not likely?) or because we are "too valuable" (a foolhardy assumption EVER). But I'm foolishly putting it out there--really a reflection of my laziness to consider the possibility of job searching nightmares.

So really we aren't so much lucky as I am shortsighted and foolish . . .

ANYWAY . . .

I keep hearing that everyone has stopped spending, but we are still spending money daily on groceries, buying lunch at the work cafeteria rather than brown-bagging, we've bought Christmas presents (maybe a few less, but not SEVERELY so). In short, it doesn't FEEL that different for me.

So, again, what am I missing?

One person on the podcast mentioned that he was also buying big ticket items for Christmas, but rather than heading to Best Buy to get new, he was purchasing used big screen TVs and game consoles off of Craig's List.

So, is this what's really going on ? Are the economically profligate getting smacked in the head with their speculative ways while the more economically cautious troll along behind them, sucking up their cast offs over the Internet?

Is the recession a reboot of consumer irrational exuberance AND an Internet-based/consumer 2.0 attack on brick-and-mortar, person-to-person consumerism?

Or am I simply missing what's really going on?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All of the above. Like you, I have been insulated from immediate and severe impact (so far), while others in different industries, regions, social strata are hurting and therefore curtailing. I'm bracing myself for the ripple effect.