Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why stimilus package might just be a band aide

In this difficult economic time it perhaps seems simple to think, if we just throw money at people they will instantly become happy contributors to our failing economy. But it seems to me like we are trying to jump a battery that `is more than half dead. When do we admit that we need to buy a new battery or in this case change our thinking, possibly away from a consumerism society? In a consumerism society very few members of that society benefit while a great majority start to fall further and further down with very little hope or help to get back up. Desperation increase with job and money shortages and this is the time that crime goes up as more and more participate in illegal activity in order to make money.
We only make up a small percentage of the world’s population but we consume over 70% of the world’s resources. I have seen pockets of hope in this recession. Here in America we pride ourselves in our individuality, hard work, pull yourself up by your boot straps mentality. While this is admirable I feel that our honoring of individuality has put distance between ourselves and other people. We look only as far as what will serve us. Now things have started to change slowly. I see more and more friends and family coming together to support each other. Instead of a night out I’m seeing more social and community gatherings. We are starting to understand again the meaning of community and the strength of like minds coming together. As Margaret Mead is famous for saying, "Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
We have more power than we think. For one I am not going to buy into the concept that we can spend our way out of this mess. This is our time to stand together and demand what we feel is important including increased jobs, better healthcare, more accessibility for higher education, etc. The answer is more about coming together to support one another and less than trying to keep at the status quo that we have enjoyed. The truth is that status quo was not sustainable financially or environmentally. Success does not have to be defined by having lots of stuff but by having a quality life.
"Any relation that does exist between happiness and income is relative rather than
absolute. the happiness people derive from consumption is based on whether they consume more
than their neighbors and more than they did in the past. The upper classes in any society are more satisfied with their lives than the lower classes are, but they are no more satisfied than the upper
classes of much poorer countries, nor than the upper classes were in the less affluent past."
-Michael Argyle, The psychology of happiness

1 comment:

Miss Kolleen said...

if people want to help MY personal recession they canbuy more benefit cosmetics and then i can get my 3% commission :)

i agree with you though, in all seriousness.