How’s the crisis affecting you? Pt. III

People are sending great comments about the way economic changes are shaping our nation and our habits.

Samantha Newcombe, an Alaskan who helped me survive the sixth grade (Hi Sam!), responded to the previous post about changing our consumer habits. She’s 23 and dislikes the sound of styrofoam (me too, Sam, me too).

I use my Mike’s Lemonade six pack holders for all of my paints and classroom glue. I just paint over them. And I reuse a ton of stuff in the classroom (like plastic bags, and newspaper, and toliet paper rolls and egg cartons). I agree, too much goes to waste. I bought a pack of gum the other day and someone asked me if I wanted a bag for it. A plastic bag for something that I can carry in my hand? It seems a bit extreme!

Rachel, who lives in L.A. and once slept in a U-Haul in the middle of Tennessee (or was it Ohio?), also wrote in. She’s 22 and spent the summer in Hong Kong.

How do you think American culture will change because of the economic crisis?

I think conspicuous consumption and the oh-so-American greed and overindulgence will decline and those who continue to live lavishly will be held accountable and scrutinized for such a lifestyle. Being frugal will become more trendy. I think it also fits into the trends of environmental conservation and being green is cool — people are beginning to look outside themselves, and are seeing the impact that they make in the world. I think as this economic crisis is really shaking people up and forcing them to reprioritize how they live their lives, especially in terms of consumption.

I also might go as far to predict that our generation will become the frugal savers after this experience. While the baby boomers were the big spenders, I think our generation may be more conservative in spending, make less risky investments, definitely have less trust in financial instituations, government, business, industry (we’re already seeing this skepticism in full-fledge), be more responsible with credit, shore up savings, retirement, education funds, etc.

But, America is fickle. And stupid. We’ll probably all buy hummers and eventually relocate to the moon.

Here’s an issue that’s come up in the comments I’m receiving: Some think the economic crisis will have a permanent impact on our generation’s psyche, and that we will become a less consumption-oriented, more fiscally responsible, more environmentally aware group of individuals who will pass these values on to our children.

Others think that when (if?) the economy bounces back, we’re going to return to our old glutonous ways and drown ourselves in massive amounts of air conditioning while watching televisions the size of football fields.




1 Response to “How’s the crisis affecting you? Pt. III”

  1. 1 Leah September 3, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I think the U-haul experience was in Ohiopyle, PA. Just throwing the idea out there….

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What is this blog?

The "Unstatic Blog" documents the changes going on around you and me. It will ask and answer — and then ask again — how is your world changing? Read and participate in the conversation.


/ˈstætɪk/ –adjective 1. pertaining to or characterized by a fixed or stationary condition. 2. showing little or no change: a static concept; a static relationship. 3. lacking movement, development, or vitality

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