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I'm Asking: Is the Recession Good For Society?

I'm Asking: Is the Recession Good For Society?

Spirits aren't exactly high when the economy is low, but at least one person thinks there's a silver lining. In his keynote speech at National Retail Federation's convention, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott speculated, "Everyone has given up something and said how good they felt about it. I think in some ways it is healthy [for society], even though for us retailers it's not good."

Do you agree with him, and are you feeling good about the things you've given up?


Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I agree with Bella. I think that this has helped many people get a well overdue reality check. In the same respect it has hurt a lot of people. Not being able to pay bills on time and in full is a bad thing. Not buying three cashemere sweaters in three different colors because your are thinking about your bills instead is such a bad thing.
thoroughlymodern thoroughlymodern 8 years
I pretty much agree with Bella. A lot of people are hurting, and that's not good. It is good to cut out unecisary spending on things we don't need as so many of us are living beyond our means (I know I am) and that causes instability. But at the same time, some people's jobs depend on sales of less necisary items, so until employment oporutnities reshuffle to areas in which we need people, it's gonna be rough for a lot of people. But ultimately I think that reshuffling will be good, as it should make us more productive and give us the manpower we need in important areas. At least it would be nice if it works out that way, but I have a feeling we'll be back to our old spending ways once this is all over. Also, cutting down on consuming (where we don't need to) is good for the environment. People will buy more second hand goods, and that's fabulous. (except for the whole people-depending-on-purchases-of-new-goods thing)
Meike Meike 8 years
My family nor I haven't changed a thing. Frugality was something we have always practiced and therefore we are unaffected by this recession. I finally am happy that other people are smartening up.
sarasonne sarasonne 8 years
I also believe our current economy may have a silver lining. I think we are all a little spoiled. For those who do not agree, think about the way people worked and the things people had a hundred years ago. Women had 3 or 4 dresses, that's it, not a closet full of sweaters and many other clothes.
jueycruiser jueycruiser 8 years
My whole life, my parents have lived on credit cards, loans, borrow money here to pay money there to get this on credit, two bankruptcies followed by more debt, over and over again. two months ago, my dad told me he canceled his credit cards and had made a plan to get out of debt completely in the next two years. i dont know if i could put into words how shocking this was for me to hear. if this recession has at least killed the idea that debt is okay, or buy now pay later is the way to go, and teaching people to pay attention to their finances, i think some good could come out of this whole mess.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
Seriously, if you work hard for your money, you deserve to spend it whatever way you want. I'm not an advocate for raking up debt, and true, there is a huge sense of self-entitlement with lots of people (I can't stand it). But when you do your best to put food on the table, and you can't afford to put gas in your car, there's a big problem. And it's not fun. No silver lining in that. No sense of pride in that either. Too much materialism isn't good, but some of us don't spend our money on purses, shoes, clothes etc. Some of us choose to spend it on our passions, the things that shape us and make us who we are. Take that away, and you're left sitting at home, just stressing yourself out.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
All of the "It's no fun to be frugal!" and "Why should I have to decide between paying my bills and buying a new sweater?" are precisely the attitudes that the recession is changing in most people. Why do you deserve a new sweater? I'm sorry, but it's good for us to reevaluate our priorities and think about whether we truly need whatever bullshit material thing we think we need (like a sweater!)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Nothing's "fun" about being frugal, but like bluepuppy said, we've become a nation of whiners about what we are entitled to. There's a sense of pride that comes with at least trying to make the best of the situation and not spending money you don't have.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
Ugh. What's so fun about being frugal? You only live once. I hate to spend my life worrying if I should save 20 cents on cheaper ketchup/diet coke/whatever elsewhere. There is no silver lining here. There's nothing great about people working their butts off and still not being able to afford anything. Or those who have worked their butts off, but got laid off, and now can't even provide for their families. It's just a crappy situation.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I agree that this is a great wake up call for our nation. As someone who grew up being taught to live without credit cards and to live within my means, and work hard to get things and get where I want to be, is something everyone should do. Just because we live in America doesn't mean that we are entitled to everything. I am getting sick of how spoiled and whiny this country has become. Go live in a 3rd world country for a week and tell me that our country isn't giving you enough, you have to go out and get it yourself.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I think it will help a lot of people realize what it means to be frugal and hopefully a lot of the stigmas associated with it will go away. My mother ALWAYS makes fun of me and my grandma and my mother in law for being frugal...I shop at the "poor-person's grocery store (aka Aldi's)", I "should drive a nicer car", etc. But now, she's been trying to save a little money and I think she's slowly becoming more empathetic to those of us that like to save money and live within our means.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
It certainly does have its silver lining--it's a good reality check to counterbalance the general "live beyond our means; we need more STUFF" mentality that's been dominant--but there are plenty of people facing real problems who didn't need that wake-up call, so it's not great.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Umm no. I don't find anything great about not being able to do anything, go anywhere or buy myself a sweater vs my electric bill a good thing.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I'm with bellasugar. It's good to reassess what we truly need in our lives, but there are people out there for whom it's not about reprioritizing- they're truly struggling to figure out how to pay for basics like food and housing.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I think escaping our consumerism a bit is good, especially if it helps us escape the weird keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality. But let's not romanticize the recession. There's nothing good about people worrying about how they'll afford to feed their families.
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