Monday, October 06, 2008

Were the doomsayers right?

My friend Ray has been reading a number of books of the "the sky is falling" type. While he's been know to have a critical eye on just about everything, his father-in-law has been an additional influence on his negative economic attitude. Their holiday conversations have to be pretty depressing.

I can't remember the names of all those books, but they all say something in regards to we'll soon be buried by copious debt. The country will dive into a severe recession (if not depression). The free wheeling consumer spending will come to a halt. Companies, so focused on the bottom line, will cut employment leaving millions unemployed.

And how will we be saved? I doubt even the authors of those books know. However, I believe Ray would say that the only way for us to regain economic competence is to shutter down and quit buying houses we can't afford. Quit using our credit cards to buy Starbucks. Quit living in houses with mortgages that take 50% of our income. Basically, Ray is saying "let's live within our means."

Well Ray, you might be right. Maybe we've hit the point where we need to buckle down and start vetting our purchases instead of buying everything in sight.

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