These are hard times… everything I thought I knew… or had planned seems to be unraveling. Investments for retirement and my daughter’s education, even my career path seems to be a mess. The economy has created challenges and has forced me to rethink assumptions and on some days it feels like a giant dark cloud parked just above me. But these are the days that will define me. These are the days that I need to move past fear and accept the landscape has changed- permanently.
A recession is by definition, a contraction of the economy. A depression – is a recession on steroids. A reduction in consumption leads to reductions in employment and often in prices because no one has any money. But when you think of the overconsumption, especially in the U.S. over the last decade, it had to crash.
USA: Consumption nation. Skip across the television dial — The Biggest Loser, Celebrity Fit Club, Bulging Brides, Nip and Tuck… is this who we have become, a freak show of overconsumption? The evidence of this affliction is everywhere, not just on TV, but also on the roads with our massive vehicles, the supersized retailers with endless aisles of needless junk. The constant cry for more was answered by willing manufacturers from all over the globe. Our spending spree was lining the pockets of capitalists from the deserts of the Middle East to the Middle Kingdom of China. And they kept the party going by buying up dollars, essentially funding the spree. But the ride is over. The chapter ends like any binge session, with regret and some pain. But tomorrow is a new day. Americans don’t have to be who we were. We can be better. Contraction doesn’t have to be a dirty word. We celebrate getting fit and dropping the weight… why not celebrate slimming down as consumers. Why not put our American and our global ingenuity into creating products and services that rise above simple consumption. What each of us take away from this period in our history is up to us. But I chose to look at this as an opportunity—to fine tune myself, my mission and what I worry about and more importantly what I celebrate. – Mary Caraccioli
2 Responses to “The Opportunity”
March 11th, 2009 at 10:41 am
Even Warren Buffet said he was surprised by how quickly Americans habits changed when confronted with higher fuel costs and other economic issues
March 11th, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Americans are a nimble lot. There are a lot of doomsday economic forecasts out there. What those forecasts are missing is the entrepreneurial nature of this country. Where some see gloom, others see opportunity. That is the Buffet way: when all seems lost, he sees a bargain.