Five months ago, Hank Paulson got on the TV and said the sky was falling. The media jumped on the bandwagon and for five months we have heard gloom and doom. Consumer spending went from 60 mph to zero in seconds. We went from overspending to not spending at all! The unemployment rate went from 4.5 percent to 7.9 percent and the doomsayers say it will go higher. Due to the screeching halt in consumer spending, layoff announcements are in the paper every day—to the tune of thousands an announcement.
In five months we have seen the trickledown effect of us becoming frugal—companies feel our fear and begin to buckle down themselves and cut jobs. Hence the increase in the unemployment rate. Hence more people becoming incredibly frugal, not because of fear of the future but immediate problems paying bills.
So, the government is passing a stimulus bill, the results which are uncertain and the debate heated.
No matter what you think of the stimulus bill, there is something each of us can do. Maybe we could call it the “People’s Stimulus Plan.”
It would be very simple. There would be no need for large programs to be put in place. Politicians would not even need to be involved (probably the most attractive part of the plan).
Here’s what it would look like. If you are not already laid off, if you are not deep in debt, ignore the media and the articles on how to be frugal and spend like it was January 2008.
- Shop for next year’s clothes. Right now you probably will get a killer deal because every retailer is doing all they can to get you to shop.
- Go ahead and hire back your housekeeper.
- Hire a babysitter and go out for dinner and a movie.
- Plan that vacation.
- Do a little re-decorating.
- Donate money to your school so that they can still provide quality education.
Although you may be worried about needing that money in the future, just think of this. Will the job(s) that provides your family with income be there in the future if the economy continues to spiral?
My husband has so far missed the layoff ax. He is a network engineer who helps companies build their network infrastructure. He is already hearing that his customers are contemplating “making do” with what they have for fear of not having the money because their customers are “cutting back.” If the spiral continues—I am not sure he will miss the ax. How depression-proof is your main source of income? How will your future look without it?
We have had four burglaries in our neighborhood in the last four months. When the economy begins to spiral, people become desperate. Do we want a future where crime is higher?
Our schools are having to cut back. Who loses? Our kids. Do we want a future with substandard schools?
So, if you have money to spend, join me in implementing the People’s Stimulus Plan.
1. Ignore the media, the frugalists and the doomsayers.
2. Spend like it was January 2008.
3. Forward a link to this article to everyone you know.
4. Get the economy rolling again.
Because, it is our future and there is something we can do!