What We Need…

( About one-third of the way through my next post on Thomas Jefferson….! Really, I am…!)

John Heilemann, columnist for New York Magazine, made an observation on ‘The Chris Matthews Show’ this morning along the lines of America being an instant gratification society in good times, and an instant anxiety society in bad times, i.e., times of economic crises. It is my humble opinion that truer words were never spoken.

As our economy has spiraled downwards, and that impact on our lives being felt in most pocketbooks and bank accounts, from corporate giants to Joe the Plumber (so to speak – I don’t actually know Joe the Plumber – it’s a metaphor…), government and financial experts and analysts have sought to pinpoint causes and produce solutions. Trying to be a better American, I’ve been reading, listening, and watching in an effort to better understand these things. Like most of the middle to lower-middle class people in my life, my interests were more mundane, more personal, and then suddenly prices doubled and I, more than a little concerned, lifted my head out of the sand and started looking around.

If I am following a trend at all accurately (?), what I’m understanding is that a major cause, if not THE major cause, of this financial disaster in our country was careless lending/borrowing.

I think it is a shame, and it even saddens me, that Americans…no, make that people…in today’s world would even consider taking a financial risk, by signing mortgage papers, to get a loan for a home that is beyond their means, ‘way outta their league’, that they really can’t afford. That we are so steeped in hi-tech that Americans…no, make that people …at every age pretty much wouldn’t even consider not having every electronic gadget and device that comes along.

We don’t NEED the latest versions of just about everything, the newer and more modern automobiles and trucks and movie theatre effect televisions. The problem is, many of us think we do.

I have friends and acquaintances who, when faced with inabilities to make mortgage payments or even secure a dwelling in the first place! just had to have both fancy cell and land line phones, had to get cable right away! immediately upon moving in! God forbid we should have to wait awhile, do without, just until things settle a bit and some money can be saved. Many of us gotta have it, and gotta have it now.

Comments have been made during this economic crisis of ours, that there may not be a return to ‘usual’, that Americans may need to readjust their sights, their standards of daily living. Scale things down a bit more. A longer term life-style shift may be required. Because what people need is a place in which to live, and food for their table. Clothing. Money for the kids’ college tuition. Money for medical and dental.

What people don’t need is the latest version of X-Box, or whatever…

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