I just read through the posts on the thread Current Market for Everyone and it is making me think (I hate that). I’ve been somewhat of a side-liner when it comes to politics and the economy for a while now. I once thought myself to be very educated on both fronts, but I soon learned that sitting, watching, and taking it all in was wiser than expressing opinions especially to those who do not share them.
We are in a horrible time in our history where the real problem is not a recession of the economy, but a recession of risk taking. We as a world society have somehow decided that we are too afraid to loose. We have become overly cautious and nervous about nearly every facet of our being to the point at which we are seeing our entire world grind down into what it is and has become.
Don’t believe me, then consider the following:
- The last few months despite the Christmas shopping season and huge discounts and sales we have seen many business including big box stores file bankruptcy.
- Compared to just one decade ago, a high school kid carrying a pocket knife is considered a threat to school security.
- Someone knocking at your door expectantly tends to be a moment of nervousness and worry rather.
- Children are encouraged less and less to take part in athletic activities for fear that they may be injured.
- Millionaires are able to purchase up large amounts of stock in the now failing stock market because they know that it will bounce back and they will more than triple their investment in most cases.
- The consumer is more of a consumer of goods than ever; they will gladly buy a temporary, disposable item for $.50 rather than a multi-use item for $1.00.
- Governments are moving more and more towards governing towards people’s wants rather than their needs and citizens are fine with that.
- The part of the American population that makes the least, works the least, and pays the least taxes is now becoming the largest beneficiaries of those who pay the most, work the most, and make the most.
- A hard work ethic is less of an asset in a job interview than your FICO score.
Feel free to criticize the above points. They are my main concern. These are just a few from a long list of items that I have observed in my short quarter century of watching and learning. I don’t want to sound like I don’t have hope. I actually do.
I believe that very shortly we will find a turning point (one of several we will see in my lifetime). At this point there are an infinite number of decisions that can and will be made along with an infinite number of outcomes. I’d like to tell you about one of the paths to these outcomes that I tend to believe in most.
At this point, the emphasis on the “Global” economy will begin to collapse on itself. Despite the technological advancements we as a society have enjoyed in the past hundred years, we are not ready for such a one sided system. In fact, the same market forces that many think will bring us out of this turning point are the very ones that will collapse and be found at fault for our present situation.
There will be a new focus on the local economy. This focus will be outstandingly strong and those of us who have labored in one craft/skill or another will be at the front of this new emphasis. The shear cost of shipping and handling will be so great that local goods, foods, and services will be the new market. We are already seeing it in small doses amongst (forgive the term) tree-hugging suburbanites with the advent of Community Supported Agriculture. Soon, we will have more and more craft and home made businesses sprouting up. People living just a few minutes walk from old style Main streets will find new life there from stores specializing in locally produced merchandise.
If you don’t believe this, that is fine. I’m not one for changing minds that have already been made up. However, if you are hopeful for something like this, then I do have some advice. Firstly, don’t give up your craft. To make ends meet we all must do other work, but by knowing a real craft other than pushing buttons on a computer, you can survive much more post Global Economy scenarios than the average person.
Second, and finally, do everything you can to save the small business. If you are a small business person, then you are likely already trying. If you are like me and you are only a hobbyist at best, then talk to small businesses on how they think you can help. And no, I don’t mean simply buying more from them, I mean more of what you can do to change the system that is taxing them to death. As much as it sounds like a cliche, contact your senator and your city council. Demand that they make it easier, not harder, to sell a home made good. Purchase what you can when you can from smaller businesses. Vote with your money (what you have left). Put the stigma back on the big not the small.
Now, before you stop reading, please let me say that I am not totally against large businesses. Sears, Lowes, Conoco, even Wal-Mart have their place even in our future. What I am suggesting is that we garantee that both large and small business have their place. The economy will take care of itself as long as we are willing to make responsible choice and take responsibility for their outcomes.
-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/