Thursday, 20 November 2008

economic fallout

I'm no Economist but,

it seems that consumer confidence (aka willingness to spend more than you earn) is down in the wake of the financial crisis. It seems also that this is in turn hurting the economy (the lack of spending that is).

So, what would have happened if all the people advocating "sustainable development" (people like me) had been listened to? I mean if people did things like:
  • rode their bicycle to work instead of using the car for 4km
  • their kids rode their bicycles to school (instead of being dropped off in v8 and v6 fuel using cars non-town cars like Commodores, Falcons, Pajeros, Range Rovers ...)
  • people didn't buy the latest in fad fashions for no reason
  • we bought products which were built to last (like my grandmothers singer sewing machine) rather than buying another GMC power drill for $15 because the last one burnt out too
  • we made our cars truly repairable (rather than $50,000 items which depreciate to $3000 items in a few years and we then don't see the logic in replacing a spare part for $700 {which in all honesty is probably worth $15} so we ditch the car)
  • we followed our grand parents advices and didn't get into debt, invested our savings and bought wisely
I'm guessing that the "recovery" would probably take even longer.

Well if you did like the above you'll be in a good position to take advantage of the current crisis and pick up some bargains in stock market "fire sales" of quality but presently undervalued stocks (banks come to mind).

I think that if we had all followed this way then most of the "economic" growth which has bubbled and burst would not have happened, and that we'd be moving along comfortably but with out making anywhere near as much mess as we presently are.

So perhaps we'd have avoided this boom / bust cycle in the first place?

Sure, we might not have all the fancy stuff we have now, but just how crucial are your latest Telemark skis and Garmont boots to your happiness anyway? I'm still using 6 year old computing to write this essay and (since its not running the latest hottest bloat ware) its working fine thank you very much. {faster in fact than my friends newest thing with Vista holding it back}. I still use a film camera as well as a compact digital camera (which cost nearly $1000 when it was new in 2001).

Why? Well because I already had a 35mm camera (which still makes quite good images thank you very much) and I bought the compact to make my "snapshots" an easier thing and because I often email or need to send images quickly. In all honesty my 2001 5MPixel Coolpix camera is still way overkill for email and WWW needs and ultimately needs to be rescaled (like who wants to see just the corner of the image?). If I take "nice shots" which I want to print (like below) I'll still use film.


Perhaps the $1000 seems high but perhaps that's its real value when its not being "supported" by a rapid-turn-over consumer pays for on-the-fly research with subscribing to a new model every year one? Besides, how much would it cost (even now with DSLR cameras being dirt cheap compared to their real prices) to move my film outfit to comparable digital? Many more thousands.

but as has been said many times ... if history repeats itself so often what does this say about humanity's ability to learn? We're pretty stupid if you ask me.

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