Change has Come Lightning Fast

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The economy has downsized  from what it was in the earlier 2000’s and 1990’s. We are living in a whole new world. Some people think they can get away with going back to school, as if that will solve everything in their life. The change in the economy has come too fast for most people. Corporations do not need as many people as before due to automation and outsourcing.

What is left to do?

The majority of us must go back to the old way of living. In fact, most of us already have done that in the last few years (foreclosures, deleveraging, and downsizing). The economy’s old job(accountants, engineers, lawyers) are not coming back, therefore you should shift your resources (your brain) to pursue other pursuits.

Living with 1 or 2 credit cards – and using them rarely. We must pursue other passions in life than shopping, watching TV, or going on Facebook. We need to start engaging with people on an everyday basis. Or create a hobby or learn how to do art. Creativity is a must in this economy.

We are going to a economy based on creativity. This has been already ingrained in our mind by certain individuals. Getting an accounting bachelor’s degree or even a masters is no sure shot to finding a satisfying job in your life.

Sell your creations on Etsy.com. Write a book. Seek closer bonds to your community. These are things I want to do, and feel that the world would be a better place if done so.

Unfortunately we still live in a society where your job dictates your healthcare, so are living in fear of losing their jobs because of that. Another idea aside from that, people are beginning to save for unexpected emergencies (healthcare emergency, layoff etc.) Let’s face it, life right now is really tough for many Americans. 40+ million on food stamps. And we only have 300 million people. I do not think things will get much worse than this.

I plan to change my lifestyle, learn a new hobby, and interact with my local community.

America has changed from 3 years ago. Many people are not seeing this shift and think the old economy will come back (living in much different times now). The old economy cannot come back because we were living in a time of excess credit. Now that excess credit is gone and we are back to normal, which has caused a lot of pain. In fact, it may have been the governments fault for creating too much credit. In most cases, the government is always blamed (which it is now).

It is time for me to pursue more creative pursuits. I believe this is a turning point in America’s history.

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Waning Down on the all Important T.V.

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That’s right. There’s absolutely no reason for it in my life right now. One day this month I was watching T.V. for 6 hours straight. After I stopped my head started hurting for some reason and felt like I was in a dreamland. How did I get up to that point? Well I was constantly watching  a few hours of T.V. everyday. It’s in my belief now, that I do not want to touch the T.V. which is wasting precious hours doing nothing. I will rather try other things like reading books.

In the past when I read books constantly, I always felt smarter for some reason. When I read books 2-3 hours a day instead of T.V. everyday I would feel more engaged with life. The T.V. isolates you between your family members and friends. You are making a connection with a machine, rather than a human. Similar thing with the computer. Humans need face-to-face contact to grow and feel better about themselves. With a book you feel smarter and you get smarter by comprehending material. It has probably been the Tipping Point for me with the T.V. right now.

I will enjoy summer reading.

Whittling down Facebook Friends

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Inspired by Love and Trash blog I decided to whittle down my facebook friends. Some of these people have been on my Facebook for 5 years. I just cut 200+ people out of my life. I feel lighter, as most of these people have not contacted me in years. I feel like I just threw away a heap of trash and more organized. Unfortunately, these people are not my enemies, I just lost contact with them. If I see them again, or if they want to contact me, then I will let them be my friend on facebook.

Facebook is a comparison tool, comparing yourself to other people, especially if they are not really friends with you. I feel as though facebook friendships should be similar to real life friendships, you should only be sharing your most intimate stuff with your friends. All those facebook friends bog you down, just like clutter. I feel we need to cut the clutter in everything we all do. That was a challenge to go from 455 friends to 174 friends on facebook. Whether or not you want to cut the friends is up to you, I just told you that it has helped me tremendously.

Low Prices Everywhere.

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Everywhere I turn I see low prices. Sometimes I do not understand the retail sectors do it. Sometimes it is 60% off MSRP. I remember when everything was more costly, only a short four years ago in 2006. It’s interesting to see that economists would like more Americans to spend, rather than save, to boost the economy. These economists are advocating carelessness of consumers once again. They seem to be clueless about how the real world works. Just recently in the last two years there was dramatic cuts in jobs and low hiring by the whole economy. Are these economists smoking something? Who in their right mind would not want to save as much as they can before the next axe falls in their company? Things are not back to the way they were, this is the “new normal” where it is difficult to find a good job, and save for retirement or emergencies.

When someone says the economy will come back, that means 70% of us consumers will be back to the stores ASAP. Not that there is a lot of secondhand inventory already from the past 20 years of binge spending. It is time for someone to hold economists accountable, like in the real world. The problem could be that they are spending all their time in a cubicle rather than getting answers from real Americans and corporations.

In Recovery Mode

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The economy is now in recovery mode. Although we have 9.7% unemployment, the most in 20+ years, we hear that the economy is in recovery. Earnings from companies are roaring back due to all the layoffs and cutbacks. Companies are growing because the American Consumer seems to be spending again (in the last quarter, Jan-April). Restaurant Stocks are way up today, and internet companies are up. I do not know if the stock market can increase any further. Companies are not hiring en masse. The stimulus is running out, and the FED is about to think about increasing interest rates.

However, we are in America and more people are spending their paycheck, continuing the slide as the government provided incentives to buy houses, cars and furniture. Obama says today that the crises is over, were in the clear, and theres no more dire straits. One year from now, if unemployment does not lower dramatically, then the market will decrease again.

The economy could slip into a second recession in 2011, due to unemployment and stimulus running out. We may be doing well right now. But, that doesn’t mean go out and spend all that you earn. Think of ways for yourself to survive on less, so you can use it for the future if your unemployed or retired.

Be well and live forever!

Apple Epitomizes America

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The company Apple epitomizes America. Every time they release a new product there is a huge media storm about it. In turn, this causes more people to buy the products, even though some of these people would be better off without spending 500+ on something that will go obsolete in the next five years. Apple sold 450,000 iPads in the last few weeks. This is absolutely outrageous. Who are these people buying such devices? And have these people fully funded their retirement plans? This is in essence a major marketing deal. A lot of people made money on this. To me, the iPad is just a computer with less computing power, but in a different form. What makes it marvelous to these people, I don’t know. Does America need to spend to survive? (the answer is yes)

Consumer Spending makes up 70% of the US economy. Consumers have to spend until were in debt. We consume, consume, and consume, using up a lot of resources, hurting our planet. That’s why every time Apple comes out with a new product – many people buy it. They just have the desire to escape their jobs and work and turn it into retail spending. That’s how the economy keeps growing.

This hyper-consumption continues with the recovery, the economy is growing again and more people will be living paycheck to paycheck once again. As a nation we need to save more, to survive another day.

Money as an Idea

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As time goes on and I get older, I am realizing many old paradigms shattered. What was previously held to high regard, a college or master’s degree is now viewed as common. Previous to the recession, people believed that there was a class structure held in place. There were blue collar and white collar professions. This has all changed in the last two years. Everything that you previously thought of has changed. I feel that I have lost what was previously an amazing rush, when I earned or was given money.

If you think of it, money is not in the natural order of the earth. Unfortunately, there are privileged and unprivileged classes currently. If you are born into the wrong part of the world, then you are screwed for life ( in earning money). But what is money? Does it bring happiness? Money is something that was invented by man to exchange goods. Man is flawed, therefore money, (the idea of it) has to be flawed.

Money, or the American form of it, is used everyday to exchange goods and services. In its current form, it is ridiculous. Some people desire all the money in world, while others just want to have a stable living. In the new economy, there are now those few privileged who control most of the money in the world and the majority who have very little. A dangerous and perilous future lays ahead if this does not change.

I will write more on the ideas of money in the coming weeks. I have thought many a night about this and am itching to write about it.

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