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Live It Up!

Jan 22, 2009
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not part of the Consumer Society and if we were churchgoing folk, we’d be sitting in a pew at Reverend Billy’s Church of Stop Shopping.

Remember 9/11 and the opportunity our new president had to draw the nation together in a spirit of sacrifice for the long and demanding struggle ahead? Sacrifice? Heck no, said the man who must have been born with a foot in his mouth, “Go Shopping!”

As inappropriate as that injunction was back then, it has now come in to vogue, and voices as progressive as Robert Scheer on Left, Right, and Center1 are telling us, If you got it, spend it! It won’t be easy, just when everyone who is lucky enough to still be employed is trying to sock more away in their IRAs or under their mattresses. However, in the short run, spending is the only thing that is going to keep our ship afloat. Government must spend on projects that will put money in people’s pockets for them to spend. And then they have to spend it.

And not at minimum-wage WalMarts, where it will go right back to China and into the pockets of Sam Walton’s worthless billionaire progeny. It must be spent at home, on goods and services that originate at home and where your money will stay at home, enjoying the multiplier effect as it is spent over and over again by the people whose jobs you will help preserve.

Here are a few ideas for how you might do that:

  • Get a manicure.
  • Hire a neighborhood kid to clean out your garage.
  • Make Wednesday night Restaurant Night.
  • Join a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.
  • Instead of a movie, go to a local play, concert, or other live performance.
  • Take music, cooking, singing, dancing, acting, painting, or computer lessons.
  • Buy a book from a local bookstore (if you can find one); buy a second one for your library.
  • Buy a house. There has never been a better time. And if the $700 billion giveaway to the banks has still not shaken loose any mortgage money, go to your credit union, your rich uncle, your savings, and kludge together a down payment somehow, because there are bargains aplenty out there.
  • Get an energy audit on your house, then have it made weather tight.
  • Buy a pellet stove.
Send us your ideas and we will add them to the list.
1 KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center 1.9.09 Show, accessed January 12, 2009
tags: Economics

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