The one thing I eworry about in terms of thee “economic recovery” is that I hope the assummptions are not that people are going to spend like they did a year or two ago. It’s been oft cited that consumer spending makes up 65% to 70% of the American economy. But with people paying off credit card debt and, of all things, saving money, it does not appear to be much room for spending, certainly not the spending we saw not so long ago. Add to this environmental concerns about overpackaging, and unreliable items, many from China, and we may see a new generation not unlike the Depression generation.
Last month, Pew Research did a survey of what items Americans considered luxuries as opposed to necessities. This article shows that there are a large number of items more Americans believe they can do without from clothes driers to dishwashers and from microwaves to home air conditioners
Certainly I could do without all of those things as well as a cell phone; don’t even have a flat screen TV or an iPod. I might get a flat-screen TV someday, but the 1987 19″ set has to die first. Some people say, “You don’t know what it’s like” to have stereo, high def TV and this is true, but since I don’t have it, I don’t miss it.
But my slowdown in acquiring is fueled less by the economy and more by limitations of both space and an ability to use “stuff”. If I have 1600 CDs, and I listen to them five hours a day, it might take over half a year just to hear them each disc once.
1. What items on the Pew list could you live without?
2. Are you buying more or less than three years ago? If less, is it because of economics, being satiated, some other reasons, or some combination?