What happens if the economy deteriorates even more? I know that not all of what happens will be bad, even remotely so.Good points! Think of it as a necessary adjustment. If you don't starve first!
Christmas last my girlfriend knitted her father a sweater. Do you think he would have preferred receiving one costing ten times as much that she bought at Macys? Of course not.
Will conservative-minded folks grit their teeth when, after months on the unemployment line, they take a government job? Yeah, they'll hate it until they get the first paycheck.
Will students promised a comfy private universtiy education collapse and die when finances force them to attend state colleges or--gasp!--community colleges? Not likely, especially when they discover the high motivation levels, racial and class diversity, and real-world practicality among the "inferior" school's teachers, fellow students, and curricula, a refreshing (and valuable) change from their Olde Prep School.
Will the idea of cutting driving costs in half by carpooling finally strike millions of commuters like a bolt out of the blue? (Tell it to the planet's ecosystem. Preach it, brother!)
Will two or even three generations of adults from the same family chafe at having to live under the same roof because they can no longer afford separate homes? Sure, at least at first. Here's hoping they'll relearn the art of telling stories, of sharing meals, of helping with homework and chores, of learning and sharing home repair tasks, of holding the hands of the sick. Of dying at home, among loved ones, instead of in a hospice or nursing home or ICU.
Will the thousands of urban residents now raising chickens in their back yards realize how much better truly fresh eggs taste than the ones carted in to the local Safeway? You betcha.
Will people become more self-reliant, more stoic, more frugal, more clear-eyed, more sober (literally and figuratively), less consuming, less avaricious, less silly? Will they discover that they don't need an iPhone (or any cell phone, actually) to be happy, that the nearest branch library contains more wonderful books than they could possibly read in the rest of their days, that walking down a country road is free, that singing in a choir is free, that an inner tube on almost any summer river in America beats most overseas vacations, that potlucks at the community center cost no more than feeding oneself?
Yeah, plenty of people will suffer, are suffering. Go help them. Meanwhile, can we all pledge to, um, STFU?
Williamyard On The Economy's Near Certain Death
From williamyard at TNR: