(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)
Bad things happen all the time, here in the U.S. and around the world. It seems like every day there’s a headline about a mudslide consuming a remote village, a bus overturning, a bomb exploding, or a plane crashing. Nobody likes hearing these things, but when they don’t impact you directly it’s a lot easier to put them out of your mind and go about your daily life. Right now, that’s the way I feel about the economic crisis. It’s not affecting me.
Look at some the things that have happened this year:
Gas prices have gone up. I only drive my car a few times a week. Unless I’m going to Richmond to visit my family, the local trips I take are within a 10-mile radius of where I live.
Food costs more. I only buy food for myself, so I haven’t noticed a huge difference.
A lot of people have lost their jobs. I may not have the career of my dreams, but my job security doesn’t appear to be in danger.
Working multiple jobs to make ends meet. I do computer-based work in addition to my regular job, but I did that before the economic downturn and at this point it’s just extra money.
Home foreclosures. I don’t own my own home.
Retirement accounts hit. The downturn in the stock market means a lot of people have lost a lot of money and may have to work longer before they can retire. But I’m still in my 20s. I contribute to my retirement account, but it seems so far off I don’t worry what’s currently happening with it.
It’s not that I don’t feel bad for the people who have been affected by these things. Of course I feel bad. I realize these scenarios are hitting a lot of people harder than they’re hitting me.
I know I’m not the only one who’s taking a “wait and see” approach. When I talk to my friends, they’re not discussing these things. In the blogs I read, if someone does happen to mention the economy, or money being tight, it’s most likely a question of “I wonder if anything really bad is going to happen in the future?”
If I stop to think about it, I do wonder if what’s going on right now will have long-term consequences. The questions I have are the unanswerable ones. How bad will it get? Will my living standards change? If I ignore it, will it continue to not affect me?
What do you guys think? Will we be all right? Have your daily habits changed at all?