Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Econopocalype

Everyone is talking about "the economy" and what a mess everything is right now with it. "It" meaning, "the economy" which is indeed, pretty shitdamnmotherfucking fucked up at the moment. I don't need to re-hash the statistics here. Every media venue has posted and is continuing to post fucked economy related information.

I have been watching things closely. And I have been thinking a lot about money.

For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I have been thinking a lot about money. I tend to think about money. And I tend to do it a lot. My father lived through the depression and my mother, twenty-five years his junior, lived during a war in her native county. Living frugally was the norm. But I have discovered over the years that frugal living was not the norm for many of my peers. I have also discovered that many of my peers have no knowledge about how to manage their own finances.

And when I say "no knowledge" I mean nothing, nada, zip, ziltch, zero. Maybe they think they do, but they don't. Not one bit.

Maybe that's how we got into this "economy" mess. "We" don't talk about money. Not really. Not in any significant way. We don't talk about how much money we have or what we do with our money. It's considered rude to ask someone how much money they make. Why? Seriously?

Most people have no clue what to do with their money. And it's no big surprise. There is a wealth of information available from a variety of sources, but it is often contradictory. In other words, financial information, like all information, is mediated through individuals that do or do not benefit in some way from providing the information.

I think that it's time that people begin to take responsibility and accountability for their lives and their happiness. And I think it's time for a return to frugal values. There are many individuals living well below the poverty level that are struggling to eat every day. Those folks need real, substantial, significant help to improve their lives. For the most part, I'm not really talking about those folks. At least, not yet. I'm talking about the folks that may not have much, but should have enough. I'm talking about people who could be making better choices.

I believe that it's time to start speaking openly and honestly about money. We live with a sense of the false dichotomy of instant v. delayed gratification. I don't think it has to be one or the other. Ultimately, I think we've lost focus on what's important and I think the only way things are really going to change is if we shift that focus.

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of posts by me about my thoughts, feelings, meanderings, and experiences on this topic. I hope for this venue to become a space for an ongoing dialogue and a sharing of information. Please keep in mind that I will be moderating all posts. In other words, no ass clown spammers please!

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