Image from solved.at
What scares me most about the economic crisis is not that I think we are unable to do what we think we need to do, but rather that what most people think we need to do is wrong. We’re struggling to get where we shouldn’t go.
Most people think we’re simply not spending enough money, due largely to a lack of confidence, and that we need Obama to show up and convince us that everything is o.k. so we’ll be able to get back to the good ol’ days of 5 years ago. This is wrong.
America needs two things right now economically:
- We need to *create* more
- We need to *eliminate debt and save* more
We in this country have been subscribing for decades to a ludicrous proposition: the notion that our economy must grow by x percentage per year in order to remain healthy. Pursuing that end with no view of other metrics is childishly one-sided, and dangerous.
In short, we don’t need Obama to convince us to spend everything we have so that the economy will grow again. We need him to tell us that spending isn’t always the answer, and that right now we need to get back to the basics of overall economic health. We need to focus on what we’re offering to others, on not being in debt, and having some money in the bank.
Most importantly, we need to be convinced that the discomfort that will come from this change in lifestyle is necessary for health–like exercise or the consumption of medicine–rather than a sign that something’s wrong.
We need to realize, as a people and as a country, that the goal isn’t more stuff. The goal isn’t to spend more and have more. The goal is to create not just more, but better things. Things that revolve around exploration and learning that will help us grow as humans. Things that will improve the lives of others–including ourselves.
That may sound too squishy for us shallow Americans, but I think we (especially in the younger generations) will be able to embrace this new approach to life if we’re shown the way by a strong leader. Hopefully Obama can be that person. ::