Readers, I have a clipboard with possible subjects for my weekly e-mail club messages. But with the stock market plunging as I write, I thought I’d talk about the tough times we are facing.
First we need to get a grip on reality and calm down a bit. There seems to be a lot of panic in these times that seems unwarranted. Yes we’ve lost a lot of money – everyone has. But it was “bubble” money. It wasn’t money earned through people’s hard work and innovation, it was money made from schemes and tricks and greed. It was tainted money. And good riddance to it. Like the bubble of internet stocks that popped a while back, it had to pop sooner or later. I would encourage everyone to calm down.
Let’s look at some groups out there.
INVESTORS, If you have money invested, do not sell low and take losses. If you don’t have to sell now, don’t. Don’t panic. There seems to be a lot of groundless fear out there. Also as investors, don’t demand excessive rewards. Let up a little. Let the companies you’ve invested in make less profit for stockholders, and use it to help their workers and not raise prices on their customers. BUSINESS OWNERS, Reduce your take a little. Use profits not to satisfy investors greed but to keep and support your workers. Taking hard times out on workers is wrong and it just takes away all customers from all businesses. Who can buy anything when they are out of work or just barely making it. If you have to cut back, don’t make workers the first to go, make them the last. And don’t fire during Christmas.
RICH AND POWERFUL, When you are lucky enough to have, help others who do not. Greed is not good – its a sickness, an unresolved inner conflict. It’s also a disease that kills millions – millions of poor. Strengthen yourself by helping others. Now is a time to build up some karma for when you’ll need to be paid back. Also there’s some important things you can learn from the poor. They know how to weather tough times, you’ve never had to learn. Maybe its time you took some lessons from the poor. Strangely enough every economic model that I hear the experts talk about in these times, are trickle down money investments. But you can trickle up too. AND helping the poor will in turn allow them to support those businesses that are usually solid and help worthy. In the end trickle up helps working people, and better businesses, while trickle down helps some who haven’t been doing much good work at all.
WORKERS, I am afraid that the brunt of all this will be on our shoulders. But how much more can we hold up? Hopefully in these bubble bursting times we will get back to basics. Why not a $20,000 home that is more a home and less a McMansion. Why not a $5,000 car that you can add the extras to later as you can afford them. Why not neighborhood buses? How about restaurants that have healthy portions at reasonable prices instead of insane stacks of excess food at ultra high prices. How about some needed affordable health care – and why should businesses small or large have to be in the health business anyway? How about an economy that is not based on consumers spending on junk, but builds on savings and investments in lasting things – roads, education, religions, arts (YES!), science, sports, recreation and parks, etc. Never before has it been more important for us to use all our resources more wisely, instead of spending beyond our means. Time to question an ad driven economy that encourages waste, and discourages sharing! Time to take care of not only our homes, but our towns, cities, countries, our planet, and our future, the world we’ll leave for others.
POOR PEOPLE. I was talking to a regular customer at the theater about the hard times – a theater which has ticket prices I can’t afford – and she shrugged off the mess with the thought that she has so little to loose, that she’s used to tough times. With a little help from friends, relatives, and fairness in the government, the poor will probably weather all this better than some of the richest. But that doesn’t make it any less important to support the poorest too.
There is enough of everything to go around. There is more than enough. There is plenty. We can have a luxurious life and still not take from anyone else. What we have lost we can get back. The world makes new money when it works together. Everyone gets richer in a fair economy. This is a hard time, but its not a bad time. Its an opportunity to build a more stable and lasting good future for all.
Don’t panic. Hang on. Help others around you. We’ll get through this and solve some of our biggest problems as we recover.
Tom Hendricks (editor of the 16 year old zine Musea) http://www.Musea.us (named as one of the best ZINES in the US by UTNE mag. http://www.Hunkasaurus.com ( Music -4 full CD’s of free Post-Bands Music) http://www.Musea.wordpress.com (Blog for Musea) http://www.Myspace.com/Musead (New Friends welcome)