Or reality meltdown? What exactly is the “Economy” anyways? I suspect that definition number two(c) from dictionary.com is most appropriate: “The system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community.” Of course that doesn’t help much, since it is usingÂ a variant ofÂ one word to define another. The “Economy” is the range of “Economic Activity.”Â But since it is the best one presented, lets go with that. What is economic activity? I suggest that anytime money is spent, we can call thatÂ “economic activity.” SoÂ “The Economy” with respect to any community, region, or country, would seem to be all the money spent for all purposes by all people in that particular group. Who spends money? Who doesn’t, right?Â People that have money spend money.Â People that don’t have money spend money. Money is an interesting concept when you really take time to think about it.Â
Where does money come from? Think of the last ten or twenty dollars you spent.Â Where did you get it? Before your wallet, or the ATM. From your job? Where did they get it? From the person that bought whatever it is thatÂ your job makes? And where did it come from before that, from THAT person’s job.Â And on and on.
From the smallest trinket you buy without the slightest thought to the billion dollar contracts won by huge defense companies, all the money comes from the same place.
Your friends, your neighbors, people just like you, make up the economy. It is not something “out there” a danger that you must hide from like a rampaging elephant at a circus gone wrong.Â You are part of it. Your spending habits, for better or for worse, contribute to it. If everyone gives in to fear, and doesn’t go out and spend money, guess what will happen? I’m sure that you can understand.Â People don’t buy new cars, and car companies don’t make as much money as they planned, so they have to lay people off. And those people don’t spend their money. And with less people working, the government gets less taxes, which means it will be more difficult for them to help people out.
So what’s the answer? Run out spending money like a madman when everybody is wisely being more frugal? No. While that might feel good for a short time, it wouldn’t likely be an effective long term strategy to make things better. Of course we need to be sensible. We need to make sure we protect ourselvesfirst and foremost.Â But just as it would be foolish to spend money like there is no tomorrow, many experts believe that it would be equally as foolish to expect some externalÂ organizationÂ (like the government) to fix something that we erroneously perceive asÂ “out there.”Â Â Because you canÂ easily understand this, you canÂ realize that as we are part of the economy, we are part of the problem, but more importantly, we are all part of the solution.Â And the simplest step you can take is to take responsibility.Â We got into this mess by buying things that we couldn’t afford. All of us. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid to spend money. If you can afford something, and you want it or need it, by all means. Buy it. Enjoy it. Share it with others.Â Don’t let some imaginary evil monster “out there” scare you. You are smarter than that. You are more experienced than that.Â
The biggest danger in thinking there is something “out there” that can be fixed by people “out there” is that you give all your power away.Â Â Don’t let them take it. Keep it for yourself. Because when you realize that you have everything you need, and that money is just a reflection of your skills and ability to contribute, you can’t help but to succeed.