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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on March 13, 2009

Tired of the doom and gloom, my coworker asked to me to help her think of possible upsides to the economic downturn.  While we didn't quite uncover a silver lining, we did think of a few possible benefits.

It's a buyer's market. There are a lot of homes for sale at great prices, creating a good opportunity for responsible buyers.  There is even an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

It's a good time for young investors. Some financial advisors argue that this is a great time to consider long-term investments, especially for the younger generation. Even President Obama recently suggested that it was a good time for investors with "a long-term perspective."

Volunteerism is up.  In this tough job market, many unemployed workers and new graduates are looking for positive things to do with their time. The some charities are reporting higher volunteer numbers.  Other displaced workers are going back to school or becoming entrepreneurs.

It's a learning experience.  Many people are being forced to learna valuable lifeskillbudgeting.  Uncertainty is also good motivation for people to finally start saving for emergencies.  Now is the perfect time to teach kids about the differences between needs and wants.

There may be physical and mental health benefits.  While financial stress is hard to manage, there may be some health benefits.  For example, cutting back on the cost of dining out might promote healthier eating and weight loss. Staying home more often also creates opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends.

We realize that the benefits do not outweigh the cost; however, it was nice to be optimistic for a change.  Feel free to try on our rose-colored glasses!



Laura Szalacinski says:
March 16, 2009

We have it better than people did during the depression of the 1930's, just ask anyone over the age of 90. I have a friend who is 92 and he describes that he "never had nothin'". I asked him if the movie "Grapes of Wrath" was accurate - it was. There weren't nearly as many agencies around to help struggling people. Now there's food banks, unemployment compensation, food stamps, welfare, just to name a few agencies. To me, it seems like we've gotten more and more spoiled in the past 20 years and taken good economic times for granted. In 1983, my town got wired for cable TV. My parents wouldn't subscribe to cable and I thought it would be the end of the world (I was 12). It was no big deal to go without things. Since the early 1990's, there's been a huge boom in electronic gadgets that seems to be eating up more and more of people's budgets, including mine. When I feel poor, I think of the show "Little House on the Prairie" and realize what poor was - not enough money to buy good fitting shoes. Comparatively, I've got it made. Our society has gotten economically better in the past 100 years and we just don't know how good we have it. This is a bit rambling, but I hope you can see my point.

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