Before I started working in marketing and design I was an accountant. I have a degree in accountancy and still have an interest in the economy (although I’d never want to work in that industry ever again.) My response to what I read is mostly ‘how does this affect what I do’ as I expect it is for most people.
Firstly, it’s amazing how much the media loves a recession. On the BBC this morning the business reporter was barely able to hide his excitement as he blurted out gas price rises, falling house values and banks posting huge losses. They also said “Credit crunch hits harder as British Gas puts up it’s prices.” They are completely confusing the issue here. Two things are going on right now. One is the credit crunch caused by the banks, the other is increasing commodity prices. I started thinking. Is this all really that bad?
Why things aren’t that bad:
– Economic success is bases upon an economy growing year on year. That means consuming more and more stuff, buying more and more things. A slow down in the economy means we in theory consume less. For the last decade we’ve been encouraged to consume less because of climate change. Finally people are thinking twice about car journeys, sharing vehicles and cycling, we make do with our sofa, keep out TV for a bit longer. Repair things that have broken down. Is that all really so bad?
-Over consumption makes for an uglier society. During the boom time it was disgusting reading about people spending 20k on a night out. Spanking cash left right and centre. We all became that bit more flippant about money and as a result cared less about how we spent it. Now we’ll spend money on things that are really important.
-Opportunities abound. The next couple of years will throw up lots of opportunities. During the boom times it was all money money money. Now we’ll value other things – contribution to society, environment, the community.
-The housing market was always over valued. For years we had the misery of people not being able to afford homes. Now they’re finally coming down to an affordable value.
-Comradeship. In difficult times people become friendlier and more helpful. The Blitz Spirit will return. We thrive in difficult times. We’re nostalgic about them. Why? Because it shows us what’s really important in life: Family and friends. It’s not about flat screens and cars. We’ll have friends over for a few drinks. Cook our own food. It all makes for a more fulfilling life.
I’m sure I’m more positive than most because I don’t own a house and for some it will be tough, but if we all help each other out we’ll be just fine.