Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lady sings the blues

Recession. Remember that word? You used to hear it a lot back in the eighties. You'd have to be living in the deepest depths of ignorance not to have seen or heard something about the state of the world economy. We are now hearing that the US economy has been in recession since at least December 2007. Our local papers are now touting the latest figures showing a slump in economic growth in China. That's out there, here we're seeing the signs slowly but surely. Stores are saying that sales are slow, contractors and others are laying off staff even while the huge buildings keep going up around us. Strangely enough, the Governor of the Central Bank of TnT is silent, he who has been so vocal about the subject for the past two years. For a while, Mr. Williams was the lone voice crying out in the wilderness of spend, counseling prudence, savings etc. His bold stance has at least been vindicated.

The distinctive voice of Steve Perry filled the car and for a brief moment I was teenager again, back in that time machine prompted by memory. I well remember the eighties and the recession where people dropped their house keys off at banks and fled the country to escape loans. As Journey belted out "Don't Stop Believin", that arena rock feel good standard, I thought fondly of the vinyl version of the album that I once owned. It took me working a month of Saturday's to buy it but I about wore out the grooves on our old record player. Makes you think. Two days ago I had a conversation about some recently returned graduates who were grousing about working in the OJT programme because they thought it was "beneath" their standing as university graduates, the figured they were entitled to bigger salaries and interesting jobs. It was laughable, because in recession, any job is better than no job, especially without job experience. Sadly, they too will learn the hard way what recession means.

Last week the X-Man was in the States on family business, while there he hit the shops and came back with stories of the Black Friday excess that obtains in the US. It was horrifying to hear some of them. I hadn't planned on writing about the Walmart tragedy, or even the Kmart shooting. All I can say is that I don't want anything that bad. I don't care how large the savings are, is that big screen TV or some more cheap clothes worth someone's life. I think not. Makes me wonder about people's values, life is getting harder and you still want all the trappings of conspicuous consumption. What's that all about? It's hard to understand that on one hand we're all be exhorted to save etc and banks are still offering "suckeye" or "leeeway" loans. You NEED those new curtains why? Thanks, mine will be staying up until they fall apart. I need new furniture why? So that Zeus can lie around on it all day while I slave away to pay for it for the next two years. He's happy with the daybed we have now, okay, maybe a new throw cover but that's easy enough to stitch up.

Recession. Here we are again.


Marcus the Coffedude said...

I like nice stuff. I buy nice stuff when I have the money for nice stuff. I forsake stupid stuff so that I can buy nice stuff. If I dont have money for nice stuff I dont buy nice stuff. No sale or discount is going to make me buy stuff I dont want when I dont want it when I cant afford it.

good coffee is nice stuff.

On a related note, I dont know if you heard about the Phillipino vocalist who sounds just like Steve Perry. He is now the new frontman for Journey. Link to him and his old band on youtube.

Coffeewallah said...

Hear, hear dude. I'd rather go without than drink bad wine or coffee. It makes you appreciate stuff more I think.

Andn yes, have heard the Phillipino dude, yes, he sounds kinda like Steve Perry, but he ain't Perry. I prefer the old records or these days, CD's. I know, snob.

Gabriela said...

The word recession is an old friend for Peruvians too. We had it in the 90's. No one forgets those days.
And I agree with you: people like to live over their possibilities. Then make 1,000 a month, have a card with a credit line of 1,000, and they live as if they earned 2,000. Each 15th of month they are desperate just to pay debts.
Is that really necessary? I don´t think so.