I was texting a young friend last week. He doesn’t think he’s young. He’s in his early 40s. From my position on the spectrum, that’s young.
My young friend is a massage therapist and has been out of work because of the business shutdown. We were updating each other on our mental and emotional health after being confined to our homes for more than two months. His wasn’t so good.
The main thing is, he was complaining about the economic impact checks. He had got his, but his mother had not. She thought she was being singled out because she was “old” and was being left to die. Sweetheart and I had not got ours either, at that point, so I was hoping that was not the case.
My friend believed he had spent his money wisely, as he had paid down the balance on one of his credit cards. However, he had heard that some people had not spent their money wisely, because they bought televisions and ATVs and other items that he thought were unnecessary. I didn’t ask him, but I think he probably bought some unnecessary items and charged them on the very credit card he was paying on.
The people at the TV store and the ATV store who sold the items most likely didn’t think they were not needed. Even if they were extravagant purchases, they helped to keep the sales person and the store owner working. The truck driver who delivered the goods was, most likely, glad to be working, as well as the people and the companies that manufactured them. If I’m not mistaken, that was the intention of the economic impact check. Our economy had been built up over the years until the unemployment rate was only 3 per cent, then, when the corona virus struck, it went into double digits in two weeks, because of the shutdown.
Years ago, when I was taking classes to teach religious education, the class was talking about charitable giving. I said that I believed I was doing a public service by buying at the local stores, because I was helping to keep people employed. The class laughed at me. Forty years later, I am still mystified as to why.
Consumerism is what has made America great. It keeps people working and boosts their self-esteem. It enables them to contribute to those who deserve it, when and where they need it. It helps people to be self-reliant, instead of depending on someone else to provide their needs.
When one person works, the money s/he spends keeps other people working. It also pays the taxes that provide the economic impact checks.
And, to help make the world go ‘round, I just made an appointment to get a massage from my friend.