11/25/08 — Cutting back ... Perhaps idea of looking harder at spending not so bad

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Cutting back ... Perhaps idea of looking harder at spending not so bad

Over the past few months, many Americans have had to think a little bit more about what they spend and what they earn.

They have been forced to worry more about credit ratings and home loans -- and they have had to wait before rushing out to buy the newest and shiniest.

And while there has been some really bad news associated with this current economic shutdown, perhaps making a few more Americans think before they rack up more debt or deplete their bank accounts is not such a bad idea after all.

The recent gas crisis is a sort of model for the economic times we are currently facing. Gas prices shot up to $4-plus a gallon and drivers thought a bit more about the trips they took. Bingo -- less consumption and irresponsible car use.

Same result is probably going to be true for the economic crunch.

Credit markets dry up and people are worried about their jobs, so they spend more responsibly as a result. Bingo -- less unsecured debt and more people who might actually be beginning to get their finances under control.

The economic crisis is much more complicated than just consumer spending, but if we really want to fix what ails us, we have to acknowledge that many of us contributed to the problem.

So, taking an extra minute to think before pulling out the credit card might be just what the doctor ordered -- if we want a solid economy.

Published in Editorials on November 25, 2008 10:35 AM