Economic survival is learning to thrive on less money than you have ever dreamed possible, although some people think this mean buying things cheaply.
Tonza’s Editorial – Even though I, too, love bargains, compulsive shopping and spending is not my goal.
In fact, our culture’s relentless effort to obtain as much as we can, as cheaply as we can, has cheapened our lives.
And, our essential economic survival skills have been forgotten or lost in the process.
As a result of this, Walmart is the largest and most profitable business in the world.
Walmart and similar companies sell a lot of stuff at low prices.
But, the economic survival of rural Americans isn’t about getting a lot of stuff at low prices.
It is about:
A basic tenet of frugality is that suffering is caused by attachment to excessive and unnecessary desires.
And yet, that is exactly what is at the core of the “old” good life!
Aren’t excessive and unnecessary things exactly what advertising is designed to promote?
If we’re constantly being lured to buy a new smartphone, a bigger house, an upgraded computer system, or a new car, how does that affect our prospects for economic survival?
Economic survival for the new rural good life requires a plan that doesn’t include running out to Walmart or supermarkets.
And, it doesn’t require abstinence or austerity.
However, it does require each of us to think about the way we live, and how we can use our money efficiently.
For example, economic survival entails refusal to be entranced by the messages at Christmas… that the media bombard us with such as “shop and help the economy…”
Also, we are duped into excessive holiday shopping under the guise of “retail therapy.”
Americans now spend more money shopping during holidays than ever before.
Thirty-four percent of Americans polled ranked shopping as their favorite activity, which is double the number who prefers being in nature.
Even the basic messages about emergency preparedness are centered on shopping for the latest survival gadgets.
Economic survival is no accident for anyone.
It is the result of deliberate decisions to look in all directions for solutions to increase income and reduce spending.
Unfortunately, America seems to be placing its future economic survival bets on major retail.
The sad truth is that consumerism is unsustainable and has impoverished the United States.
It is also sad that our culture encourages us to help the economy by buying brands and cheap products, which will only hasten a major economic collapse.
Urban Americans are in for a rude awakening if you believe that shopping is the route to “save the economy” or to feel good about yourself.
America produces hardly anything!
Yet, rural America, with 15 percent of the population, is focused on frugality, agriculture and our economic agenda.
I think that being thrifty is an indication of rural America’s determination to live the new good life.
So, it doesn’t matter who has the biggest bank account or the most prestigious car.
What matters to survive is frugality without self-denial or self-indulgence.
And, knowledge about what’s happening in local and geopolitics that affects our way of life.
Economic survival doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of anything that gives your life meaning and substance.
You don’t need to turn your back on all material things.
And, you certainly don’t have to be a miser.
On the other hand, I can see that America is groaning under the weight of our out-of-control consumption.
Therefore, anything that rural Americans can do to create financial freedom, and lesson our global import footprint is imperative to our economic survival, in general.