Trickle Down Economics, or Since My Job Went Away
Since my job went away:
- I spent about half as much as I otherwise would have spent this past Christmas.
- I have gone from eating out 2 or 3 times a week to eating out about once every other week.
- I occasionally order takeout from my favorite restaurant instead of dining in and having to leave a tip.
- I have postponed indefinitely paying a local artist to paint a baseball mural on my son’s bedroom wall.
- I have turned down at least 7 or 8 offers from unemployed men looking to earn $10 or $20 to shovel snow from my driveway and sidewalk.
- I have stopped buying meat from my local butcher, buying instead a cheaper product from the grocery store.
- I have put off purchasing a new car to replace the 1999 Ford we drive with 93,000 miles on it.
- I am drinking much more tap water, less soda, less beer, and less wine.
- I did not renew membership in my university’s alumni club.
- I did not renew my subscription to National Geographic.
- I am postponing indefinitely the purchase of new living room furniture which we desperately need.
- I did not give my regular donation to the American Foundation for the Blind, a charity I have supported every year for at least 20 years.
- I did not send one last contribution for the year to the American Cancer Society.
- I did not respond to the most recent solicitation from the American Heart Association, another charity I have supported every year for at least 20 years.
I don’t know if the company I work for did the right thing when it announced major job cuts last month. I have an opinion, but it is only an educated guess based on assumptions that may or may not be correct. Maybe the company did exactly what it had to do. Maybe.
What I do know is this: As a result of its decision to release me from its employ, an awful lot of big corporations, local businesses, charities, and people in need are receiving far less from me than they would have if my position had not been eliminated.
Another thing I know is this: The United States economy lost at least 2.4 million jobs in 2008. Look at all of the cuts I have made in spending and charitable contributions, and multiply that by 2.4 million.
Welcome to trickle down economics.