The Job Exchange

Tapping Into The Hidden Job Market

To Spend or to Save? Trick Question

From The New York Times

The Paradox of Thrift
It’s your fault. Part of it is, anyway. You, the American consumer, spent too much money. You bought too much house, took on too much debt and generally lived beyond your means. Your free-spending ways helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

And now you’re going to have to do your part to end the crisis. How? By spending. Enough already with the saving that many of you have suddenly begun doing. This very moment, Congress and President Obama are preparing to send you a tax rebate, to inspire you to stimulate the economy. So go out and stimulate. Spend as if the future of your country depended on it.

Parents of young children can join Costco and make up their membership fee with just a few months of diaper purchases. Drivers can inflate their tires, change their air and fuel filters and start getting better mileage. Frequent book buyers who don’t mind screen reading can buy the new Kindle. It costs $359, but most new books then cost less than $10.

Families who shop at rent-to-own stores, which charge ridiculous interest rates, can temporarily pare back and then buy furniture or electronics outright.

People who do a lot of laser printing can purchase a printer that uses only a cent or two of ink per page. (Many use far, far more.)

Purified water drinkers can lay off the Aquafina and buy a water filter. Seltzer drinkers can buy a seltzer maker. My wife and I now have one, and it is a beautiful thing indeed.

In these cases — and, no doubt, many others — the initial investment tends to pay off quickly, sometimes in mere months. That’s why such spending is perfectly suited to the moment. It will keep people employed or create new jobs when the economy needs the help. But it will also shore up households’ finances.

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02/11/2009 - Posted by | Economy |

1 Comment »

  1. Out of Office: Job Loss in the Age of Blogs and Twitter (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123362401231641879.html)
    It’s been decades since Americans had this much time on their hands and — thanks to the Web — never have there been so many opportunities to burn it.

    In November, Julia Otto was headed to her first day on a new job, car keys in hand, as an administrative assistant with a New Orleans construction company when her phone rang. Her position was eliminated before she even started.

    Now, when she’s not sending out resumes or doing household chores, the 43-year-old spends several hours a day playing games. Her favorite is an adventure-puzzle game called “Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst,” where she hunts for clues inside a spooky mansion to unlock a mystery. She spends about $7 a month playing games on the Big Fish Games site.

    “They’re an affordable way to help forget,” says Ms. Otto. “It’s not soap operas and chocolate.”

    …Internet games, gambling and other forms of online entertainment have seen significant surges in use in the several months since the economic downturn deepened. Social-networking services like Facebook, blogs and discussion forums — all well-known time sinks even during good times — are also seeing strong growth. Some purveyors of online entertainment say business has never been so good for them.

    Comment by Bear | 02/11/2009 | Reply


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