I don't want anything. The last several weeks have been spent wrestling with the idea of a new car. In the end, I decided my old car was just fine.
My car is a little beat up, but is functional. My house is fine, except for a little weather stripping on one of the doors. I could use a few more suits, but should probably first dry clean the ones I have had in a bag for months. It's amazing. Whenever I finally get it together to dry clean clothes, it feels like my wardrobe has doubled. Usually it has. I am going to start an indoor garden any month now.
My consumer droolings are now limited to seeds for my garden this year and a water filter for the top floor. I don't even want a t.v. What for? We haven't had a t.v. for about a year or so and we don't miss it at all. And, frankly, YouTube original videos are far more interesting. My favorites are sxephil, the amazing atheist and drinkingwithbob. Their videos never fail to cheer me up if I'm feeling a little sad.
Back to my consumer desires. Perhaps others are like me and suddenly realize they don't need a whole lot of things they thought they did. If that's the case, consumer spending will not pick up in 2009. After our spending orgy, Americans may not need anything for a while. (Check out the YouTube video on gardening with trash. It shows you how to use trash as gardening containers. What a story to tell your grandchildren one day! And you might start walking to school with no shoes on for good measure.)
That's bad news for the whole world as our relentless appetite has fueled everybody else's economy as well.
A newsletter I subscribe to called John Maudlin's Outside the Box E-Newsletter described the consumer situation in terms of capacity. Americans have no more capacity for goods because their capacity is used up with all the stuff they have already. In other words, we really don't need anything when we take a good look at it.
Since now we have a President inspiring of hope, I have made changes for the betterment of the whole: composting and buying American. If we all buy American products, at least we can pull this country out of the hole. Together.