On CNN's front page this morning, there were links to the following two headlines:
Tough Choices for America's Hungry
Recession Takes Toll on Parties
I am stuck on what I think about the economic climate. In one breath, I want to believe that there's something good to be learned from being forced to cut back luxuries and extravagances. But in another, I think about all the people who are losing jobs that they depend on - all the people who can't afford to be losing jobs.
I am disgusted that both of those above headlines received equal billing on CNN's front page. (Ok, the first article was in a bigger font and had a picture, while the second one was in a list of "Latest News" links. But still. You know what I mean.) The message put forth by both articles is that the recession is hitting people hard. Reading about people having to consider food stamps for the first time because of the recession is sobering news. But reading about how parents have to scale back and not throw their children parties that cost thousands of dollars? Are you serious? It makes me sad that luxury, wealth, extragavance are assumed to be such givens in life that we make a major news story about people having to "cut back" their party-throwing budgets. It seems almost like a farce, trying to convince me that I should feel bad for people who can't throw extravagant parties because of the recession.
It honestly makes me mad. This sort of story is why part of me believes that the recession might have some enduring positive impact on the way that we think about money. It could help us figure out how to get our priorities in check.
Unfortunately, the other story reminds me that the recession is devestating to the people who can least afford to bear it.
And this is why I get stuck whenever I try to think about the economy these days.