There’s a personal economics that coexists with the larger world of economics. Mine used to involve the balancing of checkbooks. Now I play with credit cards and savings accounts.
Some have no choice but to go to whatever store’s closest. Others hit Aldi’s, Adams, Sam’s Club and whichever Dollar Store’s their favorite. Personal economics determines the cars we drive, how we school our kids, and when and where we eat restaurant food.
This morning has been full of economic decisions. Should I try to find new freelance work? Should I check to see how much my stock portfolio’s dropped for the day? Is it better to awake my teen son before or after 3 p.m.?
When this new era started several months back, I succumbed to nearly a month of what was determined to be flu, but could have been Covid. I thought we were on the verge of great societal and cultural changes. Some came in the form of our mass reconsideration of racism, goaded by our president. But what about the economy?
I amalgamate news for a community radio station. Items catching my attention this week include a growing number of reports on disparate bills for Covid testing and intended job cuts for regional hospitals and healthcare companies. Municipalities are weighing how deep program cuts must be. Schools are looking for ways to continue remote teaching with distance learning and half-full classrooms and schools.
We could be looking to invest in new forms of education that incorporate armies of young people drawn into service to meet current challenges. Same is true for agriculture, food distribution, and other key elements of modern life. Remember CETA, signed into law by Richard Nixon, grown during the Carter era, and transformed beyond recognition under Reagan?
Instead we have promises to return to what we had before this year, education aimed at training obedient workers and quiet citizens. Big business will be pleased.
Maybe it makes better sense just to lie in bed and read today.
Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.