What a long, strange trip it's been.
Since I started blogging last month, I've been in a really reflective mood as to the state of our country and the world in general. I feel like, despite all of the upheaval over the last ten years, this year may be the most important. At first I thought that maybe I was looking to inwardly, as on a personal level I consider this year to be one of the most important of my life. This is due to the fact that I've begun to take a new direction in the way I live and how I view the world, breaking the old models and ideas that I grew up with and learned throughout high school and college. I've probably learned more this year than all the years I spent in school and the work force combined.
What have I learned? For one, I learned that sheeple will always be sheeple and nothing I do will change that. Just because one person gains a better understand of the real world doesn't mean that everyone will. The unfortunate truth is that, despite the rough few years we've had, people will always be willing to go back to the way thins were rather than change their lifestyles. I remember the '90s, the age which really shaped me as a young man, as this golden age when America was awesome and nothing could go wrong. At the time I was too young and brainwashed to understand that the foundations of our country weren't nearly as strong as all of us were led to believe, and even if you had told me otherwise I would have told you that you were crazy.
Knowing what I know now, I would never want to go back to that way of life. A lot of other people would, though, especially the clowns on Wall Street who are looking for any sign that the economy is beginning to stabilize. The funny thing is that the may not be wrong when they say 2011 will be a good year. Things are starting to pick up. We can expect to see all those boosted sales and jobs numbers go down next month after the Christmas spending dies down and temporary retail workers are laid off. However, because so many companies have been tightening their belts the last few years and doing everything possible to cut costs, they're going to be able to do a little more now that things are looking up.
But like I said, people will always want to go back to the good old days rather than keep that belt tightened. A lot of people will try to quit smoking but will slip back into the habit. A fat guy might lose twenty pounds but then let his diet slip and before he knows it, the weight is back on. So it should come as no surprise that people will start using their credit cards and taking out loans again once they realize that "everything is going to be just fine." We saw this reality a few years ago when the gas prices were beginning to soar. As people cut back on buying gas and even began to purchase more fuel efficient cards, truck and SUVs suffered for it. However, when the gas prices began to drop in response to this lack of demand, people started buying the big vehicles again. We'll see the same thing happen next year. As a wise woman once said, some people have to learn a hard lesson and some people are the hard lesson.
Fortunately, not everyone is returning to sheeple mode, as some have realized that the excessive spending as a way of life isn't sustainable. A lot of people have been paying off their debts and will continue to do so for several years. I'm among this number as well and after next year there will be no more debts for me. If you have debt, get rid of it as soon as possible and if you're lucky enough to not have debt then it's high time you start saving your money.
I realize that, when I started this blog, it was supposed to be speaking more about freedom in general but that lately I've been talking a lot about economics. However, you should have no illusions that our economic security is absolutely tied in with our freedom. If you think I'm wrong, then so is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. If that isn't enough, then maybe we should hear what Glenn Beck has to say about it. I'm not someone who listens to Beck exclusively or even on a regular basis, but he isn't wrong about this matter because he isn't the only one who's become concerned about it.
For 2011, if you feel the need to spend cash, buy the things you need with it. I'll say this again and again until people get tired of hearing it but it's true. Better to spend that $200 on fixing your car then spend it buying a new TV. Better to buy a month's worth of food then a new iPhone. My big money purchase for next year? Toilet paper. Because when the shit hits the fan, you'll need something to clean it up with.
If you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything.