What I keep wondering is… what is our modern day version of The Great Depression going to look like? It just seems like our society is too technological to fit this mental image of what life was like during the Depression. However, it sure seems like that is what we’re in for. My hope is that whatever economic hardships are in store for us (as a country) we will step up and engender a new age of hard work and innovative entreprenuership that will revolutionize global economic systems. Yes, I may be optimistic, but I like it here… it’s sunny and warm most of the time. *grin*
I think we’ll first see a new embracing of frugality. Thrift shops, dollar stores, swap meets, and of course Wal-Mart and eBay. Frugality is the ability to maintain a certain standard of living while spending less to do so. It’s slightly different from being cheap, which is simply a desire to spend as little as possible.
We’ll see cheapness also, of course. I suspect that we’ll see the quality of some goods decline in order to keep them affordable. Folks will still be able to have their HDTVs, their phones, their portable computers… but they just won’t make them quite the way they used to.
Some folks predict that we’ll see a new age of reuse and repair. That rather than throwing a broken TV into the trash, we’ll prefer to take it to be repaired. Or in the case of easy fixes, such as torn clothing, we may fix it ourselves.
We will certainly start to waste less. And perhaps we’ll once again realize that waste is wasteful. People may take recycling, water conservation, etc. seriously if there’s more of an incentive to do so than "feeling good about the planet."