The following is a Middle School student’s essay question answer to a classroom assignment asking for their family’s plan to deal with the current economic downturn. I could not have said it better….thanks, Allie and yes, some of us are listening.
I asked my Mom and Dad how we plan to budget for the coming year in case our taxes go up. My Dad said he would have to pay a lot more money because he works too hard. So first he says we are going to cancel our lawn service and I will cut the grass. He feels sorry for the lawn guy because he has lost a lot of clients lately and his own kids can no longer play on my softball team because of the fees.
We are also going to no longer go to the movies as a family because we can rent one for a dollar or two and make popcorn at home. Only one theater is left in town anyway because everybody is staying home too. Dad says he feels sorry for the kid who worked the concessions, the ticket taker and the janitor as well as the movie guy in the booth, but we don’t need to spend luxury money when the government will “need it” instead.
Mom says we are not going to go to the symphony anymore or to some of the plays that she liked so much because those are not necessary either. The government needs our money so she feels sorry for the musicians, the stage hands, the actors, the janitors and all the people who used to work at those places but with nobody having extra money for live performances (she says we can download the music and watch the plays on video) such places can close down and stop wasting energy on lights and stuff, a win win for everyone. I liked the art class I took at our local museum but all the teachers were let go because nobody was signing up for classes. The museum was kinda far away and with gas prices so high, Mom said I can draw at home with some lessons off the internet. She feels bad about not donating any money to her favorite arts groups this year but she heard that we may not be able to take it from our taxes (I don’t know what that means, but it was a good thing to give to others up until now according to my Dad).
Dad does not stop for coffee on the way to work anymore either. The coffee is free at work but he feels sorry for the kid who lost his job at the coffee place since their profits are down. He used to help coach my team but had to move away when his Mom lost her job at the salon. Seems nobody was spending their extra dollars on getting their hair or nails done so she now sits at home and collects money from the government, which is probably my Dad’s anyway.
We sold our small fishing boat last week. We used to spend some free weekends as a family out on a lake at the nearby state park, but since so many people were not showing up to use the lake anymore, the place was closed down and chained off. Dad feels sorry for the rangers who worked there, some really nice folks he says, but the cost of gas, bait, snacks, a fishing license and stuff like that were extras we no longer needed because the government will need that money soon enough.
Mom and her friends used to go shopping and out to lunch once a month but she stays home now and they text or talk on the phone. The good shops are all closed down anyway and she feels sorry for the ladies who worked there for as long as she can remember. The cleaning services, stock people and delivery trucks no longer need to waste precious energy anymore which I guess is a good thing. Their favorite restaurant closed months ago too. She said people were not eating out anymore because that cost extra money which nobody wants to spend because the government is going to need it.
I know all this is hard on my family but I feel it too. Our dog died about a year ago and I have been wanting a new puppy but Dad says that the cost of food and vet bills and all that dog related stuff is just extra money we don’t need to spend. Besides, our favorite vet left town a few months ago after so many people decided not to go to her as often for healthy pet visits. The closest vet is now an hour away and Mom does not want to spend the gas money. Oh well, since I will be cutting grass now, I won’t have to worry about stepping in dog poop.
I don’t know what the government is going to do with all this money we are no longer spending. I thought it was a good thing to spend money because then other people work at the places where we spend it. They get to then make money and go out and spend it too. Someday I hope to understand it but right now I just see a bunch of older people all trying to be right and nobody caring much about what is really the right thing. At least that is how my Dad tries to explain it. I get to see my Dad more now that my softball team has been disbanded but I miss fishing with him and doing stuff with my mom. We stay at home now, saving money for the government. Sorry this is more than one page which I know is wasteful and I will get points off for not conserving resources, but nobody else seems to be listening anymore.