Posted by: nickgerlich | March 12, 2008

Giving It Up

This is the Lenten season. For many practicing Christians, it is a time of personal sacrifice leading up Easter. It is a time to give up meat, sodas, coffee, or whatever your little indulgence may be. And in giving up even a small personal pleasure, it serves as a reminder of what occurred leading up to the first Easter nearly 2000 years ago.

The USA Today reported yesterday that many people are giving up small indulgences this year, but not for Lent. No, they’re giving it up for the economy. Their economy. It’s the recession, stupid, and everyone’s running scared.

RecessionNot convinced? Just two days ago Starbucks shut down all of their corporate stores for three hours during the evening. Trying to save energy? No. Just trying to regroup, retrain, and figure out how to sell $4 coffee in a $1 economy.

There are some among us (myself included) who think a little recession can do an economy good. It’s kind of like pruning the trees in your yard. They will grow better and more uniformly once they have had a little restraint put on them. But if you keep spend your energies trying to grow willy nilly, you will wind up with just an unruly bush. And people have been spending money lately like there is no tomorrow.

It is time to take stock of our indulgences. What do you do for lunch every day? Do you tote an expensive plastic container of bottled water around with you? Drink exotic brews (coffees, teas, or beers included)? Munch on expensive sports nutrition products? (And I stand in front of a mirror when asking these questions, in case you’re wondering.)

Maybe we’re actually about to launch a new trend: Frugality. In fact, the article hints this may just be the case. Futurists report that it is now cool to show how much you don’t spend.

Which means that aunt and uncle you always joked about being able to squeeze blood out of a turnip may now in fact be pretty trendy.

I don’t know about you, but I rather like counting the money I have saved by not indulging. When the economy is soaring, tis all too easy to live a bloated lifestyle. But now that things are heading south, it’s time to rein it in.

And another thing. That big fat check Uncle Sam is promising us later this spring is going straight in the bank. While the Keynesians among us want us to run, not walk, to the nearest store and spend all of it, there’s probably no more sure fire way to fuel inflation than to throw money at a problem.

Regardless of your religious persuasion (or lack thereof), this Lenten season is a good time to prune the tree of our desire, to trim our consumption, and to reinforce our foundation. Besides, I”m looking forward to that $1 cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Dr “Oh, Black Water” Gerlich


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: