Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

We’re not spending. Are you happy now?

I awoke Friday morning, the third day in Barack Obama’s America, to read that retailers are despairing about the Christmas shopping season and that unemployment has hit 6.5 percent, and 240,000 people have lost their jobs.

It seems every large company is planning giant layoffs in time for the holiday, and I don’t care what anyone says: We’re in a Depression, and we’ve been in one for awhile.

After the stock market crash in October 1929, people didn’t automatically decide that the economy was in a depression. It took time, and there was talk that the word depression was the wrong word. People even wore buttons declaring that there was no problem in the economy.

Well, there was a depression, a big one, and as more and more people lost their jobs, homes, possessions and hope, there was fear that the worst was yet to come.

I think there was also a sense of loss, and a pining for the recent past, as there is today. The boom was so big, and we were all so hopeful, and to see it all gone just hurt then and hurts now.

I live near a large outlet mall, and during the boom when I was working for the newspaper, on Thanksgiving when I was working I knew I had to come up with an alternate route to get home because traffic would be backed up for miles on I-75 as people arrived for the start of the holiday shopping season.

It sounds nuts, but people went shopping at midnight.

Even on Thanksgiving Day, stores would open, and I remember that a psychologist in Sarasota would always babble some pseudo-scientific nonsense about how they had all run out of things to talk about, and how terrible it was that people were shopping and spending money.

Well, I hope that stupid, moronic bitch is happy. Our economy is in the toilet, which always seems to make happy and prosperous those whose lives are built around commenting on others’ lives.

Let me drop you a little secret about psychologists. Now, I’m not a Scientologist or someone totally opposed to the profession of mental health, but they should focus on helping people, not getting quoted in the paper.

I was in community college, and taking a course in psychology. The instructor was kind of weird but OK, and I did learn a lot, but she told the class one thing that changed my view of psychologists. To pay for her education, she had gone to work for an outfit that counseled clients on why they should not do drugs and alcohol.

These operations, called “rehab” today, pretty much operated along the lines that you really weren’t cured until you ran out of money. Anyway, she said it was pretty stressful and that the staff found a great way to relax and burn off the stress from counseling people against going to wild parties and using drugs and alcohol.

By throwing wild parties and using drugs and alcohol.

I have to tell you that after that, I refused to believe most of what she told me, and from then on anytime a psychologist was quoted in the newspaper or other media, I took it with a grain of salt.

These psychologists who run around babbling about “rampant consumerism” and so forth are full of malarkey. None of them are taking the bus anywhere, and I bet none of them are living in the woods or a homeless shelter.

I’m not broke or busted – yet. But without a job, I won’t be spending money. It’s OK, I have plenty of things (all paid for, except the house) and even still have hope that I can land a job by next March. But I have yet to read anything by one of these goofball psychologists talking about how maybe the consumerism of a few years ago wasn’t a totally bad thing.

Or maybe they just get their rocks off when others are suffering. Or maybe they’re just relaxing with some dope and booze.

Then again, to them our lives are just some diagnosis that they can use for profit and to get their names in the media, and maybe a talk show.

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November 7, 2008 - Posted by | Education, Living in the modern age | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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