We're two weeks into the New Year. Still feeling good and strong about those New Year resolutions? Sliding on anything yet? Or still confident that, this time, you're really going to make it and stop/reduce/cut out whatever long-held bad habit you've chosen to tackle?
Lee Scott, the outgoing CEO of Wal-Mart, thinks that the recession may have caused a "fundamental change" in our shopping habits. Speaking at the National Retail Federation's (NRF) convention of retailers and suppliers in New York, Scott cited a recent meeting with young shoppers. They told him they aren't eating out or going to the movies any more. "Everyone has given up something and said how good they felt about it," he said.
If over-consumption is the bad habit that Americans have been indulging in, Scott sides with those who believe that the recession will give us the resolve to change. I don't agree. I think that our resolve will fade away and we'll go back to shopping a go-go just as soon as the economy lets us. Or perhaps a couple of weeks afterwards.
As I mentioned in my weekend post, we've been here before. Back in the 70s, in a previous recession, Jimmy Carter said: "We’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning." He was wrong. Do we really think things will be different this time after the fun of frugality wears off?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009