Did we have it too good?

The economy has dominated the headlines for many months now as people fear a financial squeeze. However this fear is based on people not being able to live the way they have done for the last ten years. Therefore, has the focus on the economy driven by ten years of booming world markets shifted people’s view of the world and life in general? Have we all got too caught up in our own little bubble – an unrealistic and materialistic world? People have been able to benefit from a growing economy by being able to afford bigger and better houses, buy and sell shares that may have been worthless after the recession seen at the end of the 1980s, early 1990s, borrow competitively and use their income and savings more effectively. Now that we are faced with tighter budgets and a falling housing market what do we have left? We are told in the days of a recession to sit tight, and wait it out and that’s all we can do. However these times also offer people a time to reflect and reassess. It is widely expected, as in times such as these that people face bankruptcy – from the average man to the successful business man.

In times like these people turn to the government for help, particularly as seen with banks, who have in recent months been crying out for help. Many people on the right of the political spectrum argue for no government intervention. However without it many people throughout society could face financial ruin as banks would be forced to declare themselves bankrupt and shut up shop. We saw the Federal government in the United States, a country with a very free market policy, offer their banks help in the spiralling crisis. The UK Government has also bailed out several banks in recent months with the nationalisation of Northern Rock – a bank that developed out of a growing economy offering excellent borrowing and saving rates in comparison to many high street banks, and Bradford and Bingley – which has been around for a longer period of time investing primarily in the buy-to-let market (a major factor in its downfall).

In times like these it is important that the government intervenes as it is in the interests of the general public. Many people rely on the banks to keep themselves afloat. If a bank goes under there is a high possibility that individuals throughout society will face financial problems too. I would however argue that when the economy turns around that the taxpayer should get some sort of a return on the investment made by their government instead of working at a loss.

Change of focus

The society in which we have lived in the last ten years, with its ideals based on capitalism and a free market economy has created change in the mindset of people. We have people seeking to better themselves (and don’t get me wrong this should be encouraged), however we now see a shift in outlook to life as the economy dries up people switch their focus to things like family, friends and work. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.

Long time political hack