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A new Type of Invisible Hand
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Essay by:Reuben Daniel Kirk
Emporia state university
It's an eventful time we live in today. From the historical election of President Barack Obama to the white house to the most extreme economic crisis since the Great Depression. As the new year begins, the current economic crisis seems to set a considerable damper on most people's morale. Nowadays, when anyone says or makes a reference to the word "economic" the vast majority of people think "money." But according to my macro economics proffesor economics is more of a social science and that the definition of the word "economic" is more about "wealth" than it is about "money." Money although very important would be on my list one of the things that are on the bottom of the list of issues that are to be addressed during this economic crisis. Reason I say this is because the government can continue to print more. Although the government is only allowed to print as much currency as the U.S mint has in gold I do not believe that they adhere to this. Printing more currency will not solve the problem. We must as a country begin to conserve more resources and spend less all together.
There's much more that people can give than just currency. The idea of a minor depression doesn't necessarily mean you need to whip out your checkbooks in order to make a difference. In a crisis such as this one, it's important to realize that it doesn't take having a six-figure salary to be able to help. There are many other things people can do that are just as good. For example Thanksgiving is symbolic of a time when we should be most thankful for everything we have and are able to do. Now, don't worry. I'm not going to call upon everyone to pull out a pen and write down a "things that I'm grateful for" list, but the idea of Thanksgiving should at least spark a list in your mind. With the budget cuts all accross the board on almost every level of income it has directly affected me and my life personaly. With rent increases and the lack of availability for other places of residents. It is becoming more difficult for college students and other young adults to make due with our low income. I personaly would like to leave behind the raman noodle diet and begin to enjoy life in a financialy stress free environment.
Likewise, it is an appropriate time to give back to what gives us so much to be thankful for. Along the same lines, the holiday season is also referred to as "the time of giving," so why not make it just that? That doesn't necessarily mean we need to devote every waking hour of our free time to charity work, but it does mean there is some "give and take" involved and not always of money. When people give things that aren't of direct monetary value, these situations are often even more valuable.
Probably one of the clearest examples of this is the idea of time. On any given day, most people waste time doing unneccissary things that, in the broad view of life, don't really matter. For example, if each and every person in your immediate circle of friends, let's say there's eight of you; gave an hour to help someone who needed it, then this would translate into a day's worth of work. In this sense, you would have just provided eight hours' worth of help that someone might have otherwise had to pay for.
Now let's say you helped an elderly woman. If that little old lady takes her savings and goes to buy presents for the local children's shelter with it, two things occur. First, you can feel great about yourself because you just made a few kids' lives better. Second, you just indirectly helped to stimulate the economy. In essence, it's a ripple effect. By taking time out of your day, which might have otherwise been spent raiding a fridge out of boredom, you helped the economy and you never even had to give away a dollar. Better still, you didn't eat that extra snack from the fridge, which means that you're losing weight and saving money!
But try to remember the significance of the actions you take part in. If you can, give something, help someone and possibly start on your own "bailout plan." Help the elderly, give good advice, pick up some trash, take a shorter shower - there's are many things you can do. The government just gave $700 million; can you think of 700 ways to give back?
»A new report finds the main problem in getting the public to deal with our fiscal problems isn't opposition to tax increases or spending cuts -- it's their lack of trust in the government to spend their money wisely.