The Way We Live Now: recalibrating our responsibilities. In tough times, we can't be expected to support certain causes as effusively as we once did. Such causes include, but are not limited to: Colleges, mortgage payments, and the poors.
If you want to get a heck of a good hearty belly chuckle today one thing you can do is to read the following headline from today's Wall Street Journal: "Good Intentions: The credit crisis has compelled companies to take a more holistic view of social responsibility." More like a more HoLOListic view of social responsibility! "Corporate social responsibility" is a buzzword for corporate charity PR programs, which are of course the first thing to go when times get tough, and of course companies are all broken up about this, but what can you do, cut the CEO's pay?
And what does this dynamic "less of everything" trend mean for you, the little person? For one thing, it means you have less to spend on your mortgage, which is underwater, so you might as well just walk away from it. Everyone's doing it. For two things, it means that the next time your worthless college calls you up asking for a donation, you can tell them to go to hell. Everyone's doing it. And, most importantly, it makes it less likely you'll have to pay restitution when you're caught with child pornography, which, let's just say could hypothetically come in handy, if we know you, and we do.
In spite of all these benefits, we still find some dead-enders who insist on dragging our economy down. Like all those investors who are currently in the process of losing everything because they bet it all on real estate in Memphis. Memphis! That is in Tennessee. But despite that fact these individuals still thought that lots of Americans would pay huge sums of money to obtain a dwelling place there, in Memphis, which clearly no sane person would do. Memphis real estate. Come on.
The lesson of this recession: Never give your money to anyone else. Not to charity. Not to the bank. Not to the landlord, or the judge, or the victim of your particular illegal porn preferences. Because you're going to need that money. And nobody's going to give it back.