A few weeks ago on the radio station KCUR (a station which I love for its very diverse programing) They hosted a short bit about what they have labled "The New Normal" prefacing it with an explaination about how things are changing and that certain normals of life as we know it are going to eventually change too. They wondered what people thought those normals of life were going to eventually be. Many people have sent in their views, and their views are as diverse as can be, some are optamistic and say that people are going to change in good ways. Other people have negative views and say that the depression will never end, finding a job will continue to be a tooth and nail fight, and we will learn how to live without many of todays ameneties such as Ipods or new cars. Hearing all these reports, I wanted to send my own view in but was unable as I had other work to do (and my memory is never good enough to remember which show I was listening to, let alone the link where to submit my idea.)
My idea isn't very specific though, it is more a flexible viewpoint and some observations. Observation #1, We are in the position we are in because the majority of people have acted how they have acted.
Observation # 2 The "New Normals" will be a consequence of how the majority of people change their behaviors.
Observation #3 a lot of people have having the attitude of spending money they don't have (credit) on things they don't need, (to impress people they don't like) but this is not the sole cause of the problem, more or less it is a symptom of greater problems.
Observation #4 There are many who are getting obscene amounts of money, and the common person is putting his money in their pockets. Sometimes it sits a long time in that pocket without buying food for a worker, or improving the community. When we are lucky that pocket has a good brain behind it and the money gets moving quickly for other constructive projects. Again not the sole cause of the problem, and possibly more a symptom.
Observation #5 The Economy is like a big living organism, cash is the blood, Credit is like blood pressure, too much is bad, too little is bad. If the blood stops moving, death. Fear and greed both often put money into possitions where they stop. Greed + credit = Observation #3.
Observation #6 People keep looking for ways to escape the consequences of their actions, but the consequences have to come down on someone.
The flexible conclusion, If people learn what they need to learn, things will get better, they will be smarter with their money, but more open with investing it in trusted and constructive community improving projects. If they don't learn their lesson then as soon as we get out of this depression, people will be right back in the self centered greedy untrusting mindset that spends it's money on fleeting fickle projects that promise only to increase their posessions.
The likely conclusion. From studying history, The majority of people only learn the good lessons long enough to get out of bad situations. And in our case, with so manny oppinions, it is hard for most people to point in one direction and say definitively "hey there is the right lessons, go learn." Sucks huh. But hey, if you learn the right lessons, then you should keep pulling through alright, and on top.