Saturday, January 24, 2009

Economic Recession: Time for a Change in Thinking?

Economic Recession Calls For Change by Frances Van Den Berg

Whenever there is a crisis people change and evolve in many ways. Consider the effects that the end of the Second World War had on the world's superpowers. Technology improved in leaps and bounds, humans went to the moon, and eventually computers were introduced worldwide. Germany and Ireland built themselves from the ground up, moving from devastation to among the richest countries in the world. Change can, however, be painful and the world is certainly feeling the pinch at the moment.

People are feeling helpless and confused after the financial crisis of 2008. Countries that are dependent on foreign investment, such as India, are suffering as the US and UK cut back on foreign investment to minimise their losses. If an Indian man, who supports a large family on his small income, loses his job, more than one person will starve. While unemployment rates soar, so do inflation and food prices, making it that much harder to feed a family. Similarly, a middle-class family in the US will have to live a different lifestyle, cutting back on spending on credit and many luxuries.

So, for the man on the street the good years are a thing of the past. In times like these luxuries such as holidays, gadgets, eating out and rich foods are the first to go; bringing to mind the rationing imposed during the two World Wars. However, there is now a more significant place for technology, which helps with cost saving. As more people are laid-off, creativity comes to the fore. Many companies are using freelancers or are offshoring their work, creating opportunities in unlikely places. One thing humans know is the art of survival; and while there is a lot of cost cutting in business at the moment, there is also a lot of ingenuity.

Governments the world over are starting to implement stimulus plans, which they hope will lift us out of the crisis by midyear 2009. The world economic crisis has certainly shocked us out of our comfort zones. It's emphasised for us some of life's important lessons: always save, don't use credit, and don't gamble, don't splash money around unnecessarily and learn to think on your feet.

Frances wrote this article for the online marketers Exchange4Free,
leaders in international money transfer services leaders in the provision of exchange rate services across all currencies, to both the corporate and private sector.

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