The most recent economic recession occurred in 2008. The recession was compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s, but things were improved upon, and the recession has, according to many economic analysts, ended. Unfortunately, it hasn’t improved so much that everyone has a job, and debt has been eliminated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is at 5.5 percent, which is down from last year, but still not as low as it was in 2007, before the recession.
In an effort to improve the economy, this article takes a look at the changes Americans can make in their everyday lives. These strategies are designed to help you lesson your impact on the economy.
Build Your Wealth with Long-term Saving
In 2008’s recession, people were spending at an alarming rate. They were buying things they couldn’t afford, which created a lot of debt. Things calmed down, and the economy improved.
“Whether by choice or necessity, many Americans have already significantly scaled back their pre-recession borrow-and-spend habits,” Pew Research told Forbes Magazine. “According to government data, household spending has gone down, savings rates have gone up, consumer credit has remained stable and mortgage debt has plunged during this recession.”
Unfortunately, like before, people are buying things they can’t afford. If American households don’t change their spending habits, the country may find itself in another recession. The solution is to save up for the things you want, to slowly grow your wealth with a high-interest savings account.
Don’t Waste Your Life Paying Back Hefty Loans
Although the real estate market is making a comeback, this economic surplus doesn’t mean Americans should overspend on fancy new homes. Banks are still offering sub-prime lending to people who can’t afford big-ticket items, such as boats, cars, and houses. Don’t be caught paying back a loan you can’t afford.
Addiction Rates are affecting the Economy
Addiction rates are on the rise, and the cost of treatment is costing the country. According to Futures of Palm Beach, an addiction treatment facility, “In 2011, 49 percent of the 5.1 million drug-related emergency department visits in America were due to drug misuse and abuse, while 45 percent were due to adverse effects stemming from drug abuse.”
Americans can help lessen the financial burden by encouraging their drug/alcohol addicted loved ones to get treatment sooner, rather than waiting for the addiction to really take hold. Moreover, you do have the power to make change. Write to your lawmakers, and encourage them to improve the system.
Addiction Costs Welfare and Medicaide More
Food stamps feed a lot of kids around the country, so it’s a necessary program because it helps low-income families fulfill their nutritional needs. There’d be less money spent on welfare; however, if there were fewer addicts using the welfare system. Futures of Palm Beach reports that it’s impossible to determine just how many welfare recipients are addicts, but there are a lot.
If the country could reduce the number of addicts, the money we spend on welfare would go down significantly. Unfortunately, $1.00 out of every $5.00 spent on Medicaid is “attributable to substance abuse.” Yikes! It seems a major way households can help the economy is to help their drug/alcohol addicted friends and family members.
There are a few examples of what’s causing the current economic downturn, and ways you can help. Although the downturn in the economy may not be your fault, it is everyone’s responsibility. The first step is recognizing there is a problem, and the next step is treating it…