Cutting back

Today is Halloween, the day of scaring people with things that don’t exist. Just like newspeople do with the economy. I think certain people only want the masses to believe the economy is bad so that they can profit from it. While some things may be bad, not all the ecnomic numbers align with those leading into the Great Depression.

Everywhere I turn, I hear bad news about the economy – things like 7000 businesses have gone bankrupt in Taiwan this year. Lots of people see that as bad, but I see it as good. Bankruptcies are good for the economy in the long run – they get rid of excessive numbers of businesses in each industry and allow resources to be allocated into new industries. I wouldn’t argue that there has been a slowdown – everyday I ride the subway, which has seen some record ridership this year, yet almost every ad is for the metro itself or a public service announcement rather than an ad for a particular company. I used to see at least some advertisements for companies/organisations not run by the government (Taiwanese companies don’t seem to value advertising that much, so it would definitely be one of the first things to go).

Another article said because of economic turmoil, the Taiwan dollar would drop to around 37 to the US dollar, but rather than drop, it went up to between 32.8 to the US dollar this week (it started out around 34 to the US dollar).

I read about turmoil in the USA, but looking at the facts, it seems spending only declined 0.8%.Not great, but much better than the economy is made out to be. If people actually started saving money each month there, it would certainly help that economy in the long run.

My spending has been cut back, but it has nothing to do with the larger economy. In my case, it only means I have nearly burnt through my initial supply of money I thought would be necessary to get going in Taiwan. Since I ate at expensive places like King Join before, I am now eating combinations of food that don’t require me to buy any additional food from the supermarket. For example, I just had a dinner of oatmeal mixed with a package of ready-to-eat Indian bean curry (when I got it at Costco, it cost 1/4 of what it did for the same thing in Korea!).

I will go to more special restaurants when I am in a new budgetary month. I will buy other special things if there is reason for me to, just as I always have. I don’t buy things simply because I have money to do so – I buy them to fulfill a perceived need.

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