Phil Jackman, August 2020
The biggest issue faced by the economy is not Coronavirus, nor indeed Brexit but the realisation that we can do without many of the things that we thought were essential. The pandemic may well have caused the recession, Brexit may yet make it worse (who knows) but coming out of it will be no easy fix.
OK, so this is not based upon sound scientific evidence, my sample size was only two, yet during the pandemic I have managed to get by. Since March I have spent my money on food and books, with little else. My wife, on the other hand, has focused on clothes for the grandchild. Other than that we have spent very little.
Now that the shops have reopened I have found that I am still reluctant to go. The spark has gone (the Marks and Sparks?) and I find that I am saying to myself that I simply don’t need it. Since March, I have not bought any clothes yet my wardrobes are still bursting. I know that I am not at the vanguard of fashion and so what I have will certainly see me through.
I am in a similar position with restaurants. Since they have reopened I haven’t been though I do admit I have had my haircut. It needed cutting.
On reflection our economy has long been based on things that we would like to have rather than we need. Need and want are the two most confused words in the English language. New products were produced that made us feel inadequate or that the ones we possessed were so last year. I think though that we have come to realize this and there is a general feeling that over consumption is not going to solve our problems or fill the void.
For now, there are more important things in life like companionship and health.
The issue faced by the government is not to get the economy going but to get the consumers going again.
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