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Is The Economic Collapse a Good Thing?

On its face, the question itself is ludicrous, but the press seems to be trying to spin the faltering/failing economy lately, desperately pulling out even the thinnest of silver linings.

I’ve been catching these stories cropping up here and there (quite a few flew out when gas prices started going down last fall), and today saw a couple of more. Which I had to share, because hey, optimism. 🙂

The first is from the Environment News Service, which finds that Iowans are saving quite a bit on energy thanks to them having to divert funds from it to paying for food:

Although Iowans are concerned about the environment and global warming, the number one reason they conserve energy is to save money, finds the first Iowa Energy Poll, 2008, conducted by the University of Northern Iowa’s Strategic Marketing Services and funded by the Iowa Power Fund.

Vehicle purchases, driving less as gas prices increase, buying appliances and equipping a home with renewable energy sources are all influenced primarily by the wish to save money, the poll found.

You can read the whole article here.

For CNN, it’s the health of the economy (bad) that is good for your own health:

Mark and Caprice Wooten made several healthy lifestyle changes after he got laid off. “It’s hard,” Mark said. “We’ve made tremendous cutbacks.”

When the Wootens sat down to plan a survival strategy, they agreed to make big changes. But there was one unconventional change: They hit the gym with a vengeance.

Caprice, 40, a hospital technician, had been struggling to stick with an exercise routine. With time to spare, Mark told her he would lend a hand; he needed to work off his own stress.

“Me being out of work and trying to file for unemployment, going through hard times and tribulations — I told [Caprice], ‘You can be my inspiration, and I can be yours. We’ll keep each other motivated, even on days we don’t want nothing to do with the gym,’ ” Mark said.

Five days a week now, the couple works out side-by-side at a local gym where the annual membership is just $25.

The Wootens also started eating better. To save money, they cut out fried foods and pork, which got easier when they stopped eating out. Meals now are built around chicken, fish and vegetables. Caprice says she’s dropped 16 pounds, and Mark feels better than he has in a decade.

On the flip side of that coin, CNN also point out that in economic hard-times, people lose their health insurance, can’t afford their medicine, and in general put off going to see doctors. So they see it as sort of a win-lose kind of thing. You can read the whole article here .

My snide commentary aside, I actually do like seeing this sort of article (and fighting to squeeze the good from the bad is, after all, a large reason why we started this site in the first place). I’d like to think we will see a lot of good coming out of the next few years (amidst a whole lot of bad), and helping people get some sort of perspective in dealing with this daily crush of headlines is a good thing.

What do you think? Can you come up with something good that the current economic state is generating, or will eventually create? Why is the economic collapse a good thing?

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