TEXT OF COMMENTARY
KAI RYSSDAL: You heard Bob Moon just a couple of minutes ago. Recession’s in the air more every day now. Which would be bad news for just about everyone from business-owners to mortgage-holders. But commentator Moira Manion says those who don’t have much, don’t have much to lose.
MOIRA MANION: I’ve witnessed recessions kill off businesses large and small. I’ve seen recessions cost people their jobs.
I smell a new recession in the offing. Trust me. I know the scent. And I’m not the least bit concerned.
I have no debt. No credit cards. No mortgage. No car. No cell phone. I don’t owe student loans. I have no financial obligations at all, beyond wishing to pay back friends who gave me money to pay my rent. This is because I’m poor. After taxes, I net $1,200 a month. But my monthly expenses are only $920. As long as I live frugally, and nothing goes wrong, I can get by.
If a recession hits and the store I work for goes out of business, I can easily get another minimum-wage job in this Servant Economy. Since I have no debt to worry about, I can survive with an even lousier job.
No, the people who need to worry are the people I see every day: Customers with 10 credit cards that are all maxed out. People with two cars, two kids, a mortgage and no savings. The fresh-out-of-college guy who bought a $190,000 condo, while owing $40,000 in student loans, and who still hasn’t found his ‘dream job.’ How are they going to weather the inevitable recession storm if they lose their jobs? Where will they go for help when public services have been cut?
Here are some radical suggestions. Cut up the credit cards. Give up the $4 coffee. Take the bus. Learn to do without.
So bring on the recession! I’ll survive. Will you?
RYSSDAL: Moira Manion works retail at the airport in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
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