We’ve all heard that the American economy is the greatest in the world. While that may be true, it’s important to understand the type of economy in which we live. Like other countries centuries ago, we started as an agricultural economy. The Industrial Revolution then gave us many technological advances which we take for granted today.
America has experienced many changes over the years. Personally, I believe we started becoming the world leader we are today during and after World War II. I also believe this was because we came together as a nation. America faced much adversity during that time, but as we learned at NC State, the people understood that the Strength of the Wolf is in the Pack. Everyone stepped up when needed. I encourage you to read about that era.
America has now been viewed as a service economy. I agree with this considering most manufacturing jobs have been moved to other countries. Our longer life spans require more healthcare services. More government services are needed to handle the increase in population. Think about all of the different services you use in a week and you can understand why people say we are in a service economy.
However, I say we are in an entertainment economy. My community is an hour away from Raleigh and 2 hours away from North Carolina beaches. It’s nice to be able to drive to the entertaining events at larger cities without having to stay there. Growing up in Pikeville, children complained there was nothing to do in Wayne County and people still have that complaint, but our community really has increased its entertainment opportunities.
No, we don’t have the size of Raleigh, but we have restaurants, shopping, a movie theater, winery tours, batting cages, golf, miniature golf, an arts council, theatre groups, gyms, night clubs, and bars. Don’t forget all of the opportunities for children in sports, dance, church groups, and clubs. Of course, because of technology at home, there are many opportunities to be entertained, so there aren’t many excuses for boredom.
Lack of funds is an excuse and that’s where financial planning helps. We have a finite amount of money and there are infinite ways to spend it. The hardest part of cutting our entertainment spending is overcoming our desire for constant entertainment. Perhaps one special family event a week is enough. We don’t need to do something special each day. If we do, then are those events really that special? Won’t we have to keep making those events bigger, better, and more expensive?
Sure, our economic growth is driven mostly by consumer spending, so some may say it’s our “duty” to spend. True, but we also must save for our future. Our generation does not have the pensions our parents may have had. Do we want our children paying our bills? We can safely assume the future cost of living will be higher. We must find a balance where we can enjoy and survive our entertainment economy.