American’s Top Resolution for 2010: Cherish the Experience over the (Insert Expensive Gizmo Here)

When thinking about new year’s resolutions for 2010, it feels like we’ve all been making a whole lotta resolutions for some time now. Say, since fall of 2008.  One trend that the NYTimes covered today was how Americans are cutting back on spending and beefing up on shared experiences. Families that used to shop together now canoe together. Aww.

My apologies for the sarcasm, but the news is a bit unnerving. It took something as economically catestrophic as the recession to make certain americans snap to-it, in terms of realizing the inherent value of their friends and family??

It’s not just me that values experiences, however.  Multiple studies show that experiences actually make people much happier than, say, shiny new posessions.  The initial joy of the purchase fades while the memory of the experience does not.  So maybe we, as a culture, are oddly enough, on the up-and-up, eh? Better late than never, I suppose.

P.S. In other recession-y news, do check out the below March Madness-style bracket created(and personally filled out) by U of C Sports Economist Allen Sanderson; it takes 64 factors of the recession and pits them against each other for ONE. ULTIMATE. CHAMPION. Each “team” description can also be found on the American Economic Association’s website. What a sweet 16 they make. . .

 


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