Currently, the entire world is experiencing an economic crisis of frightening proportions. A crisis of this magnitude has not existed since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The U.S. was struggling economically leading up to the crisis. High oil prices, rapidly foreclosing homes, a rising unemployment rate, the weakening dollar, decreasing international popularity, and a tremendous national debt were all indicators of a country heading for trouble.
[...] Overzealous people took out loans on homes that were far out of their socioeconomic range. The CEO's of American car companies continued their lavish spending even as the economy made a downturn. One good that can come out of the current recession is a decrease in the influence of materialism. People now have to be more careful about how much money they spend and what they spend it on. Many people will have to cut down on the amount of choices they make. Also, lots [...]
[...] Making the wrong choice is much more detrimental to our financial and social well-being. According to Schwartz, an opportunity cost is the subjective value of passing up one opportunity in favor of another. With more choices these days, opportunity costs have become more prevalent in our lives. Also, with the increased importance of choice, opportunity costs have come to play a great role in our lives. The increased awareness of these costs creates great stress in people's lives. As mentioned before, making the wrong choice could lead to later problems. [...]
[...] These include choosing when to choose, being a chooser and not a picker, “satisficing” (choosing something that is simply good enough) more and maximizing less, thinking about the opportunity costs of opportunity costs, making your decisions nonreversible, practicing an “attitude of gratitude”, regretting fewer decisions, anticipating adaptation, controlling expectations, curtailing social comparison, and learning to love constraints (p. 222-235). I agree with Schwartz's idea that choices add a lot of stress and unhappiness to people's lives. I cannot vouch for Schwartz, but I also believe that the American infatuation with materialism has gotten out of hand. [...]
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