At heart I'm an optimist and I've been thinking about the good that can evolve out of the current economic recession and here is one of them:
Americans Can (Finally) Relax
I understand the current economic climate can cause stress. I feel it everyday with the pressure to produce more with less. I'm living in a county which recorded a 9.9% unemployment rate in Dec. 2008, which is well above Florida's unemployment rate of 7.8% and the nation's rate of 7.1% (Source: Charlotte County Economic Development, Jan. 2009 Economic Indicator Report). I heard about the State of California's "furlough Fridays" where employees are having to take two unpaid days off a month. Time off without pay sucks, I know, I was working in Everglades National Park during the 1995/96 federal government shutdown when U.S. National Parks were closed for about three weeks.
But let's look at the flip side. Maybe the economic recession will force companies, businesses, and agencies to three-day weekends and four-day workweeks. Would that be all bad? We'd have more time to recharge, relax, and reconnect with family or get other work done and that's priceless.
There would be time for a hobby or to work on an independent business. Maybe businesses would return to being closed on the weekends and we would live in a less-hurried world. We would have the chance to appreciate what we have and what really matters.
Plus, if businesses stayed closed for an additional day, they'd be saving money, not just in salary but with utility bills. And, three-day weekends would encourage more travel, which is an economic stimulus.
If this does happen, I only hope people wouldn't work on those days off, which I plead guilty to working during my time off. Are there other good things about the economic recession? Yup, stay tuned.