"Today, years after the recovery, even well-off Japanese households use old bath water to do laundry, a popular way to save on utility bills. Sales of whiskey, the favorite drink among moneyed Tokyoites in the booming ’80s, have fallen to a fifth of their peak. And the nation is losing interest in cars; sales have fallen by half since 1990." (Click here for the rest.)
I think we're in too much of a panic over this economic crisis. Things won't get worse than they already are. Our economy has been in a rut for the longest time, so it will be more of the same. How can you believe that Filipinos are so hard up when they're still at the mall eating, watching movies and shopping? Heck, even our househelp who comes in three times a week has bought a new TV recently! How? She sells Avon products. And according to her, people are still buying the products.
Unless you are in the export business, or in garments, or semi-conductors, you will still have a job tomorrow. But of course, you won't get a raise this year. Let me rephrase that...there are some exporters who will fold up this year, but some will keep growing. I've already interviewed two separate exporters who are projecting more than 10% growth in 2009. (Will post their stories soon.)
So if you have enough financial resources, go ahead and spend. Don't be shy if you are among the privileged class. But instead of buying foreign brands, may I encourage you to go local? You will help keep the economy afloat. Consider it your patriotic duty.