Friday, May 16, 2008

The myth that tourism is a basis for a local economy... about to get busted. Too bad the learning curve is awfully steep. My community leaders certainly don't get it - yet.

TRAVEL - The Summer of Our Discontent
Are high gas prices killing the family road trip?
By Linda Stern | Newsweek Web Exclusive
May 15, 2008 | Updated: 1:16 p.m. ET May 15, 2008

Here comes the summer of our discontent. Economic pessimism and high prices on gas and food have Americans in a sour mood and curtailing their vacation plans, though they probably need those stress-busting breathers more than ever. Just ask Amy and Adam Geurden of Hollandtown, Wisc., parents of Eric, 6, Holly, 3, and Jake, 2. "We were going to take lots of weekends and short trips with the kids," says Amy. "We were going to go to the Wisconsin Dells, the Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, to Chicago and Door County." Then Amy did the math: 17 miles per gallon in the Chevy Suburban and $4 a gallon gas. Now the Guerdens are planning a "staycation" around the backyard swimming pool instead. "I'm really disappointed," she says.

So is almost everyone else. Almost 60 percent of Americans are cutting back their vacation plans because of gas prices....

And of the remaining 40%, about 5% are so rich they don't care, and the other 35% haven't sat down and done the math yet, or been told by their boss yet that there won't be any raises this year (since many companies and municipalities have fiscal years that start in July), or got socked with that end of winter "adjustment" bill from their local utility company...

The article goes on to suggest some ideas for - wait for it - relocalizing. But just "going on vacation" closer to home is not going to cut it for most people. Most people will not be going "on vacation" anytime in the next several years or more. And the economies we have built on importing goods, travel, commuting, and tourism are going to break under the pressure.

It is extremely amusing to me to hear people say that private school is "non-negotiable" and 2 cars, mostly SUVs are "indispensable," and that they "don't need" to sit down and do any serious financial analysis of their situation because things "have" to get better.

No, class, they don't "have" to get better.

We "have" to readjust the false paradigm that we have been brainwashed to think are "non-negotiable." As more and more wives with low to mid-paying jobs actually start to make their household budgets worse instead of better due to the sheer cost of that second car and gasoline expenses, I expect to see an incredible amount of resources and opportunities go down the drain as people try and make any and every adjustment to avoid admitting the feminist paradigm is a failure and that the old-fashioned social contract is the only viable economic formula for making our communities work out here in the real world, where "perpetual growth" of income and resources is impossible.

And relocalization of manufacturing, crafts, trades, skills, farming, and services is going to have to be a big part of that paradigm shift. Another big part of it is that things that used to be unpaid labour, such as childcare, eldercare, homeschooling, community services, and so on are going to have to return to being unpaid. And yes, women are most likely going to have to do the bulk of the unpaid work as mothers and wives who stay home to take care of the needs of the children, parents, extended family, education, community and religious obligations. There will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the feminists, but they'll just have to get over it.

We can't keep hemorrhaging our limited money into the failed centralized systems, and we can't keep shoving off our own personal obligations onto the paid economy when there simply isn't enough money to do so. The only way communities are going to survive peak oil and the recession that is already here is to reduce living expenses - and that means pulling out of things we can no longer afford. Relocalized communities don't need cars. They don't need to pay tuition. They don't need to import food or goods from halfway across the world.

But unlike the Amish, we DO care what the world thinks of us - we are very much plugged into it. The worldly materialistic culture has swallowed Jewish culture, lock, stock and barrel. That's a fact. And being spit back out is going to be a painful process - and it's either that, or be digested.

Pick one.

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