Nowadays, you cannot wake up without hearing the words “credit crunch”. Somehow they manage to creep up in all topics of conversation; it has taken over every aspect of our lives. Just as the C words have shaken up the economic landscape of our time, I wonder how they would affect our emotional world as well.
My hypothesis is that while the crunch has left us financially depleted, it is potentially Cupid in disguise.
Apparently, sex workers in London’s Canary Wharf aren’t doing so well these days, as financiers and bankers are increasingly “tightening their belts” due to the recent string of events. Does a downturn in commercial sexual activity lead to domestic/ relationship bliss?
Take a walk in the main streets of America and western Europe and you may notice that people are not shopping as much, eating out less, and watching fewer movies in the theatres. According to a trustworthy source, consumer spending in the U.S. has halfed (which is what differntiates this recession from the last on in 01). Winter is quickly approaching. Despite a recent drop in gas prices, it won’t take long before households around the world start turning the heat down a notch, leaving fewer lights on, etc., in order to keep utility spending at bay.
Now that we’re not shopping, not eating out, the lights are off and the evenings are cold, what better thing to do than… er… cuddle up and enjoy the one thing that makes us happy and-- are you ready for this—is free? What is the one thing? I’ll leave it to your good imagination.
And if the media is right, and that the apocalypse is quickly descending upon us, then what better time to love? Is now the time to enter that crash-and-burn relationship? To tell him/her that it’s now or never? To love and to live with extreme fervor, as if there were no tomorrow?
Not only is it time for love, it’s also time for marriage. These are times where true love is tried and tested. For the bankers and financiers out there, these days they don’t quite have to worry so much whether their partners are in it for the money. And I bet you can get a pretty good deal with hotels and restaurants these days. And with the Pound quickly devaluing and with stocks and bonds turning into monopoly money, treating your friends and family to a nuptial bash seems like just as good a way as any to spend/ invest your fortune.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the babies, too. With unemployment rising, the household opportunity cost of having a baby actually goes down. Look on the bright side. You may have lost your job or an income, but at least now you don’t have to fret over childcare.
Love, I think, is a Giffen good.