The economic decline has most Americans heading back to basics.

Hello, I’m Charlotte Bellis and you’re watching Newsy.com.

We’re looking at media coverage of the American consumer from Yahoo’s Tech-Ticker, The New York Times,  the News & Record and China Daily.

We begin with Yahoo’s Tech-Ticker.

It reports the American consumer faces a “permanent change” to their standard of living calling it the “end of rampant consumerism.”

“A lessoned standard of living is the result of an $8 trillion [U.S. dollar] negative wealth effect from declining home values. A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets. A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid "exploding unemployment", leading to "exploding bankruptcies." (Yahoo)

A video from Yahoo’s Tech-Ticker explains how American lives are going to be different.

“People are going to be in survival mode. They’re buying less toys, less apparel, less electronics, less jewelry, less everything that is in the mall. Fewer pairs of shoes, everything that you see in a mall they’re buying less of. What they’re gonna buy is food ‘cause they have to survive and they want it cheap. And they want body covering as opposed to designer goods. As the old stories go, you can wear last year’s clothes, you can’t eat last years food.” (Yahoo)

The New York Times examined the economic impact by profiling four couples…

“We’re very careful not to buy foolish things. We buy what’s necessary. We buy our needs instead of you know from out of our wants.”

“Billy definitely feels to a degree that he needs to be responsible for his family, and it really, really affects me I think, mentally, emotionally. The whole concept of living paycheck to paycheck… The disposable income at this point is sort of a thing of the past.” (The New York Times)

A newspaper from North Carolina – the News & Record explains how consumers are confused by conflicting advice on whether to spend or save, calling it the “paradox of thrift”…

“When the hamster wheel of American consumerism turns more slowly, the country's economic engine sputters. Consequently, politicians are looking for ways to keep consumers from hibernating through this financial winter.”
(News-Records)

When it comes to saving or spending… China Daily offers the view that the Chinese economy is stronger because of old habits.

“Compared with their US counterparts who have long got accustomed to overspending, Chinese people have developed a tradition of savings since ancient times.” (China Daily)

BusinessWeek reports that Americans account for nearly a quarter of global consumption, which is three times more than China and India combined, but is slowing at a record pace. (BusinessWeek)

Is it better to spend to help jumpstart an economy – or to save for the future? What’s your philosophy – save or spend?

We invite you to share your thoughts with us, and be sure to check out our sources.

I’m Charlotte Bellis for Newsy.com, where multiple perspectives help provide the real story.

U.S. Changed: Save or Spend?

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Feb 20, 2009

U.S. Changed: Save or Spend?

The economic decline has most Americans heading back to basics.

Hello, I’m Charlotte Bellis and you’re watching Newsy.com.

We’re looking at media coverage of the American consumer from Yahoo’s Tech-Ticker, The New York Times,  the News & Record and China Daily.

We begin with Yahoo’s Tech-Ticker.

It reports the American consumer faces a “permanent change” to their standard of living calling it the “end of rampant consumerism.”

“A lessoned standard of living is the result of an $8 trillion [U.S. dollar] negative wealth effect from declining home values. A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets. A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid "exploding unemployment", leading to "exploding bankruptcies." (Yahoo)

A video from Yahoo’s Tech-Ticker explains how American lives are going to be different.

“People are going to be in survival mode. They’re buying less toys, less apparel, less electronics, less jewelry, less everything that is in the mall. Fewer pairs of shoes, everything that you see in a mall they’re buying less of. What they’re gonna buy is food ‘cause they have to survive and they want it cheap. And they want body covering as opposed to designer goods. As the old stories go, you can wear last year’s clothes, you can’t eat last years food.” (Yahoo)

The New York Times examined the economic impact by profiling four couples…

“We’re very careful not to buy foolish things. We buy what’s necessary. We buy our needs instead of you know from out of our wants.”

“Billy definitely feels to a degree that he needs to be responsible for his family, and it really, really affects me I think, mentally, emotionally. The whole concept of living paycheck to paycheck… The disposable income at this point is sort of a thing of the past.” (The New York Times)

A newspaper from North Carolina – the News & Record explains how consumers are confused by conflicting advice on whether to spend or save, calling it the “paradox of thrift”…

“When the hamster wheel of American consumerism turns more slowly, the country's economic engine sputters. Consequently, politicians are looking for ways to keep consumers from hibernating through this financial winter.”
(News-Records)

When it comes to saving or spending… China Daily offers the view that the Chinese economy is stronger because of old habits.

“Compared with their US counterparts who have long got accustomed to overspending, Chinese people have developed a tradition of savings since ancient times.” (China Daily)

BusinessWeek reports that Americans account for nearly a quarter of global consumption, which is three times more than China and India combined, but is slowing at a record pace. (BusinessWeek)

Is it better to spend to help jumpstart an economy – or to save for the future? What’s your philosophy – save or spend?

We invite you to share your thoughts with us, and be sure to check out our sources.

I’m Charlotte Bellis for Newsy.com, where multiple perspectives help provide the real story.

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