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Voices of MainStreet: April Lee

Sacrifices: Over Our Heads

April 1, 2011

From what books say and from what I can imagine, this decade’s “sacrifice” is nothing like what was sacrificed 60+ years ago when World War II was fought. Neither is this current war. I doubt very few people hesitated to call WWII a war like we do now when speaking about our military involvement in the Middle East.  It’s safe to say most Americans felt quite passionately justified to strike Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, but since America’s invasion into Iraq, the support has dwindled, which leaves a lot of us feeling quite strange since we are still involved.

Certainly, we feel the effects of inflation and higher unemployment while we hang on to what we have. I don’t feel we are sacrificing in this decade for the “war” so much as we are feeling the impact of the flux of the market: supply and demand. They are shortages; not sacrifices.

For WWII, the majority of Americans were willing set aside luxuries and work to support the troops. Right now, there is no support for the war and we are not willing to sacrifice. Is the unwillingness due to lack of support for our involvements overseas or is the unwillingness more about a different generation with different priorities? The most damaging is the latter. Most people will know what I mean when I call this younger generation the “Entitled Generation.” There are two types of people on welfare and government programs: Those who need it and those who simply don’t care enough to not need it. I’m afraid a lot of my experience is filled with people of this last group’s mentality. Now is a time of need but now is also a time of being creative and figuring out how to not lean on the government as much since we are in so much financial trouble. They are cutting spending anyway. Now people will be forced to figure something out.

I don’t think my generation is only full of those who are lazy and careless. Plenty of my friends do care about sacrificing but I can’t say that is the majority thinking. We are all about instant gratification. Put it on the credit card so I can have it now. Take out a loan so I can have it now. Is the 52” TV necessary right now even if it’s on sale? Most likely it isn’t. Even in this economic state, I see people trying to take out more loans. Whatever happened to saving up for something? You can still give back to the economy and help it grow by saving and buying out right. Loans and crediting is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Things are tight but they aren’t so bad. Our problem isn’t the recession but that we’ve been spoiled.

—April is a well-traveled young woman planting her roots in sunny Seattle, or well, just Seattle. Her writing covers whatever piques her interest and curiousity. Check out her blog here.

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