Luxury or Necessity?
Can you live without your TV? Cell phone? Dishwasher? A Pew Research survey discovered that your answer in 2006 might have been different from now.
Cars were at the top with 88% of all respondents saying they needed one. But still, the number was 3% less than 2006. For microwave ovens, the recession created a massive switch with 21% fewer people saying they had to have one. For cell phones, as you might have guessed, opinion remained constant. For 2006 and 2009, 49% of all survey participants said that the cell phone was a necessity.
And, whether or not the recession directly affected you, your opinion about luxuries and necessities probably changed.
The Economic Lesson
Difficulty with paying rent or the mortgage was experienced by 21% of all respondents, contact with joblessness by 27%, and losing more than 20% in investment accounts by 47%. Seeing that so many people were specifically impacted while even those who had not been hit directly had a new outlook conveys the severity of the recent recession.
Do you feel that the 2009 stimulus package was an appropriate response?