1 response for this discussion (300 words)

“Previous recessions left a bruise where people made short-term sacrifices … but [then] returned to old habits” when the economy rebounded, according to Pat Conroy, vice chairman and US products leader at New York-based Deloitte. The past recession, however, ‘really left a scar.’ Consumers reported “tremendous feelings of guilt and remorse about how they used to shop … They told us they felt guilty because they were wasteful.”

This quote shows that buying behavior among consumers is a form of culture, where in the US, citizens are accustomed to the high-end buying and do not make consideration of whether they will utilize all the features in a product before buying. Their logic and decision-making framework for engaging in buying is based on the availability of many features on a product and the high cost of the product. This is evident throughout the article and is reiterated in this quote when the author indicates that previous recessions have seen many buyers reduce spending in the short term before resuming high-end buying after the recession subsides. This trend was, however, not witnessed in the 2008-2009 recession period since most shoppers abandoned their high-end shopping habits in favor of the low-cost buying, citing a realization of remorse and guilt for their wasteful shopping habits.

Although a recession period is a worse encounter for any nation or economy, it is evident that the previous recession acted as a learning period for many consumers since they realized that economic wellbeing is a continuous phenomenon and required preparation and active engagement in habits that truly promoted the wellbeing. The last recession brought with it many lessons to consumers, who after lacking what they thought was a norm – high-end buying, reverted to guilt and remorse as the only ways of easing their frustrations and suffering during the period.

The experience of the recession was thus intense and humbling and helped most US citizens to change their shopping habits. The adverse event in their life changed the cultural practices of US citizens pertaining to buying behavior, helping them to embrace better financial management practices. Most families started specializing in buying cheaper goods and forfeiting the less necessary goods altogether. This change in behavior in the population shows a change in cultural beliefs and practices pertaining to buying behavior.

The change in the buying habits of US citizens indicates that the 2008-2009 recession was the most devastating in history. This is considering that earlier recessions witnessed a trend where citizens could only make short-term sacrifices and revert to older habits. This trend in the change of cultural practices indicates that adverse events in the life of an individual have a greater probability of influencing permanent behavioral changes. This phenomenon is consistent with behavioral theories, which indicate that individuals learn from the stimuli in their environment and quickly adjust their behavior to ensure that they survive.

In consideration of economic theories, it is true that high-end buying behavior is wasteful and a poor strategy of financial management. As such, the population adopted a better strategy in financial management that would help them to improve their financial stability. This is a good strategy for preparing for any unprecedented future recessions. In consideration of Pat Conroy’s use of the word “scar,” it can be argued that scars are good since they remind an individual of the bad habit that caused the scar, giving long-lasting lessons to the bearer. In general, the recession had a major positive impact on the population – forming their financial management strategies.

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