Bad, Bad, Bad Economy

Much like everybody else in the country, our family is participating in activities closer to home.  The gas prices are out of this world and we are told that it will only get worse before it gets better.  My husband has predicted that we are sliding back to the 80’s economy only to slide further back to the 70’s and eventually the 30’s economy.  Hopefully this prediction is exaggerated.  However, after what I saw yesterday, I wonder if he might be seeing into the bleak future. 

In our effort to keep spending low but still have some fun, we have opted to not take a vacation this year and instead signed up for a membership with the local amusement park.  I remember attending the same park as a child and dreaded the long lines under the hot sun, the smelly people and the over priced snacks.  Thus it is part of the reason we had not attended the park since moving into the area 6 years ago.  However, after much begging from the kids and the nagging pocketbook screaming mercy, we relented and purchased season passes. 

Much to my suprise there were no long lines and few people that it almost makes me breathless.  We have only attended during the weekends when the park should be at its busiest.  I have been delighted to zip right up to the front and ride my favorites over and over without the stress of waiting.  Yesterday we rode the same water ride 5 times in a row within the period of one hour.  At one point we got off and asked if we could just wait near the front to ride again and were told to get back on the raft because nobody else was in there.  Has this ever happened before on a hot, Friday, summer evening?  Perhaps, but I suspect it is not common and I’m certain that two separate but very similar visits isn’t just a coincidence. 

The government seems to think that the stimulus checks they sent out will bounce us right back to the 90’s economy of happiness and spending.  Instead, I think most people are using that money to pay for gas, home energy, and rising grocery prices.  Many have realized they can’t just spend the government check on whatever suits their fancy and they certainly can’t keep using their already bulging credit cards.  Instead, most have begun to slow down household spending.  If the amusement park attendance is an indication of the future, we should see shorter lines and emptier carts for the rest of the year. 

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