Release the brakes …

… and let’s push this thing down the hill.

One thing history teaches us is that we don’t learn from history.

Australia wasn’t hit as hard by the global financial crisis as other countries but we’ve certainly been affected. Now that there are promising signs of recovery, it seems that we’re getting ready to go out and start the cycle all over again. We’re addicted to spending and trying to fill our lives with ‘stuff’ and so many feel that we’ve got the green light to heat up the credit cards again.

Recent positive economic signs from the US make me wonder whether the same is about to happen all over the world.

We made the mistake of being too careless with money, mostly other people’s money, and it seems we’re getting ready to do it all over again. Rather than learning the lessons and starting to live within an adjusted budget, we just want to spend, spend, spend. is reporting that confidence has returned and we haven’t learnt a thing. They say that research is showing that Australians are “over” the global financial crisis and are again ready to worry about the things that troubled them in the last boom.

Almost two out of three consumers (65 per cent) are prepared to spend the same amount or more this Christmas, the report found. But the reprieve for the economy, and the boost for the Federal Government, is tempered by the return of old concerns, The Weekend Australian reported.

“The three issues that came up in discussions were all about health, roads and transport, and education – the failure of state governments and the public system in general to provide decent services,” research director Rebecca Huntley said yesterday.

“These were the things that people were worried about leading up to the last federal election and, unlike petrol and food prices, expect federal governments to do something about, especially in a second term.”

In a separate report, they’re saying that our biggest bank is telling its staff to push more debt onto its customers through loans and credit cards.

So how about you? Has the financial downturn caused you to look at your spending habits? Are you more concerned about budgeting than you were, knowing that financial circumstances can change overnight?

I wonder if we’ll all just return to spending more on the latest and greatest ‘stuff’ for ourselves and forget that people in developing countries, through no fault of their own, were hit the hardest by the crisis and will be the last ones to ‘recover’.

Are you ready to release the brakes, push this thing down the hill, and hope that it doesn’t go wildly out of control and crash once again?

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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