Recession's Silver Lining: We're Content With Less

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2009 1:44 PM CDT
A homeless man clears out from his encampment in Sacramento.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Americans are embracing the no-frills attitude necessitated by the recession, USA Today reports. One-third say they are spending less and plan to keep up the practice as their “new, normal” way of living, according to a study. A whopping 47% of Americans say they have all they need, another study shows, up from 34% in 2006. “The silver lining is that people are coming to realize they can live with less and their lives are richer for it,” a professor says.

“People are feeling forced and inspired to get back to what is core to them,” an author says. Films and websites devoted to consuming less and being environmentally conscious have seen an upsurge in views, and people are turning out in droves to attend self-help courses in weathering the downturn. One course, in “voluntary simplicity,” has seen enrollment jump 50% in the last year.