Could the Bad Economy Turn Us Into Good People?

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"I'm not even doing this so I can get my inheritance early!" Photo: istockphoto

The Bad News: "Markets seem unable to shake the perception that the global economy is rapidly deteriorating," said the Journal, and the Dow fell again today by 79.89 points to 6547.05, its lowest close since April 14, 1997.
The Good News: One of the good things about 1997 is coming back soon, Melrose Place! This one will star Ashlee Simpson as the Sydney character. And possibly original cast member Heather Locklear. "If there is a god," sighs Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. [EW]

The Bad News: Even Warren "Be greedy when others are fearful" Buffett is sounding kind of fearful. The economy, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman said on CNBC today, "has fallen off a cliff ... Not only has the economy slowed down, people have changed their behavior like nothing I have ever seen.” And remember: Dude is old. [WSJ]
The Good News: But maybe it's changing our behavior for the good? Like we are becoming better people? With like, values and stuff? "It's kind of funny," one Chicago teacher told the Times today. "But I feel much more satisfied with the things money can't buy, like the well being of my family. I'm just not seeking happiness from material things anymore." [NYT]

The Bad News: "As in the Great Depression, world trade is collapsing, wealth is evaporating and the banking system is broken. Deflation is a growing threat as companies slash production, pay and prices. And leaders worldwide are having difficulty making headway in halting the self-perpetuating decline. 'This is going to scar the collective psyche,' says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com." [Bloomberg]
The Good News: When the going gets this tough, we like to look to the wise sage Jennifer Aniston for counsel. Jen proffers this spiritual advice in the current issue of Us Weekly: "I've always gone with the flow ... Life is what it is. I don't think we have any idea about what the future holds for us. I enjoy the moment because life goes on while you try to make plans; it's better to make the most of every second. So I just try to live in the present." Om. [Us]