We listen to a great deal of NPR (aka National Proletariat Radio in Omaha). We also read the LA Times. Like many families, we have been discussing the global financial meltdown. What I didn't expect, was for Iris to pipe in with useful suggestions.
How did a 7 year old come by her financial wisdom? From Nancy Drew, of course.
In Bad Times, Big Crimes, Nancy time travels back to River Heights, circa the great depression. She finds her hometown in desperate straits and the populace easy prey for crooks. Iris learned that the great depression was characterized by a lack of money, but not necessarily lacking in opportunities.
For instance, the school district didn't have money to pay a teacher, the teacher couldn't pay her rent, and she ended up living in one of the shanty-towns nicknamed "Hooverville". The kids went without schooling. But, Nancy thought, what if people paid the teacher in goods and services instead of money?
In another case, the grocer needed help, and a teenager's family needed food. The grocer didn't have money to pay for labor and the family did not have money to pay for food. She brought the two together and suggested a swap of the teen's after school labor for groceries.
Iris said that all the stories recently talked about a lack of money, which may be true. But we have other things of value besides money.
Remember the scene in I know where I am going when Joan Webster calls the locals poor? Torquil MacNeil answers, "They aren't poor, they just haven't any money." There is a difference.
If ever there was a time to shop your local small businesses, it is now.