5 counterintuitive ways you can spur the economic recovery [The conversation]
--Move out of your parents' house. Consider rent for an apartment -- not to mention furniture, cleaning supplies, cable, food for when your friends come over -- a down payment on your country's future. (It may pay off in your personal life too. Living with mom can really kill your game.)
--Get married. The wedding industry is flush with cash. As someone who's normally prudent and unconcerned with anything fussy, I can tell you from recent experience that the wedding biz creates a fantasy land that renders brides/moms/grandmas powerless in a world of dreamy dresses, feathery accessories, shimmery tablecloths, decadent dessert bars, personalized stationery -- all of which must be budgeted for.
--Have a baby. Think you're being responsible by waiting out the downturn before bringing a baby into this world? So did I. But actually, having babies may just be the trick to paving a path to a brighter tomorrow. And not just because babies are super cute when they smile. Rather than resisting your biological clock, have a baby, move out of your one-bedroom apartment into a bigger, pricier place, start buying more food, hire a babysitter -- you get the point. Trailblazers, I encourage you to procreate (so that I may follow your footsteps in a few years).
--Go on a shopping spree. And don't feel guilty about it. It's not spending with reckless abandon when your cash is going toward stimulating the economy and your sales tax fees are helping out our state.
--Cheer up. Optimism won't just change your personal outlook; it may just save the economy.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Shoppers crowd into the Ann Taylor at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Black Friday. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times