Lent for rent
Please, make them stop. Maybe it's just us, but if we read one more story telling us how frugal we now are - and will probably forever be - we're going to take that pair of scissors that we are supposedly using to clip coupons and cut our wrists instead.
You just can't open a newspaper or magazine these days without being bombarded with tales of our newfound thriftiness - and related godliness - which, we are told, signals the end of conspicuous consumption as we know it. According to the media, the recession has changed us all, deeply, profoundly and forever. The New York Times, for one, has gone so far as to dub the young adults who are graduating into the crisis "Generation Recession." Its members will "most likely be shaped by a return to things that matter, a re-definition of values," the paper intones.
To be sure, it's hard to find anyone who hasn't curtailed his or her consumption in some way or another. And for people who have been out of their jobs or out of their homes for months, the recession is apt be a life-altering experience. But what about the 91 percent of the population that is still gainfully employed They may have given up, at least for now, spa vacations, $200 jeans and daily lattes, but have their "many decadent