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The Economics of Being Amish

Has anyone been following the turmoil on Wall Street?  Or is that considered just a "New York" thing far away?  My mother talks about the possible economic  "recession" we are in like it's a meteorite headed for her house.  I tell her: "MOM, don't watch the news 24/7!".  Sheesh, I'm not saying the economy is in the greatest look at the gas pump or grocery bill tells me that....but if all one did was watch the news you'd think the world was ending.

That said, our economy is undeniably under strain.  So, how does this impact the Amish?

It used to be that the Amish were fairly insulated from the economic cycle.  Even as recently as the "mega-recession" of the early 80s, the Amish were still far more agrarian than they are today.  Partly because of that early 80s recession (which saw farming accelerate in its collapse as a viable way to make a living) and partly due to increased population, the Amish of today are quite different economically than they once were. Some examples that come to mind:

Amish craftsman are valued for their high-end (and high priced) furniture, which tends to be low on peoples' priority list when things are tight. 

The Amish venture into grocery stores much more these days than they used they, too, are clobbered by inflation.

Many Amish men now work in factories. As manufacturing jobs head overseas, Amish men can find themselves unemployed, something unheard of a generation ago.

Amish tourism-related businesses tend to do OK during a downturn as people a more apt to seek travel opportunities closer to home.

Still, without cable bills, car payments, phone bills, health insurance, store-bought clothing and other expenses we all get clobbered with on a daily basis, the Amish tend to manage quite well even during the worst of economic times.

Re: The Economics of Being Amish


Isn't it interesting how these trends seem to follow whatever election cycle we are in??? If one looks at the unemployment rate, etc. things really are not what the media would have us believe.

Of course, there are those homes that no one has ever lived in that are having to be foreclosed on because the speculators kept buying and selling them among themselves with those funky loans.  I am thinking this might be the break some folks who have been priced out of buying a home can use. Buy a foreclosure.  In many instances they will be totally new at a bargain price.


LuvMaerz's picture
Re: The Economics of Being Amish

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."- Frank Zappa

 We have been working with our investment advisor on our retirement/401K/IRA stuff lately.  My husband keeps a pretty good eye on his 401K, and like all stocks, they aren't doing as well.  Our investment advisor told us that the economy often takes a downturn on election years because people are uncertain who the next President will be and what kind of changes/agenda they will have.  My parents recently sold 70 acres of hunting/farm land, and they were urged to sell it BEFORE the election, as the price of land may bottom out afterwards.  Who knows... this kind of thing isn't my forte... hand me a scalpel anyday Wink

Re: The Economics of Being Amish

This is true someone told me that it is an attempt to bash the Republicans, by saying that the economy is really really bad.  I don't watch the news either, we don't do TV, I do catch glimpses of it on the internet.  That is one thing I like about the Amish Cook, is the news is so much different than the bad stuff going on in the world.  Just so much lighter.

I think that the free economic system here is in need of some change and alot of what factories send out of the country to be produced needs to be brought home.  That would do good for lots of folks. 

Re: The Economics of Being Amish

I hardly watch the News anymore, I get so depressed just hearing about all the bad stuff going on around the world when I have enough problems going on in the "home front".  So for now I read books and find other things to do. :)

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: The Economics of Being Amish

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."- Frank Zappa

 It sure would be nice to not have to worry so much about the economy, etc.  If we didn't have all of these "necessary" bills to pay, maybe we could afford to have some more children!

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