Could Tightening The Belt Be Good For The Brains?

Illustration for article titled Could Tightening The Belt Be Good For The Brains?

Here's one of those nebulous studies that explains everything about the modern world: two neuroscientists made the case in the New York Times today that a recession is good news for whipping America's remaining brain cells back into working order. No wonder Fox News is so scared! Here's how it works: apparently "tightening our belts" will be tough at first, like Retin-A. Using all our willpower to tame our wild urges to buy regrettable items on credit will make us lazy. We may even gain weight. But over time, the willpower will come naturally. And the weight will glide right off! Plus, we may actually be able to accomplish such monumental mental tasks as reading highbrow books instead of squandering all our leisure time on watching all those horrible Bravo shows that are making us miserable.


Maybe this also explains why super-poor countries find it so easy to embrace super-restrictive religious sects requiring them to pray five times a day and not drink or wear miniskirts? Don't worry though, America has weapons to protect us from getting that poor.

Tighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your Mind [NY Times]
Nigeria's Immorality Is About Hypocrisy, Not Miniskirts [Guardian]
Down The Tube: the Sad Stats On Happiness, Money, And TV [WSJ]

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My understanding is that not all those super poor countries freely embrace super strict religions. I think there might be some force behind accepting a super restrictive religion for some folks.