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The economy - a random discussion

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 
Edited out my OP, since the discussion doesn't have much to do with what I originally intended.
post #2 of 123
Yeah, I know what you mean, I had the same experience with a different story. The Washington Post ran a story about how many kids are being left home alone because their parents can't pay for childcare at their new jobs. They were pretty much finding them because the school age kids were truant because they were staying home to watch infants and toddlers.
post #3 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys View Post
Yeah, I know what you mean, I had the same experience with a different story. The Washington Post ran a story about how many kids are being left home alone because their parents can't pay for childcare at their new jobs. They were pretty much finding them because the school age kids were truant because they were staying home to watch infants and toddlers.
That is very sad
post #4 of 123
I've been hearing so much bad news from my DH's family back in CA,it has me so rattled.Our BIL was just fired from his job and his wife is only doing tax work right now.DH's dad just got fired and his mom was forced into an early retirement from Mervyn's which just went out of business.Dh's cousin was renting a house and a lady came asking why she was living there since it was now bank owned.The owner had been pocketing his cousin's rent checks.Now, she has 30 days and the last rent check to find a new place for she and her 5 kids in an area of the state that is the poorest in the best of times.I keep hoping that I don't hear any bad news from my side of the family.We are facing the idea that DH might have to reenlist to be prudent....and freedom is so close for us.
post #5 of 123
I feel guilty. For the time being we are well insulated from the effects on the economy. I can't do anything to help. I worry about family but I wouldn't even be able to open my house to them if it came to it.
post #6 of 123
I know this is really petty but I feel a little vindicated. My dh was unemployed for 18 months, a few months of 2006, ALL of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. We got so many comments and useless suggestions. SO much judgment and "I'd work at McDonalds to support my family" type comments. Well, McDonalds doesn't want to hire an administrative assistant. They want someone in the food industry. While we were living on our credit cards, we got charitable donations in our name gifts. It's great people do that but it kinda hurts when you can't afford food. Hopefully people will be a little less judgmental about unemployed people now.
post #7 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by crittersmom View Post
Dh's cousin was renting a house and a lady came asking why she was living there since it was now bank owned.The owner had been pocketing his cousin's rent checks.Now, she has 30 days and the last rent check to find a new place for she and her 5 kids in an area of the state that is the poorest in the best of times.
If I'm not mistaken, there are new federal laws about protecting tenants of foreclosures. Perhaps they didn't pass or there are restrictions, but I would have her look into it. She may be able to pay her rent to the bank. Just a thought.

As to the OP's questions. I am not at all numb to what is going on. What is happening is a significant and historical period of time. I feel more and more everyday that we are at the beginning of a depression. If you become numb or close your eyes, you're going to be the hardest hit. People need to really pay attention these days. Ignoring the news doesn't make it go away. When you have your head in the sand, your backside is in the air.

I'm not trying to be gloomy, but the outlook is not good and there is nothing good that can come from ignoring it or becoming numb to it. The question right now is... are you the grasshopper or the ant?

As to the personal impact... dh is a tenured professor and while he seems to have a recession-/depression-proof job in a discipline that has the same staying ability we don't assume we are bullet-proof. I have a good friend whose dh has lost his job. They come over once a week for dinner and we send them home with some extras. We continue to stock up and are now able to start put away some for family that will most likely end up sleeping on our couch.
post #8 of 123
No, not numb. For example, I pretty much dropped the idea of my husband finding real work sometime last year. Now he is in school full-time for at least the rest of the year.

As soon as my tax check comes in and a few others, all of my major irregular expenses will be paid for a year plus a 4-5 month FFEF. The only thing to really do is keep saving and waiting to see if an ax falls or not. In the case of my current job, that seems fairly unlikely before the year is out. As long as the job lasts until next tax season, things should be decent enough for me.
post #9 of 123
I feel completely paranoid and just never at ease. My job is safe- for now. But I have been looking at emergency exit plans. I can't count on my job existing next year. I've been taking on any babysitting or tutoring job I can get my hands on, which hasn't been very much at all. I have plenty of cans in my pantry, but only enough to get me through twenty days, so I need to buy more for sure.
post #10 of 123
Thread Starter 
Whoa, okay, maybe numb was the wrong word for it. My point was, it's no longer shocking to hear about most of these things anymore. While I feel for people losing their jobs, it's becoming so much of the norm lately, that it seems sad to me (as I know it is for most, esp those that have lost their jobs).

THAT is what I meant. Maybe it's a wee bit better explanation and won't get anyone in a huff.

Like most, I am worried, pinching pennies, trying to plan for the future as much as possible and so on. But hearing from a friend that she has lost her job, or that my DH's work hours are being cut - it's just not as shocking to me anymore. But then I heard that some of the school districts would be letting kids out for the summer earlier than usual - and it hit me all over again.

Carry on.
post #11 of 123
oh yeah. I cant tell you how paranoid I am on a daily basis. My fil just got layed off, hes 62. He was a national manager for a large food company. what the heck is he going to do now. Dhs job is always laying off.
My question what happens when there is no more unemployment because there are so many people on it. what happens then?
post #12 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
For the time being we are well insulated from the effects on the economy. I can't do anything to help. I worry about family but I wouldn't even be able to open my house to them if it came to it.
I know what you mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
I know this is really petty but I feel a little vindicated. .... Hopefully people will be a little less judgmental about unemployed people now.
In a way, I know what you mean. As young college students starting a family, we have been poor and trying to live frugally and makes ends meet and avoid debt for five years. Now we are finally doing well-- our hard work and our sensible economizing is paying off in these harder times, while other people who were overspending and living beyond their means are crashing and burning. It feels like "I told you so" but at the same time, I feel really bad for them, too.

On the other hand, though, I often felt tempted to spend more than we did, so I feel like we actually came really close to being one of the ones who was feeling the repercussions . . . It was our religious beliefs that kept us on the straight and narrow financially speaking, so, if not for God's guidance, I probably would be in a bad place financially, too. So that's humbling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
What is happening is a significant and historical period of time. I feel more and more everyday that we are at the beginning of a depression. If you become numb or close your eyes, you're going to be the hardest hit. People need to really pay attention these days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by UberMama View Post
Whoa, okay, maybe numb was the wrong word for it. My point was, it's no longer shocking to hear about most of these things anymore.
I know what you mean.
post #13 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by I~love~pie View Post
My question what happens when there is no more unemployment because there are so many people on it. what happens then?
Probably a WPA-type program, I'm guessing.
post #14 of 123
No not numb, but I do feel empathy for those folks going thru hard times. However, on the other hand I almost feel that this is a good thing. America was leading the charge in over consumption, living on the edge of credit use and outrageous home prices compared to all historical numbers.

We saw all this coming a few years back and thus prepared by getting rid of our debt, lowering expenses and expectations as well as learning new skills. We are far from done on this quest, but we did start.

I really have no control over my job, I feel pretty insulated as I am now the only person in my department, but even that is not a gaurentee of anything. I try to only worry about the things I can control and influence myself.

So while I do have real empathy for those losing jobs and are now facing tough personal situations, I almost feel at times that it's the greater good for Americans, the world really, and the collective "we" has finally had a bit of a wake up call.

Personally, I think it's going to get worse, a lot worse before it gets any better. And in all honsetly what I worry more about these days is the monetary system. Our dollar has long since been anything more that pretty painted paper and the last stimulus as well as the new stimulus in the works only compounds the problems. When I see our government doing the same things that have failed time and time again in history, but expecting different results.....
post #15 of 123
Not a local news story, but our office has an opening for a driver. (Two of our drivers got themselves fired for testing positive on drug tests). So, boss put an ad out on Monday. We got about 500-600 phone calls and 300 applicants and boss is going to pick out the 20 best to run MVRs on and call references. He can only hire ONE guy.

Some of the guys (and two gals) have got real bad sob stories. One worked for Coke for 10 years and they laid him off 8 months ago - right after his wife got pregnant with their third. Another fellow was working for the city for nearly 30 years and got laid off just a few years before full retirement. Another guy owned his own business for many years, and just closed himself down, after laying guys off one at a time over the last year.

None of these people coming in to fill out applications know they are competing with HUNDREDS of other guys. It's sad. And I am more and more amazed at our two fired guys who tested positive on their regularly scheduled annual exams.
post #16 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
Some of the guys (and two gals) have got real bad sob stories. One worked for Coke for 10 years and they laid him off 8 months ago - right after his wife got pregnant with their third. Another fellow was working for the city for nearly 30 years and got laid off just a few years before full retirement. Another guy owned his own business for many years, and just closed himself down, after laying guys off one at a time over the last year.

None of these people coming in to fill out applications know they are competing with HUNDREDS of other guys.
post #17 of 123
Oh, and one of my husband's coworkers is competing for "Idiot of the Year", too. He's coming in late, leaving early, smoking in Village vehicles (violation of not only his boss' rule, but also the Village regulations AND the Smoke Free Illinois Act) and in the shop around flammable materials. He doesn't respond to his phone when he is on call at night - he claims he put it on vibrate and didn't wake up, but he always is hung over the next morning.

If he wasn't union, he'd have already been fired.
post #18 of 123
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post #19 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by UberMama View Post
THAT is what I meant. Maybe it's a wee bit better explanation and won't get anyone in a huff.
I think I know exactly what you meant - a feeling of numbness from feeling overwhelmed. You can only store so much rice. Pinching pennies won't work forever. No matter how frugal a family is, there is still a need for income. The fattest emergency fund won't last indefinitely. The situation causes me an amazing amount of anxiety, mostly because there are so many variables out of our individual control.

That said, these things have historically always turned around. We're not still living in the Great Depression. I don't say that flippantly, coming from a family who survived the Depression...in the Dust Bowl...as immigrants who didn't speak English. That experience dramatically shaped my family history, not always for the good, but we're still here to tell the tale.
post #20 of 123
On one hand, I feel similarly to Denvergirlie. I do think that the course we were on previously was unsustainable. The bubble had to burst sometime. Our current economic situation doesn't surprise me, but I do have empathy for those who are having a difficult time right now.

The biggest shocker for me in the past few months was when I was talking to a friend who works in the banking industry. His bank has had to lay off employees, and the executives who were in charge of making the layoff decisions were getting death threats.
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