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So... do you REALLY think we are headed for a New Depression?

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
I know a lot of people are panicking. The markets are tanking. People are losing jobs. But...

Deep down, do you really think that the economy will slide into a Depression? Do you think this is some updated version of 1929 all over again, or do you think this is a hiccup? I'm not looking for any market analysis or anything. I read Paul Krugman, too. (kidding). Seriously, what is your *gut* feel... beyond just the facts and into impressions.

How do you envision life being different if we do or do not? Do you think your frugality has prepared you for the future?
post #2 of 104
Velo, for you to be asking this question, it makes me nervous. I'll just fess up and put this out there, but I do think we are headed for an extended recession/depression.

I decided this back in the spring when I saw this www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse Only the first 1/3 or so was online, but after watching it, I made DH watch it. Then we freaked for a few days.

Then we started preparing. Stockpiling. Getting out of the stockmarket. Expanded our garden. Put in fruit bushes. Started researching how to reduce our reliance on the grid. Hoarding cash (but not gold; I draw the line somewhere). I thought I was nuts. I still feel nuts. I refused to let DH even talk to our family about it. But all the while, I started preparing.

By this summer, as housing starts slipped further, commodities crept up, through international newswires I read about how the US economy was being perceived, I was fairly certain. I dug deeper, analyzing housing and banking spreadsheets.

We talked with our parents. They said something along the lines of "yeah the economy sucks. Gas prices sure are high. Guess I will try to find someone to carpool with to work." But no real recongition that their way of life -- with three cars, a heated pool, and copious use of credit to buy disposable goods -- isn't sustainable; our economy was on ever shakier ground.

So, yeah. In my *gut* I feel the economy is tanking. I think there will be one more brief rally and then a lot further to bottom.
post #3 of 104
I don't think it'll be another depression. My gut tells me things will be just fine.
post #4 of 104
My gut tells me if people take a deep breath and quit freaking out, things will be fine.
post #5 of 104
Yes, I think we are headed toward "Depression 2.0" (as Time Mag called it) . Very much so.
post #6 of 104
I am concerned to some extent. The economy seems shaky, the prices of everything is rising, people are losing their jobs and I won't even bring up the stock market. I do think however that it's a huge hype by the media and since it's an election year, they're going to play into it for all it's worth and whoever gets elected will be praised for bringing us out of this recession/depression mess. It's typical.. I just want it to be over. I'm tired of political ad bashing, debates, and all the crap that goes with an election. Let the elections be over so things will start to change.
post #7 of 104
I think things will calm down soon. I don't know what exactly will happen. The unknown tends to cause stress and overreaction. As soon as things "shake out," I think they won't look as bad as they do now.

In order to calm myself down, I dug out my canner and canned all the ripe apples I could get off our trees. I'm finding myself cooking more form scratch and being more frugal in reaction to the news. I also put in a winter garden.
post #8 of 104
My gut tells me that we are definitely in for a change in lifestyle. I hope that we (nation/world) look at it with fresh sight and see that we CAN live another way. I expect some discomfort- I'm pretty accustomed to all things cushy and immediate- but am really optimistic that we are in an evolution phase. We sure couldn't continue down the road we were on... I'm hoping for an opportunity for us all to reconnect to things that are real and important- like community and the natural world. Should be interesting... I'm so grateful to have this forum to help with my learning curve. Glad there are so many of you out there who have already thought to live in a more sustainable way. I'm learning lots. Thanks! To answer the question... Yep, but depression is nothing to be depressed about!
post #9 of 104
I'm no economy expert. But no, I don't think we are headed for a Great Depression. I do think we are probably headed for a recession/depression, but not on that scale. And I think things need to change in the economy and the way we do business, and a recession will help those changes along and hopefully help make it so that our economy will not crash into a BIG depression.

And I also think this is being overhyped and played out because of the election. It is crazy how much control the media has over everything.
post #10 of 104
I don't think it's structurally possible to have a depression like what occurred in the 1930s. I think most likely what we're headed into is another recession and period of serious unemployment, like what happened in the time of Bush Sr. Certain areas and industries will be hit harder than others, and how badly you're affected will depend on where you make your living right now.
post #11 of 104
No, I don't think this will be another Great Depression.
post #12 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafrass94 View Post
My gut tells me that we are definitely in for a change in lifestyle. I hope that we (nation/world) look at it with fresh sight and see that we CAN live another way. I expect some discomfort- I'm pretty accustomed to all things cushy and immediate- but am really optimistic that we are in an evolution phase. We sure couldn't continue down the road we were on... I'm hoping for an opportunity for us all to reconnect to things that are real and important- like community and the natural world. Should be interesting... I'm so grateful to have this forum to help with my learning curve. Glad there are so many of you out there who have already thought to live in a more sustainable way. I'm learning lots. Thanks! To answer the question... Yep, but depression is nothing to be depressed about!
I was going to post my impressions, but you've already summed them up. I agree. I think we're in for some changes and they may be painful. Evolution is always painful. I wonder how history will paint these times.
post #13 of 104
I think we are headed into a very very different way of living. A way that not many people in this country know how to live (including, probably, myself. I think things will be hard for a lot of people for a long time. But honestly, I think it's a change that needed to happen, if it means going back to a less extravagant way of living.
post #14 of 104
This is so different from "The Great Depression." But that doesn't mean it is going to be better. Just really different. I think a lot of folks are getting hungup on comparing the two eras, when it is really apples to oranges. I too watched http://www.chrismartenson.com/crash-course. I just watched it yesterday, and though I am not 100% sure what I think, there is a lot there that makes sense.

Setting all outside input aside, my gut does believe what sassafrass94 said, that lifestyle changes are coming. I think those of us who are vulnerable in one way or another are already starting to experience these changes. But we, as a whole-- as a nation-- will push it off for as long as we can manage, and I think at some point folks are going to be talking like we are out of danger. Then at some point a little later, the damn is going to break, and I think it will probably happen before my tots are out of high school.

In the next few years I am guessing things will get really, really rough for many of us. I'm not sure yet on what scale. Then it will ease up for a little bit before we are in real trouble. Whatever we experience for the next few years is a good time to start either digging ourselves out of this mess, or practicing a new way of life, or doing some serious preparations. But it will be a wake up call, and those who don't hear it are going to be out of luck in the longterm.

This is a change of position for me. Here is a blogpost I wrote last January:
http://becausethatiswhatmylifeislike...lace-beat.html
post #15 of 104
I believe this will NOT be another Depression. I feel alright about all of this, and I think this board disproportionately represents the side that feels things are going to be terribly bad. Then, I should state I live in Canada, and we are not experiencing the same sort of econoimc issues right now when it comes to things like housing. We did not have (as) outrageous lending practices, and people around me are not losing their homes or jobs. I also live in the city with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. My biggest fear is that everyone's panic is going to become the very problem that could cause a true crisis.
post #16 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
I believe this will NOT be another Depression. I feel alright about all of this, and I think this board disproportionately represents the side that feels things are going to be terribly bad. Then, I should state I live in Canada, and we are not experiencing the same sort of econoimc issues right now when it comes to things like housing. We did not have (as) outrageous lending practices, and people around me are not losing their homes or jobs. I also live in the city with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. My biggest fear is that everyone's panic is going to become the very problem that could cause a true crisis.
(Bolding mine)

I pretty much agree. I think the bigger danger is human behavior... the more people who start to panic the worse things are going to be. Wide-spread panic is never a good thing.
post #17 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
I believe this will NOT be another Depression. I feel alright about all of this, and I think this board disproportionately represents the side that feels things are going to be terribly bad. Then, I should state I live in Canada, and we are not experiencing the same sort of econoimc issues right now when it comes to things like housing. We did not have (as) outrageous lending practices, and people around me are not losing their homes or jobs. I also live in the city with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. My biggest fear is that everyone's panic is going to become the very problem that could cause a true crisis.
I agree. I think MDC leans more towards a survialist POV. I have read some pretty panic inducing threads here since the whole thing started.

I think we are headed for a bad recession and I think things will be rough for a while but I don't think were headed for another depression. These things happen-it is to an extent a cycle that happens and corrects and even though this time is worse because of the issues with the banks I think we will get out of it.
post #18 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafrass94 View Post
My gut tells me that we are definitely in for a change in lifestyle. I hope that we (nation/world) look at it with fresh sight and see that we CAN live another way. I expect some discomfort- I'm pretty accustomed to all things cushy and immediate- but am really optimistic that we are in an evolution phase. We sure couldn't continue down the road we were on...
I totally agree!
post #19 of 104
Thread Starter 
Just out of curiosity... those that have responded... and I know this so often comes up in my posts, but I guess because I'm "old" it makes a difference to me... what other recessions have you lived through as a wage-earning adult. And how did you feel back then?

My first experience as an adult was the crash of 1987. It somewhat shaped my economic thoughts.

What shaped yours?
post #20 of 104
I'm not getting a "gut" depression feel, but to re-state the obvious, our lives are all going to change. If I didn't watch the news, read MDC, or open my statements, everything would feel fine to me because our little family ids OK, for the moment. I worry about job loss, sure, but I have learned how to be very frugal. It's a relief to me actually-in a way I sort of feel in my comfort zone, saving and living simply. I personally feel uncomfortable overspending, and when we were with family or friends who lived a pretty opulant lifestyle I always questioned how sustainable it was. I don't know-this whole crazy housing boom felt like one extended adolescent joyride that was destined to come to a halt at some point. I think this is a real wake up call.
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