Anyone else really worried about the Economy? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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I read your link.

I'm not quite sure it establishes that we are heading for another Great Depression. I read it more as an opinion piece.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/we...tzwCfESBEYQYVg
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#62 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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I do think that this is going to be a significantly longer, harder, and far more difficult recession/depression than any we've had in the past 40 years. It's too widespread, and there's too much more bad credit to work through across all industries. The bad loans that have been called on foreclosures are only the tip of the iceberg. There has been too much reliance on money that doesn't exist or isn't there -- the effects of the bad credit and bad loans will be deep and widespread. It took us 30 years of ever-expanding credit to get to this point. It's not a problem that is going to correct within a few months.

In the last recessions, there wasn't as much widespread bad credit that had to be swallowed. Maybe in certain industries, yes, but not fully across the board the way it is now.
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#63 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by alphagirl View Post

I'm not quite sure it establishes that we are heading for another Great Depression.
I didn't say that it did fully establish that. But I found it interesting.

Are there any good reasons for us NOT to be headed for a Depression, other than people's unfounded optimism?

Your NY Times link was interesting, but hey, I'm not holding my breath that what it mentions (Social Security, etc.) will save us.

ETA: And your article talks about education being a strong place to keep a job. Calif. just handed pink slips to 14,000 teachers.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#64 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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I too am scared! My husband owns a special type of construction company and his business went down real quick. He used to have about 4 jobs a month (which is really good in this work) to about 1 job every 5 months (which is HORRIBLE). We were already struggling as it was because I just graduated last year and we were paying down debt. We have a 1 year old (a big surprise and huge blessing) who we can't afford to put in daycare so I have to work around everyone's schedule (I'm in the medical field so that isn't hard to do). But now, we are living off of my income, which isn't enough to live where we do. We live in a house that we bought for a great price but 3 years later and the cost of increased insurance and property taxes makes it not a great deal anymore. We have been trying to sell but can't in this market. There is about 70+ other houses in my subdivision for sale and they aren't moving- not because it is overpriced but that no one is coming to buy!
The food prices are INSANE here. I can get a small whole chicken for about $9 if I'm lucky. It use to cost about $3.20 for that same chicken! I watch for sales but don't see much, I clip coupons but it doesn't seem to help. I do home care so I have to drive to everyone's house so I spend mega bucks on gas. The company I work for doesn't pay gas nor does the majority of companies that live near me (I wonder why). We keep our thermostat up at 83 in the summer and at 70 in the winter but our electric bill is still high. I'm about ready to give up. We don't go out to eat, no have we ate anywhere in years. Our last vacation was our honeymoon over 3 years ago- we don't even have money for a quick weekend trip somewhere. Our family lives half a country away so we have no help here. I refuse to watch tv because it only ads to my depression
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#65 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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How much longer can the U.S. continue down the path of excessive consumption?

Sorry for the rant.
My parents lived in Tokyo for a few years, and talk about excessive consumption! We'd never seen such living beyond means! My boyfriend is Chinese, and he has told me if I had a Japanese boyfriend I'd be living large. This seems to be many, many countries.

It has really, really, hurt their economy. What happened to old world values of being careful with money, knowing what is valuable, etc? Americans used to have those values, just look at our grandparents.


I'm hunking down and getting ready for a storm.
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#66 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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The food prices are INSANE here. I can get a small whole chicken for about $9 if I'm lucky. It use to cost about $3.20 for that same chicken! (
Whoa. Do you mean a precooked chicken, like rotisserie? Or an uncooked chicken? Do you live in the US? Because I live in a relatively high COL area in the US and whole uncooked roasters are usually .69/lb on sale (every six weeks or so). I paid three bucks for the chicken we had for dinner tonight, which fed three adults and two kids, and has enough left over for a sandwich or two and to make soup.
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#67 of 93 Old 04-20-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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I think this is more of an evening-out of a few places on the Earth more than a recession. You've got China and India coming online in a major way, along with a lot of other Asian and even African countries starting to ramp up economically. America just isn't going to be able to hog 95% of the wealth of the world forever. I think eventually we need to start thinking of ourselves globally instead of locally, and when you think of it that way, most of us are still in a very good state.

So, in other words, I think we're probably just going to have to get used to it.

It doesn't help matters any that the Fed is bailing out the banks who have been hit hard with all the foreclosures and the sinking housing market by basically printing more money. Makes the dollar sink. Of course, the alternative might be panic on the markets and with the banks, so that isn't good either.
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#68 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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Whoa. Do you mean a precooked chicken, like rotisserie? Or an uncooked chicken? Do you live in the US? Because I live in a relatively high COL area in the US and whole uncooked roasters are usually .69/lb on sale (every six weeks or so). I paid three bucks for the chicken we had for dinner tonight, which fed three adults and two kids, and has enough left over for a sandwich or two and to make soup.
Wow. I have never seen it below $1.98 a pound here. That's insane. We can get some for $4 for a whole almost 3lber but it's the very low quality ones where you get like one serving off of it and it's nasty.

We have been worried for awhile. Not b/c of the media. But where we live the economy is terrible. So many layoffs. SO much unemployment and homelessness and foreclosures gallore. Food costs have been skyrocketing for a few years and it's insane. We are not doing nearly as well anymore as we did on less income a couple years ago.

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#69 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 10:02 AM
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Why won't it get that bad? Just because you don't want it to?
The GD was not just a market thing. A lot of people THINK it was caused by Black Tuesday all by itself, but it wasn't. It was the result of a LOT of things happening all at once and then it was prolonged by other things: spooked investors, bank failures, post-war inflation (other countries abandoned the Gold Standard), WORLD-WIDE post war debt, a world wide decline in demand for US goods, high US tariffs making US goods even LESS desirable, severe drought (dust bowl).
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#70 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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Whoa. Do you mean a precooked chicken, like rotisserie? Or an uncooked chicken? Do you live in the US? Because I live in a relatively high COL area in the US and whole uncooked roasters are usually .69/lb on sale (every six weeks or so). I paid three bucks for the chicken we had for dinner tonight, which fed three adults and two kids, and has enough left over for a sandwich or two and to make soup.
I'm talking about a whole uncooked one! We use to have sales of about 89 cents a pound but those days are FAR gone. I've been looking for sales each week and the prices aren't moving and the sales are hardly called sales IMO. My husband was a really BIG meat person- notice the past tense. We can't afford to eat like we use to so he is forcing himself to eat beans and stuff he hates :-/
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#71 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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I'm talking about a whole uncooked one! We use to have sales of about 89 cents a pound but those days are FAR gone. I've been looking for sales each week and the prices aren't moving and the sales are hardly called sales IMO. My husband was a really BIG meat person- notice the past tense. We can't afford to eat like we use to so he is forcing himself to eat beans and stuff he hates :-/
I have noticed the same thing the past few weeks, that the sales at stores really are not great deals compared to just a few months ago. What is on sale is packaged convenience foods. Like you we have cut down our meat consumption to stay within our budget, lots of lentils and soups. The only meat I really use is chicken these days.

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#72 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 10:23 AM
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interesting fact for you: the longest recession/depression was only 23 months and it WASN"T the great depression...i don't remember the years...i think maybe before a world war?? its hard to pinpoint when this recession started but if we are conservative and say NOW then we should be coming back up in 2 yrs or less.
I'm going to need a source for that statement, because everything I'm reading states that the longest recession in U.S. history is the great depression, and the next longest lasted 16 months....

A recession is defined as: a decline in a country's real gross domestic product (GDP), or negative real economic growth, for two or more successive quarters of a year.

I don't think we've hit that at this point, so the recession hasn't started...unless it's happening THIS quarter, and we've got a few more months to find out if it's happened. We still had growth, albeit very little in Q4 2007. Depending on what happens Q's 1 & 2, we could be heading into a recession, but, like I said...we don't know if that's happened yet.

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as for wanting to buy i would say watch it like a hawk...as SOOn as it looks like it will turn up (not false starts) you get your but in there and buy, whether your credit ready (or wahtever needs to be prepared) or not. we bought our house 5ish months ago so although it was a downturned market its certainly not the lowest it will go but we needed to buy. it was buy our own house or move to another house on base and then when we WANTED to buy we would have to pay to move ourselves.
Sure. We'll just buy a house with no money on the advice of a stranger. That's a great plan. Yeah, I can't see how that could POSSIBLY turn out badly. I mean, everyone else did that the last few years, and it's worked out so well for them!
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#73 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 10:35 AM
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ETA: And your article talks about education being a strong place to keep a job. Calif. just handed pink slips to 14,000 teachers.
Depends on where you are and what part of education you work in. An art teacher in CA? You're screwed. A Special Ed teacher in IL? My SIL is a speech pathologist, and she just accepted a new 3 year contract for $14K/year more than her current position. She makes more than my husband now, who has 2 years experience on her, and works with the water and could likely kill us all if he screwed up.
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#74 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 10:43 AM
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My parents lived in Tokyo for a few years, and talk about excessive consumption! We'd never seen such living beyond means! My boyfriend is Chinese, and he has told me if I had a Japanese boyfriend I'd be living large. This seems to be many, many countries.

It has really, really, hurt their economy. What happened to old world values of being careful with money, knowing what is valuable, etc? Americans used to have those values, just look at our grandparents.
The Japanese actually save more of their income than almost any other nation. (Do a Google search). Toyoko is really not a good example of "typical Japanese" any more than Beverly Hills or Manhattan are good examples of a "typical American".
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#75 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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I'm going to need a source for that statement, because everything I'm reading states that the longest recession in U.S. history is the great depression, and the next longest lasted 16 months....

A recession is defined as: a decline in a country's real gross domestic product (GDP), or negative real economic growth, for two or more successive quarters of a year.

I don't think we've hit that at this point, so the recession hasn't started...unless it's happening THIS quarter, and we've got a few more months to find out if it's happened. We still had growth, albeit very little in Q4 2007. Depending on what happens Q's 1 & 2, we could be heading into a recession, but, like I said...we don't know if that's happened yet.


Sure. We'll just buy a house with no money on the advice of a stranger. That's a great plan. Yeah, I can't see how that could POSSIBLY turn out badly. I mean, everyone else did that the last few years, and it's worked out so well for them!


wow jeeze. that was rude. you asked for opinions and insights from COMPLETE strangers and now your worked up since someone gave you an opinion?

Since i already took the time to look up the Fun Fact I will give the info to anyone ELSE who would like to know besides yourself.
Its from A fortune at Your Feet by AD Kessler
i got some of the info transfused but quoted out of the book it goes like this
"...the longest recession in americas history was not the great depression of 1929 which lasted 50 months but the doldrums of 1873-1879 which prevailed for 65 months . the shortest recession was the one following WW1 a 7 mo dip. the 1973 decline lasted a little less than average 16 months and the trough in 1980 was 21 months long. The length of the period of decline or rise does not necessarily corelate with the severity or boom of each."

also in the previous paragraph it states "...the average expansion lasted 33 months while the average recession lasted 19 months."
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#76 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 01:07 PM
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wow jeeze. that was rude. you asked for opinions and insights from COMPLETE strangers and now your worked up since someone gave you an opinion?
I most certainly did NO SUCH thing. Once again, with emphasis added:

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We've chosen to aggressively pay off our debt, even the low interest, deductible student loan debt, before purchasing a home. We are choosing to save up a significant down payment and purchase a smaller home than what we "can" qualify for, and smaller than what most of our friends feel they need (i.e. one bedroom per child, living room AND family room, a dining room they never use, etc). We are personally hoping that the real estate market continues to contract, because we are looking for a deal when we are ready to buy, and it's going to take us another 2 years.
No where did I ask for advice from anyone. Nor did I seek opinions, insights, or approval! The OP asked if anyone was concerned about the downturn, and I said we are not, because we want the downturn in RE to continue. The OP asked others to share insights and opinions, not ME!

I welcome comments, but not advice that is directly in opposition to what my husband and I have thoughtfully planned out for ourselves.

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Since i already took the time to look up the Fun Fact I will give the info to anyone ELSE who would like to know besides yourself.
Its from A fortune at Your Feet by AD Kessler
i got some of the info transfused but quoted out of the book it goes like this
"...the longest recession in America's history was not the great depression of 1929 which lasted 50 months but the doldrums of 1873-1879 which prevailed for 65 months . the shortest recession was the one following WW1 a 7 mo dip. the 1973 decline lasted a little less than average 16 months and the trough in 1980 was 21 months long. The length of the period of decline or rise does not necessarily correlate with the severity or boom of each."

also in the previous paragraph it states "...the average expansion lasted 33 months while the average recession lasted 19 months."
Thanks for the info. That's more than a little different than 23 months before a world war...

But it does make sense - 1873-1879 encompasses part of Reconstruction, and it affected the entire Western world...

Wiki! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Depression

Interesting to note that it was called the Great Depression until the depression of the 1930's.....
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#77 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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I most certainly did NO SUCH thing. Once again, with emphasis added:



No where did I ask for advice from anyone. Nor did I seek opinions, insights, or approval! The OP asked if anyone was concerned about the downturn, and I said we are not, because we want the downturn in RE to continue. The OP asked others to share insights and opinions, not ME!

I welcome comments, but not advice that is directly in opposition to what my husband and I have thoughtfully planned out for ourselves.



That's more than a little different than 23 months before a world war...

Thanks for the info. Do you have a link? All I could find when I searched was "recessions of the 20th century" type of stuff....
sorry i didn't realize i needed to search the entire thread to SEE if you actually asked for advice or had just posted your entire lifes mission without asking for advice. honest mistake when hundreds of thousands of people are on a forum. i was just trying to say what everyone else thinks "buy low sell high" its not like i am COMPLETELY out there with this weird theory. i was putting it into a perstpective that somewhat fit your timeline but i now realize that you didn't ask for advice so forget reading this!
no its from a book there are no links.
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#78 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 01:17 PM
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sorry i didn't realize i needed to search the entire thread to SEE if you actually asked for advice or had just posted your entire lifes mission without asking for advice. honest mistake when hundreds of thousands of people are on a forum. i was just trying to say what everyone else thinks "buy low sell high" its not like i am COMPLETELY out there with this weird theory. i was putting it into a perstpective that somewhat fit your timeline but i now realize that you didn't ask for advice so forget reading this!

No, you could have just looked at my post, and saw that I didn't ask to be told that my husband and I should spend money we don't have to buy a house we can't afford (since we don't have the down payment for it, and in our definition of afford, as previously mentioned in the thread to which you were replying, a down payment is required to afford said house. Thus the waiting and saving for two more years.)

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no its from a book there are no links.
No website for the author? Was it 1879 or 1897? I'm seeing both dates in various places...
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#79 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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No, you could have just looked at my post, and saw that I didn't ask to be told that my husband and I should spend money we don't have to buy a house we can't afford (since we don't have the down payment for it, and in our definition of afford, as previously mentioned in the thread to which you were replying, a down payment is required to afford said house. Thus the waiting and saving for two more years.)



No website for the author? Was it 1879 or 1897? I'm seeing both dates in various places...
i didn't say that you should buy NOW. i said that you should carefully watch the market and if you are prepared to buy in 2 yrs but the market is the best buying (i.e. lowest thats its going for this recession and now is on the uptake) you should buy even though it may be only 1 yr 11 months instead of 2 years. i basically said that just b/c you have well thought out and intentioned plans it doesn't mean they are set in stone and that buying Low and having it coincide as it looks like it should means you should keep your eyes open and stretch a little for 2-5 months in order to SAVE in the long run. Also besides the fact that "everyone" who went out and bought even though they couldn't afford it they also bought HIGH and just cause everyone else was. you nor i said that was a good thing. we had no down payment on our house so its not like its just the stupidest thing on the planet to do.

A.D. Kessler i am sure has a website but i know that unless you find the book completely written out it will not have that insignificant blurb (on page 230) written on his website. The correct dates are 73-79 for the information written above. i am NOT a historian or buff of history so i can't comment on if there was or wasn't another recession in 1897.
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The longest recession of the 20th century was from Aug '29 - Mar' 33.

There was another starting in '37.

I'm assuming that even though the "recession" ended in '33, it was such a hard one that it took a while to climb out.

ETA: AHA! A graph for those of us so inclined.

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#81 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 03:42 PM
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i didn't say that you should buy NOW. i said that you should carefully watch the market and if you are prepared to buy in 2 yrs but the market is the best buying (i.e. lowest thats its going for this recession and now is on the uptake) you should buy even though it may be only 1 yr 11 months instead of 2 years. i basically said that just b/c you have well thought out and intentioned plans it doesn't mean they are set in stone and that buying Low and having it coincide as it looks like it should means you should keep your eyes open and stretch a little for 2-5 months in order to SAVE in the long run. Also besides the fact that "everyone" who went out and bought even though they couldn't afford it they also bought HIGH and just cause everyone else was. you nor i said that was a good thing. we had no down payment on our house so its not like its just the stupidest thing on the planet to do.
I didn't say you were stupid. I said we don't plan on buying without a down payment, and it's going to take us about 2 years to save $50,000. There's not any way that DH & I can buy a $225-250K house on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage, without a 20% down payment. The PITI alone would kill our monthly budget, not to mention the PMI added on.

And the buying at the very very bottom of the market only matters for people who plan to flip the house, or sell to "upgrade". We're looking for a three bedroom home with lots of back yard space and we don't have any problem stacking kids 3 deep. We are planning on buying a home and staying put for at least 10 years. Missing out on a month or two (or a year or two) of "fast gains" won't matter to us, because we aren't buying a house as strictly an investment, but as a home.

I was just commenting that it would be nice if the downturn continued until the timing was right for us. If it works out not to be, then we'll buy a 2 bedroom Cape Cod and renovate as we have the cash.


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A.D. Kessler i am sure has a website but i know that unless you find the book completely written out it will not have that insignificant blurb (on page 230) written on his website. The correct dates are 73-79 for the information written above. i am NOT a historian or buff of history so i can't comment on if there was or wasn't another recession in 1897.
okay. I just looked up this fool, and all I see for the first few pages is "warning!" "Scam!"

So that might be why he got the dates of the Long Depression wrong...

http://www.johntreed.com/Reedgururat...l#anchor529501
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#82 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 03:44 PM
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The longest recession of the 20th century was from Aug '29 - Mar' 33.

There was another starting in '37.

I'm assuming that even though the "recession" ended in '33, it was such a hard one that it took a while to climb out.

ETA: AHA! A graph for those of us so inclined.

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Yup! The Great Depression was two recessions! My great-grandparents were part of the Oakie movement, and they settled in Tehachapi, CA. (Just another GOW reference for y'all)
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Why won't it get that bad? Just because you don't want it to?
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Hell yes I am worried about the economy. Its not Media Hype to my family! My husband was laid off 11 weeks ago today. There is no work in his profession in the state we live. We are 100% sure we are moving elsewhere.

Food prices have gone up. Gas is up to $3.38 a gallon (as of a couple of days ago).

But as Applejuice said, "Life goes on." We will survive.
There are a couple of reasons why a recession now, even a severe one, would be hard-pressed to match the Great Depression. For one thing, banks are insured by the federal government now-- you know that "FDIC up to 100,000 blah blah blah" that you always hear in bank commercials, printed on the counters, etc-- means that the money you keep in the bank won't just up and dissapear. If you have any relatives who lived through the Great Depression, what are their attitudes towards banking? A lot of that generation never got over the distrust that came from seeing their hard-earned savings stolen from them by banks going under. That can't happen now, thank goodness. In the beginning of the Great Depression (and in the months prior, when warning signs began popping up), the government's general attitude was that the market had to be self-regulating. They did very little at first to try to control the damage, and when it became clear how disasterous that approach was, everything else was too little, too late. Ever since, we've pretty much had a government that wants to jump on any sign of a recession and fix it if they can, and a very active Federal Reserve. (Nobody wants to be the next Hoover.) They may not always be making good decisions (hah!), but nobody's just sitting back and letting 'nature take it's course', either.

Then again, World War One used to be called, The Great War...

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

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#84 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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If you want to *really* get spooked, pick up this month's Harper's magazine (they don't have the articles online yet). An economist recaps all the "fudges" that have been sneaked into the various ecoonomic indexes (indicies?) over the years, and recalculates the numbers using the 1980 formulas. Unemployment is actually 10-12% right now, inflation is 9%, GDP is negative... yikes! :
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#85 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Unemployment is actually 10-12% right now, inflation is 9%, GDP is negative... yikes! :
I'd say that this matches with how things "feel" to me now. Scary. :
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#86 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 08:17 PM
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There are a couple of reasons why a recession now, even a severe one, would be hard-pressed to match the Great Depression. For one thing, banks are insured by the federal government now-- you know that "FDIC up to 100,000 blah blah blah" that you always hear in bank commercials, printed on the counters, etc--
I'm plenty aware of the FDIC, thanks. But I'm really not counting on a gov't that is TEN TRILLION DOLLARS in debt to be able to bail everybody out at the same time. (Or large groups of people at the same time.) A bank here and there? Sure. But not half the banks in the country. (Half the banks were closed in '33.) Alternately, they would print additional money to cover all of those FDIC promises......but then we'd just have hyper-inflation.

Let me repeat that. Our gov't is TEN TRILLION DOLLARS in debt. That's a low estimate. Other estimates have it much higher. SS, FDIC, etc. will simply FAIL if we hit a 25%--40% unemployment rate.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#87 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 08:19 PM
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The GD was not just a market thing. A lot of people THINK it was caused by Black Tuesday all by itself, but it wasn't. It was the result of a LOT of things happening all at once and then it was prolonged by other things: spooked investors, bank failures, post-war inflation (other countries abandoned the Gold Standard), WORLD-WIDE post war debt, a world wide decline in demand for US goods, high US tariffs making US goods even LESS desirable, severe drought (dust bowl).
Yes, I know. And we have multiple financial/global pressures on us now, too.

I'm really not trying to be all "gloom and doom." But sticking our heads in the sand won't help, either. Major earthquakes often happen........where they happened before. Same with economic crises. We can't count on "little tremors" (recessions) staying little forever.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#88 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 08:39 PM
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and, just for the record, let me point out that it was a Democratic president (FDR) who instituted the "New Deal" programs of the FDIC, WPA, Social Security, etc. And our recent Republican presidents have done their darndest to weaken social programs, particularly social security. Just keep that in mind when you're voting.

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#89 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 11:11 PM
 
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and, just for the record, let me point out that it was a Democratic president (FDR) who instituted the "New Deal" programs of the FDIC, WPA, Social Security, etc. And our recent Republican presidents have done their darndest to weaken social programs, particularly social security. Just keep that in mind when you're voting.
Yep!
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#90 of 93 Old 04-21-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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We think/talk about this a bunch.

Things people can still get rid of: (Not necessarily saying "you" but in general)

Television, cell phones, INTERNET, gym memberships, extracurriculars....

We got rid of cable and cell phones and save $140/month. If we decide to do away with our second (paid off) vehicle, we will save $30/month in insurance alone...

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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