So... do you REALLY think we are headed for a New Depression? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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that doesn't seem like such bad advice!
It wasn't. It was awesome advice, in my estimation. He also put solar panels on the white house and gave tax breaks to those who did it on their own homes. That's the kind of frugal advice that we've needed as a whole. Not "go out and spend money you don't have to further prop up our dummy economy."
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#62 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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I didn't read all of the replies, but most. I agree that there are safeguards in place so it doesn't get as bad as the great depression but I do believe it will get worse before it gets better. I think the key is that we all need to stop living above our means and start living below our means RIGHT NOW. With the job market as shaky as it is we need to protect ourselves financially. I think things will get better in a few more years, but I believe the American way of live of buying more than you can afford will be gone forever. This is the real wake up call we needed!

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#63 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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Turn down the heat and put on a sweater was great advice. We're going to have to do that now... and more.

My Dad grew up in the depression, my mom WWII, so they never wasted and to this day my mom stocks her freezer with food from her garden "just in case."

I don't keep much on hand- their saving everything mentality got me into too much a packrat.

However, a good shed full of junk can really come in handy when you need to fix something

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#64 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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Nobody really knows, because it's all so unprecidented.

But I think that the widespread PANIC -- which is understandable, but not desireable in such situations -- will lead us all further down the tubes.

And while people are stockpiling, building up ammo, etc., I really think that they should instead be more community-focused (as some others have mentioned -- sharing fruit trees/seeds with neighbours, becoming closer to their community). Not individual-focused. That is what got the global economy in this mess to begin with. A me-first attitude and lotsa greed.

I'm fortunate to have my 89 year old grandma as an example of resilience, hope and joy amid horrible, terrible situations. Not only has she lived through polio as a child, but the Great Depression, WWII, several recessions and BOTH of her children dying.

I'm not trying to be Pollyanna, and I'm not trying to be an ostrich, but I am not going to go into panic mode just yet.

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#65 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

I think often of the candidates running for president - I wonder if they stay up nights thinking "what the hell did I sign up for?"
I am Canadian and I wonder about this in relation to our future PMs.

As much as I disagree with many of their stances on issues, I really do feel that deep down, humanity is all so similar, and they've gotta be a bit :

I'm glad I'm not a leader amid this turmoil.
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#66 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I don't think comparisons to the Great Depression are accurate because the state of the economy is just so different than it was then. There are a few generalizations that can be made, but mostly it's pretty different. On the plus side there are more safeguards, more requirements to bank, and we understand more about economic policy. On the down side, I feel we're more vulnerable to global economic turmoil than we were in the 1920s and 30s, and I also feel that our cumulative debt far exceeds what was going on in the 1920s. However, all in all, I think comparisons are only useful to a point.

Nonetheless, I do feel like this will be quite severe.
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#67 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Nobody really knows, because it's all so unprecidented.

But I think that the widespread PANIC -- which is understandable, but not desireable in such situations -- will lead us all further down the tubes.

And while people are stockpiling, building up ammo, etc., I really think that they should instead be more community-focused (as some others have mentioned -- sharing fruit trees/seeds with neighbours, becoming closer to their community). Not individual-focused. That is what got the global economy in this mess to begin with. A me-first attitude and lotsa greed.

I'm fortunate to have my 89 year old grandma as an example of resilience, hope and joy amid horrible, terrible situations. Not only has she lived through polio as a child, but the Great Depression, WWII, several recessions and BOTH of her children dying.

I'm not trying to be Pollyanna, and I'm not trying to be an ostrich, but I am not going to go into panic mode just yet.

I'd love to meet your grandma .

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#68 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 04:06 PM
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People keep talking about "safeguards." What do you mean? The FDIC? That won't remotely save us. What else do you mean?

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#69 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Sing it, fellow 37-year old! Seriously. We NEVER went out to eat and I don't think I knew the word "take-out." My parents both worked full time, and my mom cooked a meal every night. We had a cabin on a lake (that my dad pretty much built) but other than that we NEVER took a vacation. I mean, not even a weekend away. It was the cabin for weekends in the summer and that was it. (And I realize that was even an extravagance for a lot of people.) And lawn services? Housekeepers? My sisters and I did ALL of that. I mowed three lawns all summer long (our cabin, our house, and our rental property).

Okay, hobbling off my soapbox now...
I'm picking my jaw up off the keyboard because this was TOTALLY our life. My Dad was a teacher and my mom was a social worker. OK - mom didn't really cook from scratch - it was more frozen lasagna and canned La Choy chinese food.... but yeah - that's how we lived.

In my gut - yes, I do think there will be another depression. There's an interesting article contrasting the recent housing bubble with the Depression of 1873 - I don't have the link now.

My parents lived through the Great Depression and my mom has the same memory of people knocking on the door and her mother giving them food but NEVER money. My mother was allowed to sit on the stoop with the the men who showed up while they ate their sandwiches.

But here's the thing- while I think there will be another Depression, it doesn't terrify me. Somehow we'll get by. We live well under our means right now. Somehow we would make it work and I don't think we would starve or go hungry, we would just live a lot differently if we had a lot less money.

My mothers memory of the time and the WW II rationing in the US aren't horrible. As she put it - NO ONE had any money. It wasn't like you thought about being poor or only allowed 1 pair of shoes per year - everyone lived that way.

So - yeah, I think it's coming, but it doesn't scare me.

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#70 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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People keep talking about "safeguards." What do you mean? The FDIC? That won't remotely save us. What else do you mean?
: There are not even close to enough safeguards in place to save us from a depression.
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#71 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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I'm not even sure I believe the FDIC is safeguard, really.

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#72 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.ph...h07p4hy9z83x18

In fact, the current economic woes look a lot like what my 96-year-old grandmother still calls "the real Great Depression." She pinched pennies in the 1930s, but she says that times were not nearly so bad as the depression her grandparents went through. That crash came in 1873 and lasted more than four years. It looks much more like our current crisis.

The problems had emerged around 1870, starting in Europe. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, formed in 1867, in the states unified by Prussia into the German empire, and in France, the emperors supported a flowering of new lending institutions that issued mortgages for municipal and residential construction, especially in the capitals of Vienna, Berlin, and Paris. Mortgages were easier to obtain than before, and a building boom commenced. Land values seemed to climb and climb; borrowers ravenously assumed more and more credit, using unbuilt or half-built houses as collateral.

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#73 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 04:59 PM
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I *do* think we're heading into a Depression-like situation the likes of which almost no one currently alive has ever seen.

That said, I also think we'll be ok. I certainly don't think it's the end of the world. I do think that it may well be the end of the world as we know it, though...and lots and lots of stuff is about to change, big-time.

We're going to see MUCH transition in the next 10-100 years...it'll work out or it won't...but we'll just keep on going, figuring out how to do it.

I was freaking out. Now I'm on Prozac.
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#74 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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To clarify, I don't believe FDIC will safeguard against a depression. I do think, however, that FDIC may pad the landing a little.

One thing that makes me fairly certain this will be very severe is that the credit crunch and bad accumulated debt from the easy credit years is similar to what has been at the heart of most modern depressions around the world. Like I said above, it's dangerous to generalize too much, but still, it's undeniable that an easy credit/bad debt/credit crunch comes with nearly all major economic downturns.
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#75 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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I think there is a lot to be said for having a positive attitude. I have seen an economic uh-oh coming for quite awhile. I did alot of reading - the set of grandparents I had who lived through the 30's are gone, so I turned to lots of books. I did read "The Worst Hard Times" which was about the dust bowl in the west. I also read "Little Heathens" by Mildred Kalish. The books talk about the depression from different perspectives, the second being more positive. I think that attitude is really important in life, esp when times are hard.

That being said, DH and I are frugal people and, while not quite as ready as I'd like, I do keep reminding myself that we are much better off than many Americans (in terms of being renters, no debt, a decent pantry, and lots of frugal knowledge), and most of the people on the planet.

There are many, many similarities to life now and life in 1929 or 1930. I agree with PP'ers that community is very important right now, perhaps even more important that having 20 acres with a survivalist cabin on it.

I think that life will be ok, but with some hard years of adjustment for those who lived it up. As for the Obama vs. McCain comment, I would prefer to hope that Bush is the modern Hoover, and that we may get an FDR. A green New Deal could go a long ways to mend some of our ills. I don't think the US will be the world power anymore, we squandered our goodwill, but that could be a good thing.

So, yes, we're headed for trouble, but I'm trying to have hope.:
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#76 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A View Post
People keep talking about "safeguards." What do you mean? The FDIC? That won't remotely save us. What else do you mean?
About the FDIC...anyone else have absolutely NO faith in it anymore? I mean, we were always told that as long as we had under $100,000 (and now it's $250,000) in one financial institution, backed by the FDIC, we were totally guaranteed that we would not lose that money.

I was listening to NPR yesterday and Chris Farrell made that statement -- and I thought, really? What happens if the entire economy collapses? Our country is now owned by other countries...so how can the U.S. guarantee anything? We don't have any money ourselves.

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#77 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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I think it will be a minor depression for the next 4-5 years. I think that "most people" will survive just fine. I think that people like me in the northeast who are dependent on heating oil and high electric prices to stay alive will have a very hard time. I think peak oil is going to crash and some sectors of the country will transition into the new post depression new energy world more easily than others. The north east is in for a huge shock. Our electric and gas prices are through the roof. I think wood will become scarce. There isn't enough for everyone. I think eventually nuclear power will kick in and pick up the slack.

Globally speaking I think people will be just fine. A long shallow depression with a slow climb back out as the planet transitions to new energy. Not TEOTWAWI.
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#78 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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I

I was freaking out. Now I'm on Prozac.
Because of your anxiety and fear about an economic crisis?
I'm so sorry to hear this is causing people to need pharmaceuticals to cope.

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#79 of 104 Old 10-12-2008, 10:31 PM
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Because of your anxiety and fear about an economic crisis?
I'm so sorry to hear this is causing people to need pharmaceuticals to cope.
My original problem probably stemmed from unchecked PPD, but it went on for so long that I was still having panic attacks after my DD was a year old...one of the things that would set me off--involuntarily--was the rising price of gas.

Whenever I'd pass a gas station sign and noticed that the price had risen by more than a penny or so, I would get tunnel vision, swirly-headed and short of breath. I've had to pull over to the side of the road on more than one occasion.

Like I said, I don't think my anxiety disorder and depression was based on the economic crisis, but I think it was exacerbated by the fear of things to come and how it would affect my family. Ever since I've started on the Prozac and Xanax, I haven't had an anxiety attack on the road, not even when the price of gas tipped $4.29...

However--my own personal experience aside, I've read a few articles and talked to both my psychiatrist and counselor (both of whom I've only been seeing since June 2008) about the phenomenon...apparently, the use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds has gone up as the economy has gone down...
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#80 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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I think the major financial sector is completely F----d. I know, UAV. But there's really no other strong enough word to describe it; a large part of our banking system is going to collapse in on it's self and it's going to cause some HUGE problems for large groups of people -- corporations, those living on investments, and people who are over-leveraged.

On the other hand, I think it's way too soon to decide whether we're falling into a complete depression. There are a lot of things in play that I don't think we know the effects of; whether we'll end up having inflation or deflation of the currency, some demographic stuff about baby boomers, investments in infrastucture, issues of food security that are starting to come to the public consciousness and how this is playing out internationally. Yeah, there are big changes coming. But I think it's premature to think that you know exactly what is coming and plan for that one thing. Seems like we really need to be able to pivot and be flexible.
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#81 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 07:10 AM
 
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However--my own personal experience aside, I've read a few articles and talked to both my psychiatrist and counselor (both of whom I've only been seeing since June 2008) about the phenomenon...apparently, the use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds has gone up as the economy has gone down...
Yes, my therapist told me she's now spending the bulk of her day talking to people about their financial worries and fear of the next great depression.

For the most part, however, I welcome whatever changes we have coming. And that's exactly how I look at it, CHANGES. We've needed to right ourselves for a long time, the lifestyle America was living was killing everyone and everything. Change is always difficult, but we will all be better for it in the end when we learn to be less wasteful.

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#82 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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Because of your anxiety and fear about an economic crisis?
I'm so sorry to hear this is causing people to need pharmaceuticals to cope.
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However--my own personal experience aside, I've read a few articles and talked to both my psychiatrist and counselor (both of whom I've only been seeing since June 2008) about the phenomenon...apparently, the use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds has gone up as the economy has gone down...
I know that in 1996 when we (NATO) were bombing Serbia, a significant number of Serbs were on SSRIs and similar drugs. (My best friend at the time was Serb). War and serious economic problems (whether on a large scale or just your family) can all be very anxiety-producing. My Serb friend had panic attacks too; one time early in the morning the siren went off (her apartment building had a shelter in the basement) and at the same time they heard bombs. My friend came out of a sleep hearing all this and she was convinced a man was coming into the window to rape her (it was not so) and her parents had to spend a good 10 minutes trying to get her to calm down enough to go downstairs into the shelter.

I'm not on any pharmaceuticals at all but I also kind of freaked out a few weeks ago about the economy. Some evidence is a thread I started asking about looters. I wasn't having panic attacks and it wasn't keeping me up nights, but all the same, I was scared. Fortunately that anxiety has faded and I'm no longer concerned. But just wanted to put in two cents about how events can trigger anxiety, and I don't know if there was any judgement about the use of pharmaceuticals for it, but I hope it is understandable that anxiety can be triggered and make it hard to cope.

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#83 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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I don't know if there was any judgement about the use of pharmaceuticals for it, but I hope it is understandable that anxiety can be triggered and make it hard to cope.
No, definitely no judgment--just a sadness in the thought that people may be that scared. But the poster acknowledged that she had preexisting depression and anxiety, so while I'm sorry that she's suffering in any way, I'm relieved that it's not only the fear of the economy causing such distress.

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#84 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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I think the conditions are right for one.

According to historians some of the causes for the Great Depression were:

- false prosperity with much of the trade relying upon consumer spending
- speculative investments
- a stock market crash
- the banking crisis
- high unemployment
- collapse in international trade
- income inequality - large gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" when the "haves" lost money in the stock market crash the "have nots" couldn't sustain the consumer economy at the level the "haves" had


I see many of the same conditions now and wouldn't say we *couldn't* have another depression like the Great Depression.

As for your questions:
How do you envision life being different if we do or do not?
I hope that we (our society) would reduce it's economic reliance on non-tangible real goods and return at least partially to producing necessary goods and fewer of the trivial goods and services. I would see many families having a tremendous change in their lifestyles.

Do you think your frugality has prepared you for the future?
I do. Our family is accustomed to a very frugal lifestyle and has acquired many of the skills and abilities survivors of the Great Depression relied upon. We won't have the "culture shock" that some families would experience.
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#85 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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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?
I've been an independent adult since 1985. Most of my economic ups and downs of the past often had more to do with choices than the economy until recently.

Things were tough for us in the late '80s and very early '90s but I also had my first child in 1991 and at the time it was hard for us to see whether it was the economy or the child causing budget stresses.

Recently, though, our household has seen a real loss in wages due to rising costs of energy, food, healthcare (services and insurance), etc. I don't remember that happening as much during any of the recessions of the past.

We've been feeling a real pinch for about 3-4 years now. Each year the budget tightens more and more - this with DH seeing a wage increase of 30% over the past seven years. He's earning 30% more than he did when he took his current position and yet we have to keep trimming the budget.
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#86 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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I don't live in Texas, and there are also many states (not gas producing ones) that are doing okay right now.

I also have a dh who works, not compeltely, but on the perimeter of the oil industry (they supply them with products). He is not at all worried about running out of oil. Is it harder to get? Yes. IS there an impact? Yes. But it is there and as long as it is, they will continue to drill for it.

One other thing we didn't have in the 70s or any other year (besides maybe the 90s, but that was really a blip compared to everything else) is 24 hours news networks constantly telling us how bad eveything is. If there is anything that will prevent our economy from making a complete and full recovery, it is that. The influence of the media cannot be underestimated. I teach high school kids and for many of them, everything they know of the world they learn from MTV, BET, and maybe CNN.

And while turning down the heat and putting on a sweater may not have been bad advice, it didn't put food on people's tables or give people any hope or reason to think things could get better. After that speech, many people were further depressed. And when most people are depressed, they just give up. America has never been a country of people who just give up. It is the county of eternal optimists, people who work hard to make sure that the next generation has something left. I see it every day. I know people who are starting and running successful businesses right now.
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#87 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We won't have the "culture shock" that some families would experience.
I think this is a great point. Culture shock is a good term for it.
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#88 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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just came across this article- http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.c...epression.html

It is written by an author who is prominent in the peak oil movement. He argues that something like a depression could actually be necessary for the U.S.
Interesting argument.
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#89 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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The idea that Americans need to go through a Depression to get rid of their superficial lifestyles, craven dependence on credit and wasteful use of fossil fuels reminds me of the talk in 2000 that Nader was running in the hopes of being a spoiler for Gore, to get Bush elected..... "things have to get worse before they get better" was the phrase bandied about by (SOME) Nader supporters those days. From an ivory tower standpoint I can kinda see the argument, but seeing how many families will suffer real hardship and hard choices and curtailed opportunities makes me fervently wish that the superficiality can go on forever and ever.
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#90 of 104 Old 10-13-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bigteamug View Post
As for the Obama vs. McCain comment, I would prefer to hope that Bush is the modern Hoover, and that we may get an FDR. A green New Deal could go a long ways to mend some of our ills. I don't think the US will be the world power anymore, we squandered our goodwill, but that could be a good thing.

So, yes, we're headed for trouble, but I'm trying to have hope.:
I wish I could see Obama as our next FDR, except that when asked (at the second debate) if the economy was going to get worse before it got better, he said "No." : Even McCain had a more sensible answer ("It depends on what we do about it"), although I don't think he got into any more depth than that. I just wish one of them (or SOMEONE - ANYONE!) seemed to *know* what to do. Don't get me wrong - I'm for Obama all the way, but I was very very very disappointed in that answer.
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