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Is the recession black & white?

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  • Is the recession black & white?

    It seems to me that for many, we're not in a bad recession - and for others it's life altering.

    For many, they still have their jobs, and their life is pretty much the same. Maybe they got a cost of living raise or no raise last December, but they're doing fine.

    For others, they lost their job and can't find a new one. Maybe they're lucky enough to get unemployment, but maybe not. For them the news stories are real.



    If you're in the first group, are you feeling the pinch? Is this economy affecting you? Does it feel like a recession?

  • #2
    Re: Is the recession black & white?

    I feel it bad. I lost my job. I'm not eligible for unemployment since I was self-employed. I'm living off of savings and can't find anything at all in my career field. However, I still have a roof over my head. I still have my internet. I haven't gone hungry. Life is still good since all my basic needs are still being met.

    I know this sounds silly, but being all over the world and seeing the slums of Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Djibouti puts things in perspective for me. Also watching Slumdog Millionaire a couple weeks ago was a good reminder of some of the crap I've seen. Even if we're in a recession (which hit me directly), our lives are infinitely better than many around the world. I still try and count my blessings every day.
    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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    • #3
      Re: Is the recession black & white?

      I've heard I'm living in the least effected city in the country. From what I've experienced it's pretty much true. Housing prices are the same, new construction is still going up. The economy is heavily tied to oil which has been minting money the last 7 years. We have one of the largest health care infrastructures in the country, which is very recession resistant. Unemployment is going up but comparatively slowly. Of course if I was without a job I would be saying this is all bull.

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      • #4
        Re: Is the recession black & white?

        I have only been helped by this recession. My wife works for a small OB/GYN office in a small town with only three other OB's. He started his practice 18 months ago, and one other OB closed his doors in that time... which only increased their patient load. She is salaried, so even though she only works 3.5 days a week, she gets paid the same - albeit somewhat meager wages.
        I work for a progressive and growing church as the IT director and media department. When I started work in Feb 07, there were 25 people coming to the church - 16 or those moved from Tennessee with us. Fast forward 27 months and we are pushing 250 while everyone else is fighting to keep the doors open. In a country where the average church is 70, we are exploding. I still face the constant possibility of pay cuts, but every month, the money is there. Even if I were to get a pay cut, I have paid off 17,000 in debt in the last 17 months - so I could absorb it.
        I know several families in my church who have lost their houses - one of those families moved in with us - but none of them are hungry, living in a tent, or even without cable. They just maybe had to move into an apartment or whatever.

        Not only are both of our jobs thriving when they should not be - gas prices are 1/2 what they were a year ago. I spend 30.00 / month on gas for my car. I have an SUV that gets 13 mpg - but I drive 1/4 mile to work one way. My wife goes a little farther across town 6 miles one way - she spends 60.00 / month. I know we are not saving as much as most people, but the car being on E is not a cause for worry anymore.

        I was able to buy a car just 3 months ago. I traded a minivan with 100,000 miles on it for a VW diesel that gets 40+ mpg.

        That same month I refinanced my FHA loan from 6.5% to 5%, and if I had waited another month, I could have gotten 4.75%.

        Yes, the recession is real. I hear from families all the time how much they are hurting. The family living with us right now however - pays no rent or utilities. They help with groceries, and they buy stuff we need around the house - with great protest from my wife and myself. They are not hurting for money. Are they inconvenienced - I guess. I like having them here - though I would never make it permanent.

        So maybe I am set up a little more recession proof, i dunno. Maybe I made very smart - even if they were sometimes unknowingly - smart financial decisions. (The church I used to work for is 5 times the size of my current one and not doing as well. I insisted on 30 yr fixed, even if FHA was the only way to get it, and I got a lower interest rate out of it. I moved close to work, so 4.00/gal never hurt me. I have been paying off debt as fast as I can.) I hope everyone here can fare the same. There is a light to all this. The market has corrected a lot of way crazy crap again. Last time it was .coms, now it's housing... next will be healthcare or hollywood or Wal-mart. The internet is still there, houses are still being bought and sold, and the world is still going around the sun.

        It would seem Obama is not the savior everyone though he would be. - My predictions were correct. He got in the house and found out exactly what Bush was dealing with and why he was doing what he was doing. No magic pill from the "Yes we can" man.... Shocking.

        sorry...
        Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
        The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

        If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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        • #5
          Re: Is the recession black & white?

          Originally posted by =DdogG= View Post
          It would seem Obama is not the savior everyone though he would be. - My predictions were correct. He got in the house and found out exactly what Bush was dealing with and why he was doing what he was doing. No magic pill from the "Yes we can" man.... Shocking.
          I didnt even vote for Obama (didnt vote for anyone actually this time around) and I think that this particular statement is ridiculously naive. The man has been our president since the middle of january. 3 whopping months. But in that three months, he has passed a large amount of legislation that is directly aimed at solving some of the major economic issues we're facing right now. Did you happen to look up those pieces of legislation and take the time to understand how they are going to effect our economic situation over time? No, what you "predicted" is what I'm saying next.

          Now, if you REALLY expected Obama to get into the white house, wave a magic wand, and all of a sudden the country is healed, perhaps you oughtta go back to school and re-learn how the political process works. He didnt promise a "magic pill", as you put it, in fact he promised quite the opposite. He promised that the changes would be made, that they would take time and that it WOULDNT be a quick fix, but that the changes that he was planning would help the country get through the tough times. I heard the same line in probably 5 of his speeches. So I'm not quite sure where you're getting the basis for your commentary from, but it's wrong. Next time you plan on saying something like that, make sure you know exactly what you're talking about before opening your mouth.

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          • #6
            Re: Is the recession black & white?

            Though I rarely comment once politics comes up - I'll second Bueller's comments.

            I will also add, we are starting to see some activity with the last batch of stimulus money that was pumped in to the economy for public infrastructure projects are beginning to move forward again - big ones too. I know because I can see and track where the money is going via Onvia - how novel!

            A recession is when your neighbor looses their job, A depression is when you loose yours.
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            • #7
              Re: Is the recession black & white?

              Originally posted by P8riot View Post
              A recession is when your neighbor looses their job, A depression is when you loose yours.
              qft

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              • #8
                Re: Is the recession black & white?

                Oklahoma still isn't, officially, in a recession, though growth is pretty much stalled out. Like Texas we have a large energy sector and $50/bbl isn't great, but it isn't bad either.

                Even though we are not in a recession we have more people on government assistance now than we have for a long time. Many that I know who lost their jobs where tied to the national housing industry. There are jobs just not many "unskilled" type jobs.

                Every body else seems to be doing OK for now. It does seem pretty black and white. But wasn't it like that in the Great Depression? The stories I heard told where that there was a certain group of people that never lost their job. Teachers, cops and those in the technical areas of the time, like rail road engineers, conductors and the like.

                Even with 25% unemployment you still have 75% working. It is horrible but you still have 3/4 of the population working. Shows how little it takes to tip the balance.
                Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                • #9
                  Re: Is the recession black & white?

                  Originally posted by P8riot View Post
                  A recession is when your neighbor looses their job, A depression is when you loose yours.
                  Very Profound...

                  I'm in Michigan unemployment just hit 12% and is only expected to raise. If any of the 'big three' go under my state will be the first to feel it. I'm lucky though I live on the west side of the state, so yes there are a lot of auto related industries, it isn't nearly as bad a Detroit and the east side.

                  My Dad has been unemployed since last year, and is now filing for bankruptcy. My Step Dad is only working one to two days a week. My mom is an RN and is seeing a slow down in work as a lot more people are 'opting out' of anything other then emergency treatment*. I'm currently the only one in my house who works full time, and I work as a sales rep in a retail outlet, in short I don't make a lot.

                  Save for my Dad, all in my family are hurting, but not too badly. We all have had to cut back, but we have not had to go without.

                  ~ Draken

                  * Side note: Regular procedures are down, but ER visits are up almost beyond measure at my mom's hospital. So many people are avoiding preventative treatments due to cost and it in many cases is spilling over into the ER. For those out there just some free advice a Doctor visit in office $100-$500, an ER visit $2000-$10,000. This is why so many people push for preventative treatment and regular Doctor visits. Please don't wait until it is too late.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is the recession black & white?

                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    I didnt even vote for Obama (didnt vote for anyone actually this time around) and I think that this particular statement is ridiculously naive. The man has been our president since the middle of january. 3 whopping months. But in that three months, he has passed a large amount of legislation that is directly aimed at solving some of the major economic issues we're facing right now. Did you happen to look up those pieces of legislation and take the time to understand how they are going to effect our economic situation over time? No, what you "predicted" is what I'm saying next.

                    Now, if you REALLY expected Obama to get into the white house, wave a magic wand, and all of a sudden the country is healed, perhaps you oughtta go back to school and re-learn how the political process works. He didnt promise a "magic pill", as you put it, in fact he promised quite the opposite. He promised that the changes would be made, that they would take time and that it WOULDNT be a quick fix, but that the changes that he was planning would help the country get through the tough times. I heard the same line in probably 5 of his speeches. So I'm not quite sure where you're getting the basis for your commentary from, but it's wrong. Next time you plan on saying something like that, make sure you know exactly what you're talking about before opening your mouth.


                    my bad - I thought my joke obvious... apparently it wasn't. I was watching some news show and they were already wailing on Obama - so I thought I would do the same in jest.

                    forgive my oversight of the :)... but why so defensive? really... I mean wow...
                    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                    If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is the recession black & white?

                      I can honestly say that I haven't felt one single once of this so called "recession". Granted, I get my paycheck once every two weeks from the Air Force, and they pay me to live off base.

                      My opinion is this. Since the media can't find anything else to report on, they will make it seem like everything is about to go down the drain. They will over-exaggerate every little aspect of the falling economy. I honestly think that they get their jollies off frightening people. Since the masses watch what is being reported, they tend save every little cent they have thinking the Great Depression will start all over again. This in-turn weakens the economy.
                      "Dirtboy is super awesome, and chicks dig him too!"- Everyone



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                      • #12
                        Re: Is the recession black & white?

                        In my area, the only thing that has really been hurt was housing prices. I know at the peak of the housing bubble, homes in my neighborhood would sell in one day at three times the price my family bought our house. Heck, almost everyone who works in the DC suburbs works for the government or contractor, so tough times aren't being felt (not that others here haven't faced hardship).

                        I do have two family members who have lost their jobs though. One worked for Merrill Lynch and was dismissed after Bank of America purchased them. The other, a mechanical engineer who designed car parts.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is the recession black & white?

                          I'm in Muskegon, Michigan and the recession hasn't hit my family that hard; My mom works at Howmet and dad at SAF Holland. They still have their jobs and are thankful for it. I know some people at school who are not so fortunate. My goal is to pay for college myself and I know how hard these times are by attempting to do that. I've applied for several scholarships and haven't gotten any money. My FAFSA was too high to get anything from the government and right now, I'm planning on going to Muskegon Community College in an effort to go to college without my parents paying for me.It's definitely tough.




                          "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is the recession black & white?

                            Even the Canadians are feeling the depression. Not sure how bad in comparison to the States, but i know that for a fact my work has been laying off people. Its a little bit different im going to guess because i work at a Marine Dealership/Car Dealership and the markets are WAY down. We are already way behind on sales, my mom who sells financing for boats and cars hasnt made a tenth what she normally makes because no one is buying anything, and even my own job security isnt that stable (not a bid deal cause im 16) because my boss cant afford to keep us. Last fall in the marine dealership we had 12 people now we got 5. And thats the bare minimum. My side of this is hardly anything troubling, but dont forget that its not just America in that boat, were right beside you in this, as always.
                            sigpic


                            Do you really want invincible bears running around raping your churches and burning your women?

                            Intel i7 3930k @ 4.4ghz, 8gb RAM, 2x GTX 570 1gb, OCZ Vertex 3 120 gig SSD

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                            • #15
                              Re: Is the recession black & white?

                              Are you feeling the pinch? Is this economy affecting you? Does it feel like a recession?
                              For us, we're better off now than a year ago. The wife graduated last year, and for the first time ever we've got two full time incomes rather than one. We're paying off the debt we racked up aggressively, so while we still don't have much money to spend, the recession hasn't affected us directly in a negative way.

                              Because we're moving in the opposite direction from the economy at large - there are some fantastic deals out there for us. It's a bit weird to be cheering for lower stock market as my 401k contribution now buys 50 shares instead of 30.

                              If anything I guess we're trying to be more cautious now. We're putting off home improvement projects and such to make sure we have a little bit of money in case someone does get laid off.

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