Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's the stupid economy

This is the new national conversation.

Last week we met some friends for burgers. We looked forward to the low-key evening. How are your kids doing? Grandchildren? Any trips planned? Do you think you’ll go back to work? Should Brad Childress get fired? How about those ‘Horns.

Often (at our age), the big question is how’s your health? Not this time. Almost immediately, the conversation jumped into the economy.

Bam. One son has not been able to find steady work for a year, is divorced, and living in his parent’s home.

Bam. Another adult child is having a difficult time getting pre-approved for a home loan.

Bam. The ten-year-old van needs replaced but it is worth very little as a trade-in and credit is very expensive -- if you can find anybody who has money to lend.

Bam. One guy wants to sell his business but the economic slowdown has caused the value of the business to drop to near nothing.

Bam. A friend has seen her retirement savings shrink by 40 percent in a matter of days. The funds took a life-time to build.

This is personal.

Not once did anyone mention the presidential election, nor either candidate, nor either political party. Not once.

Our problems are real. Our problems are bigger than politics.

I wish our politicians were.


The South Plainsman said...

All of the signs point to a deep recession, and perhaps a long one. Although our economy is usually pretty resilient, we have piled up so much personal, business and government debt the last three decades that it will take quite a while to work through it.

In my opinion, the current bailout may work short term, but may well create long term problems for the economy. I am just not expert enough to say.

My daughter is a mid level person at a fairly small business that a year ago was doing very well and expanding. Last week they were forced to lay off half of their workforce. They are barely holding on.

This is a tragedy being repeated all over the country. While the big banks are the focus of the news these days, the folks who will eventually have to pay to bail out the banks are hurting real bad, and it will get worse.

We are about to relearn the lessons of the Great Depression, I am afraid.

Escaped Waco Alive said...

Talking to my accounting (in Waco) over the phone this morning. He is as disgruntled and dismayed with the lack of vision and leadership on the part of the two presidential candidates as I. And his is worried, deeply, about the economy. When my CPA is worried I get much more worried. Where is my bottle of Malox?

The South Plainsman said...

EWA, you had better get some K-Y Jelly as well. We are all about to get screwed by the politicians....all of them.

ollie gravis said...

Victory Garden anyone?

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