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Thread summary:

United Sates economic recession greatest since great depression, state of US economy, great depression far worse than current economy, great depression versus current market

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Old 12-27-2008, 07:16 PM
 
28,453 posts, read 73,528,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
Well;I still remember the same type doom and gloom in the 70's recession even at the same point in that one;been there and heard that. Having a mother-in-law who was a young woman and having had parents that lived thru the great depression and heard their stories;this is nothing . They only saw the 70's recession as a inconvenience really with the high unemployment and double digit inflation. I remember that both my mother and mother-in-law saying that the 70's recession wasn't even comparable to living in the US during WWII with its rationing.I remember one thing a historian said the other day on TV;that Americans have lost there great faith in the future;which was filmed during the 1998 boom year.He was a English historian who also said that American are great at creating problems and solving problems.
Honest to Pete you'd think that there were NO downturn from 1939 to 2008 the way some people posts are structured. In 1979 I had a real estate parcel that I sold to an auto junkyard and the estimate changed from a 12% rate to a 15% in maybe 45 days. Folks that is 25% increase in the cost of borrowing and THAT is not something that you just "shake off". I worked through it. In that case there was "seller financing" and the seller used funds from his own business to make the deal work. People back then had a real understanding of how to get stuff stuff done without personal computers, cell phones, the internet or chat rooms. We used pens and ink and multipart forms with tissue-like layers of carbon paper.

Right now there are a lot of people that seem to rooting for some kind of apocalypse. I suspect most of 'em were not alive in the 70's. I can't imagine that any of 'em had real estate holding, because with their crappy outlooks today they would have jumped off the roofs and killed themselves. Business cycles turn down in pretty regular cycles and they can reverse as well.

Nobody is saying there is NO recession. There are plenty of reasons to believe that it will take quite some time to work through the current excess inventory of unsold homes.

If people are hoping for souplines and other overt signs of despair I have nothing but contempt for such heartless s-o-bs. Personally I believe the out going administration has done a heckuva of lot to address the financial melt down, but too little to rally people's spirit. All the signs are that the new administration is going to do even more to address the problems.


Can you people with your doom and gloom at least hold off your moaning for THREE LOUSY WEEKS until the new administration can officially lay out some actual plans before you start back in with your selfish "the sky is falling" crap?

Did you read what the economist in the article said? There is NO COMPARISON between the living standards of this age and the 30's. NONE.
Sheesh...
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:43 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,552,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cohdane View Post
I don't know my Depression history that well. Were the food lines already forming in 1929 and early 1930? If not, then we don't know where we are yet. Our stock market only really crashed a few months ago. This is going to take years to play out, no matter what it is....
Good point .... no, the economy didn't tank to the point of long lines at soup kitchens for quite some time.

It's not one more recession cycle in many. There are fundamentally deeper problems than before, in my opinion. It's possible that some unforeseen events will happen to pull us back from the brink of a true depression .... perhaps the mega banks and corporations will suddenly develop consciences and stop steering the political system to dump taxpayer money into their upper management's laps, for example. Who knows, anything could happen.

But it's best to be prepared for the worst, and saying that "things will go on as always" or "just think happy thoughts about the economy!" won't help get ordinary people motivated to plan ahead for loss of jobs and a severely lowered quality of life.

Last edited by Woof; 12-27-2008 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Lakes & Mountains of East TN
3,454 posts, read 6,723,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
"...Can you people with your doom and gloom at least hold off your moaning for THREE LOUSY WEEKS until the new administration can officially lay out some actual plans before you start back in with your selfish "the sky is falling" crap?...
ouch. that smarts!

Glad you see things the way you do. Just another bump in the road, then?

I feel so much better!

Now I can sleep at night.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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For the VAST majority of people this is not even a bump in the road. I've said in other thread that I really doubt that even worst abusers of HELOCs generally were not using them for day-to-day things. They were very often using the cash to buy luxuries -- from granite and SS kitchen redos, to trips to every corner of the world, to fancy cars, watercraft, electronics. Great for the place that SOLD this stuff, but not exactly a good long term plan. Fortunately the "lack" of most this junk is not causing anyone pain. Ditto for people whose 401Ks are in the crapper. Huge number of people did not really rely on that dough, as the restrictions on withdrawal and the relative 'newness' of 401Ks to firstwave retirees meant the losses are just near fictional numbers computer printed on a quarterly statement.

Don't get me wrong, there ARE some people that really did have their jobs (and in some cases the whole company) vanish. For them it is much more than a bump in the road. And unlike say the Enron, Global Crossings & WorldCom melt downs that effected very bad players in a much bigger tank, the breadth of the disruption caused by HUGE money center banks being simultaneously forced to reel-in credit in a very short time is causing massive loss of confidence in what has traditionally been the bedrock of most households 'wealth'.

The way to move on is not to dwell on the "OHMIGAWD things could get worse and worse AND WORSE" but to realize that the abuses and excesses are not all that unique -- these things happen. The regulations change, the standards get tightened, things eventually recover. New opportunities are created. Not crazy pollyanna optimism, just a little faith that there is no better place on earth to take some money and turn it into a bigger pile of money. And the difficulties of moving capital to the outer planets means this is pretty much all we've got...

Stay up all night if you want.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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The Real Unemployment Rate

by Lee Adler


Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The sugar coated headline unemployment rate reported by the government is completely bogus. The real unemployment rate buried in the Federal Government’s data tables, including discouraged workers and those who are considered marginally attached or working part-time because they cannot find full time work, is now 12.2%, the highest it has been in 15 years. This number is up 33% over the past 12 months.



For those egonomists who claim that this is nothing like the Great Depression, because then the unemployment rate was 25%, stick this in your pipe and smoke it. Where was the unemployment rate in 1930, the year after the market crashed? According to the BLS, the unemployment rate for all of 1930 was 8.9%. Admittedly, there’s no information on how that statistic was calculated, but those economists who say that today’s recession is nothing like the Great Depression. By this one measure at least, given the timing. Today’s deterioration is at least as rapid, and probably more rapid, than the beginning of the Great Depression.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
9,114 posts, read 15,970,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
For the VAST majority of people this is not even a bump in the road. .
Chet, what world are you living in? We lost 2 million jobs in 2008.

The vast majority of people are either middle class or poor & I would venture don't have 1-2 yrs of an emergency fund in their accounts. Their 401ks were hit hard.

I just think you're extremely way off in your opinion.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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Wait isn't the 7.8% number already like the highest in 15 years already? Didn't the BLS change how they calculate unemployment back BEFORE CLINTON anyhow? I mean this is NOT news or some evil conspiracy, this is stuff that anybody who can read ought to know. Nothing is sugar coated. Trying to pretend otherwise expose you as falsely creating some strawman to further your nut job theories of dark forces working to keep the people merrily blundering along -- in see the media as throwing gasoline on the fire of economic panic & doom. That ought to do wonders...

87.8% of folks are working. Whippity friggin do. Pretty close to 100% have no confidence in the economy. Until that happens we are all going to have a big grey cloud hanging over our heads. Oh noes.

TIMING huh? We have a hair trigger economy. CNN is live 24x7. Nobody gathers 'round the radio and waits for the tubes to warm up. ZAM people on an a web site talking about how doomed as doomed can be we all are. ZAP business owner decides it is not worth eeking things out until finances improve, and beside he is upside down and his McMansion for F'em -- close the whole thing down.

If you believe in timing, maybe we'll have a V shaped recovery and be at Dow 30000 this time in '09.

Or not...
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:23 PM
 
1,989 posts, read 4,022,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The way to move on is not to dwell on the "OHMIGAWD things could get worse and worse AND WORSE" but to realize that the abuses and excesses are not all that unique -- these things happen. The regulations change, the standards get tightened, things eventually recover. New opportunities are created. Not crazy pollyanna optimism, just a little faith that there is no better place on earth to take some money and turn it into a bigger pile of money. And the difficulties of moving capital to the outer planets means this is pretty much all we've got...

Stay up all night if you want.
There is no better place on earth to turn money into more money, agreed.

But-- to plagarize Mark Twain-- right now I'm more concerned about return OF capital than return ON capital.

In order to make money in this mess, you have to preserve it first. That's why people are staying up all night. For average folks with a few bucks in the bank, watching investments in this economy is like trying to track a pinball on crack. And it doesn't help that half of the economic indicators are "worst since" they started keeping records. The fact that every continent on the planet is imploding right along with us is my first clue that this isn't a garden variety economic event.

In every aspect of my life, I'm pegged as a realist and pragmatic. But somehow, when I read the financial news and move to cover my nut, I get tagged as a "doomer."

If I'd navigated my ship with optimism as a guide in the last twelve months, I'd be sunk right now. As it is, my 401k, 529, house downpayment and investment portfolio are relatively intact. I'm not an MBA, so I rely on the bona-fide doomers to flag things I should be watching. If the predictions start to look like they're coming true, I get the hell out.

I respect a lot of your posts, but asking everyone to float down the rapids without at least putting their oars in the water is a bit much. People who want to read the current and react to it are not all "doomers."

Too many metaphors in there. I'm going to bed.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:27 AM
 
12,869 posts, read 13,442,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbkaren View Post
The breakdown of the fabric of our society is what will doom us to a fate far worse than the "Great Depression."

People in those days cared for one another; knew their neighbors; grew food and livestock at home; baked their own bread; stayed together rather than divorcing; didn't worry about political correctness; went to church. They stayed near their extended families and were willing to take family members into their home, or to be taken in by other family members during times of hardship.

There was very little in the way of entitlement programs that we have today. Today's welfare and foodstamp recipients will probably riot if the economy breaks down to the point where their ipods and cell phones don't work anymore.

Then once the govt stops providing the basics (food, etc.) all hell will break loose, literally. These are folks who are accustomed to "getting". They're entitled. And if they don't "get" what they feel entitled to, people today will simply "take" from others, regardless of the cost.
i absolutely agree that this sense of entitlement now could do us more damage than just about anything else that happens to our economy. i am glad that i am living in a small town but i think that the entire country will be vulnerable if the government had to stop the handouts. there are people saying that america is too big to fail and i bet that people thought russia was too big to fail at one time as well.
we may come out of this okay but it really depends on what china, japan, and the middle east do. the ball isn't even in our court anymore. that fact alone should be our wake up call!
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Lakes & Mountains of East TN
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Sandy, I'm glad you reminded me about Russia; here's an interesting article comparing Russia and the USA--the patterns which many believe led to the collapse of Russia and will lead to the collapse of USA.

Also compares traits of Russian society and how they reacted to the collapse, with traits of US society and how our society'd be likely to react to a similar collapse.

As always, the article's merits are in the eye of the beholder, but I think it's an interesting presentation nonetheless.

Closing the 'Collapse Gap': the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US | Energy Bulletin

"...My talk tonight is about the lack of collapse-preparedness here in the United States. I will compare it with the situation in the Soviet Union, prior to its collapse..."
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