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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is Anyone Out There Standing In A Soup Line Because Of This "Economic Crisis?"

I don't want to start a fire, or be insensitive, I'm honestly just curious.

I keep hearing in the news that we are facing the worst economic crisis since the great depression of 1929. Time magazine had a cover picture of people standing in soup lines. I'm having a really hard time believing all of this.

I'm curious as to how your life has been impacted due to the "economic crisis." Are you unable to buy groceries? Go to the movies? Buy those cute decorations on sale? Put enough gas in your tank to get you where you need to go?

I realize that many people have seen a drop in their investments, but investments are usually for the long term and will eventually bounce back, so I kinda don't count that unless you are literally ready to retire. Isn't the stock market a risk anyway? Don't we all know that going in?

Oh, and with jobs and people losing them, I can understand how that would be a serious consequence of the economic crisis, but there are still jobs out there. They may be lower paying, and people may have to sacrifice some things (cable, Internet, smaller house, etc.), but is anyone becoming homeless? Unable to eat? Is anyone, because of this crisis, standing in soup lines like people did during the great depression?

As for my family, we've always had to stay within a very tight budget, and nothing for us has changed (yet). In fact, this weekend my husband and I even went out to a movie (very rare for us) and there were loads of people there buying popcorn, soda, and snacks.

People are still shopping, eating out, and enjoying everyday "luxuries."

Have any of you been personally affected by this "crisis" in a life-changing sort of way?


I talked with my husband about this whole subject and he explained that it could get very bad because of people/businesses not being able to get loans and then people won't buy as much and then people will lose jobs. However, he also agrees that it will never be like the great depression, which was my main point. Either way, it's going to get worse before it gets better, but eventually the economy will come back around (I guess this also depends on who becomes president).


Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Well, my husband's job is in jeopardy. He markets a computer to the energy industry and they are buying less so his department is cutting people. As long as he keeps his job, you're right, not much will change. But I think the problem is that a lot of people are going to lose their jobs and THEN not going to be able to find new ones, because no one will be hiring. And then if a certain someone is elected and raises taxes, they will hire even less.

and then...a viscious cycle begins.

MamaHenClucks said...

I can see where it could go that direction. In our paper today, they were talking about people who are hitting up multiple church food pantries because they can't afford groceries. What I worry about, is that this bailout isn't going to stop people from continuing to overspend and keep up with the 'joneses' People continue to ask for credit. Stores continue to offer it, along with interest free for 10 years. Our society doesn't understand that this is the time to stop living beyond our means. Which, in my humble opinion, is the root of what is happening. Bailing folks out does not teach the life lesson of living within your means.

My husband is an engineer and works in new build construction. We worry every day that as housing slows down he may lose his job. Luckily the company has been able to fill contracts with other engineering work, but it is a reality. Knowing that this could come, forces us to continue saving, budgeting and walking by the cute decorations in Target. We are planning for our rainy day and if it never comes, than thank you Lord. But if it does, we hope to be ready.

Whew! That's a novel!

beth said...

Is people not getting credit to buy all kinds of things they can not afford really a bad thing? As a country we can't go on living above our means forever can we?

Personally, I have seen this as a bit of a wake-up call to be more careful with my spending and to be grateful for all that we do have rather than wishing we had more.

I think this 'crisis' is painful but necessary. I am hopeful that big advances in alternative energy will get this economy moving forward again by providing jobs and reducing the fuel costs for all homes and businesses.

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

My poor Accountant husband is pretty concerned...he's one who checks the DOW and all that daily. But I honestly agree with you. Our budget is already tight, but I could still cut back. He works 2 miles from home...he could buy a bike and we could sell a car. IF we have to. I just think people are acting out of fear and fear IS NOT from the Lord, except fear OF the Lord. Fear is from Satan. It's "False Expectations Appearing Real", as they say. This will get better...not this week or even in 2008, but we'll all be fine. I do feel bad for the folks who are nearing retirement and were counting on that stock money, but people our age are SO fine.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I do think the media exaggerates and don't think it will be as bad as the Depression and it will eventually recover (slowly), but I think it depends where you live in the country, too.

My area has been hit pretty hard with the biggest drop in the country in house values. Now that is due to bad loans, 100% financing, and people going way beyond their means to get into homes - but, that now affects all of us. My family's financial situation is fine though our investments have dropped significantly and our house has dropped about 35% in value so we no longer have any equity - yikes!

I have friends who are on the verge of losing their homes, and friends whose spouses have lost their jobs or are in danger of losing them. Companies around here have had layoffs and others have hiring freezes, so good-paying jobs are hard to come by.

My son's Christian school has had a drop in attendance because families can't afford tuition anymore and if it drops too much next year, the school may actually have to close - which would mean that a few more people would lose their jobs.

Most people are fine and this is a good wake-up call to look at our finances and live within our means. But I have been more and more surprised by the effects I see around me.

Sorry that was so long!

Lauren said...

the problem is not that individuals are having trouble obtaining credit; the problem is that businesses are having trouble obtaining credit. most businesses require lines of credit to do daily business (buy materials, bonds, or to extend credit offers like purchasing orders to their clients). the credit markets have screeched to a halt, which means that business won't be able to operate functionally, which ultimately means a loss of jobs.

Kathy C. said...

Hopefully this will be a wake up call to people living above their means, not budgeting, and eating nothing but expensive pre-packaged junk foods. To those that are already doing those things and find that this time is still going to be a burden to their families, my heart goes out to them. Unfortunately, the majority of people who are "worried" seem to have expensive car payments, expensive homes, furnished with things they bought on credit, and eat out several days a week. Wake up America! :) My 2 cents. :)

Katy Lin :) said...

i agree that it doesn't seem like people are really cutting back much. from what i understand, i think that the people who have been hit the hardest right now are older people, or people who are just entering retirement whose investment accounts have plummeted

Anna said...

My biggest fear is that this crisis, however bad, will push us farther into socialism. Especially if the more socialist candidate wins the white house.

I heard on the radio this morning that we have $3 in debt claims for every $1 in cash. That's scary!

April said...

Actually, my family has been directly hit by the decline of the housing market. Back in May my husband was working as an advertising specialist for a real estate company. He went to work on a Monday morning and the broker told him to go home because he could not pay him another day.

That was the beginning of a four month job search. In our area there are not many jobs anyway. We stayed here because he is a Youth Pastor at our church.

Most factories have laid off workers and have put freezes on hiring. Last month he was able to get a job with a company that will only be temporary. They will lay off everyone in December when their business slows down (they take school pics).

We have always lived on a tight budget as I stay at home with our three kids (and one on the way), we paid cash for our van, we own a small home.

We did have to accept free food and our church family helped us out tremendously during this hard time. My husband and I both have bachelor degrees and are employable, but right now if you lose your job, a new one may be hard to find.

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

It will get better, but yes, it will get worse beforehand. Not as bad as the Great Depression, but bad. Things will turn around eventually, and everyone will have to budget.

Yes, we have family in Michigan, which has a HUUUGE unemployment rate right now. People there are losing jobs, and consequently their homes. My bro-in-law has been unable to find work as a union bricklayer for a couple years...steady work at least. He does all of the side contracting work he can, but those he worked for doing that can't keep using him because they aren't getting any jobs either. Things are so bad he's going to be a border patrol agent and move to TX, just for the work, although they will be unable to sell their home and have no $$ to move. I know lots of others who are losing their jobs. Gas is getting harder to find here in NC, stations are often out of gas.
It's not just people who have tons of credit that have the problem...companies just can't afford to keep so many employees, factories open, etc, anymore. Everything DOES affect the other.

It might not affect everyone drastically, but don't forget there are some families who are honestly struggling. They are not lazy, or have tons of credit. They just are in a bad place.

Prayer for our nation is what's needed.

scargosun said...

it is going to have an impact on your lives but we are not headed for a depression. The media always puts this stuff out there b/c it sells, that's all.
Are we going to have to tighten our belts, yep. Are we going to have to be very carful with the credit we already have, yep.

What angers me is the short-sightedness of people. There are people out there that are pulling their money out of investments when they are at their lowerst. What are those people going to do when the market starts to go back up? They will have lost so much more than what they already have. Much of this panic is coming from them media who only wants to keep people glued to their TV's.

fourtimesthefun said...

I'm not sure how significant this is but for the record the cost of everything has gone up in the 6 years that I have been a stay at home mom. We thought me staying home with our kids was the best choice for our family. We had tried for 5 years to have children and were finally blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Wasn't it our job to put his needs first? Did we want him to be raised by daycare while his parents were at work? No. So, we cut back on our expenses and budgeted as best we could. We didn't count on the prices of everything going through the roof. (We now have 4 wonderful kids - God truly answered our prayers for a family!) We have to pay for preschool or our kids will be behind in school. Then there are activities, soccer, baseball, etc. The public school constantly asks for money for things. We have found ourselves charging groceries. Which is great that we had the available credit, but now we are in debt. Something we didn't really count on. I know you think "Duh! What did you think would happen if you charged?" I guess we just figured it was temporary and it would all work out. Rather than say "Sorry kids, no baseball this year." or "Sorry we can't afford to give you a birthday party." or Christmas etc. we charged it. I don't know that it is the government's responsibility to bail us all out, but it would be nice to scale it back to an affordable rate. Like gas could be $2.00 per gallon instead of being lucky to find it for $3.75 like it is here. How about a loaf of bread under $4.00? or a box of cereal under $5.00? And if this was not all bad enough, our lovely Governor decided to threaten to cut State workers salaries to $6.55 per hour. This was a drastic threat. Luckily for us my husband's position was exempt from this, but what about the families who are not exempt? These are scary times. We all need to pray and do our best to help each other as best we can. Coupon clipping club anyone? (I know totally long winded! Thanks for listening!) :)

Sarah Mae said...

Fourtimesthefun - I don't think "duh" when it comes to you. I have to charge groceries from time to time, and I had to use credit to go see my mom when she got sick. I don't think credit is bad, I just think we have to be careful, but we can all fall into places we regret. That's why we have God's amazing grace. :)

Bonita said...

Soup lines? No. Changes? Yes.

I don't think we're in a great depression. My pastor's wife commented on this last week. They went to a pizza parlor on Friday night and it was every bit the happening place it had always been.

That said, I do know people that have been greatly affected because they had investments in the stock market. One all but lost his daugthers' college tuition and my parents have friends that have watched their retirement money go down the drain. However, you are so right that this is always a risky investment. We also know several small businesses that have either gone under or are about to.

We personally experienced a severe gas shortage here in N.C. for a few weeks. My husband is in the insurance business and when people don't buy things like cars and houses, they don't buy insurance either. God has been very gracious to us, though. My son works for a popular restaurant chain and they've seen a decrease in customers.

I agree that the media hypes everything up, especially right here at election time, but I also think that if things don't change then we could be in for a major economic depression in the future. I hope that instead this will be a wake up call to our country to get back on track with God and be financially responsible.