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Is there ANYONE on DU that can offer a glimmer of hope

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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:17 AM
Original message
Is there ANYONE on DU that can offer a glimmer of hope
on this economy?

I just finished reading the O'Neil article after reading for months how we're heading for a Depression worse than the one in the 1930's. Without hyperbole, without the speculative alarmist diatribe, how accurate are these dire predictions? I'm starting to get really REALLY scared. I looked at the Jobs page on Sunday and there was ONE page of ads and that included Health Care and Sales positions. I've NEVER seen it that slim. How can we save our (very modest) homes and all that we've worked for and keep from literally becoming homeless? Will the camping skills I've finely honed over the years be necessary for something other than recreation?

As Rachel Maddow would say, "I need somebody to talk me down."

Thanks in advance,

LTH

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. Living "small" is the best advice I can give
Use cash...owe as little as possible, and be flexible.

Do as much "scratch-cooking" as possible, and become a bargain-hound when you do have to buy something..

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Make a list of all the things you can knock off spending any more money on.
I've knocked off several just in the past year. Health and safety are my two priorities, tho...
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. Hey, I knew those "poor" skills would come in handy.
Luckily, I've been a skin-flint most of my life (it becomes a habit even if you don't really need to). I've done scratch cooking for years, mainly because it tastes better but also because it's always been cheaper. I've also rediscovered Thrift Stores (found leather driving gloves yesterday for $2.00).
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. For people who wear glasses, you can find GREAT designer frames there
and only have to pay for the lenses.. My friend got a pair of Gucci frames for $3.50.. at the eyedoctor's they had the same frames( different color) for 210.00
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. I feel the same way. The only consolation is that we're all in the same boat.
I don't know anyone who is comfortable (most are worried sick) about the economic situation. At my age, there won't be much time for a "bounce back" and I would hate to spend my last days in dire poverty. So I try to think positive but it's hard to do...
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. The alcohol industry is probably doing very well
Anti-depressants are up.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. Sorry,
I have only heard and seen bad news. This week, my brother lost his job. I am self-employed and I lost two accounts for next year. Both clients cited personal finances as the cause. And, these people are quite well off.

I think it's going to get worse before better. Be well, next fall, we should be looking at a better outlook, I hope.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. My husband is working for (what was)
a very promising start-up and their clients are state Departments of Education and large school districts. They're all having their budgets drastically cut and, all of a sudden, all the prospects out there are getting cold feet.

I hope you're right about the fall.
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
6. No. And we shouldn't. We should be bravely and decisively facing REALITY.
We cannot continue to live in a fantasy world in which the free markets will save us and everything will be alright. We have to start a national conversation about our priorities and how we live our lives.

There is no saving this economy. We can, however, play a big role in shaping the NEW economy after the crash.
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ipfilter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
7. For a good snapshot of the 1920's
I would recommend "Only Yesterday" by F.L. Allen. The full text is available on the web here.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/ALLEN/cover.html

The parallels between the 1920's and the past ten years are rather ominous; a decade of unregulated Republican controlled government, a housing bubble in Florida, massive economic expansion fueled by easy credit, and a huge Bull stock market that came crashing down. Sound familiar?

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. I will give you a brilliant glimmer of hope hows that?
Next month Barack Obama will be president.

It could have been the 73 year old coot McCain and the moose woman. Think about that for a minute and be thankful.

I am.

Don
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. Boy, you got that right!
And what would we have gotten? More of the same that got us here: More unaffordable wars to hemorrhage our money away in foreign countries, more tax cuts for rich people at the expense of everybody else, more laissez faire government relations with business, more 'free' trade and offshoring of the few jobs that are left.

It is always true to say that things could be worse but in this case it was a really good idea to point that out.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
10. Getting through until after the inauguration when I do believe there will
be big changes. Extending food stamps and help programs for those thrown out of work by targeted money to the states. Tax break so those out of work maybe get to pay less on their taxes in April, putting some more money in folks pockets. Should be a tax break only for middle income and the poor who make enough to pay taxes and not for those making over $250,000.

There's alot that can be done if Obama has the will to come in and use his executive powers. Bush has left him so much leeway that hopefully he can overide those reluctant Dems who vote with Repugs to screw up all Progressive initiatives.

Hard times are coming but there's much that still can be done. Obama must cut our defense budget in half to pay for all this. There's so much waste with Halliburton and the other private contractors. Some lawsuits to get money back from the abusers of Government Contractors would help pay for some of Obama's programs down the road. The Bushies have outsourced like drunken sailors and it's time to bring some of those jobs back under the Government Umbrella.
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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. It would have helped if Bush was done Nov. 4th, although this has given Obama
some time to get his ducks in a row.

I'm beginning to see him backing down on several items. I hope "they" aren't getting to him and convincing him to follow the path on which they've been leading us down. I would think it will take over a year to find the true numbers, as it is obvious we haven't been told the whole story.

I don't envy Obama, but if he can clean this mess up, he WILL be "Mr. Awesome" to us all. He needs our support, for sure.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. I wish I could share your optimism
but his cabinet appointments are actually contributing to dashing my hope for change. I don't want this to be a bash Obama thread but I would be lying if I said that, so far, I see more of the same.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. How about a wealth tax?

Oh wait, that's after the revolution.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
11. There's no giant dustbowl to worry about.
So it won't be as bad. kthnxbai
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
12. If we're smart, we'll learn to live differently now - more meaning, less stuff.
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 08:39 AM by polichick
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
13. Well things will eventually get a whole lot better.
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 08:49 AM by fasttense
Yes we are headed for another Republicon Great Depression. I think it will equal the last one.

But, if you survive this Republicon crash, there will be a new golden age.

You need to read Ravi Batra, Professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. His book "The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos" is an easy read for those of us not familiar with economic theory.

He predicted this economic collapse many years ago and announced a year ago, on Thom Hartmann's show that Obama would and must win.

He is predicting a new golden age. So hang on. Do what you have to do to simply survive the next 2 or 3 years and things will get much, much better.

He also said that this Republicon Great Depression would not last as long as the last one.

Did I talk you down?

Edited to let a little more Hope in
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. Finally! A glimmer of hope.
Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll take you up on that.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
14. Plant perennial edibles.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
16. Some states are making efforts to restructure their economies for the recovery
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 08:50 AM by depakid
Some examples of forward looking thinking:

SolarWorld Opens North Americas Largest Solar Cell Manufacturing Facility

Solar pioneer's approach to high-volume manufacturing provides foundation for new economy dominated by green jobs

Hillsboro, Ore., October 17, 2008 SolarWorld, a world leader in high quality solar power technology, today opens North Americas largest solar cell manufacturing facility. The new plant is located in Hillsboro, Oregon and is expected to reach a capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) by 2011.

http://www.solarworld-usa.com/SolarWorld-Opens-North.26...

See also: SolarWorld increases operating result by 51.8 % in the first nine months
November 3, 2008

http://www.solarworld-usa.com/Q3-results.2691.0.html


---------

Vestas confirms expansion in Portland
Green energy - The wind-turbine giant says yes


State officials are negotiating with Vestas Wind Systems to offer up to $19 million in cash incentives for the company to expand its North American headquarters in Portland, Gov. Ted Kulongoski's office said Monday.

Vestas' officials confirmed for the first time Monday that they have picked Portland for their expansion.

The company plans to grow rapidly as the state and country ramp up clean energy production to reduce the United States dependence on foreign oil. Vestas employs about 1,200 people in the United States and Canada and expects to grow to 4,000 within about two years.

<snip>

Portland has seen some of the fastest growth in college educated 25- to 34-year-olds among U.S. cities. Those workers in Portland tend to be interested in the environment and sustainability, making Portland and Vestas a good match, said Joe Cortright, a Portland economist who has studied regional economies across the country.

"A company like that is in our sweet spot," Cortright said.

If it works out, Vestas' expansion could create a new feedback loop that encourages more like-minded workers and companies to start or move to the area. That growth could spur the next generation of industries that power the state economy, much as Tektronix did with high-tech in the 1940s and Nike did with sportswear in the 1960s.

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf?/base/busi...


------------

Face time with Obama, Governor Kulongoski lobbies for campus spending

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski got a chance Tuesday to lobby President-elect Barack Obama on his proposal to use billions in federal stimulus dollars to fix up university campuses across the nation.

Kulongoski was among 48 U.S. governors who attended a roundtable discussion with Obama in Philadelphia. The topic: How to jolt the economy back to life.

Most of the talk centered on transportation projects, which are what Obama is leaning toward, as a means of putting people back to work on highways, bridges and mass transit construction. But Kulongoski made the case that a federal program to deal with the growing backlog of crumbling university buildings would create jobs more quickly.

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/oregonian/index.ssf?...

-----------

Other states can (and will) follow Oregon's lead in their own ways in the years to come- and embark on their own forward looking projects. Making this easier is the fact that petrol prices are cheap (for the short term) as are metals and other commodities.

And make no mistake, despite the losses, there's still a lot of money out there on the sidelines (and it's not earning returns where its been safely stashed). Eventually, it'll be put back into play in a much more positive manner than it has been over the past 8+ years.

The era of Bush and cowboy capitalism is over- sanity will return to the regulatory agencies, and the fundies will be out on their butts- and relegated back to the fringe where they belong.

I reckon that last point is hopeful enough....
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. financial stress won't go away for most Americans, but
it will become much simpler than in the past.
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flobee Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
19. I wish I could
best plan-
have a modest Christmas for the kids
buy local (craigslist is a good place to go)
enjoy the company of family and friends

Help people in the neighborhood put up their lights and tree
attend the neighborhood kids christmas plays
give your time as a christmas gift

It doesnt take a carload of gifts to have a happy holiday

Will the camping skills I've finely honed over the years be necessary for something other than recreation?
unfortunately I think they will be put to use, as will mine
its pretty freakin bad now, and we still have not bottomes out yet

dig in for the long haul
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
23. President Obama will not let politics as usual derail this vision of his
to where he wants us as a country, as a people to be. I have total confidence in his abilities to lead and will not doubt him at this point in time because all I've heard from him so far is truth and honesty, two things sorely missing with the present band of crooks, thieves and war criminals. And just outright sorry SOB's

I say, please, have some trust, it really is needed now, today. Together we will be fine
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Waiting For Everyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
26. The experts said we weren't in a recession, and they're just as wrong now.
They're consistently wrong, that much we can count on. Just take it day by day, and do what you can. Hope doesn't cost anything extra, you may as well have some.

(I say that as someone who's in dire straits myself. Hang in there. Don't give up, don't stop thinking, don't stop trying. Things change. When you're on the bottom, the odds that the change will be upward, are on your side.)
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