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(1,719 posts)
Thu Oct 20, 2022, 11:50 PM Oct 2022

But is the economy really all that bad?

Back when recession was being used as a euphemism for depression, there was.a running joke that went "When the other guy has lost his job, its a recession. When you lose your job its a depression."

I am not saying that the economy is great.

The unemployment rate is around 3.8% M6, where 4.0% is considered full employment. Companies are terrified of cutting jobs, because they may never find replacements. Prices are high because retailers have become greedy, and don't want to be the first to capitulate, but inventory is beginning to bust the doors off the warehouses .

I foresee discounts on most consumer goods by December, and a frenzy of discounting by February. It is also likely that this may be the first year where people weather a Covid uptick with comparatively mild effects, primarily because we are better prepared to treat Covid before it gets to the hospitalization stage. This means diminishing inflationary pressures.

So who is seeing recessions? Business owners and investors. Labor is getting more expensive, and businesses that exploit labor are failing. That labor is not as geofenced -they can choose from a larger potential pool of employers in many cases, and can increasingly do jobs that provide some financial support vs jobs that require irregular schedules, commute costs and the like for very little more. Employers hate Obamacare because people become less afraid of changing jobs, which only exacerbates flight from bad jobs.

Finally, we are getting perilously close to exposing the big lie that business owners create jobs. When an auto manufacturer gets a huge tax break for creating jobs in a state then fills that factory with state of the art automation running the latest AI rather than hiring people, people remember. The GOP has done a pretty good job of running the long con, but the cognitive fog machine is breaking down.

When you hear people bemoaning the state of the economy, ask them if they are still employed. Ask them if they are making more today than three years ago, and if they personally are really worse off. Chances are good that they will either admit that they are or will change the subject.

20 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Time expired
I am gainfully employed and doing better than three years ago
12 (60%)
I am employed, but things have worsened
2 (10%)
I am deliberately unemployed
6 (30%)
I am unemployed against my will.
0 (0%)
Show usernames
Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
17 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
But is the economy really all that bad? (Original Post) Metaphorical Oct 2022 OP
Yeah Polybius Oct 2022 #1
I do what I want and when I want to tirebiter Oct 2022 #2
That is close to my situation DFW Oct 2022 #13
I am retired, my IRA is way down and inflation is way up. I blame the this on the Russian doc03 Oct 2022 #3
I'm retired, too. My IRA is almost on life support Deuxcents Oct 2022 #7
Compared to its peak last year, my IRA is down. But its still up substantially from a few years ago. onenote Oct 2022 #11
I wouldn't make this a campaign ad right now Sympthsical Oct 2022 #4
+1 Celerity Oct 2022 #14
+1000 Treefrog Oct 2022 #16
From a political point of view you CANNOT tell people they're not really hurting. brooklynite Oct 2022 #5
You are 100% right, you can't tell people they're not hurting... Enter stage left Oct 2022 #8
Do you think many respondents here are impoverished? leftstreet Oct 2022 #6
I'm retired. slightlv Oct 2022 #9
Clarification Metaphorical Oct 2022 #10
Poll is missing "Gainfully retired" (me) nt TeamProg Oct 2022 #12
It's not that bad. betsuni Oct 2022 #15
After living through the early 80s Genki Hikari Oct 2022 #17


(55,210 posts)
13. That is close to my situation
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 02:38 AM
Oct 2022

I don’t ask for more because I make enough to cover what I want/need. We are still hiring, though some skills/attributes are required, but we’re not huge, maybe 550 people worldwide. My Roth IRA is way down like everyone else, but due to a dispute with the German government, I don’t touch it anyway. Being a Roth IRA, I paid the taxes due at the time of conversion. But the double-taxation treaty was written before the enactment of the Roth IRA. The Germans don’t recognize its existence, and want to take ANOTHER 50% if I withdraw anything. So I don’t, even though I’m 70.

As station chief for Europe, I theoretically have about 25 or 30 people working “under” me, but they are all good people, and I give them a lot of autonomy. Worldwide we have close to no employee turnover. I doubt that many companies—in Texas or any other state—ask their lowest level employees, “you haven’t been on one of our business trips to Hong Kong to Europe yet. Do you want to go next time?” When I was recruited in 1975, we were maybe 12 people, and at 23, I was almost the oldest. Now, 47 years later, and with 550 people, I am no longer the oldest. One of my friends back at the office in Dallas is 82. Don’t even try to suggest retirement to him. The hours are long, and there’s shit to put up with, like any job, but it’s one of those unusual “do you have something else you’d rather do?” jobs. One guy we hired as a go-fer to make lunch runs maybe 30 odd years ago was really smart and personable. He is now head of logistics and makes a comfortable six figure salary. Our best year ever was the first half of 2021, so, yes we’re better off than three years ago—ALL of us. We spread the joy around when times are good, too. When they are not, the top guys reduce their salaries to $1, and the next tier (including me) take a 50% salary cut until the storm has passed. The people who can least afford that are never asked to. It doesn’t happen often, but it has happened. We know what to do if it happens again. Like I said, we ask a lot, but have very little turnover.


(35,797 posts)
3. I am retired, my IRA is way down and inflation is way up. I blame the this on the Russian
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 12:11 AM
Oct 2022

invasion of Ukraine and corporate greed.

I think Democrats have really done a terrible job of messaging. They should be hammering the Russian invasion of Ukraine
causing high gas prices in their ads constantly. I think it is too late to start now it's probably baked in.


(17,274 posts)
7. I'm retired, too. My IRA is almost on life support
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 12:19 AM
Oct 2022

Thankfully, I did take good advice a long time ago n didn’t put all my eggs in one basket. Our economy would be a lot stronger if the opposition would participate in Biden’s proposals. The doom n gloom they are spewing could be met w/ a stronger message, I agree. There are many accomplishments not being recognized


(43,400 posts)
11. Compared to its peak last year, my IRA is down. But its still up substantially from a few years ago.
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 01:49 AM
Oct 2022

Heck its probably double what it was a decade ago and up by 20 percent since 2018. I didn't think I was poor then and i don't think Im poor now. I''ve lost a bunch of paper gains


(9,400 posts)
4. I wouldn't make this a campaign ad right now
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 12:13 AM
Oct 2022

Real wages are down. Prices are up. That’s what counts. That’s what hurts. My company is currently laying off hundreds.

Saying, “What problem?” is just . . .

I can’t believe I’m still reading this stuff. What color sky is it in this world? I feel like I’m about to start hearing, “Grocery prices aren’t a big deal!” next.

Jesus. My ability to can has fled the field.

Enter stage left

(3,465 posts)
8. You are 100% right, you can't tell people they're not hurting...
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 12:24 AM
Oct 2022

BUT, you can explain to them WHY they're hurting. This is where our party is falling down on the job.

We need to do a much better job of messaging.

C'mom DNC, get your shit together!

BTW...I've been retired for 8+ years, but this is still hurting us.


(36,132 posts)
6. Do you think many respondents here are impoverished?
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 12:18 AM
Oct 2022

Not sure the results of this poll will have a lot of bearing on election issues


(3,378 posts)
9. I'm retired.
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 12:59 AM
Oct 2022

My IRA is on life support. I hold few other "implements"... nothing doing well. Other than that, we live on Social Security. With inflation, especially in the food department, we're barely holding our own.

However, I'm voting straight democratic ticket next month. The only time the economy does well is when Democrats are in office. Two more years for Biden, and a fully Democratic Congress and we MIGHT be able to make strides. That is, IF the administration does something to rein in our oligarchs.


(1,719 posts)
10. Clarification
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 01:05 AM
Oct 2022

I am not saying the economy is great. It's not - it is recovering from the pandemic, and there are massive distortions at work right now. Stocks and IRAs are down because you can't lower inflation until price signals adjust to reflect demand, which means discounting.

Ironically many companies are doing exactly the wrong thing right now: reducing head count to increase profitability. This destroys demand, while doing nothing for inventory, and instead sends more companies into death spirals as they lose the ability to remain competitive. Companies should be reducing dividends now, even taking a short-term loss, but that is so anathema to what has evolved out of capitalism as to be unthinkable.

As to messaging, Biden has said precisely this. However, every time he does, America's passion poor excuse for journalism kicks up the volume on the lies. Americans don't like uncomfortable truths. This is unfortunate because it will spell the.end of the country when denial us no longer an option.


(26,549 posts)
15. It's not that bad.
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 02:47 AM
Oct 2022

Last edited Fri Oct 21, 2022, 03:51 AM - Edit history (1)

And no, the U.S. is not an oligarchy, for those who say it is.


Genki Hikari

(1,766 posts)
17. After living through the early 80s
Fri Oct 21, 2022, 07:01 AM
Oct 2022

When the working class was finally pushed into the toilet, this isn't so bad. The inflation isn't nearly as terrifying as it was when I was in high school then into the 80s. Workers are starting to do much better, because they don't have to worry about massive layoffs over greed and other idiotic reasons.

Some things are worse, yes, but this is livable for my household in comparison to the gnawing fear I always had in the early 80s after I left home to be on my my own out of necessity. If I had to live with my mother one more day, I was gonna kill myself.

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