29
Apr
09

196. State of Affairs

recession

A few readers have mentioned that I have not written for a while. I have been trying to rebuild my own survival plan or bailout plan.

I admit the last six months ,including the holidays, have been very trying times. With the addition of all the new unemployed, there is a severe impact on the availability of jobs with the newly downsized now competing for a dwindling amount of positions in the retail and restaurant sectors. With the tremendous amount of newly unemployed, more than a few things happened making life more difficult.

First, with the number of people and families now having less income, many employers in the retail and restaurant industries reduced their work forces or the hours for their employees. This led to fewer job openings as well as the increased competition for positions, an overall lowering of wages since there was more competition for positions / jobs available. With the reduction of income many retailers and restaurant chains filed for bankruptcy protection since they survive on the extra income that families and others spend.

Secondly with the reduced hours or lower income, cost of living as a percentage went up dramatically for families and individuals. No agency took this difference into any statistical account. An example of this is: if toothpaste was a dollar and you were earning ten dollars, the toothpaste is ten percent of ones income. With reduction in income: if toothpaste was a dollar and you were earning five dollars, the toothpaste is now twenty percent of ones income. Inflation might not have changed on an economic scale as far as price change, however it does on lowered household incomes.

When one is in between jobs, between homes, or other precarious situation every economic nuance is intimately felt. This past holiday was really hard for many of us. This coming holiday is going to be even harder. Look at what is still going on at large companies like GM, Chrysler, AIG and other firms. Layoffs and other methods of downsizing have in some cities of this country such as Federal Way, WA shown increase in homelessness up to an increase of 68%. This was not just an isolated spot either. In Michigan for example, where GM and other auto makers have been downsizing, homelessness is up 55% according to the Kalamazoo Gazette. One community in Ohio of all places reported a reduction in homelessness, it was also mentioned though that they are no longer counting new homeless families.

My experience during the past few months had been working various jobs just to stay afloat. Survival is going to be more difficult as there is not a bailout directly for employees or consumers. The bailout monies that are being spent are those that are paying off past corporate bills that were run up by the current mis-managers. So what is actually happening is that the money is being sent from a mis-managed company to another mis-managed company to keep them afloat. Or another example is that one bank used the money to buy another bank and thus lay off those employees on both sides in areas with competing branches (Chase Banks purchase of Washington Mutual).

The unemployment rate is 9% nationally. In many states it is over 12%. Foreclosure rates are up 30% from last February, despite halt in foreclosure by some lenders, rate up 6% from last month, 30% from last year. Things are definitely not going to get better any time soon. One of the things that have also been noted is that due to the economy, charitable donations are seriously lower than in the past as well as now there are less volunteers since those that would normally volunteer are now fighting for their own survival as far as jobs and have less time for volunteer activities.

The economic problems nationally have also created another issue that affects employment rates and competition for jobs. Many people are now not able to retire due to the losses sustained in 401k’s and other retirement accounts. This caused positions that might have normally opened up to remain closed, as well as forcing some of these people to look for second jobs / careers to augment their personal income losses. This issue is also causing more competition for work and in turn aiding in keeping wages lower.

All of these issues are impacting the homeless and there is not a plan in place to deal with the new numbers that are now homeless as there was not a plan previously in dealing with the chronic homeless. Overall, it seems the economic bailout is a joke as most companies are still shuttering and laying off the rank and file. The American Public is paying for this bailout in many different ways, to include their jobs, homes, retirements, as well their overall security.

Though I am not against a bailout, it should have been directed towards the citizens and not corporations as there has been nothing gained but a lot of loss to individuals and families. The burden remains on the family it seems to aid their relatives during a trying time that is now years old and with no end in sight.

Wanderingvet

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1 Response to “196. State of Affairs”


  1. April 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    “Secondly with the reduced hours or lower income, cost of living as a percentage went up dramatically for families and individuals. No agency took this difference into any statistical account.

    Overall, it seems the economic bailout is a joke as most companies are still shuttering and laying off the rank and file. The American Public is paying for this bailout in many different ways, to include their jobs, homes, retirements, as well their overall security.

    Though I am not against a bailout, it should have been directed towards the citizens and not corporations as there has been nothing gained but a lot of loss to individuals and families.”

    Excellent points… and well made.

    Isn’t it unfortunate that our nation’s elected leadership does not have either the moral or intellectual honesty to own up to their complacency with regards to providing genuine assistance to nation’s citizenry?

    BTW – Welcome back…

    – m –


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