Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Serious doubts about the economy

I can't get behind all the happy talk about the economy.

Monday my lovely wife and I went with another couple went to dinner and a show in Portland Maine. The city looked pretty dead. To be fair, it was a Monday, but so close to Christmas there usually is plenty of activity. Last year I remember more people being out on the street in the middle of a major snowstorm.

We didn't make reservations at the restaurant. Had a great table. During our long leisurely dinner, the place never got very busy.

At a recent party we went to, a lot of people were out of work, or working fewer hours than they wanted to.

A number of people I know are flirting with foreclosure. Most aren't talking about it publicly, but have confided in me. Some of the people in trouble surprised me. A friend of my wife's just moved her father out of his foreclosed home. That came as a surprise as last I knew he owned the place free and clear. He had a decent pension. The only thing I can figure is that he must have gotten caught up in the the refinance mania of recent years. Beyond driving a nice pickup, I've no idea what he might have done with the money.

It's not only my local economy. I keep in touch with friends and family all over the country. Everyone's felt the impact. I hear from a friend in Kentucky who's factory drastically reduced worker's hours. I hear from my dad in Florida who's neighbor can't find work, has sold his car, most of his furniture and had most services shut off. Dad's been giving him groceries to eat. The guy doesn't qualify for state benefits, so he's not in the statistics. Chatted with the guy driving the recycling truck this morning. He usually operates heavy equipment in Massachusetts. The only work he can find is doing the recycling twice a week.

My information might be anecdotal, but ask yourself: Is it much different than what you've seen around you? I hope it is and my observations are just a statical abnormality.



  1. No Sixbears you are not seeing an abnormality but a cold real aspect of what is going on in the real America that all to many times is ignored by MSM and the PTB unless it is to promote an agenda that they want.

    I own a rather small family trucking company here in Louisville Ky that I started one load at a time with me doing the sales, book keeping, driving and repairs, well in Jan 2008 I had 14 owner / operators contracted with me and 3 office staff people. Now on the eve of Jan 2010 I am down to 2 contractors and my self driving and no office staff except myself again. I run my contractors first and then myself so much for hope and change. Trucking is the 1st to feel down sizing and the 1st to feel increase, well since I'm in intermodal seafreight I see the "global economy" at its worst or best long before the domestics do, right now it is at it's worst in 15 yrs.

    Its a damn good thing that I always am striving to get the most out of what I do because this year may be the year that I say "Washington, I can't afford you anymore I am shutting it down and going off grid, good luck and goodbye" Now that doesn't mean I won't keep an eye on them and keep on voting I'm just not going to feed that beast anymore.

    New legislation on energy and health care (lol) will and is going to kill the spirit of all that is truly America, so I think a small hiatus of the madness while I rehone my skills and my family's is what the Doctor is going to order.

    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, keep up the good work on blog I truly look forward to reading yours and the others I follow and may 2010 be a good year for you.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Good luck with with whichever path you decide to take.