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RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 2:37:33 AM   
GreyJoy


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I cannot foresee the future, nor i have a clue about what's going to happen next (it's true that history proceeds in "cycles" but you never know where you are positioned in those cycles). The only thing i'm sure about, the only thing i know, is that, no matter how hard I/we will try, nobody of my generation (i'm 33) will have the chances our fathers had, nor will reach the economical safety they reached.

Talking about depression

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 31
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 2:43:31 AM   
tocaff


Posts: 4778
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From: USA now in Brasil
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I'm here with my "looker" wife retired in Brazil.  My pension from the US gov't has steadily been shrinking as there's been no COLA for 3 years and prices here go up even if they don't need to.  The falling $ has caused us more than a little concern, but the last 2 days have seen it start to climb.  It feels funny to lead a nice life without working for it and if this is like a few years ago then we'll do well.

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I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
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Post #: 32
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 2:46:39 AM   
pws1225

 

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Not true, my friend. You have innovation, wits, and time on your side. True, the prescribed path may be dwindling, but there is nothing to say that there is not a better path out there to be found. It just takes looking. Stay curious and you'll find your way.

(in reply to GreyJoy)
Post #: 33
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 8:11:14 AM   
Raverdave


Posts: 6520
Joined: 2/8/2002
From: Melb. Australia
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Well gents,

Time for a view of the world outside of the US.  Living on the Mornington peninsula in the State of Victoria, Australia and things are fine for us.  Just about to complete building a new townhouse (the kids moved out so we are downsizing) and I have no real worries or fears.  The economic downturn is a worry in that it will in pack my retirement savings in the short term, and the wife unit MK I has had a slow month (she is a private investigator). But with the surging aussie dollar (now at $1.04 to the US $) life seems to be good.  BTW I am also a government employee so there is little to no chance of being lay-off and i still get my 4 weeks annual leave each year plus my flex time.

Both sons are doing well with the eldest a sign writer (business is still good) and does DJ for cash on the weekends.  The youngest son is in the navy so he is also fine.  All of my friends are fine with no one layed-off.  Our bets are on china as it is china that is still helping to drive our exports.  If china contracts then we may be in deep do-do.

The riots in the UK are a concern, is it a symptom of disaffected segment of the population lashing out?  If that is the case then all western countries need to brace themselves for some of the same.   


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Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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Post #: 34
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 8:12:51 AM   
Raverdave


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P.S  I am planning to visit the US next year, sure hope that there is still a US left worth visiting.

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Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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Post #: 35
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 8:26:05 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I'm doing ok. My little Rio Kia will be paid off in Feb of next year and being a school custodian my job is pretty safe. What's ironic is that ten years ago my in laws used to insult me for cleaning classrooms and I'm now better off than they are.

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Post #: 36
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 8:26:47 AM   
ilovestrategy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Raverdave

P.S  I am planning to visit the US next year, sure hope that there is still a US left worth visiting.


I'm here!

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After 16 years, Civ II still has me in it's clutches LOL!!!
Now CIV IV has me in it's evil clutches!

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Post #: 37
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 8:54:36 AM   
zzodr


Posts: 177
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Hey guys from Australia.
Worked for US multinational and got laid off during GFC1. Wasn't much fun at the time.
Now work for Aus Fed Govt. Getting ready for GFC2 (aka the slow decline)
Things aren't too bad over here at the moment but that is not to say a lot of people aren't struggling.
Our stock market usually gets smashed inline with the US market, so a lot of people have taken hits to their super.

Don't mean to sound negative, and I'm not an alarmist type of person,
but I believe things won't recover anytime soon. We are heading into a perfect storm
of resource depletion, energy shortages and an aging population.



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Post #: 38
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 2:32:38 PM   
morganbj


Posts: 3634
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From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

As a professional economist, I have no transaltion for Nemo's last.



He was merely alliterating.

So, you're saying he's alliterate?

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Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of these collisions is inversely related to the number of committees working on the solutions. -- Me.

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Post #: 39
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 5:23:24 PM   
xnavytc

 

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Glad to read most are doing ok, during these times. For those who are doing better than ok, never feel sorry for being successful, but always be appreciative of having what u have. Someone once said "there's only one thing keeping me from being homeless, and thats the next paycheck. Never forget where you came from or how far you came, and remember falling is alot faster and hurts when you land"


Tran

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Post #: 40
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 5:42:19 PM   
Argos

 

Posts: 130
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From: Bozeman, MT
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Things are going well for us out in the mountain west. We have a house that is a bit of an albatross we are trying to get out from under, otherwise I would have to agree that the current state of things seems to be providing buying opportunities. I am back at school (while working) for a second masters and my wife's career progresses nicely even though its tough with two little ones.

The current situation seems to be scaring folks more than usual - that's what worries me more and gives me some hope. I think the key will be to see if everybody's decision making process changes - lots of things that have been listed as current problems have solutions signed off on by the scientific method. I am trying to build a foundation with our little ones to make good decisions not convenient ones. I hope that's the momentum that comes out of this.

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Post #: 41
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 5:53:51 PM   
Mundy


Posts: 2699
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From: Neenah
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I was the victim of a layoff back in January. I was a programmer what that company for 12 1/2 years.

Fortunately, I got pointed to a consulting company, and two weeks later, I'm back at the company which laid me off as a consultant.

I'm making the same as when I worked there, so it's obvious that they're paying more for me now than when I worked there.

Go figure...

Ed-

(in reply to Argos)
Post #: 42
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 7:56:25 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 40159
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online
Simple fact is, the world keeps turning and nothing stays the same. Was ever the case. No political statement here, just fact (as I see it). Every generation has challenges and hardships to face - ours just has another new set.

Yes history is being made - To those of us that have lived a good deal of our lives in the "American century" I.e. 20th, the downgrade of the US is a quite shocking development. But then look at the Britain in 1880 and where we are now.......as I say, nothing stays the same.

Personally, I too lost my job earlier this year - after 28.5 years, but have fortunately managed to find another. Echoing some comments above, my family have never chosen to live up to my salary, and so although I earn less now, we are managing the mortgage (touch wood).



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Post #: 43
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 11:11:36 PM   
Skyros


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2008 and 2009 were tough as we both lost are jobs and transitioned to contractors then finally full time. Been stable the last year so praying for the best.

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Post #: 44
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/9/2011 11:52:33 PM   
terje439


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Also from outside the US, Norway to be exact.
When my mother died 5 years back I had to take a look at realities, and chose wether to sell the house I had lived in the past 25 years or to drop out of university. After some thinking I decided to stop studying, take a loan of 200k US to buy my sisters part of the house and take up another 20k US in loan on the house to get a drivers license class CE.
Never regretted that choice, although living as a trucker I will never be "rich", I make enough to pay my bills, buy food, the occasional computer game and some books, as well as take one holiday trip each year.
Unlike alot other truckers my job is quite secure as long as hospitals and retirement homes are still needed as I drive for the largest laundry company in Scandinavia.
Breaking my ancle in February and still being on a sick leave, I must say I feel blessed to live in Norway, as I still get just as much money as I did when I worked (even better since this money comes from the Government, meaning I have so far "gotten back" the taxes I paid last year).


Terje

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Post #: 45
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 1:05:38 AM   
Cap Mandrake


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I have 25 or 26 nieces and nephews..about half are old enough to have finished college. Of those that have it is very difficult. Even engineering degrees from big name schools are no guarantee. I can see the stress at family gatherings.

I am happy that my two oldest kids have good jobs but still have my youngest to get through school and a step-daughter living at my place and a couple of adopted kids and a part time Mayan and a crate trained dog and a ferret and about 300 gophers. We have one guy in our group still working at 86. I used to think he was crazy. Now I am a little more charitable.

That these are historic times is certain.

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Post #: 46
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 4:15:30 AM   
CaptBeefheart


Posts: 1797
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From: Seoul, Korea
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I'm running a small business in Korea and our revenue this year is on track to double last year's, albeit from a small base. Life here is unchanged other than some bitching about stocks tanking yesterday (which belies the fundamentals of local companies--therefore it's short-term). Food prices have gone up a lot, but the government is unilaterally reducing tariffs and a free trade agreement with the EU is helping a lot. It would be great if Congress could also ratify the U.S.'s FTA with Korea.

In short, business goes on, my mutinational clients still see this as a great market, Korean firms are still seeking overseas opportunities, and the long-term prognosis is good. Asia is still a land of opportunity.

Back in 1990 I worked for an aircraft company and one of the mechanics on my flight test bird was 70 years old. He had gotten his start in aviation in 1944 servicing B-17s in England. I asked the toothless guy why he was still working and he replied he had never worked long enough at a company to draw retirement and he didn't have enough savings. Twenty years later and I'm still worried that could be me.

Good luck to those doing less well in finding gainful employment. I've been there, and as Bill Clinton would say, "I feel your pain."

Cheers,
CC

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Post #: 47
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 4:13:11 PM   
Schanilec

 

Posts: 4040
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From: Grand Forks, ND
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quote:

ORIGINAL: desicat

Like ChickenBoy I live in the tundra of Minnesota, although I am almost certain I live much further north than he.  I am retired military and have solid current employment, but a few years ago I decided to hack a small farm out of the woodland to keep myself busy and supplement things.  We currently have sheep, goats, chickens, and guinea hens.  I consider the animals and the firewood for our wood stoves a different type of insurance policy.


Sound like your hangin' with the Swedes and Finns up in Blackduck.

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Post #: 48
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 5:14:04 PM   
JohnDillworth


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Not so bad. Was in the Trade Center for the first bombing. through a long and tangled process am now involved with FDNY and NYPD making the 911 system better. Work for the City of New York. Hold my breath each year during the budget process but it's nice to be doing something that might save lives instead of making a million dollars for someone else. 3 girls, one in graduate school, one just entering college (that's 2 tuition's I'm paying this year!) and one entering High School. Knock on wood but to look around New York and the suburbs we seem to be doing better than the rest of the country.

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Art comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable.

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Post #: 49
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 6:14:35 PM   
pmelheck1

 

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From: Alabama
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I'm retired military so I have my retirement.   I also work fast food as I couldn't find anything else for over a year and any job that pays the bills is a good one.  both my sons however have not found any work and still live at home.  My wife works but less than 6 hours a week.  I'm doing OK for the moment.

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RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 6:14:46 PM   
Panjack

 

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Like many here in the US, I've taken a few hits from this bad economy (such as a 25% cut in pay). But we're lucky to own outright our house and cars with no debt at all. Coincidentally, the "debt is bad" belief came from my father whose family suffered greatly in the Great Depression. It appears he was right about that debt stuff.

However, my eldest is starting college--a very expensive private college--next year, and that combined with major salary hits will force many cutbacks.

But, the above is unimportant compared to what really saddens me: many people now in their 20s who have struggled to make their way in life (doing all the right things such as graduating from college) will find the current bad economy will harm them for the rest of their lives. When someone in their 20s looks for their first "real" job after, say, graduating from college and can't find a good one (and so take a not-so-good job as an alternative) they might find that, when the economy improves in a couple of years, they will be passed over for good jobs in favor of those then just graduating from college.

For me, the bad economy means a few lean years but no permanent harm to my career trajectory (I've peaked in any case). But for many in their early 20s the bad economy today means they will be on career paths that rise to much lower heights than otherwise would have been the case. And some will find they have no career at all. And this is just because they had the bad luck to be born in certain years.

They are not exactly a "lost generation" but people born between, say, 1988 and 1992 will lose much in their lives.

My son, simply due to the luck of having been born in 1993 will likely (if he doesn't go to graduate school) take one of those good jobs over someone born in, say, 1990. Just like me--who missed the Vietnam War draft by about a year simply by virtue of my birth date--he will gain while others lose. I'm happy, darned happy, about good things for my son...but saddened by the loss so many will experience.

< Message edited by Panjack -- 8/10/2011 6:23:25 PM >

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Post #: 51
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 6:54:35 PM   
Miller


Posts: 2216
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From: Ashington, England.
Status: offline
I work as a bus driver, a very unglamorous job but its 99.999999% safe despite the current economic climate.

With regard to the current unrest in England, don't believe what is being reported in the media. The rioters are nothing more than petty criminals and layabouts who have never worked (or ever will) a day in their lives regardless of how many jobs are avialable.

(in reply to Panjack)
Post #: 52
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 6:58:30 PM   
jeffk3510


Posts: 4091
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Kansas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panjack

Like many here in the US, I've taken a few hits from this bad economy (such as a 25% cut in pay). But we're lucky to own outright our house and cars with no debt at all. Coincidentally, the "debt is bad" belief came from my father whose family suffered greatly in the Great Depression. It appears he was right about that debt stuff.

However, my eldest is starting college--a very expensive private college--next year, and that combined with major salary hits will force many cutbacks.

But, the above is unimportant compared to what really saddens me: many people now in their 20s who have struggled to make their way in life (doing all the right things such as graduating from college) will find the current bad economy will harm them for the rest of their lives. When someone in their 20s looks for their first "real" job after, say, graduating from college and can't find a good one (and so take a not-so-good job as an alternative) they might find that, when the economy improves in a couple of years, they will be passed over for good jobs in favor of those then just graduating from college.

For me, the bad economy means a few lean years but no permanent harm to my career trajectory (I've peaked in any case). But for many in their early 20s the bad economy today means they will be on career paths that rise to much lower heights than otherwise would have been the case. And some will find they have no career at all. And this is just because they had the bad luck to be born in certain years.

They are not exactly a "lost generation" but people born between, say, 1988 and 1992 will lose much in their lives.

My son, simply due to the luck of having been born in 1993 will likely (if he doesn't go to graduate school) take one of those good jobs over someone born in, say, 1990. Just like me--who missed the Vietnam War draft by about a year simply by virtue of my birth date--he will gain while others lose. I'm happy, darned happy, about good things for my son...but saddened by the loss so many will experience.


You have your reasons, but I would disagree that debt is bad.. There is such a thing as good debt. I have good debt and debt I must have (Bad?) Morgtage and my wife's student loans are the only debt we have that we MUST have I guess... (she paid 80 grand to stay home if that is how you look at it...) the other debt is investment property (cattle, real estate... and other things) that are assets and generate us income...I use someone else's money to make myself money. That is why I don't see debt as bad and I NEVER will ever go completely out of debt, especially when I can borrow money for NEXT to NOTHING these days... That way when we are 50-60 years old we will have income coming from places that are entirely paid off and do not rely on the economy (stock market, funds, bonds, all that crap) I control it, not something else.

My wife and I are 25 and have a small boy....She stays at home, her car is paid off, and my company I run pays for my truck and everything that goes with owning a car. It is a multi-million dollar company... it didn't come easy though. Like I mentioned living apart for the better part of a year, putting in my due diligence and time in various parts of this industry, you name it. I wouldn’t say being born in the mid 80s means I'm going to have a lot lost in my life. The opportunities are endless if one keeps his/her eyes open, and uses the best asset one has...and that asset is on your shoulders.


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Post #: 53
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 6:59:04 PM   
jeffk3510


Posts: 4091
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Kansas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Miller

I work as a bus driver, a very unglamorous job but its 99.999999% safe despite the current economic climate.

With regard to the current unrest in England, don't believe what is being reported in the media. The rioters are nothing more than petty criminals and layabouts who have never worked (or ever will) a day in their lives regardless of how many jobs are avialable.


I was going to ask someone about that. The media makes it sound like the whole island is going to sink soon...

_____________________________


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Post #: 54
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 7:17:55 PM   
Miller


Posts: 2216
Joined: 9/14/2004
From: Ashington, England.
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: jeffk3510

]I was going to ask someone about that. The media makes it sound like the whole island is going to sink soon...


The trouble has been blown out of all proportion.

The UK as a whole is far too soft on crime. Apparently the police are not allowed to use water cannon on these idiots incase one of them is injured and they put a claim in against them. The likes of China and former Warsaw pact states have the right idea on how to deal with crap like that, shoot at them with live ammunition, they would soon get the message.

Slightly OT but a lot of peoples economic woes boil down to them spending more than they could afford to repay on loans, mortgages and credit cards. Some people have to have the latest car/TV/gadget, new kitchen or bathroom every 2 years etc etc.......not realising they are risking the roof over their heads in the process.

(in reply to jeffk3510)
Post #: 55
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 7:40:05 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 40159
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miller


quote:

ORIGINAL: jeffk3510

]I was going to ask someone about that. The media makes it sound like the whole island is going to sink soon...



Slightly OT but a lot of peoples economic woes boil down to them spending more than they could afford to repay on loans, mortgages and credit cards. Some people have to have the latest car/TV/gadget, new kitchen or bathroom every 2 years etc etc.......not realising they are risking the roof over their heads in the process.

Warspite1

Yep - that's why the world is in such a mess right now - because it's not just individuals, its whole countries who forgot that booms do not last for ever and that eventually, debts have to be repaid.....




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Post #: 56
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 7:49:54 PM   
Canoerebel


Posts: 19589
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From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
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This has been a fascinating thread - great to learn where so many of us are; where we live and what we're experiencing right now.  Thanks for contributing and I hope to read more.

But please remain vigilant to avoid interjecting opinions about national policy and the like, as that will inevitably take us away from the personal experience of those in the forums to political matters that, while important, will turn contentious.

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 8/10/2011 7:50:55 PM >

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Post #: 57
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 8:19:41 PM   
jeffk3510


Posts: 4091
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Kansas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miller


quote:

ORIGINAL: jeffk3510

]I was going to ask someone about that. The media makes it sound like the whole island is going to sink soon...


The trouble has been blown out of all proportion.

The UK as a whole is far too soft on crime. Apparently the police are not allowed to use water cannon on these idiots incase one of them is injured and they put a claim in against them. The likes of China and former Warsaw pact states have the right idea on how to deal with crap like that, shoot at them with live ammunition, they would soon get the message.

Slightly OT but a lot of peoples economic woes boil down to them spending more than they could afford to repay on loans, mortgages and credit cards. Some people have to have the latest car/TV/gadget, new kitchen or bathroom every 2 years etc etc.......not realising they are risking the roof over their heads in the process.


You couldn't have said it any better.

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Post #: 58
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 8:26:03 PM   
Panjack

 

Posts: 371
Joined: 7/12/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: jeffk3510
You have your reasons, but I would disagree that debt is bad.. There is such a thing as good debt. I have good debt and debt I must have (Bad?) Morgtage and my wife's student loans are the only debt we have that we MUST have I guess... (she paid 80 grand to stay home if that is how you look at it...) the other debt is investment property (cattle, real estate... and other things) that are assets and generate us income...I use someone else's money to make myself money. That is why I don't see debt as bad and I NEVER will ever go completely out of debt, especially when I can borrow money for NEXT to NOTHING these days... That way when we are 50-60 years old we will have income coming from places that are entirely paid off and do not rely on the economy (stock market, funds, bonds, all that crap) I control it, not something else.

People have different attitudes towards debt and, more generally, toward risk.

Part of this, but not all of it, is due to their subjective determination of the probability of personal financial bad times. And the latter might be due, in part, to their age: older people have seen more friends and family come into unexpected personal financial bad times...made worse by debt. And, older people rightfully believe that, given their age, they don't have as much time to recover from bad times and, so, tend to shy away from the risks they might have found prudent when younger.

It might also depend on stories told to them by parents, etc, who did go through things like the Great Depression. The GD was a very different time and perhaps not relevant in many ways to today, but such stories of the harms befalling people who were in debt stick with a person.

(In other words, get off my lawn! )

Although I believe debt is bad, I agree with you that debt can be useful and sometimes even necessary, for instance to buy a house or to pay for school. But then my tendency is to pay off these debts ASAP. I prefer to be debt-free (as much as possible) and willingly have a lessor "life style" than I otherwise might have. (I drive a 1996 car and most of my clothes come from Target so I clearly don't have a need for a fancy lifestyle!)

Part of this is due to my being unfairly positioned in life: I don't need to take high risks (such as associated with debt-enabled investment) in order to life a decent life now nor to have a reasonable retirement income. I appreciate that other people do believe they need to take on more risks. It must be stressful for people who do this, though. Some have claimed that businesses and the government have, for a variety of reasons, increasingly shifted more and more of the risks of life onto individuals whereas in the past businesses and the government provided some measure of protection from risk for people. (So, for instance, defined benefit pensions have been replaced by defined contribution pension plans. I have a defined benefit pension plan and that is nice.)

Someone who borrows money in order to invest in, say, cattle is taking far more risks than I would find prudent, given my own subjective beliefs about the probability of bad stuff happening combined with the hard fact that debt is unforgiving in the short-run.

But I also do undertake what I think is prudent risks: my retirement money is almost 100% invested in stock index mutual funds, both domestic and internationally invested...and I'm not bothered in the least by the recent ups and downs of the stock market as I won't touch the money for many years. But investing in the stock market is different from taking on debt: bad returns in the stock market don't generally lead to harm today as what goes down today goes up tomorrow (unless someone is crazy and spends too much based on paper wealth) but a short-run decline in income can lead to major problems today if one has debt payments today that depend on a certain flow of income.

But...back to the original idea of the thread: in most ways the bad economy today is not nearly as bad as the Great Depression was. But, on the other hand, changes in the economy, culture, and politics in the US have made the current bad economic environment worse than it would have been, say, 20 years ago...and one of these things is the greater debt people took on over the past few decades (for a variety of reasons, good and bad).

(in reply to jeffk3510)
Post #: 59
RE: Participating in History (OT) - 8/10/2011 8:37:37 PM   
mc3744


Posts: 1957
Joined: 3/9/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
I live in Italy and always worked internationally.
I teach BA at Uni in Italy and in India (MBA and exec MBA) and figured that the best place to do business now is in the East.
I'm therefore starting my own company with the main manufacturing center in India (yes, I'm scared!). I figure it cannot get much worse than this anyway ;)
Not so happy to have to go east by "force", but it seems like the best option right now. They keep growing at 9-10% per year!
I've previously started companies in the East as an employed MD and always been quite successful.
I wish I could do the same in Europe and USA, but it's not looking too good "here".
I'm not even getting started on Italy's situation
I feel for my previous employees, especially the unqualified blue collars. In Italy it is a VERY bad time for them, getting to the end of the month is harder and harder every month.

One thing I feel I can say on the changing times, at least in Italy. The times of a life lasting employment are over. You have to keep re-inventing yourself, to keep looking for new opportunities. At best you can have a modicum of certainty over 2-3 years, not more (job wise, assets are different of course).
It'll be a life of working to work for most people. I can't say whether it's good or bad. It certainly is stressing for those who have yet to learn it.

Interesting thread!

_____________________________

Nec recisa recedit

(in reply to jeffk3510)
Post #: 60
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