Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 30, 2008

Depression

As in "The Great."

Scared yet? I am. Let's see a show of hands: Who sees history repeating itself? Stock market crashing, banks failing, people losing their homes, dollar's value falling........hmm.....sound familiar?

I am trimming every possible extra cost that I can find on our books. No more text messaging as we get charged for each one. No more pay-per-view movies on the cable bill. I canceled the automatic withdrawal to Brian's Roth IRA in August. Canceled the newspaper. Canceled the wireless internet service we paid for each month but never used (for laptop computer travel purposes). Of course those fuckers rope you into a 2 year contract and charge you $175 to break it. Bastards. I won't be taking anymore photo junkets anywhere (sorry Axe, the trip to the Lees' graves will have to wait till spring). No more stopping by the craft stores and bead shops. We're dialing down Xmas. Didn't go to the Puyallup Fair this year. Mr. Vu and his crew was awesome while it lasted, but after the next couple of weeks, we'll have to let him go too.

I've applied for health insurance and Steve is going to pick up a good portion of that cost but I'll still have to kick in some $$ towards it. Brian has no health insurance. We couldn't afford to put him on the policy for which I applied. He's still had no bites on his resume.

But I am pissed. Really pissed. I can solve the Wall Street crisis right now: Make the oil companies bail them out. It's that simple. We're being repeatedly raped with taxes and the cost of gasoline, so let THEM bail out the economy. Why the already burdened middle class has to do it is beyond me. What about all those people who are losing their homes? Who is bailing them out so that they can keep their homes? This is just bullshit.

Maybe it can be traced back to the Clinton administration, maybe not. I think it goes back to the excesses and greed of the Reagan years of the 1980's. Borrowed from Peter to pay Paul back then, and it happened again. Now we're stuck holding the bag? The American middle class? WTF???? As far as I'm concerned, this is all a byproduct of the failed Bush Administration.

Do I blame people for taking on mortgages they couldn't afford? Partly, yes. I do blame people who knew they couldn't afford the $500,000 house, 3 car garage, boat and RV but bought them anyway and mortgaged themselves to the hilt. But I don't blame the people who simply wanted a piece of the American dream, and own their own home. I don't blame people who didn't have the savvy, education and/or guidance to realize that their mortgage and/or home equity loan was a huge scam.

My bank sort of went under. Washington Mutual was about to fail and have the FDIC step in, when Chase bought them at the last minute. But the fucking WaMu CEO, who was there THREE WEEKS, gets to keep his multi million dollar signing bonus AND gets a multi million dollar golden handshake. I am so goddamn mad about that it's not even funny. We initially decided to stay w/ WaMu/Chase, then we heard about the CEO's severance package and decided that it's time to move to a credit union. I'm sure WaMu is going to go out of their way to deny us our money, but they really don't know who they are fucking with if they try that with me. I'm sorry that the WaMu employees and retirees lost their retirements and 401(k)'s when the stock tanked, and I'm sorry that they are facing layoffs just like so many millions of other Americans. Yet the CEO gets like $14million to walk away??????? What is wrong with this picture????? But I'm not going to leave my money in that bank any longer. We've been making a pittance of interest on our savings account. It's time to move on to Boeing Employees Credit Union. I'll feel safer w/ my money there.

And think about the major trickle down effect this is having. It's not just employees of companies getting laid off, but the coffee stands will see their business fall, as will convenience stores, restaurants, dry cleaners.....you name it. I haven't been to our dry cleaner since August. There's no need. Brian's cut WAY back on going to his fave watering hole too, so they will start to see a downturn in business. It's fucking scary.

We're in for a bumpy ride, folks. Time to hunker down and wait it out.

18 comments:

  1. it's been like that here in detroit since last spring; and your idea of the oil companies bailing out the financial institutions is right on! i've cut back on everything; my dinners consist of an 87 cent bag of frozen veggies. thank goodness that i've always lived as if the next economic crash was right around the corner (i'm in radio!!) you're right; we're in for a bumpy ride.

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  2. Kathleen11:35 PM

    Mmm. I was considering opening a chequing account with TD, since they're all over campus and it's easy access from wherever I may have to be in the next few years, but I decided, meh, even though TD's not gone anywhere near disaster, my credit union is quite peachy for the moment.

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  3. the good thing about doing without a lot the last decade is that i am ready for whatever comes at us now.

    it did begin with reagan, whom i hated and did not vote for, btw. deregulation was his baby, and it really worked out well, right? howcome many of us knew he was a liar 28 years ago and still he was allowed 2 terms to fuck us over? sorta like dumbya. i have a hard time not feeling absolute hatred for anyone who voted repub. over the last almost 30 years. they set the tone for this mess, so i hope they enjoy feeling like drowning rats. or locusts!

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  4. What gets me is that people who should know better i.e. so-called 'expert' finaciers' at least in the UK, are actually being REWARDED for getting us into this damn mess in the first place. It kind of goes like this: 'Ah, Mr Big-Executive, your company has squandered money all over the place, and has now had to be taken over by the Government before it falls over. The Government has no money of it's own of course, so we'll charge the much-put-up-on taxpayer - and here's £2,000,000 for you personally for a job well done'

    I'm out of a job too now. At least my severance package should keep me afloat for a while, but the prospects of finding another job any time soon are getting worse by the day, if not the hour...

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  5. I was watching Nightline last night, they were following a real estate agent in California, Needless to say, he's not doing very well. But he's found a very lucrative side job...He cleans up destroyed homes.

    Yes, people who bought home they can't afford aren't just loosing them...They're destroying them. They rip up the floors, tear out the granite counter tops, throw paint on the walls, rip out the plumbing. Good Lord, from Wall Street to the Senate to Main street, No one takes resposiblity anymore.

    BTW. I dread going to the grocery store..

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  6. It's bad all over....I'm so sad to see my country tanking like this.

    Fen - Kris was telling me in an email how bad it is on her side of Michigan too, w/ the auto companies failing.

    Kathleen - Don't move your money. Stay w/ the credit union. Just lay low till this is over!!

    Annie - The only time I voted R. was in '88. As one who lived in Massachusetts, the thought of Michael Dukakis as President was a truly frightening thought. My father was a Reagan man thru and thru. We had spirited debates.

    Diane - So I see your CEO's are getting the golden parachute while the rest of you get screwed. At least you have health insurance while you look for work.

    Tess - I heard the same thing, that people are trashing the homes. What has our society become??? And I can't get out of Safeway under $100 anymore and we STILL have nothing to eat during the week!!!

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  7. Buying food is not fun.I think that it may be cheaper to eat out at this point than to buy groceries,considering how far they don't go.Then if you add in the cost of energy,well I just wonder which would be best.

    This is NOT the time to learn you have to go organic.Hell,I think it may be easier to just go without.

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  8. Greetings!

    I wish I could take credit for this idea :) but I got it from a friend. I think it's an ingenious way to make a statement about Sarah Palin's positions on issues affecting all of us (not just women!) -- specifically in this case the issues of choice, sex education
    and access to birth control.

    Make a $5 donation to Planned Parenthood in honor of Sarah Palin. The best part is (1) it's tax-deductible and (2) PP will send a card to Sarah Palin letting her know about your gift.

    Support a good cause (a necessary cause---PP is fighting for so many important services and issues) and send a message to the McCain/Palin campaign that you think choice is important, health care for women is important, sex and health education are important, etc. Donating 5$ never felt so good! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just click this linkh https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp10000_inhonor And enter Sarah Palin's name and the address of the McCain/Palin campaign. John McCain 2008 P.O. Box 16118 Arlington, VA 22215

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  9. Words fail me.

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  10. Yet the CEO gets like $14 million to walk away??????? What is wrong with this picture?????

    Amen to that!!!

    The rest of us LOSE our jobs when we screw up, and they get rewarded. Just makes my blood boil!

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  11. to put it bluntly, we're all screwed and I know I'm shitting myself!

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  12. Bryde - I know what you mean about grocery shopping. I've got to figure out what I can start cutting down on to lessen the cost.

    Marian - Hi there! Glad you stopped by. That's a great idea you have!! We can certainly afford $5. I think almost everyone could afford $5. I'm SO going to do this!!


    Val - It's an unreal situation.


    Daisy - We found out the WaMu CEO gets $19 million, which is more than I thought it was. You know, if all our mortgages were forgiven, THAT would be an economic boost. I think that would be the fairest thing to benefit the entire country, not the fat cats who don't deserve it.

    Ann - GREAT to hear from you at long last!!!! I hope you've updated your blog w/ details from the wedding.

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  13. It's all gobbledygook to me. They're now saying Canada is heading for a recession. I live in semi-poverty anyway ... so not much will change for me.

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  14. Kathleen4:17 PM

    I got an email about a week ago from my school's dean, saying the university's money was frozen in the Commonfund, trusteed by Wachovia.

    This sucks.

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  15. This sucks big time! It's pretty much the same here in Spain too, lots of big Spanish companies have crashed these last few months one by one. Most people I know are desperately looking for work.
    Pissed off?? Hey, on top of all that, try being an immigrant!...

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  16. I see things are not musch different there than here, huh?
    Don't fret about the Lee's, babe. No rush. He isn't going anywhere :-))

    I am not even gonna start on how the ANC here, actually managed to fuck up even more than they have been the past 14 years.....but we technically do not even have a president right now. Prices are soaring and corruption literally got bigger, if that was at all possible!

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  17. jojo... I know things are rough and tough all round; sorry I haven't updated in simply ages, I think I've forgotten how. I'm in the middle of all the Jewish festivals at the moment, and am just waiting for all my famille to descend in the next half hour or so... maybe by the end of this month I should have some pics and start updating again, but where to start... hmmmmm??????

    all the best

    lotsa luv ann xxxxxx

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  18. Hi, Dollface, I gave you an "award". Please check out my last post.

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