Monday, November 9, 2009

Life in (and after) Our Great Recession

Hi Fernando
This video shows the recession in New York City.
I hope the link works for you...
or go to and look for "close to home"

Thanks Mary. Good video, very interesting and worth watching.

Guys, this is SO like Argentina aorund 2000-2001, before the December 2001 collapse.
Please, do watch it and listen to the stories.



Anonymous said...

Being in the same industry,ie hair salon,our downturn has been 40 to 60% so far.Fortunately I saw the'end'years ago,and have prepared
for this event.I could not afford what I have put aside,,as I stated before,my three grown kids don't roll there eyes when I talk about events.
My lovely wife even stated that she wants more freeze dried fruits for Xmas,,a far change from a few years ago..
Enjoyed your book,and blog.
Best to you and yours...

CapnRick said...

I am saddened by these stories, as well of those stories my Argentine friends tell me of the meltdown. I do not extol the virtues of Ronald Reagan as so many of my Independent and Conservative friends do. Under Reagan's administration the deregulation of the banking business began. I was hoping that we learned our lesson on deregulation during the Savings and Loan Association meltdown that occurred in the 1980s. Greed and corruption accelerated under deregulation. Now, the power is in the hands of those who need to be regulated, so the future for getting back some bit of control over our destinies does not look good.

As an elderly person without farming skills, I am using my intellectual skills to figure out how to survive in place. I am still working on the electricity and long-term water issues.

I wish each one of us the best of luck in the coming crises.

Anonymous said...

The comments below the video were spot on.

Upper East Side Manhattan is hardly repesentative of the rest of America. This neighborhood is the very heart of consumerism and the "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality, which is how you end up with a bunch of middle-aged adults with no emergency savings or common sense. While the economy is terrible and the government is only prolonging the pain, it cannot be said enough that these people are at least partially responsible for their own demise.

I really wish they chose to interview average people who have been affected, and not a bunch of rich, clueless idiots who lived in their own bubble prior to the recession.

Anonymous said...

That hair salon is on 83rd and Park Ave. I wonder how much a hair cut costs - over $200?

Anonymous said...

I think some folks are missing the point. It's easy to point and laugh when somebody can't afford $200 haircuts and $1000 dinners anymore... But it trickles.

First the $200 haircut guy cuts back, then hairdresser can't afford the $100 doctor's visit, the doctor's billing clerk can't afford a $50 dinner, the restaurant owner can't afford the $100/hr. accountant, and with everything going belly up, the guy with the "safe" job as a tax auditor discovers that nobody's safe. Everybody gets affected.

You make all the right choices, get the science degree, save 6 months' expenses, even 12 months, and work dries up because everyone else is unemployed. 6 months later, you realize that you can't even get the humiliating retail job. Sure, planning puts you ahead of the curve, but did you plan on 2 years unemployed? 3? Planning is excellent, but luck and adaptability help, too, when you don't know quite what you're planning for. The 401k is for life as we know it, the glock is for life as we hope it never is, the foreign language proficiency is for life as it could become. Options for survival.

Anonymous said...

You have anything to say about useful attitudes for financial self-defense? People tend to form their identity around their job; losing the job isn't just a $$ risk but also a loss of identity. It's a loss of "work friends." There's a loss of structure. There's the enormous self-esteem blow when 100 out of 100 companies surveyed don't even want to interview you after receiving a carefully tailored resume.

Frankly, knowing how to defend a house isn't much help if you lose your house, and it's impossible to enter and exit defensively when home is a box under the overpass.

You've mentioned some job-finding tactics, but do you have any survival tactics for staying sane through job market turmoil?


Anonymous said...

This clearly shows how stupid many Americans stupid people are....

The first lady cant get a new cell phone but she can get a $200 haircut?

Their stupidity is driving the nation into the dust, along with many other factors....

In clear view, the financial disaster presents itself to people and they still refuse to give up their luxuries....and still, there is someone to foot the bill.....

US Dollar as reserve currency will end, when it does, this hair salon goes belly up.


Tracy said...

CapnRick, farming skills aren't hard to develop. They're hard to perfect, but adequate gardening skills are pretty easy. I turned a corner of my yard into a garden. The slugs get more of it than I do, but there is fresh food there for my family. Parsley has been great - it blooms, dies, grows back from the seeds. Broccoli, too, though the aphids LOVE it. Green onions add lots of flavor in a little space.

I bought compost from a nursery and dumped it all over my dried-out, hardened, dead soil. Things grow there now. I used cheap steer manure anywhere I didn't plan to plant right away (possible e-coli contamination, so I let it mellow 2 years). Then stick things in the ground and learn. I learn how to deal w/problems as the occur. WWII-era Victory garden publications are a good primer and available cheap/free. Habaneros are pretty easy - you wouldn't know how flavorful they are from grocery habs, and they can be blended into a pepper spray to use against garden pests.

Container gardening is good, too. Throw carrot seeds into a pot of good soil and let it grow (even in a windowsill). Lettuce/spinach is good in winter and dwarf fruit trees are easier to protect from freeze if you bring them indoors in winter. Google companion planting and seed starting (use a heating pad to warm your seed starter for great results); the government publishes TONS of information for farmers that's useful for home gardeners, too.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Tracy - we have had excellent results with Swiss Chard, the stuff just explodes leaves from spring till, well, it's still going! Freezes well too. We just learned that Kale is an excellent choice for overwinter greens. These two alone are very nutritious staples, and go in everything from soups to omelettes. Summer tomatoes and beans get canned. We also now grind our own sausage to turn shoulder and other economical cuts into flavorful proteins by adding goodies. Mother Earth News is an excellent resource and has online archives full of free info to share. said...

What is up with the lady $200k in debt getting massages, charging more debt and laughing about it? And who goes to a nice salon when they are broke? This was another world.

I felt bad for the guy who lost his wife and all the folks in their 50s trying to find work. That is the same thing I'm seeing with friends. If you're middle aged, it is much tougher to rebound.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel bad at all. A decade ago, these very people were laughing along with Rush Limbaugh's "Homeless Update" parodies. These very people were looking down on manual laborers, and very likely these very people hired illegal alien nannies.

These people got what they deserved, and frankly, the majority of America will get what it deserves.

Joe Green said...

We will be looking on these times as the good times in the future. At least none of the people in the frontline story were homeless or without food. They really don't have anything to complain about.They all wanted Obama Change.Now they have it. I guess our family is lucky. We have a lot of skills and are use to hard times. When the times get really bad, like on Argentine, most of those people in the story won't survive. Why? Because of their mindset. You will need what I call a survival mindset to survive. I have learned a lot from friends of mine who are former Navy Seals.Your mind is going to be your greatest asset in the coming meltdown.
The problem with people, in bad times, they don't know what to live without.