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We never got out of the first Recession. I would argue that we are actually in a Depression, but I'm not an economist/statistician/astrologer, so wtf do I know?

I live in a small Southern town. I lost my job in June, when the Blockbuster video franchise I managed a store for shut down. Didn't matter that our store was doing well, the franchise as a whole was hemorraging money. Now I've been out of work two months, and with 30 applications out there, I've had no calls and only one interview. As a 40-year old college graduate with 9 years at my last job, I am looking at going to work at Burger King or Popeye's Chicken, and other fast-food restaurants, the only employers actively seeking new hires. Even Wal-Mart and Sanderson Farms are under a hiring freeze.

I voted for Obama. I wish I could take it back, though it would not matter. I still can't believe I fell for his rhetoric. I guess 8 years of a Bush presidency will do that.

Dave, you may want to consider making posting the Carlin video ("It's a big club, and you ain't in it.") a weekly feature. Few others in our society have ever put our current state of affairs so succinctly.

Greatblue Heron

I lost all faith in Government statistics when I found out that their inflation calculation (CPI) does not include food or fuel. That's about half of economic reality for most people in this country (those of us who ain't in the "big club"). The price of food has risen 20% in the past 6 months, mostly through smaller quantities at the same price. With all the crop failures this year, that's bound to look mild. We all know what fuel prices have done. Do we need any better proof that folks in Washington DC (all of them) are living in la-la land?

Dave Cohen

Technically speaking, the CORE CPI excludes energy & food. The CPI deflator used by Davis, Short and the rest to give an alternative GDP reading does include them.

-- Dave


I am equally baffled by the stock market. It seems that what is happening on Wall Street doesn't dove tail with what is happening on my street. I don't pretend to be an expert in that area but with all the bad news out there you would think the market would be in negative territory. I guess it doesn't work that way.

John D

Dave, I believe the correct measurement of suckiness is the suckification index- 0 being a date with Reese Witherspoon, 10 being President Rick Perry (with Vice President Michelle Bachman by his side) announcing that after much prayer, God has spoken to him and directed him to smite the first born child of every environmentalist! I would give the current situation a nine.

John Andersen

To Chris:

I'm 49 and was self-employed as a carpet cleaner for 18 years. Now I work for $10 an hour for a commercial cleaning company. My salary should go up to $15 an hour, but that's about it. I got rid of the car, so we save big time that way.

Life is good. We've just downshifted a bit.

Oh, I have lots of time for reading, and am quite enjoying that.


John Andersen, thanks for your words. I try to take it all in stride, knowing my situation is just one of millions. "Downshifted" is a great word to describe it.

Best wishes to you.

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