Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"If this isn't a recession, it sure feels like one."

Those words spoken by Dennis Haysbert on television commercials for a large insurance company telling us to be cautious about buying discount insurance. Wise words regardless of the product.

I try to be cautious all the time. Frugal might be a good description of my lifestyle and purchasing habits. I used to think that the word "frugal" was disparaging. It is not. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines it as:
characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of

So now we find out that an independent group in Washington has officially declared the US has been in a recession since last December. Now that we know we're in a recession does that make life more difficult than it has been?
Its strange knowing what you've already suspected. Its almost like being afflicted with some unknown and undiagnosed ailment. When the doctor finally says, "You've got such and such, " you're relieved to know that "it" has a name. But what of the cure?
So, we've got a recession. Tell me about the treatment. Do I hear crickets?
If there is any optimism to be found, I heard this today: Economists are always looking backwards and when they make announcements like that above, its usually is near the end of whatever they're proclaiming. I don't know if I put any stock into that statement because I think we have found ourselves in uncharted roads. But we can always hope.
In the mean time, be frugal.
Ride Safe!


irondad said...

I personally try to remember that the media usually try to keep us "scared". That's how they get ratings. While not being in denial over the economic state, I try to avoid wallowing in the bad news.

Shortsighted as it may be, I still have a roof over my head and food in the refrigerator. We even have a little extra. So I just keep "swimming" while we see where the river goes.

Conchscooter said...

"This is not the end, or the beginning of the end. Rather this is the end if the beginning." I think that was Churchill on D-Day.I have fod in the fridge but I worry about the millions who have lost their homes with theor jobs and their hope. With more to come. Brrr.

Doug C said...

Irondad - There is a fine line between going through life with Pollyanna blinders and seeing life as it really is. Here's to keeping heads above the water!

(Do young people today even know who Pollyanna is or what blinders are and what they were used for? Hmmm.)

Conch - you are, of course, right on target. There will be/are millions affected by the lending policies of the past and the Gordon Gekko greed of lending institutions, first in the credit card sector and then of course the housing market.

I've lost contact with a friend from 5 or 6 years back who agonized over the purchase of his first home. It was a newly built home purchased with no money down, and an adjustable rate mortgage. His head told him he couldn't afford it but his heart listened to the lender and the developer and so he jumped in up to his neck.

I have no idea what opera is performing for him right now, but I worry that the fat lady might be ready to sing for him, too.

bobskoot said...

I don't think anyone really knows how long or how to fix our predicament. Everyone has a differing opinion. It's amazing how inter-related the world is and how trusting we are of authorities who should have known better, or instituions who should have done more auditing. Regardless of the fact too many have mortgaged their futures to acquire possessions without resources to pay for them and have relied on credit to bail them out, and credit was given when it should have been denied. Our ancestors would save and scrimp and only buy something if they had the funds to pay and I'm thinking that this will be the way of the NEW world.

Doug C said...

Bob - A good analysis. I also believe that the road before us will not only be rough but also uncharted. Conch's (Key West Diary) ongoing commentary and observations may very well be a rosie outlook compared to the reality to come.

I remember the first Visa card my wife and I got in 1979. The best credit limit we could get was $200. In recent years, about the only qualification one needed for a gold card is to have a name and address. Now look at the lovely mess...