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How bad is the economy? My wife and I have been shopping for a vehicle this week, out of necessity. I didn't see another prospective buyer at the dealerships we visited. Not one. It was a hassle trying to test drive vehicles because the batteries were dead, and even the electronic keys didn't work because they hadn't been used for so long.

I think it will be years before many new homes are built in this country. Between the price uncertainty that will linger for years, and the ever-increasing regulatory hurdles, it's no longer rational for a builder to build. My wife and I started building our home before the economy cratered, so stopping the project wasn't an option. But the process has taken over four years to get approval, and even though we do expect to finish on budget (sort of), the market price of the home will be worth maybe half what it cost to build, assuming home values keep dropping. I can't recall seeing any other homes under construction anywhere in this area.

Restaurant business is down about 40% nationwide. That puts almost all of them underwater. No independent operator who has a lease will renew it when it comes up in the next three years or so, unless they can fund the operating losses from some other source. I expect about half of all the restaurants in California to close. When that happens, it will free up enough customers for the restaurants that stick it out.

I think we'll all survive. And we'll find ways to be happy. But I don't believe the economy will roar back in 2010 as the experts are fond of predicting. I think this is the new reality until some innovation comes along to drive another bubble.

One could argue that previous economic bubbles were driven by sex, directly or indirectly. Guys bought cars to attract girls. The VCR business thrived because of porn. So did the Internet. If you want to predict the next economic boom, figure out who is inventing technology that 19-year old boys will crave in order to increase their chances for sex.

Any ideas?
 
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Mar 4, 2009
You're damn right the economy isn't roaring back any time soon. I predict a minor uptick in about 18 months to two years, followed by a catastrophic crash when baby boomers start wanting their social security and medicare. It seems to be an issue that no one wants to even think about--by spending their way out of this recession, the US government will have no way to deal with the next one, and it's right around the corner. A massive global depression looms. We're all doomed, I tell you, DOOMED!

But try to stay optimistic...go out there and shop!
 
 
Mar 4, 2009
I think you are looking from the top down.. From the bottom up? Not so bad so far, we hope.. In the Appalachians, the old timers said, "We never saw no Depression. Times was hard and they stayed hard."

At that level, optimistic, if that is the right word. Resigned? Fatalistic?

I think that people under sixty have no real idea of how to cope with hard times. I have plans all the way down to sealing plastic out of dumpsters and building a hovel. No joke.

Our house cost 28,000.oo, fixed rate mortgage, cashed in my tiny 401K years ago and started a manufacturing business. I have to produce my stuff cheaper than a chinese guy to survive. So far? ehhh.

You know why? The last three companies i worked for all told us "Next year we will be Number One in our industry." A year later? Reorganization.

I gave one of my last bosses copies of "The Peter Principle" and "Parkinson's Law."

It paid off, he lets me have scrap materials from his new company's dumpster..

I knew then that if you wanted a job, you had to make your own job.

To do that, you must have no pride.

BTW, i love that the smartest guy in your strip the the garbage man, not counting Dogbert, of course.
 
 
Mar 4, 2009
interactive "LOVE" robots, DUH!!!!
 
 
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Mar 4, 2009
I meant t - e - l - e - d - i - l - d - o - n - i - c - s
 
 
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Mar 4, 2009
The next best thing for sex would be !$%*!$%*!$%*!$ Time to invest in virtual-reality firms.
 
 
 
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