I don't know about you, but I have totally stopped worrying about terrorist attacks. Now I'm only afraid of bankers with new ideas. I'm not joking about either point.

Gas is a lot cheaper lately. That doesn't help you much if you're unemployed and can't afford a car, but for the lucky people with jobs, it helps a lot. No one saw that coming a year ago.

America is feeling a lot less arrogant and a lot more humble lately. If you believe the experts, that should go a long way toward helping International relations.

Traffic isn't so bad, bargains abound, and even the lines seem shorter.

For the half of the country who wanted Obama as President, the economic woes sealed his victory. If he's half the savior his supporters believe, something good will happen soon. I just hope it isn't the Rapture.

As painful as this recession is likely to become, everyone agrees that sometimes you have to shake the rug to get all the crap out of it. Economies don't grow in straight lines.

It's expensive to travel anywhere, but on the other hand, the new season of 24 is almost here. I don't need to go to faraway places and meet people when I can sit on my couch and watch Jack Bauer shoot those people.

I remember driving home in 1989 and thinking I had a flat tire because the car went all wobbly. I pulled over and discovered that my tires were fine; the earth was moving. It was the Loma Prieta Earthquake, and I soon discovered my apartment in shambles. But a funny thing happened. All of my neighbors were outside, stunned. We talked. We shared stories. We bonded. It was a strangely good time. And I felt connected to people at a deeper level than ever before. Shared disaster does that.

No one wants the economy to crumble. But having a reason to love your neighbor a litter better doesn't suck. If we can feed everyone - and I think we can - things will be fine. And as I have said here before, some kid in a garage has already figured a way out of this.
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Apr 4, 2010
In reality it is perfectly rational to not fear terrorists, because terror attacks are rare and generally not very large scale. (for lots more reasons why you shouldn't fear most of the stuff the news tells you to read Bruce Schneier's blog http://www.schneier.com/)
Mar 5, 2009

It is true that recession has a major hit on the life style of the people. Wondering how much ever the taxation would be, I find the drug shops and pub goers give the maximum revenue to the government.


<a href="http://www.drug-intervention.com/wyoming-drug-intervention.html" rel="dofollow">Drug Intervention Wyoming</a>
Feb 16, 2009

Here are 3 more upsides to the recession involving food:

And Ernie, you can add them to your website www.love-a-recession.com or even to your book 101 Reasons do Love a Recession:

1. Food will improve in cafes and bars because only the cafes and bars serving high quality food at reasonable prices will survive.

2. Some new delicious dishes may be born during the present recession. Like great music, some of the great food we eat today such as pizza and stew were created during economic downturns.

3. People who don't know how to cook may learn how to do so simply because they can no longer afford to eat out all the time.

Dave Erhard
Co-Creator of The Money Cafe
Dec 4, 2008
The signs of recession in our country can be seen everywhere such as the high oil prices, the volatile stock market, and home foreclosures. Almost all the basic necessities of the consumers are on the rise. They say that December 2008 is the landmark of the beginning of the current recession in America. Over 1.5 million jobs were lost as a result of this economic downturn. More and more people are turning to payday loans and debt consolidation services in hopes of leaving a little room between themselves and the current economic pressure. Being exceeded by only two other times, we are currently enduring one of the longest recessions that we’ve had since the Great Depression. America’s way of over-consumption is unparallel to any other place across the globe. We have become a country that is significantly materialistic, a nation that never fails for wanting the latest toys, gadgets, and technology. If we cannot afford it, there is always a financial option we can choose from such as payday loans; short-term installment loans, payday loans, or credit card cash advances to quickly obtain what our heart's desire. An average of $8000 in consumer credit debt alone, is what most of today’s consumers owe. Our wide-open ability to overuse, and sometimes misuse, our financial advantages is what sets us up for disappointment and a failed economy. We must change our negligent ways and learn to better manage our finances. Not only should we keep in mind the money we could save, but with the way our economy is going, we should also have consideration for many of the other privileges we have in life such as water and energy supply. We have been fortunate enough that global poverty has not lashed out its whip at us, and that we have many resources to utilize in any situation, especially financially and medically. We should not take for granted the gifts we have that many others around the world are longing for. So start counting your blessings, my fellow Americans. Practice conservation so that you will have more yourself as well as more to give others. Click here to read more about <a title ="Depressed economy seeks solace in payday loans" href="http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2008/12/01/recession-has-consumers-seeking-solice-in-payday-loans-is-a-great-depression-coming/">payday loans</a>.

Nov 11, 2008
I'm the kid in the garage that has figured out a way. Not to be arrogant but,for an 11-year-old, it's pretty nifty.
Nov 11, 2008
Again with the blind faith in the "kid in a garage" to solve all our problems. And we religious people are "superstitious." Scott, do you even realize your hypocrisy?

[There's a difference between expecting some good TV shows in the fall versus expecting a unicorn to materialize in your living room. -- Scott]
Nov 11, 2008
Phantom II

Did you notice that Nye Bevan, greatest ever Welshman by many polls, introduced the NHS to Britain when the country was bankrupt following WWII? Yes, it was more expensive than anticipated because of all the ill people coming out of the woodwork who had never been able to afford treatment. But my antecedents got it sorted.

To those who bemoan the state of the NHS in Britain, well, my experience in recent years is fantastic. We just had a baby and the care provided I can only describe as second to none. We have a system where you are treated for illness and not for profit. If you think that is terrible I can only feel sorry for you.

Side effect: people do not default on house repayments because they become ill. Surely that is worthwhile?

Come on chaps, positive mental attitude.
Nov 11, 2008
One of the previous comments "...and what are the luxuries to cut out?" remained me the times, when I was 20 years younger then today and we were used to live like this. I lived in communistic country, and we all had to be very savvy, as there was (sometimes) hard to obtain even a roll of toilet paper, not mention other stuffs :) We used public transport (petrol was very expensive), we borrowed books instead of buying them, we copied music for free (as all the good music was semi-illegal and thus unobtainable in other way), we prepared meals at home… So, now, I see - we were living in permanent economic recession... :-)
Nov 11, 2008
Completely unrelated: Is the blog search facility part of the plot? I searched for "Carrot" and got 5 hits. None of them contained "Carrot", in fact, none of them contained even "Carr".

And for those of you who are still wondering why one person can make more noise when chewing carrots, even though they have their mouth closed, it is because of the speed with which their teeth close. They are easy to recognise, even if they are eating something silent, because of the frequent way they go "Ouch" when they've accidentally started eating their own cheek, or tongue.

Swifty (ex fast-chewer, mouth ulcer nearly healed)
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 10, 2008
Aaaahhhh..........theres that warm n fuzzy positive feeling again,

Thanks Scott.

I was thinking a similar thing, the economic crisis is going to be bad or worse depending entirely on how everybody reacts to it, if we all get a sack of potatoes, a twelve gage and hide in our homes its going to get really bad, but if everybody takes the hit and keeps moving forward I beleive that it will be ok. In my somewhat simple understanding of the economy, it is based on confidence, and that is something that we contol ourselves.

Like Rocky said "Its not how hard you can hit, its how hard you can get hit and keeping getting up"

(I told you my next reply would be a positive one)

Nov 10, 2008
Unfortunately, for most people this is a slow disaster with businesses failing and people losing their jobs over a period of months and years. Your article reminded me of the bonding of people after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, or the Hurricane Isabelle in our area.

I read something a few weeks ago about how a large percentage of food came from "Victory Gardens" during and after WWII. There is a lot of land in our country that could be used to grow food and feed all of us.

I only have a little land that is level and gets sun, and I've planted my garden.
Nov 10, 2008
Sadly, a year from now you will probably again be worried about terrorist attacks and you will still be just as afraid of the bankers.

For those that think that an Obama administration will allow us to stop worrying about terrorist because the world won't hate us as much, consider this. No country has aquiesced to the extermist in the last 6 years as much as France and no country has suffered more terrorist attacks than France. No country is as hated by the extremist than the US, yet no attacks. Hmmm.

The fact is, the US has not been attacked since 2001 because the terrorist were afraid of how the Bush administration would respond. The very thing many Americans hated about Bush is what held the terrorist back.

Biden is likely right on target. Expect the US to be attacked within the first 6 months of the Obama administration. His reaction to that attack will determine if the US is attacked again during his administration. If he is soft in his reaction and 'seeks a dialog' with the attackers rather than swift decisive response, we could be in for a long 4-8 years.

Nov 10, 2008
Who are you and what have you done with the cynical, sarcastic Mr. Adams? Give us a sign that he's ok and we'll give you what you want.
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Nov 10, 2008
@ Phantom

Free healthcare works across large portions of the world.

Bit like free education, really.
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Nov 10, 2008
Good post.

The day after Obama's victory, in England, the Metro (the newspaper that ALL commuters read) had as their headline, "The Day America Became A Little Bit Cool Again".

Not sure I agree with that yet, but things have certainly changed.

Very few people agreed with the war when it started and very quickly, Bush became associated with invasions, illegal detention and torture. When America voted him in again, they endorsed that and as such lost tremendous respect from their few remaining allies.

Now they have voted in Obama, much of the world is hoping that you've come to your senses and whilst I'm not sure you're cool yet, if he actually does stop torturing foreigners, then it might *just* happen.
Nov 10, 2008
I too felt the earth tremble in 1989, found stunned neighbors and enjoyed a felt a few days of candid conversations revealing a mutual care that gets cloaked by day to day business.

With luck you're optimism could hold true. It'll be hard but we when we emerge we will be better for the challenge of it.
Nov 10, 2008
Drowlord sez:
"I may just be guessing, but I don't think the middle east is happier with us today than they were in 2001. I'm guessing that there are a lot of angry arabs itching for vengeance, and we're planning to do everything that we can do to make it easy to strike."

Hmm. I think we can all agree on the fact of their anger. So, would it lessen if we continue our course of aggression or back off? We weren't nearly as aggressive when they first struck, but they struck never-the-less. If we back off, will they feel vindicated and go back to their goats and cardboard shacks(happy in the purity of their poverty)? Or will they feel the thrill of victory and push forward; stronger & harder?

Does it matter?

I think we are better off being concerned with our allies. We took a unilateral approach to Iraq and lost a lot of friends. But we can't do it alone. Although we are a super power, we aren't as "super" as we'd like to think we are.

With Russia growling and China rising, do we need to piss off our "friends" by acting without them?

The world is too big and ugly to allow the US to be either isolationist or protectionist...
Nov 10, 2008
I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose were talking on a PBS broadcast a few days ago about how they didn't really know who Obama was. These are the news people who were supposed to find out for us. Why didn't they? Because that might have cost Obama the election. So now they're trying to absolve themselves of responsibility if his administration goes off the rails by saying, "Hey, don't blame us. We had no idea who he was."

Now we have Obama about to take over the most powerful job in the world. Is he ready? No one has any idea. Will he cut taxes as he's promised? Almost certainly not. Is he going to redistribute wealth? Almost certainly. He has already said he is going to go back to the Clinton era of treating terrorism like a criminal rather than a military problem. He is going to try terrorists in civilian courts, which will mean most of them will go free - the military can't compromise their secrets to put a single person in jail.

The budget he's proposing will increase the deficit to the point ($1.4 trillion) where we're going to be spending 50% more than the federal government is taking in. That's the first time we've done that since 1945. Where is that money going to come from? Free health care sounds great, until you realize that there is literally no way to pay for it. Look at what liberal Hawaii did on their free health care for children - they cancelled the program within a few months because it was too expensive. They can't print money like the federal government can. What do you think a new, trillion-dollar program will do to the inflation rate?

There's an old saying that goes, "Be careful of what you ask for, because you may get it." I think we're about to find out just how much our desire for a new messiah and his "change" message is going to cost us.
Nov 10, 2008
"All of my neighbors were outside, stunned. We talked. We shared stories. We bonded. It was a strangely good time. And I felt connected to people at a deeper level than ever before. Shared disaster does that."

This is a really important point, Scott. Thanks for bringing it up.

I think an awful lot of us grew up with the expectation that "preparing for disaster" means buying a giant bag of soybeans and a gun and then hiding in the basement till the radioactive glow subsides. According to all the movies you don't want to hang around with your neighbors after the big blowup because they'd all be radioactive. Or maybe lurching around as zombies.

I don't know why your neighbors would want to join you in a basement full of soybean-diet-based methane is beyond me. And considering the explosive potential of all that methane it's not clear why you'd need a *gun* instead of just a match if you wanted to blast anybody. But that "every man for himself" mentality was pretty much what we all grew up on.

Anyway when the financial crisis hit back in September some otherwise perfectly sensible people I know started buying guns, stocking up on dried food, and plotting how they'd make their way to Idaho where they could forage for... um... potatoes I guess.

Except, of course, Idaho already *has* people who, not to put too fine a point on it, are generally already armed to the teeth. That plus if things really got that bad anybody trying to make it to Idaho from the urban Northwest is going to have to stand in line with all five million other urban northwesterners. For California swap "Nevada" for "Idaho" and you've got the same problem... except I think parts of Nevada have more albino tigers than Idaho so you'd need even more bullets.

Or you could build on your experience, make sure you've already got plenty of extra soybeans (not for survival value but because no matter how bad the economy gets they'll still be cheap, and a teapot and something to heat water with. Then if things get really tough you can stay in the main part of your house and offer anyone who comes by (who doesn't look like a zombie, anyway) a plate full of soybeans. And ask if they'd be willing to share part of their stash of Beano you'd let them have some tea.

Point being that even if things get really bad for a while life will probably be a lot more like England right after World War II (still pretty civilized, just not a lot of money) rather than Australia after Mad Max shoots up Thunderdome. And there's no way three million Seattleites, or eight million Bay Area exurbanites are going to forage enough food to feed their hamsters. So why not make emergency plans to keep civilization going instead of surviving its collapse?

(For instance why stock soybeans when we could stockpile coffee beans instead? No matter *how* far the economy sank they'd still have way more exchange value than soybeans.)

All that's a long way of saying, from one perpetual optimist to another, thanks for the great, useful post, Scott.

+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 10, 2008
I for one have been enjoying a crumbling economy in a classically cynical American kind of way.

If you work for a smaller company or yourself, certainly you have your worries; I'm not going to try to say they have it great, but you're a little bit protected from a bigger company at the mercy of their shareholders to cut costs by any means necessary and find yourself stealing cardboard from the garbage to live in.

Likewise, several of my family members work in public education. It's not the most high-paying job, but it's "somewhat" recession-proof, depending on the department you're in. Most schools already run on the absolute bare minimum of technical support as it is. If they cut that out, then all the computers would inevitably fall apart and things would get really bad really quickly. Even the most ignorant superintendant can understand that these days.

While I do feel sorry - honestly empathetic - for anyone who loses their job, their savings, anything, I'm in a relatively good position. I have more spending money now than I did just a month ago, and it's looking like i'm going to be increasing that a little bit as time goes on. Gas was at $1.98/gallon at one station I checked. A quick web search is showing ~$1.88 =)

It's hard to be too upset about gas prices like that. I might actually be able to afford to travel somewhere! Visit some out-of-state friends and family!

Internationally, I agree that America would benefit by being more humble. Part of the reason WHY these nations where Terrorists generally are from (I'm trying not to stereotype here) hate us: We're the obnoxious guy in the bar that hits on everyone else's girlfriends, talks loud about how he can kick everyone's ass, and is generally a dick. Oh, and he kicked your dog, but it was an ugly dog, like yourself, and you should know better.

So maybe we are a great country. Maybe we have pioneered a great amount of the progress in the past, and we certainly are the land of Freedom (assuming you realize that Freedom comes with a cost: Taking responsibility for your actions) - But if you rub it in enough faces long enough, tell everyone to sit down and shut up while we fix all their problems, that our way is OBVIOUSLY superior because we do it and we're so great, they're going to be pissed. They're going to be aggressive.

Alright, I'm done. I think I'm going to drive around town for no particular reason.
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