What Recovery

America: Still screwed.

This is just my gut sense, but the two nonprofits I volunteer with are just now starting to see the effects of everybody’s October-January economic freakout when we thought we’d revert to an agrarian barter economy or something. People’s layoffs and pay cuts are starting to bite in; if they had any savings they’re gone and the credit card debt’s mounting up now, so the cutbacks start. Yes, people lost their jobs before, but it still seemed to me that we were more bracing for what’s coming than actually feeling it hit. Now it’s hitting. Companies that thought they could avoid layoffs are finding that they can’t. Places that had planned to re-hire people by now can’t do that yet.

Is that what it’s like where you are?


11 thoughts on “What Recovery

  1. In California, I think we’ve been at the leading edge, ahead of everyone else.
    As the Governator prepares a shock doctrine treatment, the pain is spreading deeper and broader.
    I can’t think of a single family I know where somebody hasn’t had some significant cut in hours, pay, or benefits.
    Some people who thought they were immune from downturns, like my friend the orthodontist, have been shocked at the fragility of the economy. He’s cancelled his plans to close the office to take the staff to a conference in Boston, postponed raises, and he’s spending a lot of time beating up his suppliers for lower prices. His patients who are halfway through a plan of treatment suddenly can’t pay, and his new prospects postpone starting treatment.

  2. I think you’re onto something.
    This wave will also result in another foreclosure wave before too long, at which point it will be obvious to everyone but me that the government will have no choice but to give large banks zillions of dollars.
    If I may, “Jeebus.”

  3. I live in a small agrarian county with some small industry buffering. We haven’t had the housing bubble as bad because we never had the gross inflation. We haven’t had the gigantic loss of jobs because we were already in a semi-recession-type job loss.
    In fact, the big problem was the loss of a small factory about 8 years ago. We’ve been fighting to get in some small industry to replace the jobs and haven’t been able to attract anyone.

  4. I work at a state-run university in Ohio and there have been two rounds of layoffs already with another anticipated (unless the budget news from Columbus is better than we expect). So far, I have dodged the bullet and most around here think I am safe (I do the EEO hiring oversight and, apparently, no one else would want to do my job)but not everyone is so lucky.

  5. I work for the Unemployment office. I don’t know what you people are talking about. We’re busy as hell down here; I mean, things are really booming. We’re even hiring new people because we have so much work! That has to mean that the economy is turning around, right?
    Beat that snark, if you can.
    /yes, I really do work for Unemployment.

  6. we need another stimulus. i saw a LOT of construction on the way to the art fair. highway work, a new bridge over the wisconsin river. road construction in madison. and listening to the reconstruct a boulevard a block away. wis was shovel ready.

  7. The problem with the stimulus package wasn’t that it was too big, it was that it was too small.
    Athenae’s right; another wave of foreclosures is coming. And that’s apart from a whole ‘nother batch of adjustable-rate mortgages scheduled to reset (unaffordably so for a significant chunk of homeowners) this fall.
    And there are waves getting ready to crest in the commercial real-estate market, which means also the bank-held securities derived from that market, and the credit-card market (and securities derived therefrom).
    As Roman Strauss said in “Dead Again,” “What I believe, Mr. Baker, is that this is all far from over.”

  8. The sky isn’t falling here in Soviet Canuckistan and the company I work for is actually doing well. We’ve signed two major new contracts in the last month.
    What concerns me is that the stupid Harper government plans to cut corporate tax rates considerably, which means that corporations are now not only paying less than the average human taxpayer (by about half) but getting more, and it’s only going to get worse the longer the DerrogaTories are in office. I can remember a time when the government had lots of money. I used to wonder where all the money went; now I know — back in the day, businesses used to have to actually pay taxes. Add this to all the freaking deficit hysteria (andwhy are we cutting corporate taxes when we have a deficit again, Mr. Smirking Corpse?), and it adds up to the inescapable conclusion that we’re being neoconned to death…

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