Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recession or Depression?

Deepening Recession or Early Depression?

All economics is local.

As I watch over half a million jobs vanish every month, I remember periods of my worklife when I was unemployed. Today I draw social security and a fixed corporate pension, so I am not counted as "unemployed" or a "discouraged worker." If you are out of work, underwater with your mortgage, having trouble paying the propane, electric, insurance, and credit card bills - this rates as a Depression for you. Especially, if it's been six months, a year or more since there was enough income to live on.

When I drew down an IRA account last July to pre-buy the winter's supply of propane, I felt we were sliding into a place I thought we could avoid by living frugally. Today we are part of the consumer movement called "don't buy it if you can get by without it."

How about you? Recession? or Depression?

Any way you call it, Hard Times have come again to America.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


MARKET CRASH 2008 from "Verse Two"

"Credit default swap" - what’s in a name?
Is it a loan or insurance, for stocks or bonds?
Does it signal risk or greed?
Will it be a slam dunk, a piece-of-cake?
The more words needed to explain it,
the murkier, the shakier, the weirder it is.

We are told the creators of credit default swaps put together
"securitized" sub-prime mortgage loans and insurance.
Their bosses understood little about this product,
but signed off anyway and cashed in.
Now, fellow victims, we all know the swindle that was.
We have our own names for this collapse -

bleeping deleted expletives.

Gord December 2008

Monday, March 9, 2009

View in early March 2009

Ranting On - by Blogger Gord 3/9/2009

A year ago this Blog began. Since then the banking industry has collapsed. Housing foreclosures notices are filling the daily and weekly newspapers, and the stock indexes on Wall Street are half the size of two years ago.

Credit card debt is out of control. Unemployment is headed for 9%, without counting the workers who've stopped looking and the part-timers.

In Minnesota the Governor sees a No-Tax answer to the soaring deficit. No matter that teachers, police, and health care workers will lose jobs in the next two years, unless new revenue sources are found.

Solutions: On the federal side - raise the tax on a gallon of gasolene from 18.5 cents. I suggest going up 30 cents in 10-cent steps over the next three years. The way we have been played with by the petro czars in the past year, we'll hardly notice.

In Minnesota: Reluctantly, I'll agree to extend the state sales tax, 6.875 % on July 1, to include articles of clothing.

All taxpayers who have jobs with a taxable income should be asked to pay more income tax, BUT progressively. Those in the richest brackets - who have the greatest ability to afford an increase, should pay more than those in the lower- and middle-income brackets.

Finally, the "Six Months Minus a Day" residents, technically "non-residents," who scurry off to states like Florida and Texas to avoid any income tax, should pay a fair, pro-rated share in Minnesota, not Zero. This is their "dues" for living up here, for enjoying three to six months of nice weather in their first or second lake homes.

Go ahead, Governor, sign this, or take another veto override.

Local government, schools, nursing homes - and Interstate Bridges - should not be allowed to collapse. No matter what you had to say - and pledge about taxes - to your political party to get its gubernatorial nomination in 2002.