Thinking Out Loud

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Over the weekend I was gluing up walnut and poplar for the bedroom suite I need to do, and finished all of the walnut bases, all of this is a mundane task so I do a lot of thinking, that’s sometimes good, sometimes not.

I had been out on WoodNetย Forum looking around and noted a post be someone asking how people’s spending had changed over the last month or two. The answers were varied, some were wide open. Some being very cautious. But by the number of posts it was obviously on everyone’s mind and I see it as well. I communicate with a lot of people from ever economic posture and profession, but I got to thinking, What has really changed? Other than the media scaring you to death, what has really changed?

I called some of my clients who are in the Financial services, the ones who have been at it a long time and who I trust. Their consensus was that people are scared and have stopped spending, most HAVE NOT been affected at all, actually, with fuel prices dropping, it’s gotten better for the average person. 401K’s have dropped so retirements may be delayed, housing values have dropped, but unilaterally, so it’s a basic adjustment, but in reality, will lower property tax and that at least we have finally become aware of how prudent we must be in our own oversight of our representatives.

They all agreed that neither presidential candidates plan will do anything and that the biggest problems are yet to come because everyone will be looking to the government to fix it, and they can’t. People will horde and that will be the real downturn.

Small businesses which are the backbone of our economy will close and that is where we will not be able to recover from. One of the retailers on my northeast tour emailed and said that my time ocould be better spent because they don’t carry my DVDs. That’s okay, I’m dropping by any way because I have a lot of folks coming to say hello who have bought them. Just not from the retailer, now this isn’t just about the DVDs. This is about sitting in a corner and being scared, it’s like a clog in a pipe. Everything stops flowing, and guess what, “Joe the Plumber” can fix that. Government can’t. It’s up to you and me, but what I want to know from you is truthfully, “How has this REALLY affected you. I know it’s made you mad, scared you, but in reality, what has changed? As a nation, we now owe trillions of dollars, but what’s new? So here is my question, “What has actually changed in your income status?” No politics, no personal numbers.

We need to talk about this, get it off our chest, or at least I do. This is a serious matter and it’s been so sensationalized by the media, it’s lost all coherant rationale. It’s time to look at it from reality, it’s time to quit listening to the fear mongers and think for yourself.

Catch Ya Later!

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10 Responses to Thinking Out Loud

  1. Ken Weinert says:

    It’s probably delayed my “retirement” for a while. Not that I was planning on doing that tomorrow by any means, but it is a bit of disappointment. I have too many fun things I want to do that all this work stuff gets in the way of ๐Ÿ™‚

    It hasn’t really stopped my spending, but I guess it has made me a little more cautious. Perhaps some “nice to have” things have been pushed back, but I’ve not really stopped doing anything that was being done regularly.

  2. bob says:

    Good look through all the crap. It has affected my business. No people calling or buying. This is normally my busiest time of the year. Not this year. My wife still brings home the same paycheck. Our house is still here. It is still worth a lot more then I paid for it. Still have food on the table and still paying all the bills. Not a bad idea to save money. But then it was always good idea to save money. The media is so good at telling what THEY want. Just like Iraq and what we are doing there.We all need to focus on the positive. bob

  3. Ben Birdsill says:

    Right on, Charles. I saw a funny insight of what’s happening on the tube last week. “…the stock market is a consensual mass delusion based on fictitious valueings of abstract assets.”

    If people would keep their heads in the real world and pay attention to the values and points you wrote about above rather than let themselves be duped by the folks who shout “Fire” in a crowded theater, they might find life is good. It’s time for people to re-visit the story of Chicken Little.

    to answer your question, my wife and I are empty-nesters, and even though retirement is probably ten or fifteen years away, we’re ready and I don’t worry much bout the current events affecting that. I have changed my spending habits a little – since my SawStop was delivered last month, I seem to have been buying more wood. You can count on me to take one for the team! (and your finishing DVDs are #1 on my Christmas list!)

  4. Paul Lochhead says:

    To give this an international flavour, a view from Australia.
    Please don’t think that this economic downturn is confined to the USA. Here in Australia, we too are going through a decline in fiscal “flow”.
    As an Electrical Contractor I can tell you that this time of the year is generally our busiest, but its real quiet out there! Seems like the Media is the same the world over, only interested in sensationalism and the dollars it generates.
    Personally, the downturn hasn’t affected me too much. We are pretty laidback in Australia and I guess, feel insulated (or isolated) from the rest of the worlds problems. Sooner or later we will see commodities go up in price, but we tend to accept that as “par for the course”
    I wake up in the morning and I am still breathing. I think to myself thats a pretty damned good way to start the day lets continue on that positive note.
    Cheers Guys and buy more stuff for the shop.
    Paul

  5. Denis Rezendes says:

    now this is a prize i can really get into ๐Ÿ˜€

    so far i have not been affected (effected?) at all. other than a little scared for my dream of being a pro woodworker, i”m still just chuggin away at my job at Shaws and woodworking. the economy loves me though! I always find some way to spend my paycheck ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Bryan says:

    Well with gas prices down, things are looking up. The market is down, but Im young enough to recover. I work for a contractor supply co, and business is slow! Ive invested most of my retirement in me! Tools, training videos, supplies, farmers market fees, and various other contacts, should pay off in the long run. Im set and excited. The downside is I know my property taxes are never going to go down. They have been falsely inflating property values for years to squeeze me dry. The biggest downside is socialism! I served in the USMC from 91-95 and feel cheated! I swore an oath to defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic! I gave 4 of the best years of my life to a cause that obviously does not exist. I wish former service members could file a 700 billion dollar class action lawsuit against the govt, for false representation, and wrongfull imprisonment! Other than being betrayed by the very people who swore the SAME oath I did, things are going well! If we can get the socialists out of our FREE market, confidence will return. I will forever water our tree of liberty, and defend her from all who neglect her.

  7. David Harms says:

    not much has changed for me either, my retirement accounts are down considerable but everyones are

    some interesting statistics:

    — the current unemployment rate is 6.1% (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm) this means 93.9% of Americans are working!

    –the current foreclosure rate is under 1% (http://originatortimes.com/content/templates/standard.aspx?articleid=1796&zoneid=5) this means that 99% of Americans are paying their mortgages!

    –Current national avg for gas is 2.93 (http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/) back under $3 a gallon!

    outside of the stock market dropping through the floor mostly due to speculation it seems to me the media is causing more problems then they are solving.

  8. Mitchell says:

    Here in Canada, we have things a little easier than you guys do in the States, but people are still running scared. Absolutely nothing has changed in my household and in fact, we have taken advantage of the downward turn in the housing market and are now moving up in the world. Sadly, when all of this gets sorted out, I think everything will return to the status quo. I say sadly because I do not believe that the growth we all expect in the marketplace is sustainable. As a result, we end up with business practices like the Enron and the mortgage fiascos, all in an attempt to keep the value of the stock market climbing. If you finish a piece of poplar to look like walnut, it still isn’t walnut and shouldn’t have the value of a walnut piece. That is exactly what business is doing these days, making something that isn’t look like something that is so they can get the higher buck for it. Where’s the value in that?

  9. intheworkshop says:

    Mitchell , and all you are dead on…and here is the funny thing…sometimes all the effort to change poplar to look like walnut….cost more than to have just used the walnut,,,,…I did this anticipating the result…we are all fine…maybe a bump and bruise here or there…but the sun came up this morning,,we were still here and life will continue …and David..i know exactly how you feel…you dont remember the 70’s i doubt…but we saw the same thing…ok folks…I feel better..and i am so glad to hear from our international friends…see i told ya’ll, these puters got real long cables….and the world has gotten smaller….thanks to all…now to the wood stuff

  10. Pitbull says:

    Just tightening the belt on the finances. Gas coming down had helped a good deal. We do lots of driving. Definitely did not spend as much this sumer as we normally would have. I am doubling down on my 401K while the market is falling because I am younger. So as long as I still have a job, house, our health and a retirement plan I can not complain to much. I have busted my tail to get these things and If I lose any of those…well, then I will be would be a little pissed. All I know is I pay my taxes, dearly, so that the people in power can use it wisely…if it looks like its been fradulent…then I will be pissed at that as well.

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