Monday, January 26, 2009

Can we do this?

Today in the US, as of 3pm, 50,000 jobs were lost. Just today.

Since January 1st 170,000 jobs have been lost.

In 2008 2.6 million jobs were lost.

Rich used to joke around that he was going to quit his highly stressful job and go work at Home Depot. Today they slashed 7000 jobs.

My mom was born in 1930. When my mom was a little girl, for Christmas one year my grandfather tore a page out of a magazine for her and her brother and framed them. That was all they got that year. Since they didn't know any other way, it was more than enough.

My grandfather had taught in a one room schoolhouse in Upstate New York in the 20s. After he moved his family to New Jersey he ended up getting a job at a car dealership. He worked there for a year, and the only car he could manage to sell was his own.

Eventually FDR and a World War pulled the nation out of the skids and jobs became plentiful. However, they still had to choose which kid would go to college. My uncle ended up being sent to Drexel because he was a man and would have to support a family someday. My mom, who had always wanted to be a teacher, ended up in secretarial school.

My uncle now lives in a very ritzy section of the Philadelphia suburbs and also has a home "down the shore." My mom, having worked for the past 33 years in a school system, makes less than $40,000 a year and clips coupons.

Growing up in my house everything was saved. Yogurt and cream cheese containers. Ziploc bags were rinsed and reused. There was no dryer, in order to save electricity. In the spring and summer clothes were hung out back on the lines, and in the fall and winter they were hung on clotheslines in the basement. 

I've gotten somewhat lax. I recycle all of the plastic ware allowed by our trash company because we really have no place to store it. Plus it can't be microwaved. I throw out Ziplocs. I don't rinse off tin foil and reuse it. I do several loads of laundry a week. I don't clip coupons.

Prior to the news today I had alloted myself $50 a month to play with. CDs or DVDs. Maybe a pair of shoes. Whatever. I don't have a Netflix membership and I rent no videos. I watch what I own or whatever is on TV. I don't buy books anymore, and I used to have a serious hardcover habit. 

I think that $50 is about to go by the wayside.

Our propane order this morning cost $404. That will last us a month. We have a 1000 square foot house. That's insane. We can't afford to switch to electric heat though. And the city doesn't run gas out here.

I collected all of my old gold jewelry today to sell. But then CNN broke the news of the 50,000. So now I don't know if I should do it now, when we can squeak by, or save it in case Rich loses his job and I need it to buy a week's worth of groceries someday.

I think I might wait on it.

EDIT: as of 445pm it's at 68,000.


Me said...

Oh shit! Are we officially in a depression now or do the financial asshats still need to think about it some more?

Save your gold. When the economy tanks like this the price of gold steadily increases.

Annie said...

It is very sad and scary, but I would not sell your gold yet, don't plan on bad things to happen cause then they will. Lots of people still have their jobs, panic and worry helps not one bit.