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Author Topic: America: Officially in recession  (Read 9407 times)

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Mizuki

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America: Officially in recession
« on: December 03, 2008, 10:46:33 PM »

http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/01/news/economy/recession/?postversion=2008120115

Seriously, how long did it take for people to actually realize this?

Do you believe we are in a recession? What do you think can get us out? What are your feelings on this?
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SOawesomeness

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 10:53:41 PM »

AHA. I totally knew it while my sister was denying that it was. America was just in denial, hoping it would turn for the better...

I don't know what the government in the past had done to get us out, but I'm hoping that as time naturally flows, it'll eventually get better once people start making better decisions about the economy. And yes, I'm pretty damn sure we're in a recession... after all, it's already been the minimum quarters that were sloping downwards to indicate that yes, it is a recession. "The ultimate cure of a recession is letting it run its course." <-- I agree with that statement.

And I do believe that there is a pretty hearty possibility that it can turn into a depression, especially at how the rate things are going.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 11:08:51 PM »

Since December of '07...wwwooooowww

I think America was trying to put off calling it a 'recession' as long as it could - notice how confidence in the market plummeted even more when we actually put a label on it.

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 11:21:03 PM »

Yeah, I'm not really sure why they put off labeling it so, though it might be so that they don't scare the economy into getting even worse, but still, I believe that it's better to address the problem than to just address the results.

It's like trying to wipe blood off of a major injury when the person who is bleeding has hemophilia.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 09:18:08 AM »

While a lot of us laypeople knew that we were in a recession because we were dealing directly with the effects of it, economists tend to take a wait-and-see approach to these things.  They want to verify that there's been a trend for a certain amount of time and that it's broad-based rather than certain parts of the economy (like housing or retail).

Of course, now that they're getting around to declaring a recession, there's a very real possibility that we'll be ending up in a depression before too long, depending on what ultimately happens with the auto industry and what other businesses they take down with them if they go bankrupt.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 09:59:17 AM »

But also bear in mind that humans are terrible and taking objective statistics. Without the tools that economists have, it would be like giving an athoritative likelyhood of death by way of plane crash...or more easier to relate, the likelyhood that a Black man will be good at basketball...hehe or an Asian at math. (but then its always racial with me ;D)
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 09:13:26 AM »

We need an FDR of the millennium, even though another dust bowl isn't imminent, the recession is bad enough, and parts of California are rationing water as well. Wonder why we always wait until it gets really bad to do something?
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Nyxyin

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 04:55:16 PM »

Wonder why we always wait until it gets really bad to do something?
We/they didn't, but what is constantly being done tends to not get noticed until things get really bad.  Big changes require a lot of consensus and support.  The people who can have been tweaking interest rates, issuing warnings, proposing and discussing things, and trying to correct whatever they can in a normal, non-emergency mode all along.  It's just that, until things are declared drastically wrong, nobody notices all the work being done.  A lot of little elves (maintenance people, sysadmins, even politicians, etc.) are working all the time, invisible to most people, always fixing things, improving things, and preventing a million things from going wrong.  They're just usually not appreciated or even acknowledged until things blow up.  There are just some things that require more power than people give the elves, and sometimes, things fall through the cracks.  It's only when things get very bad that the people who need it get a big enough stick to thwack the irresponsible parties around and make big changes happen.  And, even when big changes do happen, all the irresponsible parties tend to get the most help.  The world is built in such a way that Prometheus usually ends up being punished.  Many banks that didn't make bad loans and are still strong and fully solvent were being told that they have to follow the same ultra-restrictive punitive standards that the government is imposing on those that are getting bailouts.

There's a very fine and tricky balance between "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", "haste makes waste", and "a stitch in time saves nine".  How do you know when it's "broke" enough to fix?  When is a fix too hasty?  When is the right time for the stitch?  Generally, the world is set up so that people who wait for things to break first are rewarded most.  After all, if something goes wrong first, the people who come in and make things even a little better are lauded as heroes, even if it's only a mediocre and partial fix.  They're usually given the most power to get their fixes implemented, the most leniency if their fix doesn't entirely work perfectly, and the most credit for anything that goes right.  In contrast, those who try to fix things before they're broken end up with usually end up with no end of obstacles and criticism ("It wasn't broken!  What did you change it!?  I liked it the way it was before!") from people who don't understand (and will now never see) what potential disasters have been avoided by the fix.

It's a thankless job and an uphill battle to fix things before they get bad, but there are people out there constantly trying to get it done even if most people never notice them.

In this case, I believe there was some fluctuation in the indicators earlier this year that confused the issue, so that they couldn't be sure until they had enough data to drown out the fluctuation.
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wickedbi1ch

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 08:35:37 PM »

I think that's the deal with it, the "consensus and support" needed has to come from everyone, not just those who noticed the problem and were already doing something. The public got stuck in the moment right before the top blew off and really couldn't get the momentum it needed to starting turning things around.
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JohnnyAR

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 06:11:57 PM »

Since a lot of people are losing their jobs, would this make it harder for teens to get a job?
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Raymei

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2008, 06:53:31 PM »

Since a lot of people are losing their jobs, would this make it harder for teens to get a job?

Possibly, you have no job experience and restricted hours due to school  (but at the same time, you can be hired at/can afford to work at minimum wage).
It sucks  :(  I have friends who haven't had a job in so long (and this isn't an easy time to be working for tips....god people penny-pinch on the tip despite spending $100+ on JUST the wine???  T.T )
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 10:28:05 PM »

Since a lot of people are losing their jobs, would this make it harder for teens to get a job?

Yeah, considering that most teens get jobs at retail stores and restaurants.  People can't afford a lot now, and won't buy.  If people stop buying, then bosses need to lay off workers to restrict money loss on wages, and you can bet that the first ones to go will be the part-time teens.

Jerry

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 01:23:17 PM »

I'm part of the general statistics, got laid off in October, supposedly due to budget cuts... Only to find out they hired a replacement for me that works for 1/2 the salary i use to make.

Darn, F@#$ing corporate america...

now in order to come close to what i used to make, I work 2 jobs now and barely have time to hang out with my family, roommates, and friends i havent seen literally (what its been over a year now :P)

Being a responsible adult (i.e. mortgage, all sorts of bills and etc) is tough. I wish i could borrow money from my parents. But they're dead. Being the youngest in my family, I really dont want to bother my older brothers and sisters, because I'm pretty sure everyone is struggling to make ends meet too. So I do what i have to do. and Boy do i cherish my time off or the ability to see and hang out with old and new friends here on the boards and every other walk(s) of life.

Ironically, when it comes to jobs being from the HR background... its not really WHAT you know. its really WHO you know. I'd like to think that I have a good educational background and experience, but time and time again ive been passed up on opportunities because of the refferal or beauty card played against me.  :-\

Sometimes i wonder if this really is the land of equal opportunities sometimes :P
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Nyxyin

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 03:44:34 PM »

Ironically, when it comes to jobs being from the HR background... its not really WHAT you know. its really WHO you know.
I agree.  A lot of people, especially the academically successful ones, don't see this until the best opportunities have passed.  It's an unfortunate fact of life that it's important to have good friends in high places.

Quote
I'd like to think that I have a good educational background and experience, but time and time again ive been passed up on opportunities because of the referral or beauty card played against me.  :-\
I agree that other factors tend to outweigh educational background and actual work experience.  I think a lot of people "waste" their time in college concentrating too much on academics.  I did that too, so I speak from experience.  I didn't realize until after graduation that the price of going to a good college isn't to pay for better academics.  It's not even there for paying to "learn how to learn".  In retrospect, that line is a fairy tale along the lines of Santa Claus.  All schooling has a component of providing an environment for people figure out how to deal with others, and only those who learned that lesson well manage to take full advantage of a good college.

For example, take Obama's advisory network.  Because they took the opportunity to network with Obama (whether they recognized him to be smart and valuable or they just got lucky in being at the right place at the right time), they're pretty much guaranteed to ride through this recession (and probably the rest of their lives) just fine as long as they don't do something outrageously criminal or horrific.  The access to that type of opportunity is the difference between an elite university and a mediocre one.

I wanted to mention that it's not all one or the other, though.  Academic background, intelligence, experience, and willingness to work hard is still important because people still have to have enough value to contribute to their networks in order to maintain them.  However, those things are not enough.  It's important to be able to maintain a network too.  In times of plenty, it's easy to take a chance on putting potentially useful people in high enough places.  (Most people are nice and mean well, especially when times are good, so this happens naturally.  I don't think people are intentionally installing allies as a hedge against bad times.)  In times of recession, people just can't afford to do much more than pay back social debts to those who have taken care of them when they needed it.

So, being successful requires having the right balance of social and technical skill.  Also, too often, luck is a sufficient substitute for one, the other, or both.

Quote
Sometimes i wonder if this really is the land of equal opportunities sometimes :P
No, such a land does not exist.  I'm afraid life isn't fair.  Not all opportunities are created equal.  Pursuing the wrong opportunity or going about it in the wrong way gets people nowhere.  The "right" opportunity and the "right" way are often a function of chance.

However, as far as leveling the playing field goes, I think this land does rather well.  We all have access to some level of free public education.  If we work hard and do well there, there is access to some level of funding for getting into a good college.  If we succeed in that, the good college gives us some level of access to the future leaders of America.  If we end up in the right situations with the right people, if we take the right opportunities, whether it's by skill or luck, we can do pretty well for ourselves.  So, I think this land does carve out some small amount of equal opportunity in the face of vastly unfair circumstances.

Still, no matter how many technical and legal attempts are made to create equal opportunities, luck is never fair or equal.  Furthermore, not everybody manages to make equal use of the same opportunities, and over time, all the missed opportunities add up.

In any case, best of luck with improving your situation.  Since you have the skill and background, luck would probably be what you need most.  Also, maybe it's worthwhile to make the time to enjoy yourself and play with your friends more often than once a year.  All work and no play isn't just dull, but it also doesn't improve the level of "who you know".  Besides, if your play makes you less stressed, more energetic, and more positive overall, then you stand a better chance of making a better social impression in general and more ready to seize potential opportunities too.
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Steve.Young

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 07:56:26 PM »

Speaking as someone who knows a lot of CEO's and other people in a position to hire, after many conversations with all of them, they all seem to be looking to FIRE people instead. Either that or trim their work force and hire people at a lower salary/cost point (Like what happened to Jerry).

Also speaking as someone who has tried to use his connections, it's hard. I've only got one viable offer out of the many dozens I have tried.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2008, 02:41:01 PM »

Speaking as someone who knows a lot of CEO's and other people in a position to hire, after many conversations with all of them, they all seem to be looking to FIRE people instead. Either that or trim their work force and hire people at a lower salary/cost point (Like what happened to Jerry).

Also speaking as someone who has tried to use his connections, it's hard. I've only got one viable offer out of the many dozens I have tried.

Do note that in CA, if the reason stated for the layoffs is for downsizing purposes, if the company
hires back a similar number of replacement workers, it may be in violation of fair employment labour
laws, and the laid-off employees may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.  Most company
executives will be very, very careful about hirings any time soon after layoffs for that reason.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2008, 02:50:11 PM »

We've been seeing a lot of layoffs where former employees are hired back as "contractors" or "temps."  This might be what Steve referred to as a lower cost point since the company does not have to pay as much in terms of benefits.
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Steve.Young

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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2008, 03:09:44 PM »

Note that a lot of employees are often under the "At will employment" which allows them to fire anyone for any reason. They don't have to state any reason.

I was also simply stating budgetary reasons...not downsizing as a whole. They are not the same thing.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2008, 10:45:32 PM »

Note that a lot of employees are often under the "At will employment" which allows them to fire anyone for any reason. They don't have to state any reason.

While that is in general true, employers have to be very careful to ensure they
aren't slapped with wongful termination lawsuits by terminated employees.
For example, if a group is 90% male, and 10% female, but the subset of
people laid off were 90% female, 10% male, there's a very good case for
the terminated group to argue that they were unfairly and discriminatorily
targeted for termination based on gender as the terminated group disproptionately
represented a protected class.

Likewise, if management downsizes employees and it turns out a larger than
representative portion were over 40 compared to the entire employee pool,
there would be grounds for a wrongful termination suit, as age discrimination
is also forbidden by law, and workers over 40 fall into a protected class.

But by and large, yes, you're right, with at-will employment, as long as the
employer doesn't take an action that could be seen as impacting a protected
class in an unfair and potentially discriminating fashion, there's not much you
can do.
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Re: America: Officially in recession
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2008, 12:59:19 AM »

In general, it seems like companies a lot of times cut two jobs and replace them with 1 job that pays less and shuffling some extra work around to other employees. You can't really blame them - if they're not making a profit, then they need to get more work for their buck, so that's how it goes. It sucks for the people who lost their job, but not allowing companies to fire employees would be even worse.
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