Ready For The Next Economic Bump – And For Those Who Aren’t?

So no I don’t think we really “recovered” from the Great Recession.  Some of us did.  Some of us didn’t.  Some people’s lives are getting worse.

And though I don’t expect another dot-com bubble, there’s plenty to be concerned about.  I’m concerned about student debt, about income inequality, about whatever Putin is up to in Russia, about the climate.  Narrowing this down to economic issues, we’ve got enough going on that at some point we can expect another big bump in the economic road.

Another recession.  Another thing akin to the housing market collapse if not quite as bad – general slowdown, the student loan debt issue spiking early, more middle east trouble.  There’s enough problems we can expect something.

There’s two factors to consider here.

First, we all have to be ready, because I think the next bump, the next recession is a “when” not an “if.”  There’s too many threats to economic stability to ignore, let alone the fact that there’s always cycles of up and down.  Everyone should have a plan to:

  1. Save enough money to survive a downturn (I figure minimum going six months with no salary whatsoerver).
  2. Be able to relocate if needed with relative ease if needed – or work elsewhere for awhile.
  3. Have a few branching possibilities for their life and career.

It’s not survivalism (which I don’t support, survivalism has a way of being a self-fulfilling prophecy), it’s just having that plan in your pocket just in case.  You may never need it, but having one helps.

But the other factor?

Secondly, how many people won’t have a plan for the above or can’t.

That’s actually a bigger concern.  After the Great Recession wore people out, destroyed savings, disrupted lives, I’m concerned a lot of people simply can’t survive another recession, as previous experience has left them without the savings, with debt, and with low income – an issue that has been discussed for years.  Note discussed, not much has been done.

So when we hit the next economic bump, how many people won’t be able to make it?

That’s a real issue that’s hard to plan for.  If the American economy hits a bad streak, it could devastate a lot of the population.  That may mean the next economic downturn is going to have a lot more severe consequences by the fact so many people are living less stable lives.

And . . . it’s hard to plan for that.  It’s hard to get a grasp of how bad it is for people, how vulnerable they are – and what it means for any economic downturn.  Your survival plan, my survival plan, for a recession may not be as effective when so many people’s lives become much worse. Any recession could be worse than past data predicts because our socio-economic foundations are much weaker.

It’s also a reminder that part of your life plan, your career plan, of just being a good citizen is to be aware of these issues and vote on them.

I’d still make plans for the future, to be ready for that bump.  Just remember it may be a lot bumpier, so make wise choices . . .

  • Steve

How Cheap Is Also Confusing

Does it seem that a lot of things, especially things in the geekonomy, are cheap or for that matter free?

I've got books on discount by ordering online.  I can get epic games for my Smartphone for pennies or dollars.  I've got eBooks that are usually cheaper than buying the physical book.  I can save money with a simple Netflix subscription that brings me endless streams of DVDs and endless streaming of shows.

The geekonomy is filled with cheap (and Cheap's unltimate manifestation, Free) . . . for all the expensive entry fees of the technology.

Cheap is something people are understandably interested in.  We like to save money and spend less.  We like to get more for less.  Cheap isn't the only thing we're interested in price-wise, but it is certainly a driver for us.

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Frustration Friday: To Not Forget

Recently I was thinking about the Great Recession, which is not unusual for me, and realized that some day, years from now, it will end.  Then, I thought, I can get beyond it, get it out of my mind . . .

 . .  and I realized I was looking forward to forgetting about the Great Recession.  I was looking forward to the days I was no longer worrying about my friends and their jobs.  I was looking forward to no longer analyzing the impacts of these terrible times on our economy, our psychology, and our souls.  I was looking forward to forgetting.

I realized then and there, I was wrong.  I should not forget it.  Ever.

Neither should you and yours, neither should anyone.

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