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Old 03-24-2009, 12:25 AM   #1
David
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Default Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy


My wife and I (Taken in Germany)

Just married to my beautiful wife, 28 years old, both of us inspiring corporate ladder achievers with an attached mortgage, home equity line of credit, two car payments, dual school loans, credit cards and not to mention the regular expenses. Bringing home 100k and more a year; the American dream fulfilled and 401K 's for our retirement in 2030.


Why do we pursue higher education? Are we following what our parents and peers want us to be? Acquire knowledge? What exactly do we do with this new found knowledge once it's found? Are we seeking money, power and social status or are we seeking knowledge to better understand ourselves? What is it exactly that a classroom can teach us of life?


What is this paradox? We need income to survive and yet, the more we make, the less happier we become. Over the years we have achieved more than we ever hoped. Nice clothes, house, cars, gadgets and travel...yet we find there is something missing. We were unhappy and by unhappy, I mean feeling bad and wishing things were different. We both wished this but never knew what it was and never really talked about it with each other....the silent killer of our marriage and health, ever so slowly suffocating the both of us. I had heart palpations during the highest times of stress but I have a job to do and bills need to be paid. Is all of this stress needlessly self induced? Who doesn't want to move up the corporate ladder and get ahead in life? I'm sure we are all just as eager for a bigger pay check but are we also giving up the finer things in life?


After several attempts to startup our own business and fulfill this missing gap but never having the appropriate amount of time to dedicate towards it; we decided to take up the offer my dad presented to me and take over his business. I eagerly quite my job, put our house up for sale and we moved 400 miles south to Virginia. Finally, we have freedom of all our worries, our dreams to be fulfilled and live happily ever after...


2007 - 2009

The first year was a good year and the best the company has ever seen, pulling in 1.2 million gross. We both worked hard and continued life as we had done before.




January 2008
The house in Ohio has been on the market for over a year now. There is a nagging feeling that something is wrong with the economy but everything here seems fine and business is doing well. Dad still makes the major financial decisions and trust his lead but still....I'm worried.

March 2008
Trip to Europe! Yay!


July 2008
I have ceased all day trading. My strategy is not working and all the indicators don't make sense anymore. I'm getting worried, paying for two houses is putting a strain on our finances and eating into our savings.


September 2008
Work is slowing down. Had to lay off 2 more people this week. I am now seeing up to 20 companies bidding for the same jobs and to top it off a wind storm passed through Ohio and uprooted a tree onto our house. Dammit. It's as if the whole industry is shutting down. People that we do business with are closing their doors and hearing comments from owners saying they have never seen anything like it.


Da Tree Dat Fell When No One Was Around

November 2008
Besides fixing the house, we ignored the economy, work and decided to pay more attention to the hobbies we love. Maybe we wanted to hide from reality as to what was happening all around us. Denial has set in


William and Mary College Fencing Tournament.



Bull Pasture Gorge Camping and Caving Trip

December 2008
My concern for the business is now in panic mode. Fear of the unknown, doubt, financial downfall, the economy, regret for moving, blaming my self, anxiety, loss and depression sets in. We have no choice but to move back to Ohio and cut our expenses in half. My wife was just laid off and now have 3 months of savings to make the transition. Oh my god, what is going on? Everything we have worked for will be lost if we don't act soon.

We now have people walking off the streets and applying for jobs 3 or 4 times a week. We have no extra work for them and struggling to keep our own busy. I really wish I could hire them. These people want to work and there is nothing I can do.



January 2009

We have given our landlord at the rental house our 3 months move out notice. Telling my family we will be moving back was difficult and they took the news the hardest. At this point, me moving back cuts a large amount of over head from the business and gives them a fighting chance.

My wife has decided to move back while I make the transition out of the company. We took most of the furniture back to Ohio, leaving me with a bed, TV and some cooking ware. I shouldn't need much and the less I have in Virginia, the less I will need to take with me.



February 18th 2009

I head back to Ohio. While driving back, I keep thinking what may be in store for our future. The news keeps giving figures for unemployment, not to mention the doom and gloom along with it. Even with all of this happening, I now have a feeling of peace and serenity. Maybe I'm in shock.



March 21st 2009

My wife and I have been unemployed ever since we arrived in Ohio. Applying for jobs left and right but nothing and not even a call back. To top it off, people have stopped posting jobs and are becoming slim to none.

Even though we have been unemployed for a month now. We have a new understanding. The time we have spent together is something that money cannot buy. As we talk to each other about finding new jobs, we both have the same view point of not wanting a job that requires 60 hours of work a week and major stress. We don't want it anymore. It's not worth it. Nobody needs this kind of voluntary enslavement. It's time we did something that we both enjoy, be ourselves, allows time for each other and ourselves. This month has been the happiest we have been in a long time.

Last edited by David; 03-24-2009 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:17 AM   #2
Humble Janitor
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. It is indeed a dire time but it pays to not give up hope. It's definitely not a good time to be unemployed but hopefully, life will pick up soon.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:21 AM   #3
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Wow quite the story and not to different from mine and I'm sure many others. At first I got mad at the system and mad at the world but then very slowly started changing my attitude about the whole thing and actually started laughing about it because that's all I had left in me, was to laugh!
I just recently went the bankruptcy route and wrote off everything, house, credit cards, everything. Now I feel relieved and have stuck my pride in my back pocket and can't wait to find even the simplest of jobs and the smallest simplest place to live and just get back to basics and relax, knowing that I once had all the toys and cars and houses, which mean absolutely nothing to me anymore.
I actually think it's been a big part of my awakening process!
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
Karen
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Thanks for sharing your story.

I graduated from college and a 12-month Medical Technologist internship in 1975. We did the rat race in Portland, and my husband and I were a poor match and by the time I was 40 we separated. We never really accomplished the plush life style, but we did try. I then started to catch on to how we are just slave cogs in this system and bit by bit dropped further down the spiral of not participating.

I never felt excited about the 401K and somehow knew it would disappear anyway. The year the kids were not with me, but with their dad, my income was so low I could barely survive, but I still, as a single-person with no dependents, I still owed big bucks on income tax -- that was a slap me in the face shock! I knew the social security benefits were not going to be there at 65 either, so what was I paying for?

So I've been on the path for 15 years ...
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:41 PM   #5
David
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Thank you for your kind replies. It was suggested to me that I might want to share my experience since I keep a diary. It's note worthy to hear a lot of people have or are working on the same view point of this rat race like Karen and Dantheman62. Oh yes, the toys and plush life style..you know life is much too complicated to even enjoy them. We may even end bankrupt as well but if that is what it takes to be happy these day, then so be it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
orthodoxymoron
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Thank-you for sharing. The markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. Have you noticed how news stories are played against chart patterns? The true story of insider trading, market manipulation, etc...must be absolutely staggering. Would we be better off without a stock market? Or how about no day-trading and no trading on margin? Derivatives should surely be eliminated.

I'm not sure what the happy economic medium is. Work is a good thing...but work related injuries, ulcers, ugly power struggles, unethical business practices, heart attacks, etc, etc...are bad things. I'm pretty much a laissez faire capitalist...but with the qualification that responsibility should be rewarded...and irresponsibility should be punished. So often...ethical ambiguity, social irresponsibility, and heartless unbridled greed...are rewarded...while honesty, kindness, ethical concern, etc...are punished. I guess I long for a civilization more in harmony with nature and each other...while still well informed and technologically advanced. I long for one huge stratified middle class...without billionaires or destitute poor.

It seems that it is much easier to make money...especially a lot of money...if one is unethical. When one thinks about making the world a better place and about what is in everyone's best interest...it becomes harder to do unnecessary surgeries...harder to sell people things they don't need or which may harm them...harder to start wars to sell weapons, obtain oil and opium fields...harder to perpetrate ponzi schemes and market crashes, etc, etc, etc.

If a drugs and surgery hospital effectively promotes prevention and natural treatment...they will attract the wrath of the AMA...and put themselves out of business. Building a fence at the top of a cliff is far less profitable than running an ambulence service and hospital down in the valley.

The most ethical, competent, and responsible people should make the most money. Is this the way it is now?

Last edited by orthodoxymoron; 03-24-2009 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:20 AM   #7
David
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

3-24-09

We left the house this morning, dressed and with resumes in hand. In all we stopped by three recruitment placement firms and interviewed with each.....no luck, nobody is hiring. Each office we visited had a large lounge with many seats and they were all empty.





On the way home we stopped to take a picture of a field of concrete corn.


So, for the rest of the day we work in the yard to ready the garden, setup our seed nursery and have decided to buy a hydroponics system that I pieced together last night.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:42 AM   #8
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

I sent out 14 resumes with cover letters for different postions within one company in four surrounding states yesterday, and am sending at least that many tomorrow to another company in probably many more states, and will continue the process for the next two weeks. Will let you know what happens!
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:26 AM   #9
David
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Hi Dantheman62. Please do. I would love to hear your results.

Best of wishes to you.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:54 AM   #10
Noela
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

God bless you - David and wife. You are following a path
and it sounds like a good one to me.

My guiding star over the years has been "Seek first
the kingdom of God and all these things (the
necessities of life) will be given to you."

You can interpret "kingdom of God" anyway you
like - but this has never failed for me.

Now retired, living happily and frugally, I wondered
how I was going to pay the bills. Then out of the
blue on Christmas Eve arrived an "Economic
Security Package" from the Australian Govt.
which paid my water bill and more - beyond
necessities.

I believe we as a society are being led down this
path - back to basics - which brings a kinder
and gentler society.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:55 AM   #11
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Hi Dantheman62. Please do. I would love to hear your results.

Best of wishes to you.
I've now sent out 45 resumes for positions that I think I'm over qualified for, to at least 8 different states. No replies yet, will send out more tomorrow.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:07 PM   #12
David
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3-31-09

Just like Dantheman62, I am over qualified for a good 90% of the positions I have applied for. In an interview last week, I was told that I would not be accepted for the position fear of me leaving once the economy picks up. I will now have to create 2 more resumes that are dumbed down. Each of these new resumes will be geared towards entry level positions.


http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wo...le&sectionID=1

"Ohio's unemployment rate has hit a 25-year high of 9.4 percent as job losses have continued in both manufacturing and services.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says the February jobless rate it released Friday was up from January's rate of 8.8 percent.

Department spokesman Brian Harter says the state's job market continues to weaken. He says the last time unemployment was higher in Ohio was in May 1984, when the jobless rate was 9.6 percent. State unemployment hit an all-time high of 13.8 percent in December 1982 and January 1983.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in February was 566,000, up from 526,000 in January. The number rose from 349,000 in February 2008, when the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent."
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Personal Reflections of Our Tumbling Economy

Dave don't want to rain on the parade, after the clintons were in office during their time managing things they restructured the unemployment calculations that dated back from the 30's and the depression, their new calculation deleted alot of groups of people thus your 8% unemployment # is really about 16% or someplace close to that. In the american free press last issue they said the US umeployment rate at the old formula at todays statistics should be 17% nationwide now. And on coast to coast radio last night they said another 5 million people are expected to be added to the national list yet.

That being said from someone who went down your path 12 years ago, don't use all your resources to the end and then pack it in. Bail before you get to the end. In 1995 my company did over 8 million in sales , I was making a few hundred thousand and by 97 I was getting a divorce, loosing my business I built for 12 years starting at age 25, watched them auction off everything over 400k and helped them collect 500k for the banks and never saw a dime of it. I left with $500.00 in my pocket only to be told by michigans unemployment office that since I'm a business owner I'm only entitled to 6 weeks of unemployment even though I paid in for 12 years. Filed bankruptcy and the day before I got cleared for everything an electrician came along and sued me in federal court for another 2 years that cost me 52k that I didn't have. And when I won in court , they appealed it and it got overturned only to have my attorney tell me that I would never prove it but the judge got paid off and I'm screwed.

So the whole time while these miserable years that went by I always kept telling myself "One day it will get better, they can take everything from me but my spirit, my ability to bounce back, and just one day there will be a day when I will be sitting back in a lounge chair looking at the sunset drinking a beer and saying what a waste of time but it's all better now." That day came , it took a couple of years but it finally came. Just keep the faith and always keep moving forward, it will get better for you indeed one day and then you'll be sitting back having that same beer and reflections, but it will be all good..
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