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American Dreams Evaporating Across the Country


Society & Culture  (tags: economy, retirement, finances, financial planning, investments )

RC
- 3929 days ago - nytimes.com
A look at how Americans of various ages are trying to cope with the economy and its effects on their lives.



   

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Comments

RC deWinter (418)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 7:25 am
I can testify to to loss...my tiny retirement fund has lost 25% of its value.
 

Joycey B (750)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 8:24 am
I retired this year to raise my three grandchildren, so I got my 401K out. I would have gone down about half of if I still had it in. Noted with thanks Cate.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 8:59 am
noted ty cate
 

. (0)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 9:37 am
Dreams that turn to Anger, turn to Desperation, then turn to Crime!

My gun is by the front door, and I am ready!!!


Signature:
That which is to follow, comes from that which has gone before: http://tinyurl.com/3fs5m8

 

Deborah Hooper (59)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 9:49 am
It's all scary, but we will make it through to the other side and be all the better for having gone through it.
 

Carol W (119)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 10:29 am
OK 911 was the beginning and I think we all know this.

It is time for Americans to return to their roots, families, and own 2 feet.
We use to be a resourceful nation, and lynched crooked Sheriffs while running crooked politicians out of town.

I never understood why people trusted the stock markets, and why it was the only singular vehicle offered by comp. pension plans. Or why no one ever took the time to understand where they were depositing their hard earned savings. Blindly following and repeatedly expressing, "This is the way it has always been done".

We need a marijuana/hemp revolution.
Solar and wind are not enough and moving much to slowly.
We need the South to rise again.
ha ha ha


"Popular Mechanics" said, . . . a machine has been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. . . . The machine . . . is designed for removing the fiber- bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human labor. Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products ranging from rope, to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed, contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.

Today, there are anywhere from 25 to 30 million Americans who smoke marijuana regularly. As an industry, marijuana clears well more than $4 billion a year. [This must have been a misreading of his notes--for 1990, the minimum figure would have been at least $40 billion for the entire nation. (phone interview with Jack Herer)] Obviously, as an illegal business, none of that money goes to taxes. But the modern marijuana trade only sells one product, a drug. Hemp could be worth considerably more than $4 [$40] billion a year, if it were legally supplying the 50,000 safe products the proponents claim it can.
If hemp could supply the energy needs of the United States, its value would be inestimable. Now that the drug czar is in final retreat, America has an opportunity to, once and for all, say farewell to the Exxon Valdez, Saddam Hussein and a prohibitively expensive brinkmanship in the desert sands of Saudi Arabia.
This is Hugh Downs, ABC News, New York.
 

Carol W (119)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 10:39 am

Seriously, what's done is done.
Take care of our parents and the elderly.
"Give back to Ceasar what is Ceasars"
We can not and will never punish the real criminals, liars, and thieves.
Look at this as a 'New Beginning without Govt."
Run don't walk, while we still can.
Gather the shafts and turn off the media controllers
Fight like hell to keep the internet alive and well

JFK, Bobbie, MLK, were murdered as part of an agenda leading up to this final chapter.

Understand, remember and learn from the past.

Do not panic. Do not be frightened. This is what they want.
This is how they came so far.

Learn from our mistakes and move about gingerly.
What is this Trap? With the nets narrowing, how are you going to avoid total capture?

curious.
 

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 1:10 pm
The important thing now is to be thankful for what we DO have! If you have a home that is free and clear--be thankful. If you still have the means to pay your mortgage--be thankful. If you have good health--be thankful. If you have family that loves you and supports one another--be thankful. If you know how to garden and how to preserve your bounty--be thankful. If you know how to hunt and can provide for yourself and your family--be thankful. If you have land that you can practice animal husbandry on--be thankful. If you have some semblance of community in the area you live that can come together to help eachother--be thankful. If you have skills that can be bartered for other goods/services--be thankful. If you can teach others your skills and you are open to learning yourself--BE THANKFUL.

There is more to life than 'money'. Now is the time to take stock in oneself (no pun intended) and go forward. It is easy to give into fear, paranoia, depression and despair--very easy. Now is not the time for self-pity and the defeat of spirit! Now is when we come to learn what we are really made of. We are made of stronger stuff than market shares and T-Bills!!!! We are of infinitely more value than 'net worth' and 'fiscal viability'. Wake up!!!

Some will succumb to the darkness of our times but, I think, many many more will survive and thrive with new meaning to their lives. The one thing Americans have historically been very very good at is surviving adversity. We can, and will, do it again!! It won't be easy, but then, NOTHING OF TRUE WORTH EVER IS!!!!!
 

Rhonda Nolasco (37)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 7:34 pm
I agree with Terri. We need to appreciate what we DO have. It's a very scary time for all of us. We need to live within our means and take care of each other.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 12, 2008, 10:35 pm
However bad this is for Americans, it is hideously, inhumanely worse for most of the rest of the world....
 

Elainna Crowell (174)
Monday October 13, 2008, 1:40 am
About six months ago, a Noble prize winner in economics pointed out that the fiscal policies of the Bush administration would bring about a severe recession. I wish I could remember his name, but here is the gist of his and other economists warnings. First the war in Iraq is a deficit war and about half of it is financed by foreign countries. Among them Iran, China, and most of the oil countries. The USA will probably end up paying over 3 Trillion dollars for it. On top of this, instead of asking Americans to sacrifice for the war, such as pay a war tax, invest in war bonds and tighten their belts, the Administration actually cut the taxes for corporate America and the rich! War can be a nifty investment
as long as a country is not running a deficit while engaging in it.
As it is only 2 groups have actually made a profit from the war in Iraq, government contractors and the oil companies.

Its going to be a long, long time before we get out of this mess

Nevertheless, I feel the roots of this malaise is pure consumerism. The West, has confused freedom from want, with freedom to consume! We live on a planet with finite resources and have over-stepped its boundaries many times over. Many of us act as if its O.K. to over-consume everything while millions of people go to bed hungry. Learning to live within our resource limits and recognizing that extremes of wealth and poverty is not only immoral, it is a crime against man & nature.
 

CHRISTIAN RYAN (11)
Monday October 13, 2008, 2:09 am
I HATE TO SAY IT BUT I WARNED ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THISWAS COMING LAST YEAR WHEN THEY RAN ON A BANK BANK OF AMERICA AND THEY LOCKED THE DOORS CHRIS
 

Tsandi Crew (95)
Monday October 13, 2008, 7:04 am
We have known this was coming for a very long time, but we all were in denial. Easy credit is too much fun for too many people.

We are so blessed with a high standard of living, so many people have been born after the last crash, after WWII, and have no idea what people are talking about when they say "don't live beyond your means."

We haven't taught economics or budgeting in our schools. We haven't even taught geography in our schools for how long?

I so agree with Elainna Crowell....

We will have to change our style of living. We will have to learn to pay as we go.
 

Peace Monger (185)
Monday October 13, 2008, 9:31 am
Terrie is spot on; "The important thing now is to be thankful for what we DO have!"/quote

In this time of media hysteria, turn the TV off, and give thanks for all that you have and all that you hope to be.
Turn your full attention to that which breathes you and created the entire Universe... it would make practical sense that this power and this presence that created you and everything in this world is competent and capable enough to assist you with any challenging opportunity you may be facing right now. It takes stretching that spiritual muscle to get to the heart of what is really trying to happen through what you are feeling you would prefer.

Peace
 

Maureen S (35)
Monday October 13, 2008, 3:27 pm
Joycey B. -- I am early retired also. Basically I stay home with my dogs. No grandchildren yet. The bad news is people pulling out of the stock market -- the good news is that the Dow went up in points so much that it is the highest in history. My feeling is that we all need to simplify and put our trust in ourselves. We have gotten away from what is important. It is scary when one is retired to have the cost of items go up so much. But there is so much disparity in this country -- the poorest of poorest and the high rollers who are the fat cats. Save and diversify your savings into safe investments and some stocks. That is the only way to weather the storm.
 

Dolores H (2)
Monday October 13, 2008, 4:46 pm
My dream has changed since my retirement fund has greatly diminished. Now my dream is to stay healthy enough to work for as long as I can, b/c I won't be able to afford to retire.

Thanks Bush and Co.
 

Yvonne White (229)
Monday October 13, 2008, 4:55 pm
I'll be Thankful when the last knuckle-dragging NeoCON leaves Washington.. then I will dare to dream again!:)
 

Denice G (45)
Monday October 13, 2008, 9:27 pm
Don't fear. Just hang on and ride it out. When there is nothing you can do, say a prayer and breathe deeply. Life has changed, I have a loving family and friends who are all hanging in with me. We must be thankful for what we have. Remember, glass half full.
 

Maureen S (35)
Tuesday October 14, 2008, 9:53 am
Denice, your advice is wise. We ought to look around us, at all our stuff, our home, our cars, our health, our friends and family. How much more we have than other countries or even people in our own country. Many have lost jobs, can't find other jobs, don't have insurance or are in bad health or even on Native American reservations - where opportunities are squelched and the spirit of a people has been hurt. Glass half full. Great adive, Denise, thank you for reminding us.
 
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