By-Tor.com Forum Index By-Tor.com
It's all about the Rush
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Reactions to Today's Economy

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic       By-Tor.com Forum Index -> Politics And World Events
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
awip2062



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 25543

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reactions to Today's Economy Reply with quote

The following article was on CCN.com:
Quote:
From Beverly Hills to shoveling manure on a farm
They bid farewell to their beloved trips to the opera and museum, the beach and Buddhist temples. They ate one last time at their favorite restaurants serving Indian curried chicken and warm bowls of Vietnamese pho.

Leah Bird and her husband, Ed Wright, have traded their comfortable two-bedroom apartment and jobs in Beverly Hills, California, for life in a trailer on a five-acre Oregon farm.

No longer do the couple hear roaring fire trucks in the street or chatter from patrons dining at outdoor cafes. On this farm, the dominant silence is occasionally interrupted by the sounds of frogs and crickets.

"It's not necessarily a lifestyle that has ever seemed attractive to me," says 28-year-old Bird, between tending to the farm animals: two sheep, two Nubian goats, miniature horses and geese. "I always saw myself as more of a metropolitan person, but you know, without money, this was our best option."

The couple's drastic lifestyle change -- one they chose -- came last October when Wright, 48, lost his job managing life insurance portfolios for millionaires at a private firm in Beverly Hills. His niche company, which relied heavily on capital flow, had felt the pain of the credit crunch.

Once making over $100,000 a year, Wright soon joined the growing number of Americans facing unemployment in the economic downturn. iReport.com: Tell us how you're surviving

With meager savings, Bird and Wright knew they couldn't maintain their costly Los Angeles lifestyle in an area where, they say, image is everything. Even if they had stayed in Beverly Hills, they would have needed to move into a smaller apartment and rely on Bird's modest salary as a financial manager. Exhausted from the rat race, Wright decided they needed another option.

"I've been in Los Angeles for a long time and I've had to start over before," Wright says. "You spend two or three years getting back on your feet and then what? It's a struggle if you aren't making a lot of money."

Then Wright's parents offered to let the newlywed couple live on their family farm in rural Douglas County in southern Oregon until the couple bounced back.

Wright agreed immediately. He says he wanted to move there to help his elderly parents manage the sprawling property. His wife, however, was more reluctant because she still had her job. But Bird says she soon agreed to move to the farm because it was the fastest way to cut expenses.

"I did it out of immediate necessity," says Bird, who grew up in more of a suburban setting near Tucson, Arizona. "I don't think I was ready to leave L.A."

While Wright wanted to make the move north, he wasn't ready to move in with his parents. At Christmas, the couple purchased a 1974 Airstream trailer, shaped like an oblong silver bullet, from Craigslist for a few thousand dollars. The trailer living quarters are cramped, with about 300 square feet, a major downgrade from the couple's 1,400-square-foot apartment in California. iReport.com: From Beverly Hills to Hillbillies

The couple moved to Oregon in mid-January, after a two-day drive from Los Angeles, hopeful the farm would give them the needed break from city life and a chance to focus on finding new careers.

In Los Angeles, they lived in a neighborhood with about 20,000 people. Now, the closest town has fewer than 20,000 people.

"We're not going to lie to you and say everything is hunky dory," Wright says. "It's hard being out here."

"I feel like a fish out of water," Bird added. "I'm so out of my element."

Their mornings now begin at the crack of dawn. They clean the living space for the animals, pick up manure and fix the landscaping. Afternoons are spent job hunting, a challenging feat in a region where lumber and nursing are the two dominant fields. For now, they are spending their savings until they find employment.

Their trailer's bedroom has just enough room to stuff in a queen-size bed. A narrow window by the bed looks out on the farm, where they can see deer roaming the land in the mornings. There is no dining room, a difficult adjustment for the couple, who once enjoyed entertaining guests over dinner and wine.

The living room furniture consists of colorful pillows piled against the wall on the floor facing the television and a desk for their laptops. Their new kitchen has just enough space for one person to stand and work.

There is one toilet , which is currently being remodeled, and no shower. The couple bathe at Wright's parents' house; they admit that they only shower a few times a week now.

Most of their belongings from Los Angeles, expensive furniture and art accumulated over the years, remain in storage. While the couple miss these things, they say their new lifestyle will help them survive the troubled economy. They also hope it will teach them to live simpler lives.

In many ways, Bird and Wright are enjoying the serenity of their slower-paced lifestyle. They are spending more time together, and Bird says she is getting closer to Wright's parents.

After the initial culture shock in the first month, Bird says she is slowly adapting to farm life. She learned how to build a fire pit, and she plans on growing a fruit and vegetable garden in the spring. She wants to buy more productive animals like cows. With the garden and some cows, she says, the couple won't have to purchase vegetables or milk from the grocery store.

Her husband is remodeling their trailer by adding amenities to the kitchen and bathroom. Wright, who has always been interested in philosophy and religion, says he sees his unemployment as a time for "soul searching."

The couple are still mulling their career options. Wright, who is also an amateur musician, is looking at new job opportunities for the future. He has dabbled with the idea of starting his own bar since he knows so many musicians in the industry, he says. He and his wife are thinking about joining the Peace Corps together, or maybe building a log house on the farm. The options are limitless, they say.

A few weeks ago, surrounded by giant pine trees in the cold winter air, the couple walked outside and looked up. For the first time in a long time, they could see the stars shining brightly in the dark sky.


Does it seem to you that although they try to put a bit of a positive spin on this that the article is really a complaint?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Walkinghairball



Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 25118
Location: In a rock an roll venue near you....as long as you are in the Pacific Northwest.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, kind of.
_________________
This space for rent
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
zepboy



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 6772
Location: Lookin for a place.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed that article.

I think the liberal media would love for that to have been a real doom and gloom story about an upwardly mobile couple's downward spiral at the hands of financial demise. Why do I think that? Well, look at all the negativism we see in the media about the economic situation.

Personally, I think this story is a great example of what makes the U.S. such a great place, a standout among all the nations of the world. Here we have a couple who had to make adjustments in their lives as the result of other people's decisions. Yet, though they have been radically effected, they have not given up. Our country has allowed them to apply their own creativity, something the government didn't give them. They are exploring their options, which the government didn't give them. They are using their own talents, which the government didn't give them, to branch out into different directions. The idea of opening a bar that features musicians is such an awesome idea! They just may wind up in much better shape than if their careers in LA had continued on into retirement. And they will most likely be much happier in the long run.

In short, this couple are not letting the situation get them down. They are responding with the kind of energy and creativity that built this country up in the first place. And the best part, is that it is being built around the foundational principle of family!

They are sticking it to the man the right way! First we stuck it to King George, and now we have to stick it to our own king!

My two cents.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
awip2062



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 25543

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the positive spin I saw on the article. What bugged me in it was statements like:
just enough room to stuff in a queen-size bed
There is no dining room, a difficult adjustment for the couple
Their new kitchen has just enough space for one person to stand and work.
There is one toilet , which is currently being remodeled, and no shower. The couple bathe at Wright's parents' house

As I read through those I thought, "But you HAVE a bed and a room to put it. You HAVE a place to eat, even though you don't have room to entertain. You HAVE a kitchen. You HAVE a place to shower and can fix up the toilet."

For one thing, how many people in this nation have started off or had to start over with the same kinds of "hardships"? heh With far greater hardships, with real hardships! How many don't have parents to fall back on like this couple?

For another, how many people in this world would love to have a 300 square foot trailer for their family (kids and grandparents too) to live in? To have a kitchen of their own, a real kitchen! To be able to take a few showers a week?

My guess is this couple will do fine and come out of this stronger. The compaint spin I see in the article likely came from the reporter trying to show how tough things are for people today.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Walkinghairball



Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 25118
Location: In a rock an roll venue near you....as long as you are in the Pacific Northwest.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A hell of a lot of people would just lay down and die, or worse yet, let the govt bail them out. That is crap.

Assistance does not mean total support and should never be USED like that.

When Scoot was born we had huge bills and it was tough...............ever eat ramen for 3 months straight, we have. We asked the social place there in Portland for a little assistance like some food stamps to help us make it thru the month and they told us..............

Sell your new pick-up, move into a smaller apartment, both of you quit your jobs and the state of Oregon will support you fully. Welfare 100%.
("a little assistance like some food stamps to help us make it thru the month") Shocked Shocked

I'm glad we stood on our own and not given up. Yeah it was hard, yeah it sucked, but we came out better in the end.

Once we got the heck out of Oregon and came home that is.
_________________
This space for rent
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
zepboy



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 6772
Location: Lookin for a place.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hairy, I had no idea . . . I am proud to know you!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
awip2062



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 25543

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now here is another article, CNN again, but this time I don't see whining in the piece. They mention difficulties people have had, but they don't use sentences such as, "There is no dining room, a difficult adjustment for the couple, who once enjoyed entertaining guests over dinner and wine."

Quote:
Unemployed place their bets on casino jobs


Sometimes the best way to roll with the punches is to roll the dice.

That's Jerry Goldsmith's attitude. The Colorado man lost his engineering job of 29 years -- and the six-figure salary that went with it -- and is now applying for a casino job dealing craps, blackjack, roulette and poker.

"I was angry. I think everyone gets angry," says Goldsmith, 60, recalling his New Year's Day firing. "It's 'Why me?' But after a while I just learned: One door closed, but many more just opened.

"I just need to find the right one to go into."

Goldsmith was one of 750 people who showed up Wednesday to apply for casino dealer jobs near Denver. Another 550 applied on Thursday.

The applicants were going after 90 spots in dealer school.

Earlier on Wednesday, Goldsmith had interviewed for a job as a cable TV installer. They were his first job interviews since losing his job.

He says that, at first, he spent a lot of time on the Internet looking for work. He also contacted executive headhunters but was unable to find any leads in the engineering field. So he decided to expand his search into other areas.

Goldsmith says he nailed the casino job interview and thinks he would make a great dealer.

"When you've been working hard all your life, quitting is just not an option, so I'll take on any opportunity I can," he says, adding with a laugh: "Hopefully there will be some exchange of gratuity in the business so I make something."

In a November referendum, Colorado voters approved a measure to expand betting limits at casinos in Colorado from $5 to $100 and to add the games of roulette and craps. The new rules will also allow the casinos to stay open 24 hours a day. They currently close at 2 a.m. and open at 8 a.m.

The state hopes to benefit from the increased tax dollars, a portion of which will help fund community colleges, but before the first new tax dollar goes into state coffers, the casinos need to staff up.

"Twenty-four-hour gaming adds a whole extra shift every day, seven days a week. You're adding an extra shift in every department of the casino," says Jef Bauer, who runs three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado, for Golden Gaming: the Golden Mardi Gras, Golden Gates and Golden Gulch.

"We're looking to hire initially about 90 people into our dealer school, which we're offering free to learn how to deal craps, roulette and blackjack."

Golden Gaming currently employs about 400 people in Black Hawk and anticipates adding another 100 by July 2, when the new rules go into effect.

Black Hawk is a former mining town tucked into the Rocky Mountains about 35 miles from Denver. Black Hawk and its next-door neighbor, Central City, became casino towns in the 1990s.

For years the towns flourished, but Bauer says times are tough now.

"We have just been through 12 months of declines in gaming revenues and head counts," he says, adding that he hopes the increased bet limits, new games and extended hours will bring the gamblers back to the tables.

Before the hiring event even started, more than 100 people were lined up, waiting for an interview outside of a bar in Golden, Colorado. The would-be croupiers filed in, filled out applications and were assigned a number. They were photographed and then sat down for a 3-minute job interview.

No experience was necessary for the casino jobs. Applicants who make the grade will attend a casino-run, part-time dealer school for three months, where they will learn the complicated games and qualify for a Colorado gaming license.

The jobs pay between $40,000 and $80,000 a year, depending on tips.

So who would make a good dealer?

"Mainly what we're looking at is personality and an ability to entertain, and intelligence that can be proven in dealer school," says Bauer. "Most will probably never have dealt cards before."

That seems like just the ticket to Andrea Pitts, whose only casino experience has been on the other side of the table.

"I'm a high roller," she says with a laugh. "I've never dealt cards before, but I love to play blackjack and I'm pretty good at it."

Pitts, 41, spent 12 years working in the trucking industry. But the bad economy has taken its toll, and now she has been forced to look for any kind of work.

Like most of the other casino applicants, she never pictured herself dealing cards. But she says she is ready for the change of pace.

"You have to keep yourself motivated. It would be easy to sit at home and feel sorry for yourself, but that's not going to get you anywhere," she says.

"I'm not afraid to take challenges -- that's what life is all about."

Casinos are big business. According to the American Gaming Association, some 360,000 people work in 467 commercial casinos across the country, accounting for $13.8 billion in wages including benefits and tips.

The industry paid $5.78 billion in gaming taxes in 2007.

Alan Meister, an economist and the author of "Indian Gaming Industry Report," says there were 346,000 people directly employed by 423 Indian gaming casinos in 2007.

State governments often look to casinos as a quick source of tax income in difficult economic times. According to Spectrum Gaming Group, a consulting firm that monitors the gaming industry, at least 15 states have recently expanded or are currently considering expanding gambling.

It all sounds good to Craig Taylor. He spent 13 years in the real estate business, buying and selling investment properties. He says that when the industry was booming he was making a salary in the "low six figures," drove a new BMW and lived in a house in the tony Cherry Creek section of Denver.

But since the market tanked, he has been making adjustments. He sold the BMW and bought a used 2001 Jeep. He sold the house in Cherry Creek and bought a smaller house on the outskirts of Denver. Now all he needs is a job, and he thinks being a casino dealer might be a good fit.

"Real estate was a great job, great income," he says. "But you have to do what you have to do in this economy and make the adjustments to where the job you have pays the bills."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
CygnusX1



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 17336
Location: We don't call 911 here.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Reactions to Today's Economy Reply with quote

awip2062 wrote:
The following article was on CCN.com:
Quote:
From Beverly Hills to shoveling manure on a farm
They bid farewell to their beloved trips to the opera and museum, the beach and Buddhist temples. They ate one last time at their favorite restaurants serving Indian curried chicken and warm bowls of Vietnamese pho.

Leah Bird and her husband, Ed Wright, have traded their comfortable two-bedroom apartment and jobs in Beverly Hills, California, for life in a trailer on a five-acre Oregon farm.

No longer do the couple hear roaring fire trucks in the street or chatter from patrons dining at outdoor cafes. On this farm, the dominant silence is occasionally interrupted by the sounds of frogs and crickets.

"It's not necessarily a lifestyle that has ever seemed attractive to me," says 28-year-old Bird, between tending to the farm animals: two sheep, two Nubian goats, miniature horses and geese. "I always saw myself as more of a metropolitan person, but you know, without money, this was our best option."

The couple's drastic lifestyle change -- one they chose -- came last October when Wright, 48, lost his job managing life insurance portfolios for millionaires at a private firm in Beverly Hills. His niche company, which relied heavily on capital flow, had felt the pain of the credit crunch.

Once making over $100,000 a year, Wright soon joined the growing number of Americans facing unemployment in the economic downturn. iReport.com: Tell us how you're surviving

With meager savings, Bird and Wright knew they couldn't maintain their costly Los Angeles lifestyle in an area where, they say, image is everything. Even if they had stayed in Beverly Hills, they would have needed to move into a smaller apartment and rely on Bird's modest salary as a financial manager. Exhausted from the rat race, Wright decided they needed another option.

"I've been in Los Angeles for a long time and I've had to start over before," Wright says. "You spend two or three years getting back on your feet and then what? It's a struggle if you aren't making a lot of money."

Then Wright's parents offered to let the newlywed couple live on their family farm in rural Douglas County in southern Oregon until the couple bounced back.

Wright agreed immediately. He says he wanted to move there to help his elderly parents manage the sprawling property. His wife, however, was more reluctant because she still had her job. But Bird says she soon agreed to move to the farm because it was the fastest way to cut expenses.

"I did it out of immediate necessity," says Bird, who grew up in more of a suburban setting near Tucson, Arizona. "I don't think I was ready to leave L.A."

While Wright wanted to make the move north, he wasn't ready to move in with his parents. At Christmas, the couple purchased a 1974 Airstream trailer, shaped like an oblong silver bullet, from Craigslist for a few thousand dollars. The trailer living quarters are cramped, with about 300 square feet, a major downgrade from the couple's 1,400-square-foot apartment in California. iReport.com: From Beverly Hills to Hillbillies

The couple moved to Oregon in mid-January, after a two-day drive from Los Angeles, hopeful the farm would give them the needed break from city life and a chance to focus on finding new careers.

In Los Angeles, they lived in a neighborhood with about 20,000 people. Now, the closest town has fewer than 20,000 people.

"We're not going to lie to you and say everything is hunky dory," Wright says. "It's hard being out here."

"I feel like a fish out of water," Bird added. "I'm so out of my element."

Their mornings now begin at the crack of dawn. They clean the living space for the animals, pick up manure and fix the landscaping. Afternoons are spent job hunting, a challenging feat in a region where lumber and nursing are the two dominant fields. For now, they are spending their savings until they find employment.

Their trailer's bedroom has just enough room to stuff in a queen-size bed. A narrow window by the bed looks out on the farm, where they can see deer roaming the land in the mornings. There is no dining room, a difficult adjustment for the couple, who once enjoyed entertaining guests over dinner and wine.

The living room furniture consists of colorful pillows piled against the wall on the floor facing the television and a desk for their laptops. Their new kitchen has just enough space for one person to stand and work.

There is one toilet , which is currently being remodeled, and no shower. The couple bathe at Wright's parents' house; they admit that they only shower a few times a week now.

Most of their belongings from Los Angeles, expensive furniture and art accumulated over the years, remain in storage. While the couple miss these things, they say their new lifestyle will help them survive the troubled economy. They also hope it will teach them to live simpler lives.

In many ways, Bird and Wright are enjoying the serenity of their slower-paced lifestyle. They are spending more time together, and Bird says she is getting closer to Wright's parents.

After the initial culture shock in the first month, Bird says she is slowly adapting to farm life. She learned how to build a fire pit, and she plans on growing a fruit and vegetable garden in the spring. She wants to buy more productive animals like cows. With the garden and some cows, she says, the couple won't have to purchase vegetables or milk from the grocery store.

Her husband is remodeling their trailer by adding amenities to the kitchen and bathroom. Wright, who has always been interested in philosophy and religion, says he sees his unemployment as a time for "soul searching."

The couple are still mulling their career options. Wright, who is also an amateur musician, is looking at new job opportunities for the future. He has dabbled with the idea of starting his own bar since he knows so many musicians in the industry, he says. He and his wife are thinking about joining the Peace Corps together, or maybe building a log house on the farm. The options are limitless, they say.

A few weeks ago, surrounded by giant pine trees in the cold winter air, the couple walked outside and looked up. For the first time in a long time, they could see the stars shining brightly in the dark sky.


Does it seem to you that although they try to put a bit of a positive spin on this that the article is really a complaint?



That REEKS of self-reliance!

Hmmm...Know what? I smell republicans on the left coast!

They should be on the endangered species list too.

More power to 'em.
_________________
Don't start none...won't be none.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Big Blue Owl



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 7469
Location: Somewhere between the darkness and the light

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what happened in the Market today? Huge spike-shaped rally for some reason.

Quote:
[BRIEFING.COM] This session's rally is lifting a broad range of stocks. Within the S&P 500, almost 95% of the companies are trading higher.

Despite ongoing fear that higher job losses and tighter credit will crimp consumer spending, retailers are trading 7.3% higher.


Hope it continues...
_________________
(((((((((((((((all'a you)))))))))))))))
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CygnusX1



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 17336
Location: We don't call 911 here.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Blue Owl wrote:
Wow, what happened in the Market today? Huge spike-shaped rally for some reason.

Quote:
[BRIEFING.COM] This session's rally is lifting a broad range of stocks. Within the S&P 500, almost 95% of the companies are trading higher.

Despite ongoing fear that higher job losses and tighter credit will crimp consumer spending, retailers are trading 7.3% higher.


Hope it continues...



I think the "buy low" strategy just kicked into fourth gear Bro!

Cool! I didn't see it but I'm gonna look!

That's good news for once! headbang
_________________
Don't start none...won't be none.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zepboy



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 6772
Location: Lookin for a place.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, like Buffet says, when folks are fearful, be greedy, and when they are greedy, be fearful!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Big Blue Owl



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 7469
Location: Somewhere between the darkness and the light

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And when things look scary, be cheerful. Smile
_________________
(((((((((((((((all'a you)))))))))))))))
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
awip2062



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 25543

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I'm glad to see the stocks Nancy bought for me hoping to offset what she's lost going back up!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
CygnusX1



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 17336
Location: We don't call 911 here.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Blue Owl wrote:
And when things look scary, be cheerful. Smile


^^^

^^^


6666 Posts!

EXTRA Evil! headbang
_________________
Don't start none...won't be none.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic       By-Tor.com Forum Index -> Politics And World Events All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group