Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Economy is Not Improving

In my area the panhandlers are white, black, occasionally Mexican and occasionally Asian. Sometimes they bring a dog, and once a couple brought their two children !  There are a disproportionate number of veterans who need to panhandle.  How do I know ?  Because sometimes I talk to them, and sometimes I feed their dogs, or bring them food.                    (Picture: )

    Judge Judy has a saying which is, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining !"
Yet this is what our federal government seems to be doing.   "I have created 3 million jobs" says Mr. Obama.  Where ?   Although my daughter was able to secure a job a year after graduating with honors from a university, she has both a full-time and a part-time job because this is what it takes to survive.  My son who graduated, also with honors from the same university has been unable to secure any paid employment whatsoever, and he graduated in 2010.  That's two and a half years ago.  One of my other sons used to work for his college while attending, but they ran out of funds and now his job as a supplemental instructor of mathematics is over.  Who needs math anyway ?  Most college students can't do higher math.   This is probably what the government thinks anyway.   Our son who came to us through adoption as a young teen, is now almost 18.  He also has no job, which would have been helpful in saving for a car, car insurance, and ultimately college.  Employers are closing, not opening.  I am told that things are better where we live, than in many other places.   No one at our house draws foodstamps, but I won't begrudge anyone who does and who needs it.  Our family used to provide to our local foodbank.  When we took monthly trips to Sam's Club we would buy an extra six pack  of the canned chicken, and canned chili six-packs there, and give it to the food bank.  We can't really afford to do that now.   Our electricity costs have jumped, as have our costs to register vehicles, repair them, buy oil, and car parts. Our food costs have skyrocketed, especially meat, milk and cheese and produce.  We provide our own eggs, but animal feeds have skyrocketed also  Our family's prescription medicines have also skyrocketed, in both overall costs and in terms of final costs to us. (Yes, I too was taught to use multiple words in writing, but skyrocketing is the correct word for all of these !)  Our homeowner's, car, and other types of insurance have also sharply risen, except life insurance.   Of course, according to the Obama Regime, there is no inflation.   More of that peeing on my leg, apparently.       Our property taxes and personal property taxes have stabilized.  Our payroll taxes have increased and my husband brings home seventy five fewer dollars per week, since the year began. My husband hasn't had either a cost of living or merit increase in five years. His company cannot afford to give them to anyone anymore.  My daughter just received a modest raise, and the increase in payroll taxes at the beginning of the year, not only ate it, but a little more also.
         More and more people are moving out of their homes and either in with family or to a small apartment closer to a city.  I can think of ten homes locally which will go up for foreclosure sale when the banks get around to it.   When they do, they are not that cheap, and sitting empty without heat, they are now damaged. One notable home has black mold, and should be bulldozed.  When I do go to town on a weekday, I am the only person in the store.  Store employees follow me around asking if they can "help me".   I usually know what I want and they are disappointed when I spend six dollars rather than the hundreds for which they were hoping.  We still know people who are losing their jobs.  We still know people who have been out of work for three years.  Even in our rural area, we have people who wait at the grocery stores with signs which say, "Will Work for Food. God Bless", or  "I am Ashamed to Need to Ask for Your Help. Anything will help".   In a neighboring county, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance prohibiting pan-handling.  (It's SUCH an eyesore, they said, and not good for the local economy or for real estate values.)   Is it any wonder that daytime home robberies are up substantially, including some in which only FOOD is prepared and taken ?    Oh yes, Mr. Obama. We have turned the corner and now the economy is improving.  I have only one thing to say to that. Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

To cheer you all:

This is Sarah Slean, who wrote this, played the piano, arranged  and conducted this uplifting piece,      "Amen"

You can buy Sarah's album at: 
Her albums are also available on iTunes and some of them on amazon.


Ian Holland said...

I watched the state of the Union Address and thought " Wow, that's an impressive goal" It sounds like that is all it is from somebody that is seeing reality at it's worst. God bless!

Gorges Smythe said...

The economy may BE improving for the CEO's, but not for the rest of us.

agirlandhergun said...

Sad thing is he doesn't have to have facts or speak reality because very few people are paying attention and they want to believe the bull he is spouting.

JaneofVirginia said...

The scary thing is that we are doing better than many people. We are not on the edge of losing our home. We have to watch money carefully, but that is much better than many. If the economy were to improve, then in the present state, we would not be able to participate as we are simply paying bills. This means that many other people are in the same boat as we are, or are worse off. Thanks for your post and good wishes.

russell1200 said...

Being in a relatively better off area just means that more people are drawn to the area. It's why rural U.S. is depopulating. It's also relative.

They say that construction has been looking good, but outside of multi-family residential, many of them supported by HUD, I just don't see it.

JaneofVirginia said...

Perhaps, but I am not even sure of that. More of that peeing on our legs and telling us it's raining.

JaneofVirginia said...

I would love him to be correct. However, he has a history of not telling the truth, and he has a weak grasp of most facts.

JaneofVirginia said...

I ran into our builder this week, and he has modest amounts of work. He doesn't ever expect to be doing well ever again.

Sandy said...


I live in Oklahoma, there are so many people not making ends meet.
There are families homeless with little kids living on the streets.
Crime will go up, people need food to feed their families.
There are even food pantries closing their doors because they can't keep up.
The economy is going to get worse before things will ever start to turn around.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes,Sandy, I realize things are said to be better here. I do expect things to worsen before they improve. The future scares me for many people, my family included sometimes. Our area used to have one church foodbank. Now there are four ! People who used to make 100K a year and who have lost jobs are now eating macaroni and cheese from the foodbank, and are on foodstamps. I don't think good jobs are coming back anytime soon.

Linda said...

My grandson in Brooklyn has been having a difficult time finding a job. Most of the stores where he would have gotten a job were lost in hurricane Sandy. Therefore, all the kids are trying to get jobs in the same stores near him. My exbf lost his job at a company when the guys in the field got laptops, and his job was unnecessary. He had been out of work for 7 years. He is an engineer who works in the gas station at Sam's Club. He holds no hope for a job in his field but will work anywhere. At least he has insurance.

Two of ten food banks in this city and county closed down because the churches could not afford to buy food, even from the state food bank where they get the food dirt cheap. The state food bank has cut down on what they can supply to local food banks. What's that about?

This is a small town--16K. I see no more foreclosure in the paper than ususal, certainly not in the neighborhood where I live. I do live in the worst house in the neighborhood. I do notice rural acreage in foreclosure.

My leg stays wet all the time! I voted for Obama but have been unhappy with him for the last year, and I am more unhappy now.

Even with a MA, I get food stamps and eat from food banks. No, I do not eat the mac and cheese. Okay, about once each month. However, by using coupons and store sales, and food banks, I eat well. I do struggle, however, to be able to afford anything. And, it is just me in the house.

At my age, things will never get better for me. The only thing I can hope to do is get tutoring jobs at $20/hr. But, who can afford that? No one.

JMD said...

Times are tough for so many and barely squeaking by for others. Since we live in a relatively small city we have seen four businesses close in barely a year. Other than the grocery stores and service stations businesses appear relatively empty of customers. Our food banks here and surrounding communities are begging for more donations because they simply cannot keep up with the demand. I have neighbors that are confident that soaring home values and a vibrant economy are just around the corner. Sigh. I just stay to myself since I don't see any signs of improvement around any corner that I am looking.

JaneofVirginia said...

And yet, you are resourceful. You are bright enough to use the things that you find or are provided. You come through. I worry about so many without your intellect and resourcefulness. Heck, I worry about all of us.
I hope your grandson finds something soon.

JaneofVirginia said...

I don't see any improvement either. I do see a lot of people who think there will be though, who have bought into "the wet leg syndrome". Perhaps what Rush Limbaugh calls the "low information voter", is a sufferer of "Wet Leg Syndrome". Eventually, it stinks.

Kristin said...

You are so very right. I worry for my sons and wonder which direction to guide them for their futures. I'd always thought, "Of course they'll go to college", but what's the point of a multi-thousand dollar education (indoctrination) if you can't find a job after graduation.

I feel like it's not just peeing on our legs anymore. We are getting golden showers.

JaneofVirginia said...

I don't worry so much for me. My husband and I have known prosperity AND hard times and we will survive them. I am bothered that my kids did "all the right things" and are still having a hard time. My daughter is paying back those student loans and did buy a house this year. She does work like a dog. Our sons have not been quite so lucky. It seems that success after college is rarer than it used to be, but then there are risks to not having the education.

Linda said...

Anyone who even thinks he/she wants to go to college should do anything to attend and graduate. However, manual skills should be focused on, too. I dated a state worker, retired, who was going to call a plumber to put one screw back in the faucet. It was scary how little practical skills he had.

There is a better chance of success with a degree than without. My two children who are teachers are successful and prosperous. They are so frugal. The daughter who dropped out struggles every day. It makes me sad for her.

I don't know in what areas your children have degrees, but can they make their own jobs. I know when I could not find a teaching job, I substituted and tutored. Anyone can sub, but I was paid more for the MA. Plus, teachers like someone in the classroom who understood the system and could help the children with almost any subject. I printed cards for the tutoring and put one in the mailbox of every teacher in schools I wanted to employ me. Then, I branched out to the junior college and tutored algebra even though English is my field. Well, it worked for me.

Yes, it is risky not to have an education.

Anyone who has a degree in anything the schools need can teach without a teaching certificate. Anyone with an MA can take 7 education courses, and have a MaEd. If your children do not have MA or MS, one course at at time during this time can soon lead to the MA or MS. The career centers offer free computer certifications from Microsoft to anyone seeking a job, maybe now to anyone...all free.

The other thing I did was hold craft camps in a civic center. I am very creative, and can teach crafts, so I made money every summer and held a camp at Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. I made little, but every bit helps.

JaneofVirginia said...

I think that you are absolutely right that EVERYONE needs to have practical skills. I know Phds who can't do simple practical things with their cars or with simple health care when they are ill. I wouldn't want to see how they did with something like simple plumbing or simple electrical. The question has become that college is so very expensive now, in comparison to its costs in the nineteen eighties, when I graduated. How do we encourage education but minimize debt load on a young person who is likely to go out into the world and encounter very real trouble in paying it back ?

Chris Mallory said...

The sad thing is, during the last election neither side offered anything to make us vote for them. Team Red basically told the blue collar whites to go xxxx ourselves.
After all, we were just lazy takers mooching off the rich. The fact that there are very few jobs out there, and the ones that are open are low paid service sector jobs.
In 2011, the Feds cut 3 billion from home heating aid to Americans. But they kept shipping billions overseas in foreign aid.
Something is going to have to change and it probably isn't going to be pretty when it does.

JaneofVirginia said...

Agreed, Chris. It certainly won't be pretty when it does. In many places, it's not pretty, even now.