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Old 08-02-2011, 11:23 AM   #21
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To the other posters, are things REALLY THAT BAD.....I still see folks eating out and at the malls, but when I talk to folks everyone's crying. If I were doing THAT BAD, I wouldn't be eating out or at the mall spending money I didn't have.......that's so oxymoronic to the FIRE mentality !
I think things are genuinely tight for some people right now. I would hate to be unemployed and looking for a job in this economy.

But, with Alabama's tough new immigration laws, businesses can't find enough people to do grunt work. There are jobs out there for motivated souls but few takers from what I hear.

An acquaintance of mine lost his job recently. He has been an engineer for 20 years and the layoff took him by surprise. He is freaking out because his unemployment check is not enough to cover the mortgage and his $600 a month car payment, let alone anything else like food, COBRA, etc... He tried to get on food stamps but was rejected. He has no savings to fall back on. But he does have a brand new iPad 2 and enough money to continue smoking Padron cigars. Things are tight indeed.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:33 AM   #22
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Ive been looking into having a small building put up in my backyard. 750 sq ft, just a shell, no plumbing, electric, nothing on the inside. Just basically a shed to put my camper, lawnmower, and a truck inside. It's been two month's and Ive asked at least 6 builders that put up sheds, garages ect. Ive only gotten two bid's. One for $21,000 and the other for $40,000. The others either say they are still working on the bid or are just too busy.

So it must be a good time to be in the shed building business.
I had a 24x40 (960 square foot) garage built back in 2005/2006. Grand total came out to around $30,000, but that's partly because I had to have a lot of site work done. I think the pole barn company's part of it was around $17K-18K, the concrete slab and associated work was around $5-6K, plus I lost track of how many dumptruck loads of gravel had to come in for the ~200 foot driveway the county made me put in. Oh, that also included running electric out to it, buried underground, but minimal service in the garage, just two fluorescent lights, a 60 amp circuit box, and two outlets. Oh, plus permits, a schematic that a local engineer had to draw up when they struck groundwater digging the foundation, etc. It was done in phases, and I've lost track, but $30K might actually be slightly on the high end.

Anyway, the company that did the garage is Durabilt Pole Buildings | Pole Buildings, Commercial Buildings, Pole Barns, Loft Barns, and Cabins to Accent Any Home if you want to check 'em out. They're based in Ohio, but I think have nationwide coverage.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:35 AM   #23
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I believe there is a certain sector of the population doing it tough. Most of us don't know the real stories about how or why these people are in this situation because we wouldn't have a lot of exposure to these details.

It's easy to blame the individual for causing their own mess but I would say in a lot of cases that may not be the truth. If you have only ever been a minimum wage worker and suddenly your hours are cut how likely is it you would have been able to accumulate an emergency fund?

It easy to say education is the key, but for some it is not an option, they just don't have the smarts. Let's face it someone has to be the checkout chick or work at the car wash.

it is frustrating to see those that have had opportunities at the higher income level to have plenty of stuff but no savings and not really getting that they are partly responsible for the situation they find themselves in.

I read some time ago an article somewhere that it is the guys who are doing yard work and lawn care who are getting stiffed. They continue to do the work but the property owner just doesn't pay. Add in those who are taking advantage of the situation by using the economy to push prices down when costs are going up.

All I can say is I am grateful that I am not one of those who is worrying about having money to pay the rent or put food in my mouth. I am grateful for the opportunities life gave me and that I was smart enough to recognise those opportunities and take full advantage when they came my way.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:01 PM   #24
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Yeah, for some folks its that bad, though that guy seems to have additional issues. Depends on what business you're in. If you have a job and it's secure and your not facing cuts in pay and benefits you're probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

On the other hand, if you're in certain industries or sectors, things are tough. You're losing pay and benefits, maybe even you're job. I suspect the Great Depression was the same. Lot's of folks scrapping by while others never really felt the pinch. With 25% unemployment you still have 75% of the people working and in certain places you hardly feel it.

Take Nevada and Texas. Both business friendly, both have low taxes, but Texas is doing well for the most part and Nevada has the highest unemployment in the nation. Nevada depends on mining and gaming. Mining is doing OK, but gaming is limping along. That means no expansion and no construction jobs, not to mention the horrible real estate market due to the bubble created by all the growth of the last few decades. More the sectors that each state depends on than the severity of the recession.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #25
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People are restructuring their goals and expectations. That takes time and it can be very painful. We've certainly changed our thinking since 2008.

I have to remind myself occasionally that those trades people that do not pay taxes are probably pumping all that cash right back into the economy as they often have to spend it on necessities -- not a lot of fat. That pumping action is the most efficient way to stimulate the economy I'd think. I'm sure there are some exceptions out there, a few well off trades types who only deal in cash but I haven't come across any.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:33 PM   #26
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Everyone I know that wants a job has a good one. The market for IT is solid these days.

I had no idea work was so tight for handy man types. I've got some stuff I need done, maybe now is the time for quotes.

I am in IT management myself. We can't find Java/Web developers/programmers for $95K per year! The last 3-4 we have had to hire were Indian and not even U.S. citizens. More American kids should be going into the IT field.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:42 PM   #27
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I am in IT management myself. We can't find Java/Web developers/programmers for $95K per year! The last 3-4 we have had to hire were Indian and not even U.S. citizens. More American kids should be going into the IT field.
yeah we've heard this story before.

I bet if you paid $195k per year then that shortage with dry right up.

Funny how that works.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:33 PM   #28
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Depending on your area, $95k/yr can be a decent salary for a web developer. At least, it used to be. I know plenty of college educated non-IT types working for much less than that.

In my experience, mercenary IT folks that are constantly chasing higher salaries are a poor long term investment. Adding a digit to that paycheck could do the company more harm than good.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #29
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Depending on your area, $95k/yr can be a decent salary for a web developer. At least, it used to be. I know plenty of college educated non-IT types working for much less than that.

In my experience, mercenary IT folks that are constantly chasing higher salaries are a poor long term investment. Adding a digit to that paycheck could do the company more harm than good.
I read somewhere that some IT jobs are outsourced within this country - to the rural area of the US like Iowa - you don't need to pay as much and you don't have to deal with languge-cultural difference/time difference (only a few hours at most)
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:59 PM   #30
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Depending on your area, $95k/yr can be a decent salary for a web developer. At least, it used to be. I know plenty of college educated non-IT types working for much less than that.

In my experience, mercenary IT folks that are constantly chasing higher salaries are a poor long term investment. Adding a digit to that paycheck could do the company more harm than good.
We certainly have developers who are making even more than this but my point was we can't seem to give away jobs making $95K per year. There are jobs available if you have the right skillset or live in the right part of the country. Recently saw an article where it said South Dakota has 3% unemployment and is having a lot of trouble staffing very well paying jobs in the oil and gas industry.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:25 PM   #31
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I do the same as most of you here...and when they stop by my house I usually try to find something they can do...but I don't pay upfront (been burned on that before) and I don't pay any more than a little over minimum wage per hour....for the stuff I normally would do myself.
Last year....a guy who had been laid off by the concrete public works department in a nearby City stopped by. He took out my old front concrete sidewalk .....we widened it to 6 feet or more, it was/is 35 feet long.......we put curve in it and created a 12 X 14 foot patio...at my front door. Relayed new concrete and bricked it all....for $3,200 (labor and materials) . Had I done this in years prior...it would have been an $8,000 to $12,000 job(or more). I was thrilled and he was happy as were his workers.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:47 PM   #32
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I had an 800 ft^2 shed put up. $2000. About $1000 in materials and another $1000 in labor, and it was built in less than a day. I thought that was generous, after seeing how quickly it went up.

Ask around at lumberyards and you may find some that are pre-built and ready to haul. I doubt that Iowa labor is that much cheaper than Missouri.


Hmm....Maybe it's time to dust off my resume and brush up on Java. I loved Java, but walked away when the bottom dropped out with H1-B Indians first flooded the market.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:59 PM   #33
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I think the weaker dollar has helped reverse the trend to outsource IT. Nobody I know ever had positive things to say about the resulting product quality or process. The focus was always on the lower price.

My job is hard enough without cutural barriers or time zone conflcits complicating things, so I am glad to see that trend reversing.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #34
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The fellow needing cash that day likely needed it to pay the day laborers he hired for the day - especially if he had bank trouble in his past.

I know someone in commercial building who is bidding office remodel jobs to keep his crews working, normally they do warehouse construction.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #35
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Plan to have a small yard job done tomorrow for about $150-200. The handyman asked if I could pay him in cash since he's unable to utilize any bank because of prior bad checks he's presented. I initially wanted the work done in 3 days but he said he's available tomorrow and that he needs the work BAD !
To the other posters, are things REALLY THAT BAD.....I still see folks eating out and at the malls, but when I talk to folks everyone's crying. If I were doing THAT BAD, I wouldn't be eating out or at the mall spending money I didn't have.......that's so oxymoronic to the FIRE mentality !

Am I missing something here....please opine
Regardless of how many people are out at restaurants or the malls, it is obviously not a healthy economic climate right now. Yes- as some people have mentioned- jobs such as Java programmers exist and are going unfilled because of a lack of skills. However, for non programmers, and in general,the middle class, this recession has been extremely difficult.
At the risk of sounding offensive, your comment about "oxymoronic to FIRE mentality" is perhaps a bit myopic. If you are working and in a position to FIRE than consider yourself fortunate because there are a lot of people worldwide that are hurting. Yes I know that everyone on this board probably did it the hard way, saving over the years, as did I, but that doesn't change the fact that the economy is in a mess and many people can't find jobs.
Whose to blame? Not really the point but the country is going through a rough patch and to answer your questions, yes things are bad right now.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #36
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The average American probably does not have the skills acquired to be a Java or web programmer. Not everyone has an interest in IT as a career, heck, a lot of IT folks I know aren't that excited about it, only that the pay is pretty good and its relatively easy to find a job, sounds a lot like folks the plethora of local manufacturing jobs in the 1950's!!!!
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #37
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The average American probably does not have the skills acquired to be a Java or web programmer. Not everyone has an interest in IT as a career, heck, a lot of IT folks I know aren't that excited about it, only that the pay is pretty good and its relatively easy to find a job, sounds a lot like folks the plethora of local manufacturing jobs in the 1950's!!!!
Being a real programmer/developer is a highly skilled job that also takes some special personality traits, espcially at the higher levels. S/He must be a very good abstract and structural thinker, while at the same time being extremely conscious of detail. Not a common combo, and of course they get paid well. They earn it.

Ha
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #38
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the higher levels. S/He must be a very good abstract and structural thinker, while at the same time being extremely conscious of detail. Ha
Just reading that made me tired..........
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #39
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Just reading that made me tired..........
LOL. I think prgrammers are less full of BS than other group of people that I meet, and for this as well as other reasons I tend to admire them.

An awful lot of life is taken up by just trying to swim through heavy seas of BS, ignorance of any relevant facts and general idiocy that any little break from this is very welcome.

Ha
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:02 PM   #40
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The average American probably does not have the skills acquired to be a Java or web programmer. Not everyone has an interest in IT as a career, heck, a lot of IT folks I know aren't that excited about it, only that the pay is pretty good and its relatively easy to find a job, sounds a lot like folks the plethora of local manufacturing jobs in the 1950's!!!!

A lot of truth to this. I would say a majority of my friends, co-workers and employees do not really "love" their job. However, it pays them very well and is generally easier (less stress) than the other fields they have worked in. I would say about 2/3 of the people I know who are now programming, do not have an IT degree. Many were accountants, engineers, scientists, etc...before moving to IT. I think more people are capable of doing it than they think. You have to be very analytical and bright to be really good at it, but most people in IT (unless you work for a software company) are simply modifying code that somebody else wrote and it is not really that hard.

I won't be recommending my daughter go into the field but that is more because I don't want her to work in ANY field in Corporate America. I will encourage her to do something else where she can more easily work for herself and possibly even add some real value to society instead of making the execs and shareholders wealthier!
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