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Old 01-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #21
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If the new normal is change, then it's the same as the old normal since I can't recall any time in my life when the times haven't been a changing and people haven't had something(s) to worry about. Thankfully, most of the things we worry about in our family are comparatively trivial compared to what many people who have been less fortunate than us have to deal with and never eventuate in any case.

Of course, the big one for me is FIREing later this year (finally) so I'm expecting 2013 to be a great year for me whatever happens on the economic front (famous last words, I'm sure).
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:52 AM   #22
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When people have nothing else for entertainment, they make love.
That kind-of proves the point: You don't need expensive Broadway show tickets; you don't need a vacation in Tahiti; etc. And the amount of money spent doesn't indicate just how much joy is afforded. Comfort, leisure and luxury tend to work that way - offering superior options "for every budget".
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:47 AM   #23
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If the new normal is change, then it's the same as the old normal since I can't recall any time in my life when the times haven't been a changing and people haven't had something(s) to worry about.
I always think of something I heard back in the 1960s that really stuck with me. I think it was Eric Hoffer who said that things constantly changed, and the only thing you could count on was that the rate of change would always accelerate. He was making the point that democratic governments could deal with that much better than totalitarian governments, so they had a better chance of survival. Of course, he has been proved right.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:13 AM   #24
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The average middle-class consumer is pretty well tapped-out. That's because wages have not increased since the 70s (when inflation is factored in). With 70% of the economy based on consumer spending, I expect the economy to remain flat for a long time. Just look at a graph of wealth distribution in this country, and you will see where all the money is (the top few %). I don't expect that to change anytime soon, either.
They are less tapped out than they were a few years ago. Middle-class households have managed to pay down some of their debt in the last few years, so they actually have room to spend a bit more if they wish.

Household Debt and Credit Report - Federal Reserve Bank of New York
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #25
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In 1980 when I joined the workforce, it was generally assumed that:

1) The federal debt could not ever make it back to a surplus.

2) Mortgage rates would never be single digit again.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #26
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When people have nothing else for entertainment, they make love.
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That kind-of proves the point: You don't need expensive Broadway show tickets; you don't need a vacation in Tahiti; etc. And the amount of money spent doesn't indicate just how much joy is afforded. Comfort, leisure and luxury tend to work that way - offering superior options "for every budget".
But babies are expensive.

Oh wait! As geezers in this forum are past child-bearing age, they can "entertain" themselves for very little. No cost actually.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #27
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This year financially will be depended upon the politics in Washington. After the decisions have been made then, it will depend upon where you live. Local conditions will prompt changes to your lifestyle, if needed. Overall, probably a better year than last year. If our politics do not set off a bad recession then the economy should tick over at around 2% with wall street doing very well.
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