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Old 09-05-2011, 07:56 PM   #41
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I'm afraid to say that the overall feeling seems to me to be quite similar to the same time during the Carter administration - not hopelessness, but a general malaise.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:12 AM   #42
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I'm afraid to say that the overall feeling seems to me to be quite similar to the same time during the Carter administration - not hopelessness, but a general malaise.

What I remember most about that time was political turmoil (hangover from the 60's) and the political fight for control.

The instructive part to that period (IMO) is the politics.

Most notably, after Nixon... the GOP was trying to recast itself.

For the economy, we struggled with high inflation several time in the 70's and had a couple of recessions.

Nixon Imposes Wage and Price Controls

Nixon tried to deal with high inflation using wage/price freezes. It did not work... eventually there was an economic contraction (recession) that brought them back down. He got hit with that oil embargo... energy prices did not help. I can remember price increases.

Part of Carter's undoing was a series of events... He inherited the Nixon/Ford recession and recovery. Inflation was on the rise when he took office. Of course, no President wants to kill a recovery... so he let the inflation ride early in his administration (IMO). Then there was another oil shock (which exacerbated inflation), Iran, a recession in 80 (not time to recover before the election).

http://www.nber.org/cycles.html

Of course, politicians (either party) try to paint a picture that makes them look favorable.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:29 PM   #43
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It is a very scary time even if you have a job and have great demand skills. I am scared of the present world we live in. There seems to be no end in sight for our economic troubles.
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For a ton of Americans who's spouse has a lost a job, or are underemployed, or unemployed, and lack the relatively small number of in demand skills (Health care, technology) I think it is a very scary time.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:05 AM   #44
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Not me. I can't speak for anyone else. I try to only worry about my little corner of the world. When I think everything is in order for my sphere of influence I expand the sphere. I have goals, plans, and things to do.

Looking back over the years, 1968 was the scariest to date. Chicago Democratic convention, riots and cities burning, protests, wars, assassinations.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:15 AM   #45
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Looking back over the years, 1968 was the scariest to date. Chicago Democratic convention, riots and cities burning, protests, wars, assassinations.
+1

You forgot to mention the threat of nuclear annihilation.

In my little corner of the world, add a pending draft notice, a wedding (complete with an emergency appendectomy during our honeymoon), and yep, a very scary year!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:18 AM   #46
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Looking back over the years, 1968 was the scariest to date. Chicago Democratic convention, riots and cities burning, protests, wars, assassinations.
From the view of my life, I agree with you...
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:58 AM   #47
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I would not want to be 21 today, but we've come back from worse and hopefully we'll do it again.

Wish we could get on with it instead of bickering and gridlock. Interesting, we blame our politicians and they may deserve some of the blame (special interests money), but the polarization reflects the polarization in the electorate these days - may be more than spirit? 'We get what we deserve...'
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:17 AM   #48
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Looking back over the years, 1968 was the scariest to date. Chicago Democratic convention, riots and cities burning, protests, wars, assassinations.
Of course, that was also the year my better half was born.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:14 AM   #49
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Looking back over the years, 1968 was the scariest to date. Chicago Democratic convention, riots and cities burning, protests, wars, assassinations.
I wasn't a very good year, that's for sure.

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I would not want to be 21 today, but we've come back from worse and hopefully we'll do it again.
I'd love to be 21 today, knowing what I now know. The job situation would be a tough nut to crack, but once that was accomplished life would be great.

Right now, a foreclosure up the street is for sale for around $150K on a Fannie Mae program that only requires 3% down, and closing costs up to 3.5% are paid. Plus, you are gifted up to $35,000 for any renovations you might want to do (though it is apparently in great shape and just needs updated decor). It's a great opportunity for an enterprising 21-year-old.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #50
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Right now, the house up the street is for sale on a federal program that only requires 3% down ($4833 in this case) on a very low interest loan, and closing costs are paid. Plus, you are gifted up to $35,000 for any renovations you might want to do (though it is apparently in great shape and just needs updated decor). Great opportunity for an enterprising 21-year-old.
It certainly seems quite doable-but to me it seems too much like what Ben Graham called cigar butt investing.

New Orleans is a beautiful, charming, culturally, musically and gastronomically ultra- rich city. And compared to other places of even remotely similar appeal it is cheap. But is also a bowl in the path of hurricanes during a time when sea water is getting warmer. It is crime ridden, and I am not clear what it has economically beyond the port, government employment, tourism, medical centers and universities. (There may be a lot, I have not studied it at all closely.)

The last inundation must have taught the people that they are on their own, so if there is a next one IMO people may be even more unruly.

For a young talented person there must be better options.

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Old 09-08-2011, 11:34 AM   #51
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For a young talented person there must be better options.
I'm sure there are. A young person is not likely to find a great high paying yuppie job here either, IMO. However, despite all this most young people here normally do not leave the city in which they grew up. Perhaps the same is true in Seattle? At any rate, there is no dearth of 21-year-olds here or anyplace of which I am aware. The artsy bohemian aspects here are a lot of fun for young people, too. If I was 21, I'd buy that house and share it with a half dozen friends to help me pay the mortgage. We'd have a ball and we'd love being 21 (which I believe was the point of my post).
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:50 AM   #52
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I guess we are still allowed to showcase different points of view? Clearly it depends on the 21 year old. Few 21 year olds who are interested in fun show up on this board. The kind of fun most here are interested in isn't really the same thing.

I certainly don't feel that what may or may not be suitable for an ambitious 21 year old has anything at all to do with an older person, particularly one who is already happily settled materially and socially.

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Old 09-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #53
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Great Topic For A Post

In recent months/years I have considered the very same thing and I think our country as a whole is losing its spirit.

We simply are not the same hard working, freedom loving, creative, entrepreneurial, independent people today that we were during the ascendancy of this country from its inception.

It's frustrating and discouraging to see this happen right in front of us. For me, there is nothing more inspiring than to see the human spirit perservere and I am afraid far too many people in our society are giving up and/or being born into a nanny state society where they never know any different.

So, I, like many others, am putting my head down and taking care of myself and my happiness; but, it's still a bit sad to think that dis-associating from the sinking ship is the best we can do. I'd love to be more hopeful, but there isn't much I see on a daily basis that inspires me.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:50 PM   #54
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Interesting, we blame our politicians and they may deserve some of the blame (special interests money), but the polarization reflects the polarization in the electorate these days...
I'll bet that most of that polarization in the electorate is caused by the politicians (e.g. through negative ads), aided by the media (which thrives on controversy).
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:00 PM   #55
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I'll bet that most of that polarization in the electorate is caused by the politicians (e.g. through negative ads), aided by the media (which thrives on controversy).
Yes, I agree. I think many of the media, business and political "powers that be" stand to gain a lot in protecting their fiefdom by turning half of "Middle America" against the other half. It reminds me of this cartoon.

Daffy Duck plays a traveling salesman who exploits the feud between Foghorn Leghorn and the dog and starts to profit off of both of them by getting them to buy stuff that hurts each other, escalating the hate and violence repeatedly over time. This scheme comes to an end when both Foghorn and the dog realize they've been played for chumps -- that Daffy profited (at their expense) from fueling their hatred for each other and taking it to new levels.

Daffy = the political/business/media elite; Foghorn and the dog (roughly) represent the average left-leaning American and right-leaning American (or any other common "division" you can think of). Though produced 55 years ago, I think this captures the current divide and conquer of the American middle class better than anything I've seen since:



But in our day and age, will we both come to a mutual realization that Daffy is pitting us against each other for Daffy's own benefit (and to our mutual detriment)?
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:38 PM   #56
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Yes, I agree. I think many of the media, business and political "powers that be" stand to gain a lot in protecting their fiefdom by turning half of "Middle America" against the other half. It reminds me of this cartoon.

Daffy Duck plays a traveling salesman who exploits the feud between Foghorn Leghorn and the dog and starts to profit off of both of them by getting them to buy stuff that hurts each other, escalating the hate and violence repeatedly over time. This scheme comes to an end when both Foghorn and the dog realize they've been played for chumps -- that Daffy profited (at their expense) from fueling their hatred for each other and taking it to new levels.
Love this cartoon! Always been a huge Foghorn Leghorn fan. Here's another one. RUN-DMC versus Aerosmith. Rap versus Rock. They worked it out

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Old 09-08-2011, 05:43 PM   #57
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louis CK's take on (american) life today is funny here



i like the .. well i can't do anymore things.. part too. :-)
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:05 PM   #58
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I'll bet that most of that polarization in the electorate is caused by the politicians (e.g. through negative ads), aided by the media (which thrives on controversy).
I wish I knew where it started. Just one example, we all grew up with three major networks who tried to report the unbiased news (relative to today at least) - remember Walter Cronkite?

And we didn't "know" so much about the personal lives of our leaders and politicians. Are we better off having them constantly picked apart over every little thing for political reasons that have nothing to do with governing? Is it any surprise our best and brightest aren't interested in public office?

Are we better off with MSNBC and Fox News, I'm not sure we are. We should be able to listen to both and draw our own sound conclusions, but it seems a majority can't or won't bother. So we pick a side and parrot what we hear including ready made rebuttals to the views of the other side, without ever actually listening to the other side and thinking ideas through for ourselves. I fault the electorate for that, not the media.

And I'm not sure I agree the media is responsible first. There are less biased sources of news, but they don't fare as well in the ratings, chicken or the egg?

I wish I knew how this happened and how it plays out. It sure is ugly and devisive these days, gridlock can be beneficial but I don't believe now is one of those times.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:31 PM   #59
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During the last election, when McCain was ahead in the polls, it seemed that the media had more positive stories on Obama and negative on McCain and vice versa. That's all it would take, but I'm probably reading too much into it.

I'm hoping that it really has been like this all the time, and we're just more aware of it as we age and have more time for thinking.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:54 PM   #60
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I'm cautiously optimistic with my future. I'm more concern about the future of our children. I think they are in a rougher world just to maintain or meet the same standards we have attained for ourselves.
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