It's A Big Crap Cake

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skeletom, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. Skeletom

    Skeletom Member

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    ...And it looks like most of us are gonna have to take a bite.

    I've been out of work for several months now. I live in the SE United States and factories are beginning to close down around here. I went to school for the last two years to become a draftsman. But now, the horizon looks pretty bleak. The Second Great Depression seems to be already here but we are not feeling the full effects yet. I'm currently living with my mom and I've decided that the only way I might be able to make it is to go into the military.

    But, what I'm really angry :rant: about is that our governments and the people in charge have known that this crap could happen for awhile and they did nothing. Since the 70's we have known, but US corporations just decided to keep outsourcing infrastructure and finding more ways to get us to shop at walmart. Sure, I agree that some of it has to do with the housing crunch. But, only now we are deciding that having a lop sided economy is bad.

    Anyway, what are everyone else's feelings about this?
     
  2. GuardianAngel82

    GuardianAngel82 Senior Member

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    I worked in manufacturing in the '80's as an Industrial Engineer in the oil industry. Most of those jobs went to Asia. By the late '80's, I was back in school, working a shit job and trying to support my pregnant wife, who was also in school.

    Absolutely NO miracle occurred. We slowly got better at handling our troubles and the economy slowly improved. There was another economic problem in the early '90's, and then the economy took off. Then it faltered in the early 2000's, then slowly climbed back up again. Then it went up like crazy, and as you know, collapsed again. Notice a pattern?

    You will survive this. It will suck. The trick is to keep it together until things are better. And, after things start recovering, say a year from now, it will be better. You should then get ready for the next one.

    The good thing is, after you get old, you'll forget all the bad stuff and think you had a good life. You'll be right. ;)
     
  3. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Aye, it all gets better in time. You just have to weather the storm. People always survive, even if they think they won't. :)
     
  4. Scryler

    Scryler Night's Wordsmith

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    Oh boy, don't get me started on this one!!!

    I think there is huge gap between those who have money (read: lots of it) and those who don't (read: everyone else), and those who have money can't even begin to relate/understand what life is like for those who don't have money. Until they lose their money, that is, and are in a gigantic panic that they will know first hand what it's like to be...us.

    Government's job IMO should be to look after those who don't have money, but when gov is run by those who have money, then their inclination is to look after themselves. This is further exacerbated by that huge gap.

    And yes, we have cycles. But never before in the US has the gap between the truly rich and everyone else been so large.

    In college, I was a sociology major (you couldn't tell?) and I am probably closer to a socialist than a capitalist. So my opinion is undoubtedly biased. But the reason sociology grabbed me was because it validated my own personal experience.

    And yes, people do survive...most of them...but sometimes the level of survival is so low IMO that it is insurmountable.

    If you are young, don't lose it all to alcohol/drugs, and don't make too many mistakes, you will likely make out ok. Over time.

    If you do go into the military, make sure that any promises are in writing. Be aware that most promises (even in writing) have strings attached...like yes, you can do such and such a thing...but you have to take a class and then take several really hard tests over the course of the class and pass each test at a really high level just to stay in the class. If you don't pass, you are "phased out" and the military can place you where ever they want.

    OK enough with the unsolicited advice! And the ranting. Like I said...don't get me started. And I was being reserved. Somewhat.
     
  5. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    Get out in the street and do something: now is the time. It will get better in time left to the markets, then it will happen all over again. But first, corporations will do the easiest thing to restore profits - they will sack people in huge numbers.
    Yup - every market goes in cycles of booms and busts.

    And yet - at the peak of every boom, they tell you it will never end. The stock market has been soaring for years and sure enough, the 'experts' were saying there would never be another crash, just 'corrections'. What geniuses :yawn: Thats like standing there in the middle of summer and saying, "the days are getting longer, there'll never be another night!"
     
  6. Scryler

    Scryler Night's Wordsmith

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    If your parents have a yard, start reading now about how to grow a garden. If you aren't working, growing vegetables will help your parents, keep you busy, and make you feel like you are contributing. My relatives made out ok during the great depression because they had a huge garden.

    I have a friend from China. He's married to a US citizen (and has been a citizen for some time, himself). His parents went through the great famine in China (I do NOT think things will get that bad, here). His parents came to stay for a few months to help with the baby (very Chinese thing to do). They planted every little piece of ground that wasn't lawn with quick growing vegetables and/or greens. It was very unobtrusive. And he said that their food budget was cut by 25%, more than enough to offset the extra cost from having his parents there. And it was organic.

    There are lots of groups starting up that are politically active. Search them out online...look for local ones. Join one/some.

    Volunteer at agencies that you feel favorably towards. Many agencies rely on money that isn't going to be coming their way for a couple of years. You can help out with the work that needs to be done, and won't because of lack of $$$. Agencies that work with the homeless in particular are going to need help. The homeless population is the most needy and the first to get cut financially.

    Can you teach? Community centers and other places that offer tutoring or free classes might be able to use you. You may not get a salary for any of the above, but you will be making contacts that likely lead to jobs when things open up. Word gets around.

    Drafting is a great skill for mapping D&D campaigns.

    I tend to rant away and view things in uh...a less than positive way. Pay attention to those who give you positive input...that's real support. Better than just ranting away.
     
  7. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    It all goes into the same pot - ranting on one end and nurturing on the other and then everything else in between. Too much 'professor-positive'-ism alone doesn't get it done, nor too much negativity. Thus, in the end I believe it's good-natured resignation that surfaces as the ultimate balance. It's an effective compromise betwen "woe is me" inaction and self pity and unrealistic idealism.

    We carry on because there is no other choice but to carry on, despite all the intricacies in between that get hyper-analyzed ad infinitum as you lie awake in bed at night.

    I sound like I'm reciting some druid mantra. ;)
     
  8. wizgeorge

    wizgeorge Prophet of Wizardy

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    People are survivors. I've been thru 2 tours in VietNam, recessions , layoffs and I'm still here playing ToEE/KotB on a decent computer. I'm not wealthy by no means, but I can deal with things. I'm hard-headed and stubborn and I don't worry about things I have no control over. Change is a constant thing, so learn to deal with it best you can. Things always get better. It's just a matter of time.
     
  9. GuardianAngel82

    GuardianAngel82 Senior Member

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    Mr. Wizard, I agree utterly. I don't worry about things I can't fix.

    While, of course, part of the problem was bad decision-making or bad behavior, most of it was inevitable. If things are going up, brace for impact. And like Geaer said, it's good to have a good sense of humor about it.

    I joined in 1974. I was training at Polk when Saigon fell. We didn't think Ford would send us, but we had to be available. I still feel guilty about letting the Vietnamese down. Talk about crappy economic situations.

    Many solved that problem by coming here. The liquor store in my neighborhood is run by NORTH Vietnamese. Now they are bombong US. :p
     
  10. Skeletom

    Skeletom Member

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    Thanks GA82 and Gaear for the words of support. I get too pessimistic sometimes. But, I feel this is going to be worse than any contemporary or recent economic downturns.

    I agree with many things you've said. However, I don't really think it is the government's job to look after those who have no money. But, at the same time, I'm not a libertarian pro capitalist. I just think that big government makes big dumb messes. However, I think the government should provide more incentives for non profit charity organizations and incentives for the creation of more such organizations. These charity organizations should be run at the community level from the ground up with little government involvement imo.

    Well ...I already posses a bachelors degree (I have a bachelors in anthropology as well as the degree in drafting) so I'll be going into officers training. But, yeah your right. I'll still have to watch out for those things. But, I'll be happy if I'm just actually helping out in some way.

    I know what you mean. I lived in NE China for a year teaching English. Their level of agriculture is astounding. I mean they farm the ditches for crying out loud! Chinese people are very hard workers.

    I didn't think of that. I was going to do some volunteer work at the SA during the holidays. But, I'll check into that as well.

    I agree.
     
  11. Emirkol the Chaotic

    Emirkol the Chaotic Proud Polytheist

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    Read through this and can't think of anything else to add. You've all covered it pretty well.

    But still, roll with these things, don't stress over what you cannot control, and you'll survive.
    Me and the wife did for the last year when she was out of work. NOW, she's permanent and "hopefully" things will get a little better in the next few months. Times were hard and stressful, but we just did the best we could.

    These lessons are often hard learned. It took a divorce and being a single "and VERY broke" dad, to learn NOT to worry or lie awake at night, when it was over something outside of my control.

    Those who worry unnecessarily, IMO, are usually the ones who have a much harder time and may not survive. It's amazing what worry and anxiety can do to you physically AND mentally, if you don't reign it in. I saw this with my own mom, growing up. Maybe that's where I learned to let things go. Too bad i recalled the lesson a little later than I should of!
     
  12. Scryler

    Scryler Night's Wordsmith

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    I agree with your statement, wholeheartedly. (Except I'm not sure what a libertarian pro capitalist is. )

    My apologies for assuming you didn't have a lot of experience. It appears you do.
     
  13. GuardianAngel82

    GuardianAngel82 Senior Member

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    How old are you? What branch of the service are you going into? What specialty(s) were you considering?

    Scryler's right, blow off what they promise you. The best things you get from the service are life lessons and perspective.

    For example, most of the people in the world are "terribly poor" compared to us. But most of them live good lives. The more developed the local economy is, the more they are jerked around by distant events. WE do not have it bad, but strangely neither do they. What they need the most, like many of our own people, is good health care.
     
  14. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Another thing that GA82 mentioned in another thread: excercise. I know it may sound stupid as regards your current worries, but even just walking 30 minutes a day invigorates the body and clears the mind. Somehow your troubles don't seem quite as insurmountable almost the moment you set foot outside your door. :)
     
  15. Scryler

    Scryler Night's Wordsmith

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    I've always liked this statement.

    I made up some cards once that said:

    Constant change is here to stay.

    I also believe people are survivors. I think it's in our genes.

    My problem, I think, is that I have spent way too long working with people whose survival skills are detriments. And in fields that have low success rates (visible success rates, that is).

    That's one reason why, I think, I like gaming.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
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