Has the Troubled Economy Troubled You?

Introduced: March 27 2012

Although the U.S. economy seems to be on the mend, the effects of the past three years may linger. Were you or anyone close to you impacted in a significant way? Did you lose a job?...go back to work after retiring?...take a second job?...close a business?...downsize your workforce?...sell a house?...lose a house?...do a short sale?...postpone a change?...defer education or choose a less costly school?...alter retirement plans?...start spending less?...dig into savings?...become less confident about the future?


Note From IWD: "Weigh-Ins" are no longer an active feature on IWD. Our members expressed a preference for longer dialogues. The content of the previous Weigh-Ins remains on the site for your enjoyment and enlightenment. 

Member Responses

251: As the economy has vacillated over the past year, I’ve had some regrets about the way I’ve invested. At the moment, I’m wishing I’d had the foresight to invest in Apple, which analysts are predicting will increase to more than $1,000 a share over the coming months.


037: One of the things the economy caused me to do was buy a Ford. There are a lot of foreign cars I like – and I’ve driven a lot of them in the past – but I wanted to support Ford because they didn’t take a bailout and they were working hard to turn it around on their own. (Actually, I also liked the particular model of Ford I bought, but the patriotic aspect gave it an extra advantage over some others cars I was considering.) Recently I found this interesting article about how Ford did it, with the more complete story being the subject of a book entitled American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company. (Alan Mulally is the CEO of Ford and formerly, the CEO of Boeing.)



174: I have two cousins who had totally different experiences in getting their first job after college. One of them who graduated in 2008, had to take a much lower-paying job in a field he had no interest in, just to support himself. His brother, who will graduate this May, sent out less than a dozen inquiries and already has a good offer. All things being equal with these two guys (and I’m not sure whether they were exactly equal), it seems to be a better time for getting a job.

Note from IWD: A few statistics bear out that impression. A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found 2012 hiring is expected to climb 10.2 percent, above a previous estimate of 9.5 percent. College graduates' earnings are also on the rebound. NACE says the median wage for first-time job seekers after college for 2012 is up 4.5 percent higher than a year ago to $42,569. What does that mean for workers who aren’t just graduating?  According to a Business Roundtable survey of 128 CEOs, just 42 percent expect to grow their payrolls, a 7 percentage point improvement over the last quarter. A nearly equal share, 43 percent, expect no change in hiring, while 16 percent expect a decrease.


285: The downturn in the economy severely depleted my retirement funds. My husband and I have had to rethink how much longer we work. The people I really feel sorry for are those who retired just ahead of the bust and have stopped their income stream because they thought they had enough to live comfortable the rest of their lives.


213: My “empty nest” is refilled with two children who were good students and can't find jobs that let them afford their own apartment.  


118: I’m a counselor at a large, well-respected high school and I have to say that although you didn’t hear much about this on the news – most of the news was about mortgage lending drying up -- school loans were much harder for many students to get, making the cost of some colleges even more outrageous.


244: My guess is that almost everyone was affected by the economy in some way. I have friends whose once-successful businesses closed. And I know several people who had “short sales” on houses, primary or second homes. But, I have to admit, in our area, the shopping malls never stopped being active and neither did the restaurants. Sometimes we’d look at each other and say…”THIS is a recession?”


317: I’m trying to keep up with economic predictions to decide if we’re really turning the corner or not. I hope we are. But I came across an article in the Smithsonian Magazine that says that although we may be improving in the short term, the long term picture isn’t pretty. An Australian physicist has re-visited a book published in 1972 called Limits to Growth that described results of a study done at MIT. (The book was updated in 2004.) This physicist agrees with its conclusions and predicts that unless we change our ways, it is likely the world will experience a global economic collapse by 2030. The problem is that we’re consuming global resource in an unsustainable way. The study concluded that we could sustain growth if we would invest in technologies that reduce our imprint on the earth. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Looking-Back-on-the-Limits-of-Growth.html