Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yes I can be selfish and short sighted

I was just rereading my last post and I was looking at how the economic 'crisis' would affect me. I neglected to think or comment on how it would affect others. Here are my thoughts on some general groups:

1) Those at or under the poverty line: They have few dollars invested so the loss of money in the investment markets will not affect them...directly. Indirectly the reduction in value of the US dollar in response to the drop in the market will affect this group (as it will all). Food and shelter costs will increase. However, this group is often under some kind of social welfare. Those programs will likely still continue, though potentially pinched by an influx of people from the lower-middle class.

2) Lower-Middle Class: As noted above, some of these individuals could be vulnerable to job layoffs. When most companies start looking for employees to trim in hard times, it can affect the lower wage employees, especially in manufacturing (which is already a hurting industry). These people are then stuck with few job opportunities and have to fall to assistance to make it by. You can certainly understand why this group is looking at the candidates for the next President and asking, what are you going to do to help keep us working?

3) Retirees and those nearing retirement: This is the group that should be most worried. Of course it's also a very large group. The "baby-boom" group is getting close to that age where they want to retire or are already retiring. Their pensions and retirement funds are in dire straights. I suspect that is why the government is passing the bailout package. That's a LOT of people who suddenly might not be able to retire at 65 or would put even greater strain on the already feeble Social Security system.

4) New Yuppies: (I include myself in this group) It'll be a pain in the ass but at the end of the day it's not going to be Armageddon. It'll just suck getting credit for a car or house. We might have to rent more or be more frugal in our major purchases. Oh no, we might not be able to get that 65 inch TV! I had to drop HD and DVR functions to help offset increased costs. It's a pain but really did I NEED those things? Nope.

We yuppies will recover fine but I think we'll have to pay for this mess long term regardless if the big finance firms are bailed out or not. We'd be paying for the social programs to help the retired or the poor or we're paying to keep the market stable. Either way we pay in the end. I'd sure like to think that the post-'baby-boom' generations can do better but I'm not too confident of that either. We like our toys too much.

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