Ways to Save Money in an Economic Downturn

I thought I'd start this forum as a place for folks to post their ideas and thoughts about how to save some cash during the downturn. I lived through this as a kid in Pennsylvania back when Steel and Coal disappeared. It was pretty much like it is now, except at the time it was only Pennsylvania that was suffering the pain. So, here are some thoughts about how to survive the downturn. Please add your own in the space below and I'll keep adding more as they come to me.

  1. Start buying generic groceries, which in this day and age means buying store brands. Yes, you'll be jacked up with chemicals and preservatives and artificial colors - but you'll save some money in the process.

Payback time for the upper crust

As the reality of the recession sinks in, consumer confidence has reached frightening lows. People all across the income spectrum here in North Carolina are hunkering down – and worse. With job losses reaching record levels, the global economy has become a literal death spiral. People in my neighborhood are foregoing medical treatment to pay for food and shelter. People in other countries are simply starving.

As President Obama said last night, this precipitous decline has come on the heels of the greatest transfer of wealth – from the middle class to the super rich – in modern history. It is time for the wealthy to do their part. And not just by paying higher taxes.

Arianna Huffington: If you jump halfway across a chasm, you fall into the abyss.

I am not a fan of the Huffington Post. I rarely can find my way around and I'm not that concerned with what celebrities think - even if they are very bright. Today her headline caught my eye. It is one of those that reaches out and grabs you.

Stimulus Package: If you jump halfway across a chasm, you fall into the abyss.

That's exactly what we are doing. The senate needs to add more infrastructure spending and it needs to be "shovel ready." (I know some don't like that saying, but it works.)

Economic Stimulus Blues for the Blues

The Economic Stimulus Plan does not concern me, Democrats concern me. I have come to the conclusion that Democrats are so eagerly and meekly courting conservative consent for the Stimulus not because they want true bipartisan support or because they value their ideals, but because they honestly do not think it can work. They want someone with which to share the blame, because they have absolutely no way of knowing if any of this capital injection, infrastructure spending and, yes, tax cuts will do anything but put us in a bigger fiscal debt and without thousands of new jobs for working families.

Today’s Edition of the Circus of Situational Ethics

John Hood says we shouldn’t fix broken things, because we could buy new things instead of fixing broken things which still stimulates the economy, but just in a different way. Got all that?

Of course, hasn’t Hood always encouraged restrained government spending in the name of opportunity cost budgeting? Well, no.

However, if his column doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t matter. You’re just supposed to think he’s smart because he cites Keynes and Bastiat.

Blather available here

Erik Sorenson fears a class war that the rich won’t win. Even though he does frown on a $37,000 toilet, he’s frightened that $100,000 in salary just isn’t enough. I wonder what the janitors at MSNBC made when he led the company.

Comfort poor little rich boy here

Ideas to assist economic growth and the environment - Funding for conversion of homes to solar/alternative energy power details

I submitted the following idea on and it has quite a few votes so far.  I am hoping that others will see it and vote it to the top of the list so it gets referred to President Elect Obama. 


Funding for conversion of homes to solar/alternative energy power details


Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Diddly

The Mountain Xpress features this story:

Two major N.C. incentives programs sent large portions of funding for increased corporate expansion and job creation to areas of the state that basically needed it the least, according to a study by the Durham office of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for federal and state economic policies.


Dr. Mike "Wonderland" Walden of NC State and Locke Foundation

And he gets paid to teach economics to children?

I couldn't let this go by without posting.

Locke Foundation hack-on-the-side Dr. Mike Walden "assesses" that BB&T is cutting jobs because of a "lack of lending opportunities."

Any business folk out there want to tell Dr. Walden and BB&T where to find a "lending opportunity" to use the bajillions they've taken from the government?

Apparently they can't find anywhere to lend money, so they have to cut jobs.


The Cratchits

I'm safely returned from a whirlwind trip to Asheboro and Stenchville. In the former I learned that the Goodyear plant bid their employees adieu until next year. In the latter I spoke with a father of two little ones who has been on half-time since June and was laid off today until the new year. He's getting by cleaning cars and doing odd jobs.

Being on the clock with no children to feed, I had no complaint.


More Fun with McCain's Housing Crisis! NC Press Conference with Butterfield & Blue

Congressman Butterfield and State Rep Dan Blue held a press conference yesterday in North Carolina on McCain's Housing Crisis.

"Senator McCain is not in touch with the American people," Butterfield said.

"If you own so many that you can't keep up with them," Blue said, "then you ought to make an effort to see what regular people are going through."

The Obama Camp has surrogates in a number of states holding press conferences on how out of touch McCain is in response to McCain's recent housing crisis.

McCain did not know how many houses he and his wife own, when asked by a Politico reporter. "I'll have my staff get back to you on that," McCain replied.

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