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8 ways the great recession has changed Americans

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
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Call it a double dip recession or the second great depression, which ever you like. As we out west would say: "It may be time to circle the wagons, load the ammo & shoot anyone who comes on the property."

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Eight ways the Great Recession has changed Americans

Fifty-five percent of Americans in the labor force have experienced a job loss, a pay cut, or a reduction in hours since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, a new survey finds.

By Mark Trumbull, Staff writer / June 30, 2010

More than half of Americans in the work force have lost a job, taken a pay cut, or faced cutbacks in paid hours on the job as a result of the recession that began in 2007.

According to a newly released in-depth survey, some 55 percent of adults in the labor force have experienced at least one of those job-market impacts of the Great Recession.

By tallying this stark statistic and others, the poll by the Pew Research Center paints a fuller picture of America's deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Job conditions may be the most significant way the recession has affected American families – but it is not the only one. The survey also measured prominent effects on spending and saving habits, wealth, and even attitudes about the nation's future prosperity.

"Here is an effort to look more broadly" at the recession, beyond just the official unemployment rate, says Paul Taylor, a co-author of the Pew report on the poll. The survey covered a representative sample of roughly 3,000 Americans during May.

Eight key findings reveal significant negative impacts, even while optimism about the future persists:

• Thirty-two percent of adults in the labor force have been unemployed for some period during the recession.

• Among people who have jobs, 28 percent have had hours reduced, 23 percent have seen pay cuts, and 11 percent say they've been forced to switch to part-time rather than full-time work.

• A "new frugality" has emerged, with 62 percent of adults saying they've reduced spending since 2007. Looking ahead, 31 percent say they plan to spend less than they did before the recession began, while just 12 percent say they plan to spend more. A major reason: Households plan to boost savings.

• Retirement plans are less certain, with baby boomers perhaps the hardest-hit generation. One-third of adults say they lack confidence that they will have enough income and assets for retirement, up from 25 percent who said the same in February 2009. Among workers in their 50s, about 6 in 10 say they may have to delay retirement.

• Nearly half of homeowners say the value of their house has declined during the recession. Of those who say this, 39 percent say it will take six years or longer for home values – a key source of household wealth – to recover.

• Some 26 percent of Americans say that when their children become the age they are now, their children will have a lower standard of living than they now have. A decade ago, just 10 percent said that.

• Optimism about the future persists, but with headwinds. Most Americans continue to view their country as a land of prosperity. But 63 percent expect it will take three years or more for their family finances to recover to prerecession levels.

• Partisan views on the economy have flip-flopped. During the Bush presidency, Republicans were more upbeat about their economic future than were Democrats. Now with one of their own in the White House, Democrats are markedly more optimistic. A majority of Republicans, but not of Democrats, say the country is still in recession.

That ambivalence is echoed by economists. An official panel has not yet said whether the recession is over, and some who believe it is over now fear a "double dip," or a second recession.

Source


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It's good that people are saving but it's not really helping the economy recover any faster.


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Vietnam
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Given that so many are unemployed, so many homes have lost significant value... local and state governments are seeing greatly reduced revenues from taxes... they are now in turn cutting back... we are seeing significant reductions in our local and state budgets which equate to layoffs, furloughs and this is just another domino to fall in the long line that we have seen fall... we are far from the end of the recession and it will take a great deal of time and work for this to turn around... much of the frugality that this has generated is a good thing... lets hope that our society becomes one of production again rather than remaining that of consumption...


"Every one of us bears within himself the possibilty of all passions, all destinies of life in all its forms. Nothing human is foreign to us" - Edward G. Robinson.

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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Given that so many are unemployed, so many homes have lost significant value... local and state governments are seeing greatly reduced revenues from taxes... they are now in turn cutting back... we are seeing significant reductions in our local and state budgets which equate to layoffs, furloughs and this is just another domino to fall in the long line that we have seen fall... we are far from the end of the recession and it will take a great deal of time and work for this to turn around... much of the frugality that this has generated is a good thing... lets hope that our society becomes one of production again rather than remaining that of consumption...

Our economy will always be significantly effected by consumption - whether it is us doing the consumption or other countries.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
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Personal insults are a violation of TOS and totally unnecessary. Please express your comments without attacking others.


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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A "new frugality" has emerged, with 62 percent of adults saying they've reduced spending since 2007. Looking ahead, 31 percent say they plan to spend less than they did before the recession began, while just 12 percent say they plan to spend more. A major reason: Households plan to boost savings.

• Nearly half of homeowners say the value of their house has declined during the recession. Of those who say this, 39 percent say it will take six years or longer for home values – a key source of household wealth – to recover.

• Partisan views on the economy have flip-flopped. During the Bush presidency, Republicans were more upbeat about their economic future than were Democrats. Now with one of their own in the White House, Democrats are markedly more optimistic. A majority of Republicans, but not of Democrats, say the country is still in recession.

The poll pinpoints some poor decisions made by many Americans. Blowing your money on stuff you really don't need and can't afford seems simple enough until someone hands you that credit card.

Some people are catching on that a home is a place where you live and may not be your personal piggybank because there isn't an endless line of fools willing to pay more for a house than the last fool who bought the house.

The last part is predictable but I don't see a lot positive statistics to back the idea we are out of the recession.


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The poll pinpoints some poor decisions made by many Americans. Blowing your money on stuff you really don't need and can't afford seems simple enough until someone hands you that credit card.

Some people are catching on that a home is a place where you live and may not be your personal piggybank because there isn't an endless line of fools willing to pay more for a house than the last fool who bought the house.

The last part is predictable but I don't see a lot positive statistics to back the idea we are out of the recession.

Unfortunately, consumer spending is a large part of the economy. People spending less will mean that a recovery will ultimately take longer. Welcome to the paradox of thrift.


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While it is the *it* thing to do, blaming consumerism is like slapping the horse that brought you the gift. It will neigh and gallop away... to China. It is exactly consumerism that provided hundreds of thousands of jobs to Americans. Think for a second it. If weren't for your consumerism, we'd still be watching regular TV. Not HDTV. This one item provides millions of jobs around the world and billions of dollars to not only American GDP but to rest of the world's GDP also. It can be argued that noone needs an HDTV over a regular TV. Indeed a lot of people can't really tell the difference when they're watching regular or HD television. So don't blame consumerism.

Intuitively you'd think saving is a good thing. And it is and everyone should save. However, if saving means not going out for dinner, then your local bistro is going to close down their door soon enough. At least 5 people work in the local bistro which supports Uncle Luigi's family and Aunt Germine's chicken farm. So now five people are of job because you decide to not eat out as much.

It’s all a great big circle of connection, stupid. Economy won't recover until you let out your inner consumer #######.


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Filed: Country: Philippines
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While it is the *it* thing to do, blaming consumerism is like slapping the horse that brought you the gift. It will neigh and gallop away... to China. It is exactly consumerism that provided hundreds of thousands of jobs to Americans. Think for a second it. If weren't for your consumerism, we'd still be watching regular TV. Not HDTV. This one item provides millions of jobs around the world and billions of dollars to not only American GDP but to rest of the world's GDP also. It can be argued that noone needs an HDTV over a regular TV. Indeed a lot of people can't really tell the difference when they're watching regular or HD television. So don't blame consumerism.

Intuitively you'd think saving is a good thing. And it is and everyone should save. However, if saving means not going out for dinner, then your local bistro is going to close down their door soon enough. At least 5 people work in the local bistro which supports Uncle Luigi's family and Aunt Germine's chicken farm. So now five people are of job because you decide to not eat out as much.

It's all a great big circle of connection, stupid. Economy won't recover until you let out your inner consumer #######.

Humans are naturally consumers. It's unfortunate that by design, we cannot convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds that could be used as energy. We'll never not have a negative impact on the environment in that respect. What we can do, however, is become more efficient and less destructive to our environment from our consumption to a more sustainable level. Sharing a planet of finite resources with billions of other humans makes some people more conscientious and others more selfish.

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That wasn't an insult to anyone specifically. It's a figure of speech in American English to point out something obvious and say "It's the ..., stupid." Likewise, consumer ####### is a legitimate but comic phrase to denote post-modern consumerism. Anyways, those weren't personal insults to anyone.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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While it is the *it* thing to do, blaming consumerism is like slapping the horse that brought you the gift. It will neigh and gallop away... to China. It is exactly consumerism that provided hundreds of thousands of jobs to Americans. Think for a second it. If weren't for your consumerism, we'd still be watching regular TV. Not HDTV. This one item provides millions of jobs around the world and billions of dollars to not only American GDP but to rest of the world's GDP also. It can be argued that noone needs an HDTV over a regular TV. Indeed a lot of people can't really tell the difference when they're watching regular or HD television. So don't blame consumerism.

Intuitively you'd think saving is a good thing. And it is and everyone should save. However, if saving means not going out for dinner, then your local bistro is going to close down their door soon enough. At least 5 people work in the local bistro which supports Uncle Luigi's family and Aunt Germine's chicken farm. So now five people are of job because you decide to not eat out as much.

It’s all a great big circle of connection, stupid. Economy won't recover until you let out your inner consumer #######.

This would be true if people saved by putting bank-notes under their beds (if this were happening, though, the government would likely start printing more money to prevent deflation). But saving for most people means putting money in banks or buying stocks, bonds, or other liquid assets. It's not consumerism that drives the economy but production and ingenuity. People saving means that it's easier to get capital which leads to economic growth.

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