It's pretty astonishing to see the way things are changing quickly & dramatically, with the economic downturn.
• Locally, there have been 21 bank robberies since September 1.
• The county is lacking funds, so they had to shut down a few hundred jail beds, which means many criminals brought to prison, some for serious crimes, are being released the same day, because they don't have jail space.
• Mr. Ramblings workplace handed out paychecks and pink slips. Don't even know how many more got the axe, but they were already running 2x the work with 1/2 the people. We survived the cut, but it is getting grim & bleak. I can't remember if this is the 4th or 5th wave of lay offs.
They did this one as a sort of "Friday surprise", thereby dodged having to do a press release, or state how many more lost jobs.
• My workplace has geared up to do a hiring twice, and then reversed course and decided to not hire, because business is slow, and lots of folks are cancelling travel plans. Employees could volunteer to work a 4 day workweek, and sign up daily to be able to leave if things are slow.
• The State of Oregon has lost 14,100 jobs in September, and the jobless rate is up to 7.3%.
They are officially calling it a recession.
• Oregon's hunger rate is among the highest in the country.
• Nationwide, unemployment is projected to hit 8%.
• Foreclosures up 25% in October, nationwide.
• Unemployment claims hit a 16 year high as 1.2 million U.S. jobs vanish in 2008.
• If the US auto industry tanks, thousands, perhaps millions of jobs lost.
• Stores are offering 60% markdowns in November, in a slumped market. Those consumers are just not consuming as the economy gets more frightening & unstable by the day. Likely lots of stores will go under with a flatlined Xmas sales margin.
In "happier news"~
• Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac suspend holiday foreclosures. No Grinch arriving at Tiny Tim's house between Nov 26 and Jan 9. About 10,000 households will be affected under Fannie, and Freddie about 6,000 borrowers facing foreclosure. they will then evaluate if they qualify under a foreclosure bailout.
• Crude oil $48.50 a barrel. I don't know about you, but when gas prices soared, we cut back on driving. Gas has dropped to under $2 bucks a gallon in some place. Not so long ago it was $4.69 a gallon.
• Heinz ketchup and product sales are up- because more people are eating at home. Smuckers jams & jellies are selling more too. People are eating more peanut butter & jelly these days.
Remember- Ronald Reagan declared ketchup a vegetable!
• In densely populated areas, UPS will set up PODS to store bulk packages, & have carriers ride bikes with trailers to make deliveries. They expect to save $38,000 by using bikes.
In closing, I know pointing blame does no good, but it is important to recognize who is responsible for this mess. I've already heard pundits blaming Obama for the financial recession, crisis, call it what you will. George W. Bush was driving this bus, he was the decider, and had on his resume 2 previous bankruptcies as a result of his "leadership". For the record, it is Bush, through his ineptitude, who drove this country to it's knees, and into bankruptcy, on so many levels.