Friday, July 25, 2008


President Bush reports everything is just fine with the economy.

My husbands workplace has layed off 2000 people in the last 4 months.

My workplace layed off 300 people this week.

My son's workplace is shutting down entirely in the next two months 1,113 living wage jobs will go away.

Just fine??? Not exactly.


Unknown said...

This news breaks my heart. :(

Fran said...

The husband had dodged the bullet twice, I dodged this one, and the son works for a private contractor Security Guard-- he does not yet know if he will continue to guard the empty building.
Local news reports that business he worked for was the largest taxpayer in this city, and also the largest utility customer. Not only will people lose good paying jobs & health insurance, but it will have a domino effect of the budget effecting so many things.
The people with this skill base will likely have to relocate, as it was the only computer chip maker in the area.

There is talk of a potential solar panel maker moving in-- but the place would have to be retooled, people trained, etc.

Most people I know can barely keep afloat in an unemployment situation-- if you have to pay the Cobra (gap health) insurance- which runs about half of the money you get for unemployment. If you let the healt insurance lapse, you can get hit with a pre existing clause or exclusion of coverage of costs of those items for a year.
So if you get $600 & Cobra insurance is $300,
how many people can pay rent, utilities, food, bills on $300 a month?

These lay offs are joined a recent shut down of a GM call center-- they moved it to India.
The biggest place that is thriving here is the University- highest enrollment ever.

Oddly, they seem to have money for a $2 million dollar video screen scoreboard for the footall stadium, and are looking at building the most expensive sports arena basketball court in the entire nation. They *think* it will make enough money to be sustainable, but otherwise the student tuition cost increases will wind up covering the difference.
Just seems surreal they have all this money for fluff at a time when so many people are losing jobs, and college tuition is at an all time high.

Fran said...

I was reading the paper-- the closure will effect the tax base- schools, community college, the bus line, utilities, on & on.

Unknown said...

When it's the biggest employer the ripple effect IS huge. :(

enigma4ever said...

I am so sorry fran..and at this point we all are feeling the Ripples is happening across the country...but when it is your backyard it feels like just your hood...Hang in there....I am seriously getting my house ready to share it with others....I think we will need communes to survive the next 5 years...

Dada said...

fran: Congratulations (condolences?) on missing your employer's cut. (I didn't know which was appropriate after the conversation of a couple weeks ago -- ok, all joking aside.)

This is pretty frightening stuff with your husband's place of employment cutting back (again), your's and your son's. And it IS interesting that some places (like the University) never seem to be in the first wave when things start hitting the fan. But with UofO sports hitting the big time, I suppose they feel the need for the fluff of big-time facilities.

But in the brave new world I'm envisioning, sports program sacrifices will begin with high schools. Travel costs will become increasing more prohibitive. Then colleges. I don't know if it would ever affect pro sports, as they could cut millions from the bonuses and salaries of their highest paid. (Of course, fans may not be able to afford tickets...that could hurt.)

I came in on the middle of a radio story of a woman who used to volunteer with a food pantry. I don't know if she fell on hard times as a result of losing her job or what, but she is now a recipient of the aid she once doled out to others.

I'm just babbling, but I was glad to hear you made the cut as we had been wondering since you warned of these cuts several weeks ago.

Unknown said...

It is the job loss (I lost 2 in 4 months at the beginning of the GW era), I think, that hurts the most. Our economy just doesn't replace high paying jobs. It is a travesty.

D.K. Raed said...

"Bush-O-Nomics" is dead on! It is unbelievable how much damage has been done & continues to be done by the bushites. McCain-O-Nomics would be worse, coming as it would, at the tailend, when all the sh*t that was hidden by some very clever razzamatazz, finally surfaces. Didn't someone say something about the chickens coming home to roost? And his #1 economic priority would be to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, no matter what is happening to the economy.

It is terrible to see what is happening, especially when it hits close. I don't understand the Univ. Perhaps your son will end up guarding the new sports arena.

Fran said...

Dusty- Now that I think of it the Hospial is probably the biggest employer in the city. that's a whole 'nuther can of worms....
the city council played hardball with the hopsital wanting to reloacte crosstown w a bigger facility. They jacked them w zoning codes, so they built a brand new hospital in the next town over. It open next month.
Now the hospital from the small town is looking to relocate to our town! So the bigger city gets the smaller hospital & probably everybody will pay more. Ugh!

E~ You are on to something. It may take having shared living space to get through tough times.

Dada-- I'm not sure whether to celebrate or cry. They kept me, but gave me a really shitty shift. But being dumped into unemployment with a couple of thousand other people in a relatively small town is not good either.
then you have people vying for the low paying job with no benefits & bad hours.

I have to admit when his workplace started shutting down whole factories in Indiana in a 2nd wave of cuts, I started to have sleepless nights-- thinking what if we both became unemployed at once??? That though swirled around my head for a while. No job no health insurance, no way to pay for Cobra, maybe...
scared the hell out of me.

Math! 2 jobs lost in 4 months??? Is that some kind of record? Damn!

dk~ This was kind of like the experience w my Mom's house... I'd been hearing of the mortgage industry woes, but I did not realize it fully until we were talking with realtors
who showed us 50 homes foreclosed or on the brink of being salvaged from foreclosure... with in a 1 mile radius of Mom's house. Then it hit hime- holy crap! this really is a serious problem.

The housing market is totally tanked.
The economy & job situation is going down too.

Sadly, if you ignore the economy, it will go away.....

In another sign of the times, I noticed people hoarding gas @ Costco. Bringing a few larger gas cans to full up. Not just the little one for the lawnmower-- these looked like 15 gallon jugs & a few of them.

Pretty crazy stuff!

Dada said...

Well, don't forget the fire hydrants. If things get any tougher, you can steal the brass caps off 'em to supplement your "own private I'd a hoe.. (..your berry patch for a meal and glass of water, Mister") if it boosts one's personal sagging economics.

Sure a house now and then may burn down when the fire trucks find the hydrants useless like the one in California recently, but hey, what's somebody's house when we're talking about your next meal, right?

But you may wanna start collecting those hydrant caps early and often while they're still there, like those wise Costco gas buyers getting it while they can? One never knows.

Dada said...

Just opened the morning's "e-paper". Geez, there's a story on the front page about school districts back east slashing their budgets. First on the chopping block - athletics. This is sad but in hard times, some programs become luxuries we can no longer afford.

A lot of kids are feeling deprived, cheated, angry even. For some, high school athletics is a ticket to university, higher education and future opportunities they could otherwise not afford.

As a result, it's possible some may never get to play on the grand courts and fields in arenas and stadiums beneath $multi-million scoreboards being built for them to showcase their athleticism in return for the education given.

Fran said...

Dada-- there IS a rise of people stealing metal for scrap money. Also looting of restaurant's spent cooking oil to make biodiesel. All those doom & gloom scenarios people had been talking about are starting to come true. Recently, looters stole copper from the food bank refrigeration system- rendering it broken, & costing thousands to repair. One has to be pretty desperate to take on that kind of karma- stealing from the poor & destitute.

I don't have a problem with the building of a new sports arena for the college- but does it have to be the most expensive one in the nation for college b ball courts?? The budget seems sketchy & they are saying future students will pick up the tab, should their financial guesstimations be wrong.

Then again--maybe it is a good idea. The locals can take over tthe facility for shelter if the majority foreclose on mortgages and/or the banks run out of money,

As for educational budgetary chopping blocks- art programs are way up there on the list too. Often times communities come together to find a way to budget sports... but not the arts-- which is proven to help in academics & overall lifelong success.
We are fully immersed in the Bush disaster.
Who knew No Child Left Behind was referring to the bankruptcy of the country?

As for the gas hoarding-- Costco has a * NO CASH ACCEPTED* policy... but for those toting multiple additional gas cans for filling up & there are already 50 cars in line waiting- the additinoal jug fill ups should have to go to the back of the line, if they are going to be double dipping. This situation really got to me as my tank was running on empty on a hot 96 degree day.

Those kids missing out on well rounded education- that include sports & the arts are being cheated. But I doubt they will find comfort in knowing the money went to no bid contracts for Halliburton's subsidiary KBR to keep their profit margin high by hiring substandard electricians- that resulted in 16 US soldiers dying of electrocution by doing things like taking a shower in a facility that was improperly wired.

I don;t want to be thinking doom & gloom thoughts, but if you have your eyes open, you can't help but notice.

DivaJood said...

I wonder, seriously, about what planet Bush lives on. Nothing is fine with the economy. Although I did book a group for 2009 with your company on Friday. I did not get you on the phone though.