I found this article in the Wall Street Journal and I don't now why, but it struck a chord with me. Maybe because it outlines in clear numbers what I and many other Americans have felt: we're losing ground. We don't have as much money, everything is more expensive, we haven't gotten a raise in years, and yet we're told we're out of the Great Recession. We're told inflation is low and we are all okay. Well, not so. And here are the numbers to back it up.
(If the link hits a paywall, just paste the title of the article into google and click on the link. You can read it then.)
In other news, on Friday we will be making our (most likely) last mortgage payment of the year. So I'll know by Saturday morning if we met our mortgage pay down goal for the year. I'm pretty sure we will, t;s just hard to guess by how much until the payment posts and the math is done!
I was looking back at our past yearly goals. In summer 2011, we owed about $86,000 on the house. It is amazing to me that we have managed to knock more than $40,000 off that amount. Fingers crossed we keep on cruising for three more years and get this house paid off!
I haven't been posting much. Life has gotten in the way. Yes, work and two little kids. But in other ways. I just completed an urban farmer mentorship program (mentoring me to be the urban farmer) so I have been very very busy with that.
It took a weird turn in November because I had to give two urban farming presentations in public. I've never been fond of public speaking, but apparently when you get me talking about plants, I turned out to be very good at it. The garden clubs both sent me nice notes. So that was unexpected!
I've also been busy editing and significantly revising my first novel. It's so close to being finished. My friend is a NYT best-selling children's author and said she will help with my book proposal when the time comes to send it out into the world to be rejected. I am so happy when I'm writing fiction, I'm hoping I can turn it into some sort of second act or career. Since my first career: journalism. Well, you've heard the news about how well THAT industry is going!
December 3rd, 2014 at 11:57 pm 1417651079
December 4th, 2014 at 12:36 am 1417653360
December 4th, 2014 at 12:42 am 1417653723
However, many folks I know around the country, especially those nearing 50 or older, are either unemployed or underemployed. They used up most or all of their savings when they were out of work during the Great Recession. In some cases, they used their retirement savings as well. Some lost their homes, some filed for bankruptcy. These people are just starting to recover. They don't have a lot of time and many will never get back to where they were in the mid-2000's.
College educated people under 50, especially with STEM degrees, seem overall to be faring the best in our economy. The 30 year-old with a $120k journalism degree, folks over 50, or younger people with limited educations, not so much. The jobs these people would have held in the past are gone or the wages are stagnant because of an oversupply of labor.
The future for a lot of people certainly does not look as bright as it did in the past. Not sure what can be done at this point to change that.
December 4th, 2014 at 04:00 am 1417665644
December 5th, 2014 at 07:09 am 1417763364
The local politicians spend 3 months arguing about the next municipal tax increase and finally, big announcement 4%. Two days later we who pay using their preferred monthly system, are notified of a 9% increase effective January 1 followed by the 4% increase as announced commencing June 1. It took the media 4 days to figure out that sleight-of-hand.
Have you noticed the increased cost of meat and produce? We live in beef country, the biggest ranches are about 20 minutes out-of-town. It's now a luxury item on my list. I'm sure our stream of summer visitors we surprised that we rarely BBQed beef. I tried to serve one beef based meal to our international visitors staying 3-4 days since we're famous for grain fed beef yadda yadda.
December 5th, 2014 at 02:41 pm 1417790487