March 10th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

If recession lasts for years, how will you cope?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. economy has "fallen off a cliff," is going through "a death by a thousand cuts," and those who think it will recover this year are "delusional." All this according to a couple of the sharper financial minds out there.

Billionaire Warren Buffett likens the current battle against prolonged recession to a Pearl Harbor-like situation.

Nouriel Roubini, a professor at New York University's Business school tells CNBC there's no hope the current recession, which is already 15 months old, will end this year. He says it will "more than likely last into 2010."

Roubini says most of our financial institutions are "entirely insolvent" and the government should temporarily take over the banks, clean them up and get them working again. Although he says there will be a light at the end of the tunnel; Roubini believes things will probably get worse before they get better.

If that's not dismal enough for you - there's Warren Buffett. Also speaking to CNBC, the billionaire investor described the current crisis as an "economic Pearl Harbor" and says the economy has "fallen off a cliff." He says it "can't turn around on a dime" and that a turnaround won't happen fast.

Buffett predicts unemployment will get worse before it gets better; and he says inflation has the "potential" to be worse than it was in the 1970s. Buffett suggests that five years from now the economy will be running fine.

Five years. That's a very long time for the millions of Americans who are already suffering and have been for months - without jobs, with rising costs for health care and education, and with decreased home values and mounting foreclosures.

Here’s my question to you: How will you cope if the current recession lasts for a number of years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Thomas from Missoula, Montana writes:
The same way we have always coped in an economy and society that favored greed and spending. By keeping current with our payments and by not borrowing money we can't pay back for crap we don't need. Just because some loudmouth from Madison Avenue tells us we need to.

Robert from Lake Jackson, Texas writes:
Seriously, that's not a legit question that I'm willing to entertain. We will not take that long to come out of this. The worse may not be completely over, but we have begun to recover already. It's just going to take us a little while to get things to level out of this flux. When that happens, the downward turns will stop and it will be a rocket sled to the top.

Gary writes:
Never thought I'd be happy to see gray hairs, Jack. Cheers from the "safe" haven of fixed income retirement. God speed to the young folks.

Abby from Denver writes:
This is the first year I'm attempting to grow a vegetable garden, go to grad school, enjoy my family and maybe get some chickens!

J. from Illinois writes:
I'll take it one day at a time, just like my first 71 years.

JoAnn from San Diego writes:
Jack, We have to think about how our parents and grandparents fared during the depression. Bottom line is they made it. They became entrepreneurs and figured it out. I am not saying they didn't suffer but I believe it made us a stronger nation. Maybe that's what we all need. Less designer purses, fast food and fast cars.

Ed writes:
We'll survive by eating Republicans. They've gotten fat enough and I've been told they taste like chicken.

Filed under: Recession
soundoff (348 Responses)
  1. samir from florida

    After a while, it will become just a normal part of life. We will become immune to it and we will learn how to better manage our money to survive.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  2. Cecil Jones

    Years Jack? I think President Obama has about three months before America starts asking, "Where's my Stimulus Package?" Rush got his and he never asked for one or needed one.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  3. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I'll just have to live conservatively. Cut back on luxuries and travel and sit tight.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  4. Eva Martinez

    I am 66 years old, retiring in June 09.

    Could be hunger? Could be living with others, can't hold my place?

    Really sad for the Baby Boomers!!!

    Miami Beach, FL

    March 10, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  5. JD in NH

    Some of us have been in a recession for the past 8 years. Haven't you noticed? I will cope the same way I've been coping: live frugally, hope to stay healthy until I can afford medical care and enjoy the simple things in life. Big screen TVs don't buy happiness.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  6. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    In bad times I keep in mind how many people out there don't have a home, a job, food, a car, electricity, air conditioning, the internet, healthcare, etc. It helps to know that even as bad as things seem here, we still have it better than much of the rest of the world.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  7. Kevin in Massachusetts

    I will leave America and come back as an illegal. All of my needs will be taken care of. Seriously, I'll scrimp and save and cut back so I can pay more taxes and benefits for others.

    Look at the benefits, we will be walking more, eating less, learning to cook (instead of dining out) learning to sew, spending much more time at home. We can watch the TV, and see Congress vote themselves raises, take trips, make up new earmarks, and fight amongst themselves. Life will be good!

    March 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  8. Mark

    Jack, that's a great question. I'm just hoping that NASA will start asking for volunteers to start a colony on Mars. The economy there couldn't be any worse.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Robert J, Washington State

    Same thing we always have to do when the money wheels turn,
    cut back.

    But don't worry Jack I think the big money just about has things where they want them.

    They have got thier money back they risked in the sub prime market through AIG via the government. They have driven the stock market to record lows and now will come to the rescue of corporate america, much like Warren Buffett with "preferred stock purchases" and guaranteed dividends.

    Its the old shell game. 401(k), pension funds, and retirement accounts shuffled to hide the pea that was not there.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Janet, Yosemite Gateway, California

    Coping with a long recession is better than a full-blown depression.
    We'll get by, providing unforseen health issues.
    Bunker down, America.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Dominick

    Pretty sad commentary Mr. Cafferty. Please have more respect for yor audience and provide more than your one sided opinion. This may come as a disappointment and possibily a surprise to you but President Obama did not win a unanamous decision in the election. Where is your commentary on the way the GOP was left out of the stimulus meetings? Where is your commentary on the broken campaign promises? I believe that in your position of sending your commentary to the American people, you owe somethign more than correcting Mr. Jindal's grammer as well convientently bringing up Rush Limbaugh's name again. Any comments on the poll about the wishes of failure for former President George W. Bush?

    Supporters of candidate Barack Obama as well President Obama must be concerned about his turn around on earmarks and bipartisanship. Maybe you can start there.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Ron Kowalski

    I took a voluntary retirement and it was agreed that I could stay until September, 2010. It became their decision to let me go on March 1, 2009 so that their bottom line would look good when their fiscal year begins in April. At 56 and my savings in the toilet, I need to find something to hold me over for 2-4 more years. With everyone looking for a job, who would hire a man in his 50's? I'm screwed because of the banks and the government (just like everyone else).

    March 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  13. JR in Norfolk VA

    By getting my vote ready for 2010 and 2012 – ABOATD (Anybody But Obama And The Democrats)! Let's only hope the democratic system still exists by then. At the rate our President and his ship of fools is sinking this economy, there may not be anything left to save.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  14. debi~california

    In order to pay my mortgage, I will sell my cloths, then my jewelry, then my furniture, then one of my cars, and finally I will sell my children.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Kevin, Punxsutawney

    I simply don't know, other than to take it a day at a time.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Jack, I've been living in a recession since 2001. My job went out the window when telecom cratered in that year. I've been living in austerity, hand-to-mouth, paycheck to paycheck, and occasionally trying to make it on unemployment until last year, when I finally landed a full-time job again. My life isn't going to change a bit. I've already faced foreclosure twice, bankruptcy, and selling off family heirlooms. It can't do too much more to me.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  17. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    I truly do not feel this will last for years, unless the Republican party and Rep Patrick McHenry keep up thier obstructionist plans.

    But I will take a week at a time, plan on spending less and what I do spend will be spent wisely. And also increase my volunteer time to help those who are not as well off.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  18. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    I already have a street corner staked out. I'll be selling apples (not the computers but the fruit) and number two pencils. It worked during the last depression.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  19. elizabeth

    I'll move in with you!!!

    From Liz , Temple, Georgia

    March 10, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  20. gerry in toronto

    Actually Jack, I intended on giving you a call and see if I can bunk at your place for a year or two.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  21. Mike Stone

    I guess just like I always have, one day at a time and try to save what's left for a rainy day. Salem, Arkansas

    March 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  22. Dave Zoller

    Jack, I am now 75, have lost half of my IRA in the Market, but still have my health and my job. I plan to keep on keep'n on. Besides when has a recession lasted that long? Even in the '30s the market had its ups & downs.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  23. Jon - New Jersey

    I fear for the worst. Been out of the workplace as a stay-at-home dad for three years now. As prices rise and savings dwindle, how am I supposed to find work when I'm ready to return? Should Congress decide to bicker us into the Second Great Depression will they finally make concessions too? –Jon, Howell NJ

    March 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  24. Billy Ray Sayles

    I've been living in a recession mode for the last thirty years,and was raised that way. Life has always been a struggle and matter of coping to make ends meet, and will continue to be that way. To bad I can't get a billion dollor bail-out like those irresponsible fat cats who've been living high on the hog. I feel terrible that we have to pay for their shortcomings.

    Corpus Christi,Texas

    March 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  25. Mack in Traverse city Michigan

    Jack, being middle aged my wife and I already know about gardening,hunting, and fishing. We'll be freezing and canning meat,fish and vegetables and I am looking for a used wood burning furnace to install as a backup in case we can't afford propane. Two acres of farmable land may mean more than a college education the next couple years. Those people living in cities and those who don't have a clue about the "old" way of living will probably suffer more than us country folks if times get really tough.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  26. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    I do not believe this recession will last for years. I think at the outside, maybe three years. If how fast it went bad is any indicator. It can turn around just as fast. Although if I had a bit if advice. Be prepared for anything. There is an unpredictability about all of this that is unsetteling.

    Ron San Diego

    March 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  27. odessa

    i can deal with it..nothing isn't new to me anyway..but i still believe that the economy will come back..it's going to take time..i am tired of the news media critics telling president obama that he should get the economy rolling back within two after bush has tanked it for eight years..please, i am sick of listening to them because they don't know what is like to work hard everyday and don't get any credit for it..president obama isn't a wizard; he's a human being who is dealing with a huge mess that he has to repair our country..

    March 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  28. Rod

    Here is my take on this matter; earlier today on the usual morning news shows, I heard everyone complaining about how ferociously our economy was on fire. Needless to say, that when the economy was being put on fire, everyone watched, as we heard little to nothing from anyone. So if you agree that the Republican Party was the arsonists, and has now become the fiendish Party of No. No meaning, I’m not going to help you put the fire out. While you must agree that the Media are the Party of the chaos agents. They both like to spread fear, and create as much panic and controversy as they can at every given opportunity. They both like to get a kick out of quoting this Country most clairvoyant individual, or should I say the most automatons figures. I don’t know how you feel about this, but to me they both are running this Country in the ground with their, me first, white-knuckle like attitude. The Republican Party has been put on the life support machine by the People during the last two elections, but it appears that the media want to keep them alive. Somewhere along the line, the words like fair and balance, honesty and integrity got lost. This is not meant to be an indictment, but design merely as a fair and reasonable observation. So if we reach a two year recession. I will cope with it the same way I have dealt with problems in the past, by making wise decisions.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  29. CK

    I will invest in booze companies, and become a more frequent patron of said companies.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  30. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    As a kid, I enjoyed camping in a tent with a sleeping bag near the lake, in the late 60's I lived in a tent with a sleeping bag provided by the USMC and camped in Viet Nam, and again in 2005, at the age of 55, I lived in a tent with a sleeping bag in the mountains of Afghanistan supporting the troops as a civilian contractor.

    If this "recession" turns into another Great Depression and I loose everything, at least I know I will be able to spend the rest of my days living in a tent with a sleeping bag.....just ton't think I will enjoy it as much as I did when I was a kid.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  31. JOY


    March 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  32. Terry in Virginia

    The same way I'm coping now and the way my grandparents did during the Great Depression. Rice and beans. Rice and beans. The cats eat better than I do and even their food has been rationed. Gas is for driving to and from work. The heat pump is turned off. If the temperature in the house dips below 55, we turn the gas logs on sparingly. We've cut to the bone. If nothing else, once we get out of debt, we're never going back and we will be more prepared for the next hard time. No lender and no employer who rewards CEOs for laying people off will ever control our fate again.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  33. Julianna, Biloxi, MS

    Haven't you checked the news today? Somehow a 'leaked memo' revealed that Citi earned 8b in Jan – Feb, and Bernanke says that the recession might end this year. There is no recession. We were all fooled, big time.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  34. JOY


    March 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  35. Mark Springer

    Dianne Feinstein's husband's no-bid contracts, Tom Daschle taxes, Charles Rangel’s multiple rent controlled units, Nancy Pelosi's plane, half of Obama Cabinet, appointments, Harry Reid’s Nevada real estate dealings, Chris Dodd's mortgage. I can't understand why you limit your comment to the Republican Party. The whole government is self centered and only working for themselves.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  36. Thomas in Missoula MT

    The same way we have always coped in an economy and society that favored greed and spending. By keeping current with our payments and by not borrowing money we can't pay back for crap we don't need. Just because some loudmouth from Madison Avenue tells us we need to.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  37. Gary

    Never thought I'd be happy to see gray hairs, Jack. Cheers from the "safe" haven of fixed income retirement. God speed to the young folks.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  38. Ashley

    Hi Jack

    I wonder if there has been a marked increase in suicides related to this economic downturn. No housing, no medical care, no hope

    March 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  39. pete in ny

    Let's see. How do you survive an long Obama recession?

    1. Continue to work so that there is a salary coming in.

    2. Try to hide any income possible.

    3. Vote against Obama and his allies like Pelosi and become politically active .

    March 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  40. JT. Illinois

    I'll take it one day at a time just like my first 71 years.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  41. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    First of all if it takes years then it will likely be a depression not a recession with about 5% of the people being very rich and 95% of the people very poor.

    There are likely a good portion of society right now who are probably feeling fairly smug with their current status without realizing if things continue they to will likely end up in the 95% category.

    The latter will occur when the disadvantaged can't afford anything other than the essentials which will drastically reduce the need for the goods and/or services their current company or corporation produces.

    The only good thing that could come of it is the drug trade will decrease as the only ones who will be able to afford them are those like Rush or people of his ilk so there likely won't be any sense in getting into the drug trafficking business as this market dries up.

    I guess most of us will either have to beg, borrow or steal.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  42. Kerry Diehl


    …..I’m more concerned about how to cope with the oncoming DEPRESSION thanks to the direction Obama is currently taking us with his taxes, spending and socialistic agenda.

    I’ll probably end up living on my sailboat that I’ve owned for 36 years. This way I won’t need a car, very little fuel, and the only storms I’ll have to face will be coming from nature and not Washington!

    March 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  43. Waldo in Austin

    Jack, I guess I'll replace things only after there's nothing left to try to fix.
    I've seriously been thinking about changing my flower beds into vegetable gardens.
    I certainly am extending my rule of 72. My rule of 72 is: Never buy something by impulse. Think it over for 72 hours. If it still is something that you need/want and you can budget it, then buy it. If you have some doubts about it, then pass.
    Jack, believe me this simple litmus test sure keeps wants versus needs in check.
    Depending upon how things unfold, that'll certainly dictate how lean and mean I'll have to be.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  44. Akan

    Simple, just cut down on every spending that is not a necessity until the economy get's better.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  45. Joe Powers

    Wake up Jack we have been at war since 9/11 with a war time spending budget. Lets look at the stars of the Democratic party... we can go all directions look at the polical machine in Ill where your savior came from that Governor and state machine see clean huh... How about Charley Rangle and his Tax funny business oh and the Dems just give him a pass! Lets look at Bill Richards, Tom DaDaschle not paying $120K taxes and Ron Kirk not paying $10K . Who cares its all the republicans fault?? Can't continue to use that anymore! The Dems better watch out they own it all right now and will have to answer next election... 4 years is an eternity in politics, it will be fun to read these things you are writting today in a few years. So Jack make big posters of all the great approval ratings cause I think deep down you know all to well it won't last. Pelosi and Reed are anchors on Obama! Lets not forget the 2006 Dem elected Congress had worst ratings than Bush ever did and they still are horrible.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  46. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The recession will last for years--and I will cope just like the rest of the Americans-–I got up this morning---read the obituaries-–my name didn't appear--I'm above the ground today–went to work-–I' m grateful for today--and we will see what tomorrow brings-–one day at a time.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  47. Conor in Chicago

    Probably like most other draft age males. I'll get my army pay direct deposited while fighting in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Iran, or China, or Venezuela, or Mexico, or anywhere else we are likely to invade once the world economy collapses and abandons the dollar-which will destroy us.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  48. Dennis

    I am 62 years old and have been unemployed for 13 months. I wonder if the unemployment numbers are correct and wonder how any of the current stimulas will help anyone one in my situation.
    It looks very grim. All of the money that is flying out of washinton sure seems to be going down the drain. This president may want to get rid of coruption before sending tax payers money down the same drain.

    A republican

    March 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  49. Earl Franek

    I watch the Cafferty File on CNN every evening. There is quite an amazing couple that appears on the situation room and the state of the union with John King. They are both stratigits,James Karvell and Mary Magaline. James a Democrat and Mary a Republican.

    What is so amazing about this couple is that they live under the same roof and get along together and then there's the so called Congress that can't get along and can't get anything done except fight among themselves. They need to bail out all the way.
    From a small town in Indiana, Earl

    March 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  50. dan in Tucson

    We will adapt. Especially the older generation who didn't grow up in the world of plenty. The younger crowd will have to learn to live within their means, if possible.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  51. Ed Reed

    We'll survive by eating Republicans. They've gotten fat enough and I've been told they taste like chicken.

    Ed Reed
    Hooverville, TX

    March 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  52. Bob G

    Cut out ALL discretionary spending and concentrate on essentials. Then, invest in companies which provide those essentials. And get the law changed so that investing – as opposed to speculating – is rewarded. One way to do this is to make it so that if you hold a stock for 12 months, then the capital gains and dividends are tax free while any capital loss is at full value. But if you speculate and flip the stock, tax any gain at 33% and only allow a capital loss at 50%. This will cool things down QUICK and bring stability to the stock market. Do the same thing for houses, but help the folks who stay in their single homes and underwater by making the re-payment time longer (say 20 years on a ten, 30 years on a 20, and 40 on a 30).

    March 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  53. TennesseeFrost

    ya know Jack.. for many of us Americans nothing has changed... the past 8 years were a recession.. Life has been poor on many fronts.

    so I don't see much changing. Most of our lives we've watch the rich get richer and the poor get poorer..

    only difference now is.... many will have to ask the poor how to do it..

    But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace
    The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

    meek (me-k) pronunciation
    adj., meek·er, meek·est.

    1. Showing patience and humility; gentle.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  54. Sooke Gill

    Well Jack,
    I'd go back to school and take journalism and work my way up, excel in Journalism, win awards, and then when you retire hopefully I'd get your job!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  55. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Right now I get by laughing at the rich people losing all of their money.
    For too long they got by living off of other peoples work and other peoples money, while self assured that their ideology was all they needed to know. They got themselves in hock over their heads, with the assurance that the stock and realestate bubbles would never pop.
    Now I get to laugh at them. Now I get to call them losers. Because they never gave me credit I stayed out of debt, and I got my mortgage payed off. The rich are all under water and I will spend the recession laughing at them as they drown.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  56. Tim

    It doesn't matter, I work for a newspaper...
    I'm already screwed. Tim Watertown, SD

    March 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  57. Tom in Desoto Texas

    We owe nothing to credit cards. We are almost mortgage free so we won't have a huge outflow. We never squandered money on new cars or the newest of everything or dined out 3 or 4 times a week. We don't have iPod's and have one, rarely used, cell phone. We'll be fine.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  58. Ben from Gaithersburg, MD


    My father used to tell me of people jumping off skyscrapers; of people moving every three months because one month came free with a two month lease. That was in the early 30s. I do not plan on either. But we are entering a period where many will have to decide if they are willing to deal with the picture of folks at a soup kitchen, or if we would rather find a way to help each other deal with the day-to-day challenges of survival.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  59. Talitha

    I will cope by continuing to rely on God. God wants us to realize that we can do nothing apart from him. We need him, NOT materials.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  60. Brenda Jones Britton

    Jack, I would continue to put all my faith in God.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  61. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Jack, I'll spend less, and save more. Assuming everyone does that, it will make things worse in the short run, but a higher savings rate and more fiscal responsibility will be better for us in the long run.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  62. joe piazza

    To single out three GOP individals and state the entire Republican Party is becoming a cartoon is reaching beyond logic. I'm sure you can find a number of Democrats just in the Obama Administration who either did not pay their taxes or have some other kind of embarassment. Would you then say the entire Democratic Party is also a cartoon? Stop being so negative all the time and try to find something nice to say once in awhile. You have become too depressing to watch.

    Joe in Commack,NY

    March 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  63. Anthony Smith

    Since I was laid off last week, today I spent the day selling my wedding band much to the dismay and anger of my wife. The other night while watching losing jobs in America on CNN, I could not go to sleep until 5am. I had 1 hour of sleep that night. According to everyone I apply to, I am overqualified. There are too many illegals and foreign students here taking everything from restaurant, hotel, landscaping, construction, roofing, and the Morey's amusement summer jobs. Truthfully, its only God's grace and my kids smiles that help me cope!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    March 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  64. Laura

    I'll just keep going to school until I'm qualified for a 21st century job and hope in the mean time that president Obama and congress can work together to do something to reduce the cost of a decent education.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  65. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    first let's look at the irony of these claims...not more than one week ago people were asking the President to speak with more confidence. After this is done, we get to hear very negative comments from other sources...what is this are we trying to have the President sound confident while others are negatives. The next thing we will see is if the President expresses negative news then we are going to hear others trying in raising confidence! do you see what is wrong in this recovery...! People in time of wars are 100% behind their President...they should do the same in this economic war!

    How long did it take for the financial system to get to this point...then expect the recovery will come when the financial system gets a clean up...it all depends on all of you to make it happen sooner than later! Either way...we will all be managing in our own ways!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  66. Joe in DE

    At my age, that is a moot question. Neveertheless I am starting to buy stocks, a little at a time, and expect major gains within 5 years. CITI bank is undera dollar – a good bet.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  67. Rodney, Minnesota

    Hunker down just like the economy. You adapt.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  68. jason

    What are we afraid of? Finding true happiness without material things. Wow! we might just have to grow as a nation from the Cribs/ sweet 16/ mtv generation into a better nation. It's already ahppening it just hasn't reached the top execs yet. It will when they driver their businesses into the groun.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  69. Rob of Brooklyn

    this just didn't happen its been happening since last Jan. But America woke from her coma – Guess all of Bush's chem trails paid off enough to get him out of office.

    the recession is gone Jack–this is a depression . lets start calling ti what it is.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  70. Christine, Edmeston NY

    Simplify and minimize. Every day and in every way.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  71. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    I have a very nice tent and a porta potty! I couldn't afford health care before the recession, so that will be nothing new! As to food, well, I could afford to lose a few pounds anyway!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  72. Jim


    It's easier for me. I'm retired and living on pensions and my 401K. The 401K has gotten clobbered, of course, but there's still enough there to get me through five years, if that's what it takes. My belt's already tighter and there's still more room for cutting back. It won't be fun but it's do-able. I don't know what the out-of-work folks are supposed to do, other than cursing Bush and the Republicans for ever letting this happen.

    Reno, Nevada

    March 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  73. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    I have a good job and good retirement and my family has good jobs and we don't spend more than we have. We have saved money for years. Our life style is very simple and very comfortable. We will continue to pray for our leader to have guidance and we will continue to read your comments and listen to you on Blitzer as you give us hope and a little comedy ever so often.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  74. Simpliticus

    We have been shopping for a newer car. What this economic disposition has taught us is we can take our time in buying this newer vehicle. We do not need to be as aggressive or assume a "buy what you can without waiting" mentality. It is curious but we can walk away from a buying situation without much regret because we do not feel the compulsion to engage in an immediate sale. This might be due to the "buyer's market" and availability as there is a surplus about! We do not usually purchase in this manner but the ongoing poor economic conditions have instilled a "wait and see" attitude which we usually do not have! Kind of curious as we usually purchase on impulse but that impulse is not there at this time!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  75. Russ in PA

    The economy is likely to take years to turn around because all of you Keynesians are meddling, and not allowing the markets to liquidate bad debt. Unfortunately politicians like the status quo, as it allows them to spend and suggest that spending will solve all problems. It hasn't, and it won't. But I digress...

    How will I cope? I will vote against the incumbents at each and every opportunity, until we end up with patriots like Ron Paul in the majority.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  76. moe dallas tx

    Jack, I grew up during WWII, no sugar,no tires, little gas etc.,but we always had plenty of cornbread and beans..I still like cornbread and beans better than ESCARGOT or CAVIAR..

    March 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  77. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    We'll get the dead wood like Boehner and McConnell out of positions where they can hamper a recovery. We'll support job creation in the infrastructure that will allow us to be competitive in the global economy, such as power, and high speed internet capability, and education. We'll invest in the type of research that will develop whole new industries like stem cell development.

    When Hoover put us into this FDR got us out. There is no question that Obama will get us out of Bush's mess.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  78. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Jack, what's the question?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  79. Christine

    I will be continue to support my three children with their college education. That means I will pick up more hours as an on-call Pharmacist, stop my subscriptions to all the glossy "aspirational" magazines that feature ridiculous high end fashion that only the top 3% can afford, curtail travel, focus on simple pleasures,focus less on Reality TV, gossip sites, and other superfluous self-promoting idiocy. Contribute more to charities in small increments, continue to donate to food banks. Go to the library more, find interesting websites, educate myself. In other words, decide what is significant, meaningful and important in life and doing without things that don't matter.
    Santa Monica,California

    March 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  80. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    I've been broke the vast majority of my life, so I have the emotional skills to live with less. The ones to look out for are those who are used to being rich, because they don't know how to handle sacrifice or going without, and they carry the potential to become criminals to feed their addiction to wealth.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  81. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    One Day at a Time. There really is no other way to be able to deal with it and still live.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  82. John M Poltrack

    New Ipswich, NH – My family survived the Great Depression, my late aunt managed to live completely on Social Security based on skills she learned during those years. If I was younger than 62, I'd feel a little bit better about seeing my k401 recover, but that doesn't seem possible. For Christmas I got a soup cookbook, I'm going to become a better cook and gardener.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  83. Mark, Berwyn PA

    No question listed Jack. Are you finally losing your marbles?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  84. Billy G in Las Vegas

    my wife and I are retired and have always lived well within our cashflow. unless the past and current administrations massive spending leads to 1920's german style inflation, we will continue to live our lives as usual.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  85. Patricia

    I'm not over-extended, so I feel pretty secure. Still, even though I am nearly 60 years old, I won't even consider retirement, not only because my retirement fund is hurting, but also because there is a new climate of individual responsibility and I want to be a part of it.


    March 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  86. Gigi in Alabama

    As long as Social Security holds out I will just be able to make it. I won't be able to do many of the things I have been able to do so far, but that's okay as long as President Obama can get this country back on a sound footing.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  87. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Jack, I'm a Realtor, so if this mess lasts another five years, I presume I'll be in some other line of work.
    That being said, I hope Buffett is correct in his assessment that the current crisis is an "economic Pearl Harbor." That event awakened the American "Sleeping Tiger." We got mad as hell, picked ourselves up, and won the resulting war. We can win this battle, too.
    But winning this one will take dedication and persistence from all of us. There is no magic wand. We need to be frugal, save when we can, and most of all, spend a little when we can. Cut the charge cards up, or buy no more than we can pay off each month. Help each other. Share our talents and our blessings. And no matter how cheap oil gets, burn less. Drive less, turn thermostats down 2 degrees and wear a warm sweater. And most of all, be patient.
    Somebody tell the Grand Obstructionist Party to shut up and get out of the way.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  88. Pablo in Tejas

    Same as always, Jack. Take it one day at a time and do the best i can with what I've got.

    Arlington Texas

    March 10, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  89. Dakota Don from Akra

    Despite being temporarily overtaken by the economic train wreck demand destruction, worldwide oil productioh is still declining. That world GDP decline now predicted by the IMF for this year ... it kinda ain't gonna get better next year, or the year after that ... and so on. Energy = life. Declining energy = declining life. 'Getting Ugly' ain't gonna adequately describe what's going to happen out there.

    Enhancing my abilty to be self sufficient in food and energy is the name of my game.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  90. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, we know that the many crisises that took several years to create will not be resolved overnight. We all know we have to tighten our belts and sacrifice. If it lasts that long, Jack, it will be very hard to
    bear, but the American people are strong and determined that
    we and our country will survive. We will make it however long it
    takes but, hopefully we will start to see improvement within a

    March 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  91. Ester Fairfax VA

    I will continue to try and live within my means.
    What choice do I have ?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  92. Charlene from Texas

    I have already cut back and started paying off everything hoping I can keep my job through the five years of turmoil. I say let the interest rates rise so I can at least buy a CD.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  93. Vinnie Vino


    The only way possible, I will make cut backs on top of the cut backs that were already made over a year ago. Then I'll seat back to grin and bare the hard times to come...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  94. Jim from Chicago

    Great! in 5 years, I will be almost ready to retire but too poor to do so. "Welcome to Wal-mart. Can I help you?"

    March 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  95. Daniel Indiana

    Not as well as the people in Congress, who, once again, are raising their salaries. They just don't seem to get it any better than the CEOs of the banks. I've been unemployed for about a year and a half and I've managed. They all need a taste of what those of us that are hurting are living with.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  96. Tania

    By watching you Jack...by watching you.
    Tania of Toronto

    March 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  97. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    I don't care how much doom and gloom is out there, I'll cope just fine. Money can always be made whether it's in good times or bad. I'm my own boss for that reason. I'm not leaving my future to some suit in an ivory tower more interested in saving his or her job than mine. So the best thing to do is not pay too much attention to the 24/7 news shows, economists, college professors and the like, and become more entrepreneurial.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  98. Terry from North Carolina

    I am living day to day, I havent thought about tomorrow or next week yet its too depressing. I am 65 years old these are supposed to be the golden years, what happened ?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  99. Axl in Iowa

    I'm 37 w/ a family and although I don't think it's ever been too "Bad". I still don't know what "good" is. I lived paycheck to paycheck all my working life. I've earned a little more than the last most years. My wife and I made it on $13K our first year, when I was 18. We went to work, came home, drank, ate, and paid rent. Not much else. The financial high-light of my lifes efforts so far is when I bought my first "NEW" vehicle less than 3 years old. We made it then, we'll make it again. Unfortunate, but it is what it is. It's just gonna take little longer to find out what "good" is.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  100. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    It's time for a victory garden! And we'll drink victory gin, and have victory cigarettes. Isn't this a great world the Bushes and Bankers have given us?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  101. Judie from St. Augustine, Florida

    Right now I am on the verge of closing my small Mom & Pop store that enabled me to keep my head above water financially, so there goes that income. I will be unable to pay my mortgage when I close my business, so add another foreclosure the the ever growing list. Where I go from here is anyones guess but it certainly won't be on a world cruise. It is really getting ugly out here.
    St. Augustine, Fl

    March 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  102. Chuck in Warren,Ohio

    Jack: We have already lived through two years of this recession. There is $4 trillion out of the market now. Most is still being held out to make President Oboma look bad. The banks are in better shape than most people are being told. The recovery will not be a blast but has already started. The one's still holding out will loose. We will not see a market of 14000 but it will come back to 8500 in the second quarter of this year.
    The people that have fallen the farthest will be the one's that need the full support of all of us!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  103. Mark, Orlando, FL

    How will the people cope with it that got us into this mess?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  104. Scott in Canada

    Thank God for Canadian "socialism"

    March 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  105. Tim in Texas

    I've always been poor as dirt, but now I'm finally about to get my PhD and was hoping to get out of the dirt. If I can get a full-time teaching position, it'll be ok. Otherwise, with student loans to pay off, it's going to be very tough. But, you know Jack, Obama is taking the right steps to make this better than it could be, and in the long-run we're going to come out of this better off than we were going in, so I think for now I'll just be really gratefull that we have an extraordinary leader up there in the Whitehouse.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  106. John from Alabama

    Jack: When times are bad, and the economy is in the tank, remember the good times. Hunt for a smile or a moment of kindness during the day. It is not the large happening during bad times that will get through it, but rather the small simple acts of friends and strangers who will make your day better. Or "when life gives you lemons make lemonade and relax."

    John from Alabama

    March 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  107. Jim/NC

    There is one playbook that never fails: the teachings and guidance of Christ! That is how I will get through the coming times of trouble and uncertainty.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  108. maria

    Well, we're not going to do the same thing we've been doing..otherwise, we'll continue to get the same thing...Jack, we have to continue to diversify our income and keep adding additional profit centers in strong and viable industries like Direct Sales...that we never considered before, we need those plan B's, Plan C's, etc.. we have to get creative with our income as we are with our expenses..C'mon Jack, remind everyone that this is the USA,the land of opportunity, its out there (in a BIG way) and we're very open to it!! Don't think traditional, think creatively!!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  109. George, Dunedin, Florida

    The same way that I have coped for the last five years, and that is by doing without thing that most people take for granted so coping with not having as much is nothing new to me. Trying to get by on my small Social Security check each month sure opens my mind to reallity, and learning how to make it work is really hard, but not impossible.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  110. Jane (Minnesota)

    Do without luxuries – like I do now.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  111. Teresa from Auburndale, Florida

    I'm a nurse just recently injured on the job. I hope I mend soon, because I was going to be working two jobs to make ends meet.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  112. J Georgia

    I believe the downturn will last for several years at the middle and lower middle class levels. The upper crust will pay itself as usual. For my part, I plan to spend less and be as resourceful as possible. I don't own too much house so I managed to dodge that bullet, but my big worry is the low levels of interest paid on savings, particularly since we know that inflation is going to jump ugly at some point. And if Bernanke et al manage to harm the monetary system, and if that is amplified by a lack of domestic energy policy, I might suggest that a five year horizon for bad times might be optimistic.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  113. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    My wife is a registered nurse with 22 tears seniority at Kaiser. If she gets laid off,we are really in trouble.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  114. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    I think if the recession lasts that long, you are going to see a lot of people going to AA.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  115. Jake, Oregon

    It's always so easy to use sound bites of negativety instead of a positive nature,which far outnumber them. It seems to be the over-riding sentiment at CNN? And hyperbole combinations such as "pork-laden budget bill"; "no end in sight"; and use of the term; "experts" when discussing the nameless "they", and among the worst, the extremely negative 3PM guy and his "Headlines of Doom" everyday to open his so called "Show". What a downer!

    Your viewers are not the enemy, give them aid and comfort, and yes....Hope.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  116. Christopher

    Survival is a relative term depending on who you ask and were they stand on the economic ladder. Taking a much broader view of this crisis I’m reminded of what Thomas Jefferson so famously wrote, “Every generation needs a new revolution,” and “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” I believe we are enduring through our generational revolution. The blood of patriots and tyrants can be equated with the individual and institutional fortunes that have been and will be lost. We need to reinvent ourselves and our country to be more thoughtful and flexible in our expectations and our goals…and it starts with electing thoughtful, flexible, and intelligent people to public office; Intelligence over party affiliation. “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” (Plato)

    March 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  117. Tom

    2010? I thought your precious saviour Obama was gonna save the world? Or will you continue to let him and the rest of you left wing whack jobs blame every Republican back to Reagan (somehow skipping 8 years of Clinton?). I really like how you are caling Bush "evil" in your CNN piece, too. I'm sure that after Comrad Obama sends out the state censors to approve news that fits the idea of what he thinks we should read you will have a new definition of evil. But then, you will still have your lips glued to his communist butt.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  118. Lynn

    Warren Buffet's world may take 5 years to turn around and put him back at the top of the Billionair's Club, but all average people need is a job and it seems as if many of those are on the way. Obama's plan seems to be a bottom up, so Buffet will just have to live on his last billion for a while.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  119. Doc Anthro

    Jack. Our market systems are so interconnected that bad news travels fast, but so does good economic news. I am confident, believe it or not that, when things begin to turn around they will turn around fast. Otherwise, start training for a job where jobs are plentiful is my advice for coping. Be constructive and start moving

    March 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  120. Kelly Lawrence

    Roubini also suggested that all mortgage contracts be cancelled to fix the financial crisis.
    I would like to hear his opinion on the American Dream Housing Lottery proposal ? Taking the toxic assets and distributing them through a lottery system would jump start the economy and end the pain and suffering of millions of American's. Stand up, it's recital time!
    Grace be with you all...

    March 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  121. Captain

    Maybe the time has come for Americans to leave this country as our ancestors did when they left their native land searching for a better life. Our elected officials, unfair trade practices, and every other governmental interference you can think of have clearly ruined this one. We can leave behind excessive taxes, growing gang violence, freeloading illegal immigrants, and a dysfunctional political system.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  122. garrick

    hi jack
    I guess our family will become closer and all move in under one big roof,like they say family is all you have and we all will become closer as families use to be and cookout and make things like my grand parents use to,get rid of all the cell phones and gadgets and become old school again,teach our children how to survive in hard times,I guess now they will appreiate all they use to have.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  123. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, homemade hooch made by Virginia’s finest small batch distilleries.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  124. Denis Duffy

    Jack, it is not about coping, it's about surviving. I'm 65, retired, on SS with a penury pension. I have income from investments and the capital gains will hurt like heck. I have no credit card bills,didn't do anything stupid with money, other than save it and now I'm supposed to "save" the idiots who didn't take care. Obama can take a hike along with the other two stooges, Pelosi and Reid. No mortgage at my house, I paid it off with hard earned money. Let the losers be losers and camp out on the White House lawn. Take the bonuses from wall street and set up a big tent city that Obama can see every day when he wakes up. Put his socialist ideas in his front yard.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  125. Connie from Indiana

    Jack, Most Americans have been in a recession for the last eight years , what your point.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  126. Danny , Sacramento,Ca

    We are cutting back a lot, yet we try to patronize locally owned merchants. Spending money at locally owned merchants has a grater impact on the local economy. Id rather go to the local ACE over the HOME DEPOT, a local eatery vs the big chain's. When I support local, I support myself. Buy AMERICAN the job you save may be your own.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  127. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Cope? Not me pal. In my 66 years I have never seen a revolution before. I believe that the day of reckoning is coming soon for the crooks, liars, thieves, and their accomplices and I want to live long enough to enjoy it. It's time to get some 'payback'.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  128. Tom from Alberta

    Well, I have a Gov't job, as does my wife, I'm facing a Gov't pension in five years or so and it's indexed for inflation, most everything I have is paid for. We have Gov't health care in Canada. I'm planning on sitting tight and don't rock the boat. I expect that things won't change much for us. If you are worried about the future, you should get a Gov't job, they're still hiring.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  129. daryl

    It's not going to last for years. Buffett said the economy will be running fine in 5 years.That doesn't mean mean its going to be in the tank until the 5th year. Think positive Jack, stop trying to scare people.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  130. walter collins

    SCRAMBLING, RE-INTERPRETING ( NIETZSCHE), AND TRYING TO HELP FRIENDS AND ENEMIES SURVIVE. Of course listening, especially to the Obamas and McCains who I believe have our country's best interest as top priority.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  131. Heather

    Do more of the same: make everything I can at home; rip out the flower garden and grow veg; repair and keep instead of buying new. Just the usual making it through a recession/depression things I learned from those who had been there before.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  132. Deborah, Waleska Georgia

    I have no debt other than my mortgage and I have set aside enough to take care of things for at least a year. I purchased a home I could afford. I will keep doing and appreciating my job and hope that I can outlast this.
    We need to remember that a fair share of people are also to blame for this economic condition (meltdown) we are in. We need to save money and stop living off of credit cards. I have worked very hard to get to this point, I have been patient and saved to be able to pay cash for the things I need or want. I have credit cards and I think of them as a medical emergency back up ONLY for me and/or my family. Call me crazy or old fashioned, but I feel I can weather this due to being PREPARED. Remember that word? I only have empathy for those people who have lost it all due to medical reasons.
    Buy the way, when your not wasting your money on high interest rates, it's amazing how much you can afford! When your not worried about having the latest car, outfit or gadget how much money you can realistically set aside! I was raised to put aside for a rainy day...guess what it's pouring!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  133. Pugas-AZ

    Live like I always have: try to spend wisely, save some for a rainy day, pay my bills on time, don't indulge in expensive "toys", pay my taxes on time, don't expect more than I can afford, don't expect the government to bail me out , etc., etc. In other words, what I hope most Americans will do. One other thing: try to elect the right people to run the country.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  134. Bill in South Jersey

    The question itself is an indication of how serious things are. It's sinking in that this isn't a hiccup that can be corrected with a trillion bucks at the right time and place.

    Among my friends and family, we have no idea how to cope with even one year of conditions like this.

    Five years? Katie, bar the door!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  135. Jerry McNair

    Having a small business, wife working, 2 adult children and three grandchildren it's beginning to be a struggle now, if one of us loses our income, frankly I'm not sure how we'll cope. As my granddaughter says "Sharing is Caring". Spread the word.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  136. me46

    Bank failures, business closings, layoffs, home foreclosures, poverty , crime, wars, bankrupt governments.... there's not much light there. All engines have stalled. All we can do now is prepare for the landing.
    spring valley

    March 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  137. Sharon in Virginia


    If I can keep a job through years of a recession the rest will be easy. I will pay my mortgage, put gas in the car for work, eat broth and drink water.
    I had surgery last year and was on a liquid diet for 8 weeks and it didn't hurt me at all. I ran a marathon right after that. This recession might be a good way to get Americans off the couch to do something other than eat, play video games and gain weight. We should be living within our means anyway.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  138. Ken in NC

    I will last in the coming years as I have in previous years by placing one foot in front of the other as I go forward except that I will be much more conscious of where I place my foot when I put it down. The economy can go where ever it wants to go but my transmission has only one gear and that is FORWARD.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  139. Paula in Albuquerque

    "Years"?? At my age, I hope to have "crossed-over, to the Other Side", and rejoined my blessed husband! Barring that, it's..."One day, at a time". I have "survival skills"...

    March 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  140. Randy, Woodstock IL.

    5 years is a time frame most Americans can't even comprehend. Most Americans are hurting, and to say you are probably going to be hurting for the next five years, is something no one even wants to think about. However, all we can do is work harder, pray a lot, and cut back, cut back, and cut back. But while everyone is doing that try to put a side a moment to enjoy your family. Because when you lose your savings, lose your home, lose your job, you will always have your family. it is something at lest we can feel could about in todays troubled world.

    Randy, Woodstock IL.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  141. John from California

    Jack, you ask how we will cope with the current economic turmoil that has ruined our retirement security and devastated our children. We will devote our retirement years to defeating any republican candidate to any political office. We can't do anything about our 401K savings that have lost 50% of their value but, at age 64 my wife and I will do all we can to let everybody know that the Reagan revolution was all about re-concentrating wealth to the top few percent in this country. Our coping is redirecting our anger and frustration toward the republican political party that stole our life's savings.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  142. Brian - Trinidad

    Well Jack, you can always comfort us with your witty and dart-laden commentary.You've gone a little soft lately,stop being such a fan and get back to basics!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  143. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    What they are saying is news? It's been said time and again and they are just waking up? I'll cope by not listening to the media/politicians.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  144. Joyce-Marshall, TX

    I'll do just what I've been doing. Survive. I am conscious of my expenditures and getting the most for my money wherever it goes. I'm now disabled and retired. My income is now 1/3 of what it use to be. I discovered, many of the things I was buying was beause I cound, not bevause I needed it. This was a lesson learned from my childhood. If all of us do what we need to do and ot what we want, we'll all be fine.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  145. Beverly- Weston, FL


    Its quite simple for me...I look like Michelle, so I would move into the White House pretending to be Michelle's long lost sister. Heck, I love to swing, I have no problems with kids or pets, I love Barack so as you can see, I will fit right in!!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  146. Griff...... The Truth

    Just as usual. Like most. When you have nothing. You have nothing to lose...

    March 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  147. Cheri, Tucson, AZ

    Five years? Well, we'll do just what we're doing right now and probably more to conserve. We're both retired and I'm a chef, so we don't eat out much and it helps with the food budget. But we'll cut our power use in half this summer, wear sweaters and socks when its cold, grow more veggies and either freeze or can them, and buy only what we really need.
    Our healthcare program is good, thanks to Lockheed, but new glasses might have to wait as will the dentist. Frivolous spending is gone and we'll do picnics and day trips instead when possible and utilize every senior discount we can find.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  148. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    We'll buckle down, reinvent ourselves, cut back to the necessities, learn what we truly need versus what we want. Hopefully we'll shift our priorities from being the worlds biggest consumers to once again being the worlds biggest innovators and inventors.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  149. Lorraine

    Like I am now. I am 69 and my husband is 71. I have my own business and will continue doing what I love to do. My business has not slowed down. I have made some changes to keep it healthy but have not had to cut back on staff. My husband works part time and will continue to do so as long as he can. Our retirement fund has lost over 40% and wasn't much so we could not quit if we had to. We have our home paid for, no credit card debt and some savings. Our four sons have all been effected by the recession but have little debt other than their homes. It will not hurt any of us to cut back on our lifestyle, eating out less, not buying things we don't need, just want. We are a family, we may live all over the county but we will pull through. I remember when the kids were younger and we had lost our jobs we were broke and having to make Christmas presents for everyone, it was one of the best Christmas ever.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  150. Stan Lehto

    It wouldn't change a thing for me
    Stan, Washington

    March 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  151. Chris from NY

    I will wait for the Rapture.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  152. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    I'm one of the lucky ones. At 66 and retired I'll be more capable of meeting my daily needs than younger families in urban envirions. My car is paid for and with reasonable maintaince should last another 8 to 10 years. The morgage is manageable as are the utilites cost. This winter my neighbors and I co-opted our resources to get several cords of firewood to reduce our home heating cost. Like my grandparents in the 1930s, I have enough land for a garden and my wife knows how to can vegtables and fruit for the winter. (Another thing that my neighbors share.) As I noted, I'm lucky, don't have any doubts that if we live long enough we'll make it through this and be just fine.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  153. overby

    I don't see a question.........?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  154. Melissa

    Honestly? As best we can. We already live with family and my husband is working on finding a new job. There isn't much else we can do.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  155. kim

    Its funny how you call the republican party a cartoon. I mean its plain to see that they need alot of work and they need a real leader. But democrats have always been known as the clowns of politics. Thats the sad part.............it is so sad that OBAMA won the election, what a joke, that proves just how bad the republican party really is. If an inexperienced kid can get elected with no back ground or success (or failure for that matter) in anything EVER!! I guess the republicans have to admit they may be a bit cartoonie. The country will pay for the republicans failure to stop such incompettence getting into the white house, democrats dont even pay thier own taxes, they should never be in power. Now we have to live with the next four years with zero success, anywhere!!! it is a shame.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  156. donna Pennsburg,PA

    Jack, my husband and I are married for nearly 50 yrs. We lived by the book–bought a car and home we knew we could afford. We saved and scrimped for our mutual funds, had a nice nest egg to finally really enjoy our lives, and now we've been raped by Wall Street and just have to hang on, tighten our belts, and hope for the best.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  157. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    I will just start growing my own food and stock up on ammo for my protection of that food!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  158. wethepoeple

    Recession ? this is a depression !

    March 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  159. Jay in Texas

    I have been preparing for the total economic collapse, Great Depression #2, for many years as I knew it was inevitable. So, I am well-prepared for the worst that can happen. For one thing, I never took the bait for the 401K scam and a recession will not adversely effect my income. Secondly, I rent an apartment so I am not in mortgage debt on a "rent-to-buy" house as tens of millions of Americans are. If something happens to the apartment complex, my family has a paid-for house that I can move to. Thirdly, I have paid cash for every car, all used cars, I've bought in the past 30 years so I can always walk where I need to go or ride a bicycle should Big Oil continue to control of government and gasoline becomes unaffordable. So, if what you call a "recession" lasts for years, I am in excellent shape.
    Brownwood, Texas

    March 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  160. Liz in Los Angeles, CA

    I. Simply. Do. Not. Know.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  161. Debbie in Warrenton, OR

    We will cope by keeping our head down. We have already took the steps needed to survive a 5 year recession. Since we saw this coming and figured that the general accounting practices used by Wall Street promoted inflated values, we pulled our money out of the stock market and began to bet on ourselves. Since we were retired entrepreneurs, we restarted a business. We figure that in about 24 months we will be far enough along that we can start hiring staff again. The voila, we have created jobs and helped end the recession. So we will do more than just cope, we will rise to the occassion. Hope is coming from real entrepreneurs and business owners.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm |

    I will try to be as careful about spending what little we have. I will have to go back to canning veg. and fruit. My husband will have to hunt ducks, geese, turtles, fish, etc. to get our protein, like we used to do many years ago. The now generation will not know what to do. They better be learning, just in case it is needed. Bush and company has the USA in a bad shape. President Obama has a terrible mess to try to clean up. If the whiners would only give him a chance.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  163. HD in AZ

    By the grace of God.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    March 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  164. Dennis North Carolina

    you just have to adapt and change your life style to survive.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  165. Carrie Stewart

    Jack, I will simply act as if I am living in the 70's or times told to me by my grandparents, who were children of the depression and thought that we were simply spoiled, and scale back on everything. I already am a frugal person, but I will make myself more discipline in my saving and spending. Thus, I will eat everything on my plate, use the last ounce of toothpaste in the tube and last spoon of mayonnaise in the jar-–and be thankful. I will dress by the concept of 4-6 wearable items; learn to coordinate them better and trade them in for new only when they have been thoroughly worn. I will vigorously continue to search for employment and take what I can get until I can get better situated. That's it and such is life!

    Baltimore, Maryland

    March 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  166. LInda in Bisbee, Arizona

    Day by day, just like I am now. Since I don't know what I will have to cope WITH, I can't answer your question specifically.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  167. Lindsey

    One word Jack-Pray. When everything else fails, stick with what works.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  168. Len in Clarkston, Wa.

    I'll cope by talking to and learning from the many folks who have been living with sub minimum wage for years under Bush/Cheney. If you want to know how to get by with less....just ask those people. They're the experts. They're the survivors.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  169. Allen in Hartwell GA

    My wife and I have fixed incomes that will allow us to survive. We do not waste money. We do not buy things that we only want. If I lose my $9.00-hour job we might have to tighten our belts, but we will make it. God help those not in our simple but blessed situation.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  170. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    I am so tired of all the whining and doom sayers telling us how bad everything is and going to be. At what point in time, were we, as human beings in the USA, promised that nothing bad was ever going to happen to us? Get over it folks, bad things happen to every generation since the begining of time. The best we can do is to toughen up, make adjustments in our life, and move forward.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  171. DJ, Detroit

    Start telling discount tents for all of the unemployed and homeless.

    DJ – Detroit

    March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  172. Robert from Atlanta

    Victory Garden and eating squirels


    March 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  173. Kim - Blair, NE

    Not much differently than we have been for the last 8 years. Things have been gradually declining for awhile so we have been gradually adjusting. It isn't very pleasant but we do what we have to do. At least now we have some hope. Kind of like a light at the end of a tunnel.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  174. DJ, Detroit

    I hope I never have to find out.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  175. jimmy4truth

    Obama says "Good teachers should be rewarded" and "bad teachers should be fired." Why then can't we hold our politicians and bankers to these same standards? Why are we promoting them into the US treasury and allowing them to stay in key positions in our auto industry if restructuring is really going to take place; that goes for the Banksters as well.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  176. jeff from joplin

    I'll be fine. I'm rich

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  177. Horn Lake, MS

    It all seems pretty hopeless at the present time, near retirement age, business failing, 401(k) shot to hell, Obama threatening to fix social security. Pelosi, Reid and the fools in Congress injecting a philosophy that failed in the 60's as the way to go. Dissent being stifled, no faith that the same media that fawned over Obama is telling the truth on anything. Amazing how fast they tore down this country.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  178. Jack Dempsey

    Poorly Jack, Very Poorly! Jack From Nice CA.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  179. Jewel

    I have fear about all of the money President Obama is spending on all of the different programs–knowing very well that there are NO SUCCESSFUL government programs–NONE WORK. After all of the money is spent and the democrat cronies have been paid off for electing him, it's too late. I suggest doing one program at a time and seeing if it is successful before embarking on another one.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  180. simon

    We will live just as we have been... thinking before we spend, keeping a reserve in the bank, and staying out of the market. Guess being fiscally conservative pays off!!

    new york

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  181. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    Pinch as much as I can, if I can pinch any more Jack. Hussle, work (if available), and lose a lot of weight!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  182. Butch

    Over throw the Government

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  183. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    our ancestors are probably rolling over in there grave seeing what a bunch of pansies we have become.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  184. Chris H. Indiana

    You tell me..........

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  185. rick

    I will live on the inheritance I just got instead of saving it for my retirement.
    I'm 55 and almost had some hope for a place to live in my older years for a minute there.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  186. Conner: Grand Forks, North Dakota

    Go to more school. If you can't get a good job now, you might as well make yourself more marketable for the future.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  187. Nate

    One word Jack: booze.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  188. Robert of Lake Jackson, Texas

    Seriously, that's not a legit question that I'm willing to entertain. We will NOT take that long to come out of this. The worse may not be completely over, but we have begun to recover already. Its just going to take us a little while to get things to level out of this flux. When that happens, the downward turns will stop and it will be a rocket sled to the top.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  189. Priyanka

    I am a graduate student and i have no job.I am in a $30,000 debt and I dont know what to do now!!!Recession for many years....hard to digest but hopefully Obama is doing everything not to make that a happen..and I believe in him.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  190. Charlie

    Having a father already take an $800 dollar pay cut from his state job, and myself, his son skipping his last two semesters of college because of less hours at work. I dont think i would be able to finish my degree without having to worry about helping to support my father.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  191. abby

    this is the first year i'm attempting to grow a vegetable garden, go to grad school, enjoy my family and maybe get some chickens!

    denver, co

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  192. Ned Sims

    Not watch, listen to, or read any news. All of the gloom and doom is self perpetuating; if you keep telling people how bad everything is, then they will continue to believe it. Negativity is easy – it's the path of least resistance. Start talking about the positive – it's out there.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |


    Give each state one billion dollars for each member of Congress– which would distribute the money equally among the states. States could keep all of their employees, and they could add a few more. They could create millions of new jobs by getting a lot of needed projects going. The Federal Government has the Constitutional authority to create new money. It doesn’t need to borrow it from China or anyone else. Giving 535 billion dollars to the states makes more sense than giving two or three trillion dollars to the banks.
    TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH AND FLOAT DRIED UP MONEY SUPPLY When the rich get tax cuts, they don’t put it under their mattress; but what they do with it has the same effect. They store it as bytes on computer chips. They don’t spend the money that’s needed to moves goods and services.

    The efficiency of the clearing houses for financial institutions has dried up trillions of dollars in float. You can’t beat a check to the bank any more. Debit cards, paying bills on line, buying on the internet with Pay Pal and the many other ways that money can instantly be taken out of bank accounts has dried up the money supply. When you could beat a local check to the bank and when it took an out of town check ten days to clear the bank, there were billions of dollars that could be spent by the depositors and billions that could be loaned out by the banks. WHERE ARE THE ECONOMISTS?

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  194. sunil

    This recession is an eye opener to a nation that is used to spending money we dont have. As always we will find a way to get out of it, but in the process if we learn to be more prudent about our financial life style and impart lessons to the next generation to avert it in the future.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  195. dick

    Jack, if this continues, America will be forced to go back to a time when cash is king, credit despised, and a person's word and character have merit.
    Cars will be purchased with layaway plans like they were before GM introduced credit.
    Home values will diminish to pre WW2 values, the banks need to be taken over and run by the fed until we are solvent again. Less is more, Gordon Gecko is wrong: 'Greed is Good' got us into this mess.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  196. Talking heads

    Talking heads including Mr. Buffett didn't see this coming, Why should we believe anything they say???

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  197. Warren Rodgers Jr

    It took years to create this situation. The press should not lead the misguided view that it can be corrected instantly.

    You should try to learn more about the econmic system and contribute an educated non-sensational perspective to the analysis of the situation.

    Americans are about to learn that everything you want doe not come instantly. We will have to work our way out of this and it will be tough.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  198. Kevin W. Pledger

    My family and I will cope by becoming more self-sufficient and minimizing our expenses wherever we can. We've already started a vegetable garden to lower our food costs. Thrift stores can lower our clothing costs. Odd jobs can make us money for incidentals until my career field opens up again.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  199. Tommy Ferrell

    Jack, America doesn't know how to cope with this. Collectively, this nation pretty much never saw this coming. Some people did; some people are already set for the next few years ahead. My family is because we have heard the warnings of the likes of Suze Orman since 2004 so we saved our money and prepared for this. God bless those who haven't. The better question is, "How will this nation look at the end of this recession?" Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    Tommy Ferrell
    Delbarton, WV

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  200. Carmen

    Jack: I'm in the marketing business, if the recession lasts five years I may have to find a new line of work. I'm already homeless and jobless. I'm already staying with a friend – five more years and I'll have no friends left. Maybe the Obama's will start a waiting list and open up some space in their new home.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  201. Alisa B.

    I am a small service business owner and returning student, and I haven't taken a paycheck for the last two months in order to keep my staff working. If things get worse, I will have to drop out of school, let my staff go, and start trying to do as much of the day to day work as possible on my own, which will result in the neglect of operational strategy and leadership.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  202. L Woods

    We will cope just not real well UNLESS the democrats kill the coal industry where my husband works. Then I see us downsizing everything from vehicles, our home all the way down to our meals.
    Southern Illinois
    (where Obama helped kill our economy to fluff up Chicago)

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  203. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    How will we cope? Obviously with great difficulty! But we will get through it! North America has gone through the Great Depression of the 1930s and survived that, and all the powers that be say that we will never reach that low a level in this recession/depression(?) Our current economy has better mechanisms built-in that simply weren't available back in the 30's. Will we get through it? Yes, but with very great difficulty, a lot of hardship, and blood, sweat, and tears.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  204. Jewel

    I fear that President is falling way short of his campaign promises–for one, where is the openess he has promised? Why wasn't all of the legislation he has already signed been posted on the internet for the 5 days for us to read, before he signed it?? Where is the change we can believe in–there is change alright, but nothing that I DO believe in.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  205. Carella

    it will be much easier for those of us (un)typical Americans who are not drowning in credit card debit. Those financial fools are as responsible for this current climate as anyone or anything so they SHOULD suffer the inevitable consquences.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  206. Lee in MN

    Lots of praying. I have been diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrigs 6 months ago and my wife is layed off. It is time all our politicians got on the same page and stopped 2 party dysfunctional politics. Maybe they all need to spend a week in the life of us less fortunate.

    Thanks for your straight talk Jack. Lou may learn from you.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  207. JoAnn C in San Diego CA

    Jack, We have to think about how our parents and grandparents fared during the depression. Bottom line is they made it. They became entrepreneurs and figured it out. I am not saying they didn't suffer but I believe it made us a stronger nation. Maybe that's what we all need. Less designer purses, fast food and fast cars.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  208. Samantha

    Jack, My husband and I bought a house within our means. We have always been thrifty and don't spend more than we can afford so we have no credit card debt and very manageable bills. Though I stay home with my 2 and 4 year old, my husband is in the military so we have a bit of stability jobwise. We will be able to weather this financial storm because my husband and I have put into practice a basic principle our parents taught us. Don't spend more than you have!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  209. Steve Woodward

    I have a lot of toys such as a boat, snowmobile and three cars. I bought these items when the economy was good. At our present salaries we can still afford everything and fortunately I have several years to retirement for my 401k to come back. If the recession lasts for years, how I will cope, no problem.........I will call the banks and tell them exactly where the extra items are. They can arrange to come and get them. The banks and their policies have caused most of the problems, so they can do the work to recoup their property. Credit score, no problem.......I will still be ahead of the millions of others who have had to foreclose on their house and other items.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  210. jal

    There are a lot of smart people expecting and preparing for the worst.
    Search the web for the Automatic Earth, and "Reinventing Collapse", by Dmitry Orlov.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  211. P in California

    Not well. Tent cities are already popping up. My elderly mother already lives with us. My daughters are teachers and just received their pink slips with the other 20,000 teachers here. I lost my job last year. So my daughters will move home, we will live off our savings. My husband is the only one might keep his job. So when the savings is gone we will join the tent city people.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  212. Bill....Michigan

    If the recession does not get worse and become a depression, we will cope. Our family has already learned to live on a lot less. Hopefully, we all will find that we can be happy will less STUFF.


    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  213. Gary from Wisconsin

    If things continue as they have I will start to withdrawn funds from my retirement accounts (pay taxes and penalties) which may last for 5 years, and then when I am supposed to be retiring I will have to continue working for 10-20 years if I live that long!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  214. DJ, Detroit

    Keep praying...if the recession goes that long, faith is all I will have left.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  215. Karen - Tennessee

    Years of careful planning have resulted in a paid-off house and money in the bank, so we will be fine. I am much more worried about younger family members who still have school debts and require two incomes to stay afloat in this fragile job market.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  216. Harlan Brooks

    If the recession lasts for years, I believe there could possibly be a revolution. The folks in Washington do not have to worry about food, housing, etc., it's the little guy (95% of the people) who will get fed up with the BS and will have to do Something.


    Mechanicsville, VA

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  217. M R DUNKIN

    Recession for 5 years means welfare, food stamps, government housing, government hand-outs and no more cable TV.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  218. Sue/PA


    Just as we give our children a "time-out" for their less than desirable behavior, this is our "Time-out. Greed on Wall Street, The Rich getting Richer and The Poor getting Poorer, and all of us , in some form or fashion, living outside our means brought us to this crisis. It will take 5 years or more to recondition those in resistance to living wisely.

    Emporium, PA

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  219. Jim - NY

    I'll cope just fine by being self-employed, not carrying thousands of dollars in credit card debt, driving a 6 year old paid for car, living in a house that needs work and isn't a showplace but is one I can afford. If I can just avoid the damn whiners so my blood pressure maintains a reasonable level I may just make it a few more years. If not, the woodchucks and earthworms will have a good meal. Rather them than the politicians.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  220. Christel from Alabama

    How will I cope with the recession if it lasts years? I guess do what my Parents and grandparents did in the Great Depression, learn to live without certain "Creature" comforts. Make more homemade dresses, dolls and Toys for my grand children to play with. Quit going out to eat. Quit buying all the have to have stuff to keep up with the Jones'. Just have to pare it down to the bare minimums to make sure all the bills are paid and my family eats and has a roof over their heads.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  221. kenneth


    We could take some of that money from Buffet, Gates and the like and clean this mess up. These guys have more money than a few million could ever use.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  222. Marcus

    I've been laid off for about three months, and if this recession lasts long enough, I may just re-enlist with the US Navy. At least there I've got job security and health care.

    Salem, OR

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  223. Thomas

    Are you kidding jack five years i don't know how i am going to cope for five months!! I am already buying cheap food ,cheap beer only buying gas a little at a time!!! I think the big brains in Washington better come up with a new plan because if not we all might end up at the soup kitchen see you there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  224. Mikey B

    Looking at the economy right now (banks failing, DOW at 6500, etc), I believe this recession will become a depression within the next several months. My family is preparing by stocking up on water, canned foods, and other necessities in case the worst comes to pass.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  225. Rick San Rafael, CA.

    I will have to live on my inheritance I just got instead of having a place to live in my older years. I'm 55 and thought I might be able to hang on to that money for retirement.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  226. Carol Blandford

    My husband and I will be eating more of the beef and goats we raise and my garden will be bigger this year. We can do without a lot since we have no children at home, but I'll have to learn how to make toilet paper!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  227. Evan Winters

    If the recession last for a number of years, at 69 years old, retirement funds disappearing and the cost of credit going up, the choices are limited, DIE

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  228. bea from Texas

    Jack, in life, there is a time for everything.....this recession will ease but we have to hang in there....there are times, even in marriage, when we will be tested. it happens to nature and it happens to nations. It may be man;s doing but the cycle of life happens...this will get better but we all have to do our part at trying to make it better.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  229. Nick Wright

    You my friend are to the "left" what Rush Limbaugh is to the "right", a propagandist. Rush is simply an entertainer who relishes getting under the skin of those who take him seriously. Like You.


    Right Wing Nut

    March 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  230. Steve Mial

    A fine economy five years from now is really not that bad provided that we see gradual improvement in the economy each month, each each year leading up to that five year target. It took 8 years to reach these depths in the health of the economy and a 5 year recovery sounds pretty good to me!!!

    Steve M
    Clifton, VA

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  231. Al from Houston

    I will cope just fine, if I don't listen to people like Jim Cramer. See if I had bought Bear Stear stocks when he said, I will be in the toilet. Thing has to get better, it take eight years to get into the mess, and it will take more than 50 days to get out of it.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  232. stan, pilesgrove, nj

    we are almost ready, we've switched to all cash, eliminated all our debt and are downsizing our living arrangements.
    got a bunch of mason jars and shovel to bury the money out back.
    switched to used cars in good condition.
    planting a massive garden, to fill the freezer.
    looking into chickens and other food sources.
    as long as they don't raise the new property taxes to some stupid level, we will get through, fine.
    I just wonder how others that have never had to feed themselves will do.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  233. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    What am I going to do? Well, you're looking at it Jack. Since I'm laid off, and I spend my days reading job ads and sending out resumes like a whirling dervish, I'm going to spend my breaks reading your blog and answering your intriguing inquiries. I just hope you can find it within yourself to read them.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  234. Jack H Peterson

    I will continue to live as I do now if the recession continues for many years. I will follow the advise of Mahatma Gandhi: "Live simply so others may simply live."

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  235. Dave

    I will be doing just as I have been for the last 20 years. Working hard. I am self employed I find work, I work other jobs on the side. weekends at restaraunts, festivals in the summer, plow snow in the winter. I try my best to pay my bills and buy only what I can afford. I have no healthcare and no retirement. I am used to this unlike so many other that the world came crashing down when they depended on others instead of themselves.

    Dave Smith Selinsgrove PA Owner Valley Custom Canvas.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  236. Dr. G-

    I am coping by buying in bulk food items, have joined a food co-op, seek farmer's markets & harvesting your own. Do more "green" living by bringing your own bags for groceries to get a penny discount, stopping frivolous purchases, cutting off major energy vampire appliances. As far as investment, seek a 6% reserve rate on both IRAs/Roth IRAs; conserve for "rainy day" funds–we have quite a few in Seattle. Purchase gift cards to "special family days". Buy food on itemized list as needed. Soufully, I am health and wellness coach, so I have action plans leading to my best health.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  237. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    I use the same self-discipline to be ready for good times and bad. I exercise, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and position myself for the coming recovery or decline.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  238. kenneth

    We could take some of that money from Buffet, Gates and the like and clean this mess up. These guys have more money than a few million people could ever use.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  239. Anna

    Jack I do not see reason that this would end very soon. Our government is curropt, our business is curropt. We can not belive in what they are telling us. Just because stock market went up today for no reason at all does not mean that I will go and spend my money. I will save as much money as I can and spend as little as I can. I will not buy anything that is made in China.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  240. jeh15

    I highly doubt that recession lasts for years. If it lasts beyond this year despite all efforts of stimulation, then it is a depression, pure and simple.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  241. jim Toronto

    we are so spoiled, jack....there are people living for years, their entire lives for heavens sake, on nothing! NOTHING!!!
    So what are we? Maybe we have to tighten our belts a bit, maybe drink only one or two cappuccinos a week instead of four, maybe not 'drive' to the corner store for a bag of chips. There are some sacrifices that our society should be making the good of everyone. I for one will try and ride this thing out.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  242. bill from flint, mi

    In Flint Michigan the depression started in 2005. My hometown is an empty shell devoid of businesses, working infrastructure and educated people to lead us. If it only took a few years to turn this around, we would be more than half done with these hard times. I see no hope for that.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  243. sarah

    Since I am a fiscally conservative person, who pays cash for my autos and has a paid for house, I believe that I will be able to cope fairly well. My greatest concern is the inflation that many experts thinks is coming. Having lived through the Carter years I really don't want to do that again.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  244. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    It is easy. My mom taught me how to do this more than 55 years ago. Live within your means. She showed me how to save money, not spend it. I did that for my 38 years in the work force. I saved a bunch, didn't buy any toys I could not afford and was happy. Now that I am retired and living on a fixed income along with my stocks and bonds, life is good. The market has made a big hole in my savings, but we can still survive by living within our means for 5 or more years. I hope others had a mother as smart as mine.

    Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  245. george german

    pretty much the way i have been for the past year or so watching every penny and costantly trying to maintain an addaptive attitude and sence of focus.
    being self employed dose have it's advantages.....most of us can do many differant things. that comes in handy when the world starts to fall apart a bit more than usual.
    my suggestion to the crooked bankers and greedy bernie madoffs of the world..........learn how to wave a paint brush or operate a shovel.
    with any luck that will be the beffitting outcome fore the folks who put us here in this mess

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  246. Greg

    Of course the recession is going to last beyond this year-probably 5-8years and that is only if we do everything right and have some luck.It takes alot longer to build a house than destroy one,we just had 8 years of the biggest demolition machine ever driven by the power drunk republicans and now we must first stop the machine and begin rebuilding the house.I am behind President Obama but I'm afraid America will never be the same after Bush and the neocons.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  247. Greg from Greensboro NC

    We’ll be doing just fine, thank you. We make a habit of not basing our future on the outcome of questionable ventures. Working for businesses that are stable and not subject to “pie in the sky” mistakes (housing, dot com, or banking bubble busts), doing our homework on where we invest our money and who manages it, and not listening to CNN for what we should or should not do.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  248. Bobby

    Hi Jack,

    1st of all, we all admire you for your accurate reporting and entire staff as well. To get to the point, I have made a risky decision to switch over to healcare from IT. Job market is indeed very shaky, and is hard to find even temporary jobs. I am between jobs and on unemployment. I feel that I will do better in the Health Care field, and I am making a change at age 47. It's never too late for anyone to have a good life.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  249. Dean Harrington

    Well Jack, we’re –once again- planting our food. We had a bountiful year in grapefruit and oranges. We live in Stanislaus County California. Our unemployment rate is currently 15.1% (and they just closed all of our Employment Development Departments). We are already experiencing closures of many stores at our Mall and other strip-malls throughout the area. The only thing we have going for us is our agriculture. Today you will catch me planting my tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots and corn, (I suggest you tell the rest of America to do the same). If anything positive comes from this recession, it will be that we all get skinnier –and healthier- over the next few years.

    Very Sincerely,

    Dean Michael Harrington (Modesto, CA. 95356)
    United States Navy

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  250. Jewel

    I fear that President Obama is in love with being the president, but the little details of the stimulus package, the health care package and all of the OTHER big ideas he has will just be left to Nancy Pelosi to work out. He is too busy traveling and doing what he does best, which is give prewritten speaches. He needs to stick close to the White House and get involved with the policies and issue's of each day. We also don't need him to be spending ALL OF THAT MONEY in this time of crisis. Jewel Hemet, Ca.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  251. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    Jack, I refuse to lose...... This will test the metal of millions...... If push comes to shove, I'll be at McDaonald's....... Let me give you a testamony.... I lost a great job in August..... Not much money at the time, (30k yrly.), but the perks were GREAT! In December, Ifound another job making (33k yrly.). This hasn't stopped me from moving forward though. I recently took the NYPD entrance exam, and if accepted into the force, I'll be making double the money I make now, in 3 yrs....... If all this doesn't work out, and things hit the fan, like I said i'll be asking you if you want fries w/ that?! I REFUSE TO LOSE, and will make it despite all the negatives out there........ We as a nation must do the same..... It's survival of the fittest, and no time to sulk (for long)..... As Mr. Buffett said, we have the right President, and are in the right country!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  252. Anthony...Swedesboro, NJ

    I'm retired and looking at a shrinking nest egg. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. My fixed income is falling behind increased costs and getting a job at my age is a pipe dream. If this continues, I'll be joining my unfortunate fellow citizens in Hooverville or should I say Bushville.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  253. Shawn

    Sell my house, buy a tent, and learn how to live off of the land.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  254. Matt from Kansas City

    I can't imagine what I'm going to do but hope that the company I work for doesn't go out of business. I hope suggesting the recession will last for years isn't an understatement. The people saying the worst is yet to come aren't necessarily making baseless comments. If you think the sub-prime mortgage fiasco is bad, just wait to see what home values do when all these reverse mortgage homes start hitting the market.

    -Matt from Kansas City

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  255. Angela Tacoma

    Jack I will survive by sticking to basics...We grew up gardening, canning, and slaughtering... we purchasing only the basics flour, sugar, eggs butter, milk. What I can not buy I can make,.. do not purchase name brand items the only name I need to stand behind to make me feel good is my own... My parent instilled in us that if you use cash and buy what you need rather than what you desire you will sleep better at night, I sleep just fine...

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  256. Scot from Michigan

    It's very nice to hear all the "postive" talk coming from people who have far more money than most of us. They can speculate all the way to the bank while we pay for their opinions. The rest of us don't have the luxury of being negative. I for one can not afford to have the recession go on for years. Enough of the negative ! It people don't get a positive attitude soon ( that means all of us ), I'm afraid a lot of us will be counting pink slips instead of sheep while we try to have sweet dreams ( or is it nightmares ? ).

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  257. Mary

    I think the news networks should have weekly shows wherein persons who lived during the "great depression" and many through 2 World Wars could give their hints as to how they survived.
    My mom and dad were alive at those times – I vaguely remember some of the things they told us. One of which was families living together in order to survive and, of course, buying things in large quantities when they went on sale.
    I'm sure if they went through all of that – we certainly can!!

    THINK POSITIVE – and pray a lot.

    Mary – MO

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  258. Will

    If the recession lasts for a while Jack, I will cope by spending the next few years teaching English abroad. As a recent college grad, it gives me a unique excuse to travel and learn another language until the American economy stabilizes.

    Will, Atlanta, GA

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  259. Randy B, Odenton Maryland

    Jack, I'll cope by turning off the news as should all Americans. It's the media's sensationalizing the bad news that is eroding the confidence of the economy. Remeber when Bush kept saying that the US economy is fundamentally sound. Turn off your blind bias and think about the message.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  260. David

    The same way my grandparents and parents did we have been her before and we need to tighten our belts and live. if you're lucky and have a job save your money, if you don't then you have to make away maybe salvage cans bottles anything legal to make money. but I've been in a recession all my life so this is nothing new.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  261. Mike & Judy

    We're in the midst of it now, and things are just now showing improvement, including our government. We think you are much too negative when reporting on the Buffet interview.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  262. Laura Keyse

    I think I'm going to cope with the recession by not taking any notice of the gloom and doom prophecies of the economists.....they just increase stress levels and heartache... We should take this time on a day to day basis...support those who need it and be positive!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  263. Josh

    It's the same approach if you want to thrive in a great economy or survive in a horrible one. Be smart and flexible. There's always opportunities, you just have to work harder to find them. . Be prepared to relocate and reeducate. I've already done that once and I'll do it again if necessary.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  264. Jay Smith

    I guess I'll continue to live as I have. We drive a 10 year old car, live in a rental community, work two jobs and haven't taken a vacation in over five years. I hear a lot of people at work complaining they can't keep up with the payments on their SUVs and 4-bedroom houses, but they don't even consider cutting out the gym memberships or cruises or many of the things we consider luxuries. It seems like we live in a country that feels entitled to live beyond their means and have digital cable and high-speed internet and a new car every 2.5 years.

    We've lived through these times before when we ignored the world and partied down with Gatsby and Elliott Templeton. I hope this time we learn the lesson and teach our children to live within their means.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  265. walt Utah


    If the recession lasts very long, I feel my wife and I will probably be OK. I fear for my children however. My son worked at the Resort in Las Vegas where Wells Fargo planned to hold their yearly conference. This Resort was totally booked for 12 full days until Mr. Obama chided W/F for going to Vegas. Once Wells Fargo cancelled, over 5000 employes were laid off.....my son was one of them.
    Right now, the country has no confidence in MR. OBAMA's ability...he talks a very good game, but all of his talk and $5 bucks will still get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.


    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  266. LeRoy in Jersey City, New Jersey

    Well Jack, the Dow just closed 379 points up (nearly 6% in one day). You choose to listen to Nouriel Roubini a.k.a. “Dr. Doom”— while I find the optimistic words of Bernanke rather comforting. Tim Geithner is a really smart guy; given some time and a few taxpayer dollars, he can fix the zombie financial institutions.

    The bottom line Jack, is that we feel we have no control in this economic mess. Faced with fear and despair, our minds trivialize the unpalatable truth, and we retreat into avoidance and over-simplification. Most of us won’t be developing coping strategies for the recession — for we can never underestimate the far-reaching human capacity for denial. Sweet denial.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  267. Susan - TX

    If all prediction is true, then I either go out find a rich husband or sell my children for food, but before I do that I would let George Bush knows that how he kills American with his own stupidity.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  268. Steve Heinrich

    I will continue to hustle up work-I'm a carpenter."Hopefully more people will be receptive to barter for basic needs.I think we must focus on what we can do to make things better .C'mon people-this is America.We can do better!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  269. Sastry Parimi

    Being 40 year old, Here are the four steps
    1. I will learn new technologies from lot of online resources, that gives me an edge in job market
    2. Spend on what I need instead of what I want
    3. Payoff my credit cards, loans and Return to my Motherland (India) if nothing works
    4. Invest in stocks and Fixed Income securities in my IRA/401(k)

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  270. Randy

    First, I'll stop listening to billionaire investors who act as if they're nostradomus now that we're in the worst shape ever in this country. They were as quiet as church mice

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  271. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    I will cope by using my skills as a music educator(I'm unemployed).
    It is the only way that I can keep my sanity. There will always be a need for music teachers as education of any sort is vital to the survival of this country of ours. I intend to be at the forefront of this so that it is not swept under the rug.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  272. Mike S., New Orleans

    I guess I'm lucky that I grew up poor. I know how to be hungry and still crack jokes. So I'm not worried about surviving a long term recession. But I am worried about all those people who will have to give up their personal shoppers and nannies.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  273. johnchristopher saskatchewan

    Wars and other rumors of wars, lies and rumors of lies, greed and rumors of bigger greed. Hey, we cope the way we usually cope in the middle of a truly desperate situation, one of planetary proportions...we wait for Captain Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard or Batman or Super Man to come and solve it, just in time. So what we are faced with is: colossal economic problems, wars, environmental issues and every other critical issue that has been ignored since the 1920s. It's time to figure out what we missed while we were being Rip Van Winkle.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  274. Ralph Nelson

    It's the banks. Fix the banks and the recovery begans. People should of thought about their futures when they were voting for Republicans for national office. The people got exactly what they voted for: Free unregulated financial markets and crackpot supply-side economics. Live and weep. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  275. Caroline H

    How will we cope? We can't even afford a mattress to put our money (what little we have) under.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  276. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Five years is a long time. Right now, I have a pension that is as safe as it can be for the times. I have already cut my expenses, plan to pay off any debt that I have and save more each month. If I need to, and I can find a job, I will go back to work part time or full time if I have to. I'm going to take it day by day and be as smart, practical, and optimistic as I can be.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  277. drew

    Jack- This isn't a recession it's a depression. We're just to coddled, as a society, to say it like it is. That being said there is nothing out there to pull us out of this depression so it's going to be here for years. What will I do? How will I cope? Same as everyone else, lower my living standards.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  278. Andy Austin, TX

    I'll cope the same way I coped for much of the Bush years. I'll live day to day and paycheck to paycheck and barely make rent and have no health care, let alone car insurance. The American people seem to forget the unspoken generation in this country that have graduated high school in the last five years and can't afford to go to college. All the jobs that we are qualified for are service industry types that won't last forever. With the rising inflation and the fall of the dollar, many twenty somethings in this country are wondering when their chance will come to find the American dream. When the Obama opposition makes the argument that the President wants to radically change the basic structure of the American system, I don't see how that can be a valid argument. We told them that is exactly what we young voters wanted on November 4th.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  279. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    I already consider myself frugal, so I'll have to cut back on everything, buy less, eat less, drive less, and dog gone it, drink less. Stratch my summer vacation plans as well, my wife will not be happy to hear this one. At least my frugal mind thought ahead so our anniversary is in June. I hope flowers and a evening dinner at our favorite restaurant will suffice. It doesn't cost a lot to take a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon. Doing the simple things can be just what the doctor ordered during these trying economic times. Of course, it really depends on what my wife thinks!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  280. Betty

    It actually depends on how long unemployment lasts since we're in Michigan! I suspect that our savings will be depleted before anything turns around, but we'll survive.

    I was disgusted today when I learned that Wells Fargo in Iowa was hiring criminals for document management. One girl in particular has committed bank / ATM fraud and is boasting about being paid $12 an hour to have access to other people's credit information on MySpace!

    Great use of our tax ...bailout dollars!! I'm just grateful I have NOTHING to do with Wells Fargo and hope she's prosecuted before too many people are defrauded. I immediately sent all my relatives and friends the information so they could end all ties with anything to do with Wells Fargo.

    Just another excellent example of how our country is going to hell in a handbasket and why many who do have credit are being scammed by the criminals these banks hire!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  281. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    Jack, I refuse to lose…… This will test the metal of millions…… If push comes to shove, I’ll be at McDonald’s……. Let me give you a testamony…. I lost a great job in August….. Not much money at the time, (30k yrly.), but the perks were GREAT! In December, I found another job making (33k yrly.). This hasn’t stopped me from moving forward though. I recently took the NYPD entrance exam, and if accepted into the force, I’ll be making double the money I make now, in 3 yrs……. If all this doesn’t work out, and things hit the fan, like I said i’ll be asking you if you want fries w/ that?! I REFUSE TO LOSE, and will make it despite all the negatives out there…….. We as a nation must do the same….. It’s survival of the fittest, and no time to sulk (for long)….. As Mr. Buffett said, we have the right President, and are in the right country!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  282. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Jack, I'll suffer through the same way I have for the past 8 years; as the pugger that I am.

    I'll keep plugging away, and not just for me now, but for the new daughter I had last year. I won't worry about it, because worrying only causes severe gastro-intestinal problems, and other symptoms of stress, and there's nothing worse than stress on a persons ability to maintane through even the most mundane obstacles in life.

    As hippy dippy as this may sound...

    Relax people. When you worry, you're literally, only hurting yourselves.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  283. laurent

    it doesn't matter how long obama takes the republicans will take longer

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  284. Jon L. Moline, IL

    Easy Jack, I'll follow Rachel Ray's eating on the cheap suggestions.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  285. Dakota Al

    Everyone will continue to blame the Bush administration. Ridiculous.
    Over and over again (including the last election), Americans followed smooth talking politicians. Wake up! We cannot spend our way out of this mess. As long as Democrats have their way, we will continue to go down the toilet. I blame the Republicans to a certain degree also but mostly I blame "we the people". Why do you keep voting these fools back in office? Why do you keep believing their lies? Why do you put up with their self-serving, "don't blame me" attitudes? I have never voted for an incumbent and I never will. To hell with seniority and career politicians! Look at the mess they have created!
    A national referendum for the line item veto and term limits would be the beginning to stopping this nonsense. America is asleep at the wheel!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  286. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    They are raising our utilities, both electric and gas by 40% in April. I don't know what we are going to do. I am worried. I'm very worried. I am going to start a garden for food. With all the homeless, maybe I'll take in boarders. I don't know.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  287. michael armstrong

    jack five tears lets see theres what 7 trillion dollars of dept this is what i think mayby 10 to 15 years if were lucky. the 1920s 30s and 40s are here along with bonny and clyde baby face nelson al capone and eliot ness.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  288. Roger

    I am planning going to another country where the socialists like Cafferty are not taking control of the government, the media and the banking system.
    The real responsible for the banking debacle are the socialists democrats like Ms Barnie (sweet) Frank, pushing programs forcing to the banking industry to open loans to the lowest economic classes unable to pay the monthly installments.
    To protect themselves under the uncertainty the banking created the CDS and CMO unregulated by the
    The root cause of the problem is the social agenda of the democratic party and those who doe not understand economics.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  289. Dave, Vancouver, Canada

    In a kind of upside-down way I'm enjoying the challenge of surviving the economic hell storm. Once I worked through the depression of losing a big chunk of my savings and the possibly of facing hard times like I've never known, maybe even the dirty-thirties-style depression glorified by my parents, grandparents and countless Hollywood movies, I dusted off my latent survival skills and got down to the business of cutting costs. So far I've cut my phone, cable and internet bills in half, and discovered I can feed myself sufficiently and healthily for four dollars a day. Making a game of survival takes your mind off the the incessant stress.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm |

    Here is my answer to what ever your questions is jack. Like Joseph told Egypt to store up for the bad times, I have & I warned people to get out of the market 2 yrs ago as well as store up for the New World Order. P.S. Jack , DON'T TAKE THE CHIP UNDER THE SKIN TO SURVIVE! Jerry In Alaska.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  291. Collin, CT

    I will cope cutting back on luxuries such movies and dinner's out. Save as much a possibly while I still have job. Hopefully, it will last through the recession.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  292. mitchell, arkansas

    why would anyone listen to them, Jack? if they were so smart, why didn't they invest in gold and silver 2 years ago? they would be raking it in, right now. I'm an 'expert' on foreseeing the futures, so, i would invest in the new green energy industry, and the upcoming Marijuana Industry. Prohibition is soooo yesterday,and i see a lot of money to be made in the long term, in both of these markets.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  293. cy gardner

    If my job doesn't disappear, my salary will not keep pace with rising prices. So, I guess I'll give up stuff like cable tv, eating at restaurants, wearing nice clothes. We could be a shabbier, better read nation by then. That's the bright scenario. The alternative is possibly cannibalism. As long as we start by eating the rich, I'm ok with that scenario too. cy gardner, arlington va

    March 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  294. Adela Johnson

    Pendleton, Oregon

    As an American, I will realize the value of persistence and courage.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  295. Kevin W. Pledger

    My family and I will cope by becoming more self-sufficient and minimizing our expenses wherever we can. We’ve already started a vegetable garden to lower our food costs. Thrift stores can lower our clothing costs. Odd jobs can make us money for incidentals until my career field opens up again.

    Stockton, CA

    March 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  296. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    I don't think it will Jack, but if it does I won't be surprised if we start seeing in the news that the bodies of folks like Bernie Madoff, Wall Street CEO's, SEC bosses and a few politicians start turning up in the classic "wooded area".

    March 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  297. Susan Stavola

    I have been unemployed since May 2008, and my unemployment runs out on May 15, 2009. I have been a corporate travel agent for twenty years, and at 58 years old never dreamed that I would have to find a new career! My savings is gone my 401K has been going down down down, like everyones. I have no health insurance and I have several serious medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If I don't find a job within the next 2 months, I will be forced to give up my apartment and try to live with a friend until I get back on my feet.. I try to stay positive but it is getting increasingly hard to do so. I live in Ct. but I am looking for jobs in Ct. Ma. NY NJ Pa! Any suggestions Jack?

    March 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  298. Freda Hall

    Galesburg, Ill.

    We will do what we have always done. We will survive as we survived one of our main employers moving to Mexico, the shutting down of our Mental Health Center, the closing down of our oldest industries, the reduction of our choices due to the closing of grocery store chains and the devastation of our down town. We will cut back what we can, we will grow more gardens we will stay at home more and get rid of the things we do not need we will pray more do more of our own work and enjoy less frivolous things . We will appreciate what we do have rather than fretting about what we don't. Above all we will help each other at least that is how our family has done it for at least the last 100 years.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  299. Ken-Long Island

    Jack, you worry wart, calm yourself. What does Nouriel Roubini know, or Warren Buffet? Rush Limbaugh says everything is okay. According to him let those who can't provide for themselves fall off the face of the earth. Forget stimulus, forget healt care, forget infrastructure and job creation, have a war just like in the thirties. Maybe sixty or seventy million "Democrat" people as he refers to members of the Democratic party will die and the Republicans will have lower taxes. Hail to the chief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  300. Lori Melton

    I have already started to use my mother-in-laws depression era cookbook. I have stored up flour, sugar, and peanut butter. I will grow something to eat and not plant annuals. I love my orchids, but they will have to make way for tomatoes, green beans, and other things.
    I will sew more, anything that has a hole in it like jeans or pants will be mended and not sent to the Goodwill. It used to be easy just to go out and buy something new.
    I have already started making sure my sewing kit is getting very well stocked. As a family, going out to dinner is non-existent now. McDonalds is a BIG TREAT!
    Prom dress issues...we can ask friends, or have other dresses altered to address the newest fashion statements. I will hold this family together by teaching them how to be creative, and care for things to assure they last longer.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  301. mary

    Jack.. We would return to the 'roots of our raising'....Family helping family...neighbor helping neighbor...trading work for food..food for needed parts to repair things...learning what we didn't know from our grandparents, parents etc. ..Return to reading, radio and board games and good hard work and a good nights sleep! mary from Missouri

    March 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  302. Greg from LA

    The only way to cope is patience the FDIC is protecting my money and if CNN would stop scaring the public. You all sound like the morons on CNBC who did not tell us the truth. Americans want things done instantly always give the president a break things will turn around alot faster if the fear mongers would chill out a bit and allow the goverment to do its job.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  303. Mark Kocka Hayward, Wi.

    Jack, How does one cope when it seems that all hope is lost?The bank takes the keys to the car and your house. No job, no one hiring , really no end to this mess in the near future. Maybe the GOP, "Rush to irresponsibility" should buy everybody,s mortgage, or better yet just shut up and let President Obama do his job!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  304. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    I am an old man. I will either have a hell of a good time until I die or I will die broke and homeless like all the rest of you.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  305. MK

    We're not going to make it. If this goes on for another 90 days without a pickup in retail, we'll be homeless. My wife and I are small business owners and haven't had a soul walk through the door in 5 days. We're down 80% YTD from an already bad '08, and there is no indication that things are going to get better. The bailout is a joke and Hope 4 Homeowners only benefits people who still have a job and income. If you've lost either, you won't qualify and you'll still end up losing your home. I often wish I could just go to bed and never wake up. It's that bad. We can't close the store without losing a substantial amount of cash, and there are no jobs available if we did. No time or money to retrain. Banks are being given money AND they're taking our homes. There has to be a special place in Hell for these people.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  306. Ernest

    Well i believe i may end up on the street living in my vehicle like so many people are doing today. I lost my union construction job with no hope of returning anytime soon. I collect unemployment insurance, and when that runs out i will not be able to afford my rent. Fortunately i am not a homeowner and can walk away from my apartment. I may need to ask family for food and temprorary shelter until i can get back on my feet. from Los Angeles, Ca.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  307. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    Iam already eyeballing the neighbors chicken's...

    March 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  308. Marjorie Lominy

    Dont you woryry I will eat once a day, go out every three month and Oh I heard there is a lot of money in gold...there goes the family jewels...and that is only a one year plan....Five years??? I am moving to Canada, it seems their banks are safe, which means they will lend me money...and money is what need.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  309. Doug , FeedingHills , Mass.

    Jack, I guess I'll just have to listen to all those upstanding congressmen on the right side of the aisle and the fair and balanced soothsayers over at Fox news. They never seem to have any solutions, but they always have plenty of answers.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  310. Smitty

    I would make sure I went around setting my tent up in the yards of every Republican that voted No to the stimulus plan. I want them to get aquainted to the grief they have caused those like me that need this to work.

    Cocoa, FL

    March 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  311. Bill

    Has anyone looked at how our economic and social decline has been accompanied by an exponential growth in the number of people who talk for a living? CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FNC, etc. all are beholden to their corporate masters, and flog bad news all day long to keep eyeballs on ads.

    More news channels increase the outlets for politicians, lawyers, CEOs, et. al. who should actually be working to continually posture, while simultaneously driving up prices as advertisers feel the need to compete across multiple venues.

    The U.S. won two world wars and put a dozen citizens on the moon without an excess of advertising outlets. A decrease in TV viewing could contribute to an increase in people working to create a better nation. If nothing else, consumer prices might decline due to a decrease in advertising expenditures.

    Hey, it's worth a try.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  312. Donald

    I will do what i always have been doing shopping at cheap stores like Aldi's and saving money in the bank, watch regular tv, vollneter my time.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  313. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    At least Obama never lied to us about this mess...... He first told us on election night that getting out of this economic war, could take years..... He himself eluded it to encompassing much of his first term..... I have faith that the grit of this country, will emerge, and out of recession will come the spirit of the True America..... relentless, resourceful, and inventive.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  314. Roxanne - Alabama

    I'll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it; however, in the meantime, would these so called experts, economist and other talking heads find something else to do with their time other than make predictions about our economy. Where were they when we really needed them.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  315. Bill

    Has anyone looked at how our economic and social decline has been accompanied by an exponential growth in the number of people who talk for a living? CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FNC, etc. all are beholden to their corporate masters, and flog bad news all day long to keep eyeballs on ads.

    More news channels increase the outlets for politicians, lawyers, CEOs, et. al. who should actually be working to continually posture, while simultaneously driving up prices as advertisers feel the need to compete across multiple venues.

    The U.S. won two world wars and put a dozen citizens on the moon without an excess of advertising outlets. A decrease in TV viewing could contribute to an increase in people working to create a better nation. If nothing else, consumer prices might decline due to a decrease in advertising expenditures.

    Hey, it's worth a try.

    New York State

    March 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  316. arlene in iowa

    If you live on a fixed income like i do it seems as if i have been living with a recession for many years now. I will try to cope the same way everyone else has to. The only thing is there are no luxuries left to give up. On the positive side though, at least i'm not living in a tent, yet, like some of those unfortunate people in california. it would be pretty cold right now here in iowa.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  317. Neil

    If the lasts for years most Americans will join the poor. Our home values will be next to nothing and wages will be close to min. wage.
    The only good thing everything will cost very little and we can buy American because we won't be able to afford any imports.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  318. Stephanie Chapin

    Because I have been unemployed since September, we spend only what we absolutely have too. We are stretching every penny. Because, I need to do something to stay positive, I am going to school online for a second degree. I am borrowing to pay for it, at age 52, I hope it pays off.

    Steph Cloquet, MN

    March 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  319. ComplexNumbers

    This is a revolution. We are ridding Ourselves and the system of the failed policies of reaganomics and the failed theories of globalization.
    It will be painful and protracted just as the first American revolution was. In the end we will be a stronger nation.We will once again be a nation that is for all and not for a priveledged few.
    Until then, to "get by", We will do what Americans always do, "I keep my eyes on the prize, on the long fallen skies ,And I don't let my friends get hurt ".

    March 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  320. Sue -Idaho

    I will hope I can keep my job, a roof over my head and a little gas in my car. Since it's just me now, I don't spend to much on groceries. My medicine is what costs me. So that I may have to do without. I'm more worried about my kids and grandkids coping. I hope this thing turns around soon, and hope people have learned to be more frugel because of this recession.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  321. Ed (Brooklyn, NY)

    The only magic trick all this financial alchemy accomplished was separating real value from inflated and imaginary assets. We are looking a market correction on a Biblical scale. I call it the Economageddon.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  322. Katie

    My husband retired several years ago, and we have lived off of our investment's interest for the last nine years. We lost over $100,000 last fall (our second big loss in 10 years!) and had to put what was left of our money into as safe investments as we could find. That entailed tying up our investments for years in some cases. Now we're trying to live on our social security, so as not to touch the principle that's left available to us, and our savings.

    I can't work outside of my home due to having health problems.
    Five years ago my bill for health insurance went up to $1200/month (for just me) due to pre-existing conditions. I had to give it up. I will be eligible for Medicare in 3 more years.
    Oh, and by the way, my husband was recently diagnosed with cancer.
    Fortunately, he has Medicare and supplement insurance.

    Additionally, we are raising a young grandchild that we adopted a few years back.

    We have cut back in every way we can. It's going to be tough going until things straighten out (and I'm praying I don't have a serious illness until I can qualify for Medicare), but I believe President Obama is doing his very best for the country. We'll survive somehow.

    I honestly believe the Republicans are preaching doom and gloom with every breath they take just to make their hope for the president's financial plan to fail to become a reality. The way they have been talking makes me think the two parties will never be able to work together for the good of this country.

    Raleigh, NC

    March 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  323. Julian

    If the recession lasts that long Jack, both you and I will be flipping burgers at MacDonalds.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  324. Griff...... The Truth

    I care more about my Grandkids now. I told them long ago. Get a job that teaches you something, that you can use at these times.
    You buy a keyboard for your Computer. I buy it for $3, fix it. Now I have what you just bought. But you payed ten times what I did. That is how I survive..

    March 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  325. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    What am I going to do? Well, you’re looking at it Jack. Since I’m laid off, and I spend my days reading job ads and sending out resumes like a whirling dervish, I’m going to spend my breaks reading your blog and answering your intriguing inquiries. I just hope you can find it within yourself to read them.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  326. Jewel

    I worry about all of our jobs that have left our country. I hope President Obama gets rid of NAFTA like he promised when he was campaigning. It's said when you can't find anything that is made in the U.S.A.–all China it seems. Jewel Hemet, CA.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  327. Michele - NY

    Whether the recession lasts or not, I'll still do the same. Buy only what is on sale and use coupons whenever I can. I shop at a grocery store that give you 10 cents off a gallon of gas for every $50 you spend. Can't complain about that. Last month, I filled up for .99 a gallon up to 20 gallons. You roll over the dime every week and it all adds up.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  328. Jewel

    I'm glad I don't have young grandchildren that will have to live in this socialist country-as it will be in a few years. Jewel Hemet, Ca.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  329. Linda from Fredericksburg

    Well, Jack, I lookin' to get a mule, a good old one mule plow, a few acres in the mountins of West Virginia or maybe western Virginia, a gun with makins for bullets, seeds and a cow, pigs, chickens, goats, and a solar panel so I can watch you talk about this downward spiral.

    Keep it comin' !!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  330. Lynn

    I'm going with the Octomoms strategy. Just take it as it comes assuming things will take care of themselves!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  331. Mary Lee

    We will do what we have always done. We will not charge what we can't pay for. We never used our home as a piggy bank. When I was first married I lived through the tough times of 1974, the October 87 crash. Maybe this time the elder generation's been there lived through that can help off set the cynicism of the 20somethings. By the way when we first bought our home the interest rate was 9%. So if the economics of the employment market looks up we will eventurally get out of this.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  332. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Well, if it lasts for years and I get laid-off in the process, I guess I'll have to enlist in the Army -and get paid to kill people who've done nothing to our country -except live on top of OUR oil.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  333. Caroline, Los Angeles

    If I don't get a job in the next few months I'm going to grad school full-time. If I do get a job in the next few months I'm going to grad school part-time. If I stay here I'll need to move in with one of my adult daughters due to the high cost of living. I pay $1,550 a month in rent now and that's the going rate for a 2-bedroom in a decent area. It's too much to bear alone, only working part time.

    I sometimes worry about my worst-case scenario. That's homelessness. But since I've started volunteering at one of the homeless shelters downtown I realize that I could survive being homeless too. I sure wouldn't like it, but I could survive it. The rescue missions here do a fantastic job of giving people a safe place to sleep at night if they want one.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  334. Jeff Crocket

    The Media is sending us threw this fear at all cost situation. Already today Citi Group tells us their first quarter will be profitable! The markets go positive big time for the first burst of energy since Obama was elected.

    Calm down and ride the Spring time wave of improvement!!

    Jeff Crocket
    New Britain, CT

    March 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  335. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    I do not believe this recession will last for years. I think at the outside, maybe three years. If how fast it went bad is any indicator. It can turn around just as fast. Although if I had a bit if advice. Be prepared for anything. There is an unpredictability about all of this that is unsetteling.

    Ron San Diego

    March 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  336. Ron San Antonio

    This is one of the times we're glad the United States Air Force was our choice! I am retired and my wife is active duty with another trip to the Sand Box coming this year. Investments we have made in our country are paying off. Still that's not the reason we both became military members.

    Both of us came from small towns that were in a recession their entire existence and no jobs were available. The Air Force paid for my wife's Master Degree, she went to Iraq, and then they paid for her Ph. D. in Molecular Microbiology and Genetics. And all was part of her years toward retirement. And she's going back to Iraq. In charge of the DOD's largest Medical Laboratory, she is always looking forward and has accepted every challenge the Air Force has put in front of her. Her story is truly the American Dream and American Service!

    The Military has been a source of "good order and discipline" that each and every High School Grad should have to do for at least 2 years! I truly believe that if that had been the case, we wouldn't be in this recession!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  337. Caroline, Los Angeles


    Go to the Union Rescue Mission downtown! They can get you hooked up with a small income, food stamps and a place to sleep at night. We need more Section 8 housing in L.A. County. That's for certain.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  338. Steve

    I am 25 and from Ohio. I have been in a recession almost all of my life. So business as usual.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  339. Marty in Tightwad, MO

    Since I am a Tightwad living in Tightwad--–I should be fine. I saved for a rainy day and it is pouring outside. 60's
    It is our kids that we are worried about~~40's~~they think they can continue living like before even though they are 3 months behind on all their bills~~~gas, ele, water, mortgage, credit cards, cell phone, etc. They still think they can go spend what cash they have eating out at fast food, & nice restaurants, going to C-stores for groceries and fountain drinks, buying the High end cell phones, new clothes all the time, big expensive Xmas gifts[dish washer for son who is 21]. They need a someone to say something but I'm not allowed to. When they are out on the street, maybe they will wake up.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  340. Anthony...Swedesboro, NJ

    When you talk about the Taliban there is no moderation. They're as thick as theives and only want to subjugate women and chop off heads and hands.
    President Obama means well but is naive when it comes to Islamic extremist. The Taliban wants to live in the dark ages and no amount of appeasement will change their ways. Remember Chamberlain and Hitler?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  341. Laura Keyse

    'Talking' worked in Northern Ireland. Would need a neutral negotiator though... good idea to at least try ..

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |

    I might consider becoming a modern day Robin Hood... I have little doubt that I could find quite a sizable band of Merry Men among the laid-off auto workers and pissed-off factory workers whose jobs were sent to India and China.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  343. Bill Johnson

    We'd be just fine under Obama as he is the "Gift that just keeps on giving"....to social programs that is. What I worry about is how my grand children will pay for all the gifts??? Trying to save one generation at the expense of another generation???

    March 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  344. Bill Cook

    No religion, does not mean we don't have faith. What it does mean is that we a tired of organized religions blaming every bad thing from 9/11 to a friends divorce on the will of god. This is a god we were taught from birth to be benevolent, loving and forgiving, but organized religion has taught us that we shouldn't have sex and like it, we should shun people who are not of our faith, that people different than Christians will have no afterlife. Try getting that through Congress! In God We Trust did not specify a specific god. I am a Christian, but have chosen to pray in private, a sin I guess, but I'll chance it, and when the time comes near, combine my Christianity with Indian lore and take a long wall it the woods.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  345. David Baugh

    I would sell everything that I own and move deep into the wilderness and live like Grizzly Adams....at least there I could live off of the fat of the land and not have to worry about forclosure on my cabin.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  346. Ronald Holst

    Will I cope gee let me see Like I have since 2000 when I lost My job To a Illegal alien And AFTER I SUEDE MY EMPLOYER FOR IT . And made the mistake of settling out of court for a whopping 5 grand .
    Aw I digress . How Do I cope 1 day at a time sir just 1 day at a time.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  347. Ronald Holst

    Will I cope gee let me see Like I have since 2000 when I lost My job To a Illegal alien And AFTER I SUEDE MY EMPLOYER FOR IT . And made the mistake of settling out of court for a whopping 5 grand .
    Aw I digress . How Do I cope 1 day at a time sir just 1 day at a time.
    Ronald Holst
    San Antonio , TX.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm |