How are economic fears changing your life?
September 21st, 2011
06:00 PM ET

How are economic fears changing your life?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are afraid of where our economy is headed - and it shows.

A new study on financial security shows that 40% of consumers have cut their spending in the past two months.

The Bankrate.com survey shows this applies to Americans in all income groups - from the rich to the poor.

Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, so if the cutback in spending continues, we could be headed for another recession.

The study also shows people across all education levels say their net worth is lower today than it was last year.

Job security is a big worry too: Only 23% of those under 30 say they feel more secure in their jobs now than they did a year ago. That number drops to a measly 10% for those between the ages of 50 and 64.

It's easy to understand why people are concerned when unemployment remains stubbornly above 9% and is expected to stay there through the end of 2012.

For those who are lucky enough to have a job, median incomes are on the decline. Meanwhile, there are 46.2 million people in the U.S. living in poverty - the highest level in almost 20 years.

As if people didn't have reason enough to worry - the international monetary fund is out with a stark warning today, saying the global economy has entered "a dangerous new phase" with the recovery weakening considerably.

If the U.S. can't find a way to deal with its ballooning national debt, the IMF says the result could be a "lost decade for growth." Decade. 10 years.

And Americans get it. A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows six in 10 people don't expect the economy to recover any time soon, while 80% think the country is still in a recession.

Here’s my question to you: How are economic fears changing your life?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

It makes me sad, Jack, that in a country as great as ours we have to worry about the skyrocketing price of food, medicine and other essentials. I'm just a little bit scared to tell you the truth, and I have never felt that way in my life. I fear for the young people in the country, like my daughter who is in college just starting her life. What a mess we have left for hers and future generations.

Noe in Nevada:
I deal blackjack in Nevada. Times are horrible. When the economy is good, we have customers that tip the dealers. If you don't know, blackjack dealers live off of their tips. We have very little business and the customers we do have hardly tip anymore.

Robert in Raleigh, North Carolina:
Jack, I haven't made a major purchase in quite a while. My old truck needs to go to the junkyard but I am keeping it on life support. When I am not trying to save money, I am pleading with my children to be more frugal. Things may get worse so I am living on the cheap like many others. My greatest joy in life is eating off the dollar menu!

David in Herndon, Virginia:
I try not to worry about it too much. If I lose my job, I'd lose my home and health insurance too. So it's not like saving 10 cents by buying store brand green beans instead of the real ones is going to make any difference. The middle class isn't facing incremental impoverishment. Either you're doing fine or you face some bad luck - illness or job loss. In that case, you're screwed.

I am taking early retirement, selling everything, and moving to an undisclosed location to bury my precious metals under my stash of ammunition and c-rations. Not out of fear, but in anticipation of a chaotic economic disaster.

Robert on Facebook:
I've stopped spending money on new things, I buy almost everything used, I stay home a lot more to save gasoline and if I do buy something new I try to avoid foreign-made products... This economy has taught me a very hard lesson.

Tom in New York:
If the economy wasn't so bad, I'd be able to bail out of my horrible marriage.

Posted by
Filed under: Economy
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Larry -Denver

    I am out of the stock market, put any leftover funds in cd's. Can't plan trips or extra spending as the recession (yes we are in one) may lead to depression. All costs going up, food, fun, water, electric so need to play things close to the vest. Things we want to give our children and grandchildren have to take second place while we straighten out our own economic woes.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  2. david

    I have realized thatthe 2party monopoly has destroyed our country with financial reform that allows the banks to be just as abusive prior to economic collapse,so i have been collecting 48 foot,banners for protests to try and use whats left of my freedom of speech to solve my countries trade policy failures and make my boss who fronts for numerous commodity speculators from Hedge funds inside the bering sea fishing fleet located in seattle ,to pay the 70% of the pounds i harvested but they ( non working secret shareholders) get to pocket and recieve capital gains tax breaks while i have to pay 28% of the measly 30% of pounds i harvested.. i have been thrown in jail and attacked and i have nochoice, more protests until the japanes national cuts me my check so i can start a business , oil spill containment nets.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  3. Jayne

    I try to live by the following saying: Expect nothing and you won't be disappointed.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  4. peter from canada

    Cut spending where, Social Security is only spending $100,000 per year per recipient to pay out $18,000. Ok, you brain surgeons where do we cut – SS is already down to 4 people to mail out one check.

    Department of Welfare spend $75,000 a year to pay out $12,000 per year – no room to cut here.

    We need to tax the rich so we can hire more people to payout SS and Welfare

    September 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  5. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    I'm just an average earner, and I drive an old car. I want to get a new one but I can't risk it when its so easy to lose your job now, and you might not get another one. I could easily afford it, I just don't trust the market. We need to start seeing through the lie that wall street people are working hard for their money, and to keep government out of it. No sir, thats my money you're gambling. Since I live far away from you, maybe my government could stick up for me and not let you steal it.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Peg from NY

    Economic fear changed our life and have now become a way of life. We no longer can afford to buy the basics on any level. What we have done is take a long, hard look at life. We now enjoy our home and yard, more than we ever have. We cook rather than dine out. A night out is a long walk. We go to bed earlier and get up earlier. Our experience has been that happiness comes from within. We live within our meager means and do so with a positive attitude. The economy will not change for the better overnight, so we decided that we should try changing. It is not always perfect or rosy but it works for us. The simple things really do mean so much.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  7. David of Alexandria VA

    Near term, not much. But, I find it increasingly difficult to take the long view on anything. After the lost decade of 2001-2011, looming assaults on capital gains taxes, Medicare and Social Security, I'm starting to envision a retirement that will resemble the siege at the Alamo more than the Xanadu I've saved for all my life.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  8. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Saving every single penny I have left over EVERY month.................

    September 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: Large ticket items are paid for in cash, or check, no credit card. Before the vacation begins the price of gas is calculated, and then food and lodging. We buy what we need and not what we want. This is a big difference in today's consumer. We plan more on saving for something than just buying it with credit. This has been the norm for our family since 2005, and it is working.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  10. Mel - Houston

    Jack, I think it means that we should think about channeling the spirits of the founding father or FDR because they were able to get things done. They had the guts to make the hard choices and yet keep in mind that all men are created equal.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  11. Greg in Arkansas

    I am old enough to retire but still working, saving, but putting my "savings" in silver or gold, I don't trust the banks, don't trust my pension fund, I don't trust Social Security or Medicare and certainly don't trust Wall Street with my 401.
    I have learned to enjoy generic brands, repair rather that replace, Travel Channel instead of traveling, stay-cations at home with the little lady and re-runs on the flat-screen over new releases on the big screen and I HOPE to live long enough to see my kids and grand kids enjoy some of the good life that was around prior to this "Recession".

    September 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Ed from Harrisburg

    They are making me work well past my retirement paln without every having started to collect Social Security and will probably contribute to my parents outliving me.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Kevin SD CA

    "There Are Two Ways To Enslave A Country.... One Is By The Sword. The Other Is By Debt." — John Adams

    September 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Did I miss something along the way? I'm still waiting for the peace dividend from the fall of the Soviet Union. It's hard to believe that two American political ideologies could flub the entire U.S. economy just to make a few more global billionaires and millionaires. Now middle class and poor Americans will have to pay the price for creating jobs and rich people in developing countries other than our own. There is a sensible isolationism which takes care of Americans first. Where is it?

    September 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Tom Ellwood

    If the economy wasn't so bad, I'd be able to bail out of my horrible marriage.

    New York City

    September 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  16. s in fl

    The biggest effect on my life is I have to endure an endless parade of GOP chicken littles trying to blame the mess they created on the President we elected to clean up their very mess. On second thought, things haven't changed that much. It's still the party of "We The People" trying to deal with the party of "Me The People".

    September 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  17. Brad, Portland, OR

    Under 8 years of Bush, the Republicans severely damaged the economy with their policies and we almost had Great Depression II.

    Since Obama has been elected, the Republicans have done everything they can to sabotage Obama's efforts to fix the economy, first by using the filibuster in the Senate more often than in all the years before, and then by blocking all attempts to help the American people in the House.

    So given that track record, I see the Republicans continuing to be obstructionist, and the American people being left hung out to dry.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  18. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    I hug my grand-kids every chance I get, and I work my butt off to stop the Tea Party from sabotaging government.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  19. Dave, Orlando, FL

    I don’t sleep well and that serves only to exacerbate all the other problems. I feel I’m in this alone since Obama has left me by the side of the road after he got my support. And there are so many lunatics out there singing the praises of Palin, Bachmann, Perry et. al. I’m afraid that things could actually get worse if that crowd gets in. The Republicans have no interest in my situation since I’m worth less than ten billion dollars. And there are simply no viable choices.

    The only possible way out of this mess is to write in Ron Paul since the Republicans don’t have enough sense to nominate him. But that won’t happen because the voters don’t have enough sense to do it.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  20. dale in MA

    My biggest fear is that the economic concerns will cause ignorant people to follow FOX News and blame the wrong side enabling more DEpubliCON inroads into destroying our lifestyles. Wasn't Regan and the 2 Bushes enough of a disaster, why follow them up with the heavily corporation sponsored Tea Party absurdity.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  21. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I'm counting my pennies and doing a lot of praying not just for me but for my children and grandchildren. If I was younger I might be preparing for a revolution because that is where I think we will be headed if a republican gets elected. They're protecting the rich from paying their fair share while putting the burden on the working man's back making him extinct. We're fast becoming a nation of rich and poor. When that is completed I'm afraid there could be chaos in the streets. I am hoping for a third party to come a long and represent the working man so this will not happen.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Lori - PA


    What difference does my answer to your question make? The people who've been hurt most by these tough economic times have been expressing how they feel, and yet our elected officials continue to ignore us. Just because we can't afford to make a huge contribution to your election campaign fund doesn't mean we don't deserve to be represented when it comes to passing legislation.

    When are our elected officials going to stop talking the talk, and start walking the walk?

    September 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  23. robert in raleigh, nc

    Jack, I haven't made a major puchase in quite a while. My old truck needs to go to the junkyard but I am keeping it on life support. What time I am not trying to save money I am pleading with my children to be more frugal. Things may get worse so I am living on the cheap like many others. My greatest joy in life is eating off the dollar menu!

    September 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, just like after 9/11, I will not let terrorists like our Congress change our lives nor our plans to live life. We only get one shot at this deal and we better make the most of it while we can. I just wonder how the GOP members can look themselves in the mirror or sleep. Oops, I forgot they don't have a conscience.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  25. Paul From Austin Texas

    Trying to cut back on everything. Taking staycations instead of going to place I would like to go to. Keeping the lights in the house so low people think I am not at home even when I am. To put in a nut shell would be to tighten my belt several noches.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  26. Loren

    Economic fears are keeping me from spending money on things that I need and things that I want, even though I have the money now. We have a President that's never had a real job, Republican candidates for the most part who've never had real jobs and a Congress that has found the pot of gold for itself, I have no reason to believe that things are going to get better. It's enough to make me join the Tea Party.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Pete in Georgia

    How is it changing my life ??
    Like millions of other adult Americans it's probably shortening it exponentially....................at warp speed.
    Come hither November 2012 !!!

    September 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  28. Ed from Texas

    I've become more defensive because I fear we are repeating the same mistakes made at the beginning of The Great Depression. Government austerity in the face of reduced spending by individuals and states is exactly the opposite remedy. Yet it's playing better politically, so things will only get worse.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  29. Karl in Flint

    Simple Jack, I am 66 and live in my paid for home on Social Security and a very small pension that just covers my Medicare premium. I doubt they will mess with me, other then maybe send inflation into orbit, but if they do, one of the kids gets the house and I have pre-arranged for affordable housing and medical in a very safe part of Mexico, a block from the beach, even. If a wing nut becomes POTUS next year, I’m REALLY out of here. If I have to live in a screwed up third world country, it will have better weather then Michigan and I can bring my own Bible.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  30. Ken Victoria BC

    Not me personally as I am more than adequately provided for. However, I do worry about less fortune Canadians and Americans. I will state that in the USA, Mr. Barack is the best solution. In Canada, the worsted solution is Mr, Harper and his far right wing policy. Can we trade Mr Harper to you. In return sent us any Democratic. As a side note, Mr.. Dick Cheney is coming to Vancouver. There is a movement to arrest him as a War Criminal. I agree. Next question.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  31. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    I've been earning and spending since 1945 and have been scared living with the markets perpetual price increases on consumer goods and services. We are now in an era of benefit cuts and wage stagnation. What is scary there is no price freezing while millions are unemployed, and seniors like my self see our dollar shrink as we feed the bottomless pit of the marketplace.
    As for class warfare, it was declared when businesses went public a long time ago, and the public became slaves to it's greed.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  32. Doug

    I am not afraid of the economy, because we don't have one. What we have, is a corrupt, 60's, Soviet Style, Commie System, that our Jr. High teachers warned us about in the 60's. What I am afraid of, is our Government. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  33. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack it really has not changed the way I do things. I work. I pay taxes and instead of trying to save money or invest it I use any extra money I have to by gasoline. This is the home of the free alright but at what cost? America use to be a great place to live and work and now it is a place can survive if your lucky. If that is all I have to look forward to then there is not much hope for our children.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  34. Mark

    It makes me sad, Jack, that in a country as great as ours we have to worry about the skyrocketing price of food, medicine and other essentials. I'm just a little bit scared to tell you the truth and I have never felt that way in my life. I truly fear for the young people in the country like my daughter who is in college just starting her life. What mess we have left for hers and future generations.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  35. Angus MacKenzie

    I am taking early retirement, selling everything, and moving to an undisclosed location to bury my precious metals under my stash of ammo and c-rats.
    not out of fear, but in anticipation of a chaotic economic disaster.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  36. Rick McDaniel

    Living on SS, is really difficult in today's world. I don't recommend anyone count on doing that, as the government first taxes us to receive the benefit, then they tax us to receive medicare, then once you sign up for those, they tax you on the SS you receive, take a deductible for Medicare, and your net income from that, is far less than you imagined you would receive, then you still have to pay for supplemental heath insurance to cover all the stuff Medicare doesn't cover, and by the time you figure all of that, you will be lucky to buy groceries.

    When did it ever make sense to pay someone, then tax them back for what you paid them? Stupid, expensive bookkeeping, and a burden on the elderly to have to fill out all that paperwork, 4 times a year!

    September 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  37. Noe

    I deal blackjack in NV. Times are horrible. When the economy is good we have customers, customers that tip. If you don't know blackjack dealers live off of there tips. We have very little business and the business that we do have hardly tip anymore.....

    September 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  38. Ed from California

    No economic fears, Jack. It's economic reality that has us scared...look at the price of gas ($3.70/gal for Regular), medical insurance($1,000/m), groceries($550.00/m), PG&E($300.00/m A/C is on), bridge toll ($5.00/day). We are fortunate...I retired early(thank god). So my retirement is good. But, I'm thinking about going back to work, part-time to use for vacations and such. If we were all working here in America, it would be easier. Perhaps all of our taxes would remain the same, or go lower w/no cuts to vital services. We want teachers, schools, colleges(they should be free), police and fire. I want great roads(like in the So.West), bridges. I want great infrastructure..Nuclear power plants, wind and Solar generation plants. We really need to end the tax loopholes that has sent our jobs overseas done away with. We need Banking and Wall st reform, we need Glass-Steagall. We need safe guards from our members of congress w/an "R" at the end of their names.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  39. LA Belle

    It's not a fear anymore, it's a survival factor.

    How about Congress doing like the average worker, take from your own salaries to fund your retirement. Taxpayers do not owe misdirected members more embellishment for doing wrong. Quit complaining to the American workers and dig in your own pot-of-gold Congress, so we can see evidence that you are finally thinking of ALL the people.

    Ruby (Louisiana)

    September 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  40. MNResident

    Let's see-I have half of my adult college educated brothers and sisters that i am supporting in a status of "long term unemployed" with little relief in sight. I myself have a job, but would never even THINK of buying my first home because of a fear of losing my job and not being able to make the mortgage payments. NONE of my family would fall into a "protected class" catagory that would qualify for a government subsidy or bailout. However, I constantly hear from people I talk with about how I am not paying "my fair share" in taxes "contributing" to non-family members in society. My fear of what those outsiders are trying to do is scaring the daylights out of me, and I don't see any change coming soon, except for the worst.....

    September 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  41. Rob in NC

    A. We never left the recession and are heading towards a depression – consumer confidence is almost non-existant.
    B. I have a job teaching that has not had a pay increase in over 4 years, last time I checked everything costs more today.
    C. At this moment in time, I have no hope for the future. I will soon be unable to pay my bills (working 3 jobs) and their is no help in sight from the governmemnt or anyone else. Rob in NC

    September 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  42. Gary H. Boyd

    Economic concerns affect my entire family Jack. Our oldest son has yet to buy his first new car. Our next oldest son has postponed a long overdue vacation indefinitely and our youngest son, age 41, has yet to buy a house and move out and my wife and I now go to the casino only every other day. I seriously doubt the country can stand much more of Obama's "Hope and Change".

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  43. LA Belle

    Forget to mention: so much for trickle-down and new jobs created by the wealthy. How long to we have to wait for this to happen? I'll check back with you from six feet under.

    Ruby (Louisiana)

    September 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  44. Bill in PA

    Income is down.
    Medical costs are up and rising
    Energy costs are up and rising.
    Local services are down but local taxes are rising fast.
    Stock account savings are way way down and falling.
    My country has lost its common sense and gone on a hate jag.
    The Right wants to display the Jewish Ten Commandments but will have no part of Christ's exact words to us in The Sermon on the Mount! Where we are told to love and forgive 7 times 7.
    Whats to fear? Just face it, no one gets out alive. The rich just live better. Rolls Royce can not keep up with orders for their cars.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  45. Carol

    We use up as much as we can. We don't use our credit cards any more, unless it's really an emergency. We repair things whenever possible rather than buying new – including cars that are paid off. Clark Howard has become our new best friend. If we can't combine business with pleasure we don't travel more than a tank of gas each way, and spend the night with family or friends. Never having been a "couponing" person before, I now check online for coupons, but only for purchases I would make anyway, and I know which grocery stores have their sales on which days. Myself, as well as family and friends, now have more than a passing acquaintance with thrift stores, garage sales, and craig's list. And we have 2 months worth of expense money in a savings account and deposit more monthly – just in case.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  46. Bill of New Mexico

    Eating out less.

    Shopping less.

    Travelling less.

    Setting the themostat at more uncomfortable settings.

    Increasingly purchasing food that is non-perishable.

    Worried about increasing crime:

    Thinking of who may be on the other side of the front door.

    Thinking of "What if's..." "What if the crimes that happened yesterday happened to me today?"

    Having a loaded handgun handy.

    Taking handgun classes.

    Taking "force on force" classes.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  47. Cy Gardner

    My salary has been frozen for four years. I am looking for a cheaper place to live in a lousier neighborhood. I haven't traveled in three years. I won't spend money on furniture or clothes. I am convinced that the US is going steeply downhill. Whenever I read about someone going on a shooting spree, I hope they are shooting someone rich. Cy from Arlington, VA

    September 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  48. Toni

    Jack, I don't have to fear anymore. I've already lost my job due to my plant moving overseas!

    September 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  49. Jenna Roseville CA

    How are economic fears changing your life?

    I am not "fearful" about our economy. I am fearful of the GOP obtaining more power. Why am I fearful of that, simply because our nation is in the financial mess that we are in because of the GOP. If they get the senate and White House back our nation will become a 2nd class nation. I don't want to see that for our naiton. The GOP took us from the World Leader to the under the World Leader. Don't kid yourselves.

    Roseville CA

    September 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  50. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    As a retired military member with a military pension and military medical benefits and a Social Securty recipient on Medicare I am lucky that I do not have to play in the job market anymore. With about as secure an income and medical program as someone who is not wealthy can get I really have no economic fears right now.

    My fear is for my children, grand children, and great grand children. Looking at the flat middle class wage structure that has endured for the past 30 years and no real hope for the forseeable future I fear their lives will not be as comfortable as mine was, or is even now. What makes it even worse for them is that I see no end to our incompetent, self-serving government which has turned teen-age bickering into a lucrative profession.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  51. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Its not the fears so much as the reality. Last time I responded to such a question, you had my family on American morning about the plight of the middle class. Things for the middle class have gotten worse as we have both lost our jobs.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  52. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Economic fears over the last 30 years have changed my life tremendously, Jack. Events of the last few give some ray of hope – just a glimmer of the END of reganism and the false trickle down philosophy still in vogue. What I have left are my pension and my social security, along with fair insurance coverage from retirement. My savings trickled down into the pockets of 752k fund managers (ING) during the bush depression of the early 00's, so I have to live frugally. Instead of vacationing at Sandals I sit here typing my unsolicited and disregarded opinions. Instead of driving a big foreign Mercedes or Audi I drive an old Ford pickup.

    I hope fervently that this farcical economic theory dies soon, and I pray that Obama can succeed just a little bit in showing the world and the USA that reaganism didn't work, can't work, and will not work in the future. I wish for my grandchildren a future they can plan, work for, and count on, not a smash-bang gamble on wall street or a dependence on a broke nation and charity. Shantih shantih shantih

    September 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  53. Paulette in Dallas

    I'm being more conservative with my spending.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  54. Nina Fox

    How are economic fears changing my life?

    I am a 64 year old woman who has worked and paid taxes over 45 years; now with stage 4 breast cancer in my lungs, bones, liver, stomach, limp nodes and still spreading while I continue to work full time.

    If I quit working, I lose my home, my medical insurance and will surely die within a couple of months. Does that answer your question?

    Nina in So California

    September 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  55. Dave - Phx, Az

    Fear of Repblicans winning is what is causing me not to spend my money, not the economy. All of their ideas revolve around me being a wage slave for lower and lower wages and benefits while the people above me, who sit around doing nothing but attend meetings, get richer.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  56. Joe

    I look at my mostly empty refrigerator: no bread, 1/4 gallon of milk, lettuce, half-dozen eggs, a little bit of frozen Salmon, 6 apples, and I have no cash expected until next Wednesday's unemployment check. During the interim, I apply for jobs everyday including ones where people with Associate degrees are required; yet, the feedback I receive is that my Masters in Teaching is too advanced, or I am too old, as supposedly I cannot relate to younger students if I am over a certain age; HOWEVER, I see an Hedge Fund Manager on Long Island has more than $99 Million Dollars in his everyday bank account.
    Perhaps someday the average American will wake-up and see Class Warfare was started a long time ago with Obstructionism with little hope to realize the American Economic dream. Comfort, only the rich are comfortable these days Jack.


    September 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  57. Paul P.

    I don't feel too threatened with my job, but nonetheless I spend less and I save more than I have before and keep my monthly financial obligations as low as possible, what else can you do? If I was a squirrel I'd be working at storing nuts, you never know when the winter might come.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Mr. D

    Now sitting in my rocking chair thinking how things use to be, could be, should be and probably won't be. Bless the beasts and the children.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  59. phil

    those eatin' high on hog don't care much fer them eatin' a hocks, Now if this has to be explained to you, you've never been there. Those havin' gold make rules, Jack, and those makin' rules get closer t' gold. Like in campaign contributions, and forget little man. I know, 'nuff allready

    September 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  60. Ann from Charleston SC

    Economic fears are not changing my life. I see the economy recovering in the future, so of what am I supposed to be afraid? I admit I am in a position that I can wait for the economic cycle to turn upward again. If I were unemployed and unable to find a job, I would have good reason to be fearful. The economy would recover a lot faster if the public would pay less attention to headlines and make decisions based on facts and logical thinking rather than opinion and emotion.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  61. Mark, Indiana

    Being disabled and on a fixed income, my economic outlook and day-to-day experience is a nightmare. Trying to find any sunlight is next to impossible. Life is not life when you barely exist.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  62. Al

    Not that long ago a President brought us together when he said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Now our biggest fear is small minded politicians who put party politics above building a better United States for future generations. In order to take our best shot at ensuring that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth we need to focus on making sure that the American people do not perish because of inept leadership.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  63. Curtis in philadelphia

    Economic fears have made me grow up and prioritize in ways I hadn't in the past, this isn't a bad thing. The new economy has humbled me, not humiliated me. As far as the numbers go Jack, maybe 8-9% unemployment is the new normal, we simply don't have the number of jobs we had thirty years ago. Maybe a two-tiered society, the top 2% and everyone else with no middle class is the future. Oh yeah, thanks to the knuckleheads in Washington revolution is coming and thanks to you guys in the media, it will be televised. As the Grateful Dead once sang: "Ain't no luck, I learned to duck".

    September 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  64. Curmudgeon in Centereach

    I admit I need help understanding international debts. According to experts, literally every industrialized country on the planet carries a national debt. So who is holding the I.O.U.'s? Country 'A' owes Country 'B' $100 billion, and Country 'B' owes Country 'A' $75 billion. Something is nuts, and I like to think its not me!

    September 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  65. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Underwater mortgage, laid off, unable to find well-paying full-time work...this is the story of my middle class family and millions of others like us. Unfortunately, our spending is what fuels the economy and as long as we are unable to spend, there can be no meaningful recovery. We are in uncharted territory.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  66. lilmagothy, annapolis

    It's causing me to spend an inordinate amount of time on social network sites trashing the tea potty and the repugnicans, and emailing various rabid right-wing senators and representatives to tell them what a buch of sociopathic neanderthals they are.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  67. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

    Economic fears have caused me to realize Congress does not understand Monetary Sovereignty, and the fact that federal deficit increases are necessary for a growing economy. There is no way we can avoid another recession (if we are lucky) or a depression (if we are not) if Congress reduces money supply growth.

    They myth of deficit reduction is destroying the American dream for us, our children and our grandchildren.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

    September 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  68. david from herndon, va

    I try not to worry about it too much. If I lose my job, I'd lose my home and health insurance too. So it's not like saving 10 cents by buying store brand green beans instead of the real ones is going to make any difference.

    The middle class isn't facing incremental impoverishment. Either you're doing fine or you face some bad luck - illness or job loss. In that case, you're screwed.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  69. Sandstone.

    "They're not! Neither would I let them. You have to live with the times your in, and Obama is the messiest-moment there's bin. I don't want to sound rude, although it may sound kinda crude. If it gets much worse it will be dormant!"

    September 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  70. Ron WPAFB

    Not at all really, of course when we got orders for Wright Pat last year and sold our house in San Antonio, we knew we would rent in Ohio! We sold our house in San Antonio after being there just 2 years. Of the 13,000 homes for sale, ours sold in three months and we broke even even considering Real Estate Agent fees.
    We have planned our entire careers not to be broke! We didn't believe anyone and made common sense decisions. We are basically debt free, pay everything off monthly, and have concrete Retirements through the USAF. I am a disabled vet and an Active duty dependent. Our Medical is paid for. And we paid for it thorugh our service and deployments!

    Our kids in schools are told lies and not the facts about the future , Jobs, Education, just lies. Oh wait a minute, Your kids, not ours. All our kids have an education and jobs! None of this is Rocket Science, Just Math Reading and Science!

    September 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  71. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    as retirees, the wife and I are not as "loose with a buck" as we used to be for fear that a post 2012 Republican President, Senate and Congress would STEAL our Social Security and Medicare which we paid into our whole working lives. SO we don't go out as much as we used to or buy things just because there "new".

    you want to know one reason consumer spending is in the tank? it's because seniors are SCARED.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  72. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Considering that I'm still looking for a job, I cannot honestly answer that question. But rich Republican supporters should be worried. If the average person, like myself, is not working..then they have no luxury cars, large mansions, or big fancy boats to cruise out on the lake...so they should get off their high horse, and make it possible for the average person to find work, and stop placing the blame for the unemployment crisis on the President.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  73. Ralph Nelson

    I feared what is now happening (too much debt preventing proper priming of the economic pump; economic specialization being justified simply on the basis of cheap labor; the income tax system being used by the Republicans to transfer wealth from the middle class to the rich. The Vietnam war was the people fighting against the 10% rich in Vietnam who owned 90% of the wealth...it was an "economic" war. I saw all this 50 years ago in Vietnam; studied it in the 1970's in college. It's all laid out in the Macro-Economic college texts...You do this, this well happened 20-30 years later. So I saw it coming over 40 years ago and here it is. How coiuld we have been so stupid to allow supply-side economics destroy our country? Herbert Hoover first practiced it, then Reagon, than George W. Bush...economic ruin. I feel so bad because I knew it was coming and couldn't do a thing about it. I love my country and it's over. But as Jesus said: A rich man has as much chance of entering heaven as a camel passing through the head of a sewing needle.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  74. roger from phoenix

    I spend a lot more time watching news and sports on TV.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  75. Gerry

    My current income is Military Retirement and Social Security to cover my once Golden Years. Now both are in Harms Way and I have no idea what the intent of this administration is. I have difficulty understanding how we can give so much money to other countries that hate us but can't look out for our own? I think I would rather have a sister in a brothel than a brother a politician.

    Ash Fork, Az.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  76. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, I'm making more money than I ever have and it is buying me less and less. I think it's time to get away from the same old GOP economic policies that have brought this country to this point of collapse.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  77. pam

    I'm disabled with a limited income that I believed I could survive on and with prices rising on everything, combined with the price of home, car, health insurance, prescription insurance and co-pays, property taxes and the price of heating fuel etc; one starts to wonder how they can make it especially when entitlement programs (social programs) are at risk for future assistance. So, you really start to budget and cut out all extravagance and compare prices, stay home and find ways to make your home your place of refuge and entertainment. An unexpected expense is devastating. Even with the addition of a small pension in less than 3 yrs, it feels a bit like sinking with the ship at times. SCARY!

    September 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  78. Jimbo

    Anybody who's familiar with races knows a lot of things change during the course of a race, but what really matters is who crosses the finish line first. We are more than 13 months away from the finish. What is says is absolutely nothing.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  79. Carl


    It has awakened me to the fact that with the corrupt losers we have running our country into the ground, nothing will, or ever change until these Leeches feel the pain. You notice, they always want to knock down Social security, or cut our benifits, what you never hear, is these Scum-bags willing to take a majjor pay cut and major perk cut. Charity starts at home, these worthless corrupt pigs need to feel the pain. Their isn't a one of them worth voting for.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  80. Doug (from Miller Place, NY)

    Let's see, I don't go on vacation any more, I don't go out to eat, I don't go to the movies, I don't invest in the stock market, and I only pay cash for items I truly need. Jobs today could be gone in a heartbeat, and I spend a lot of time educating my kids in Economics and Personal Finance 101, since they obviously can't pick up any tips on this from our government in that regard.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  81. Ralph Spyer from Chicago Illinois

    My wife got lay off or you could say took a early retirement , now when I get home from work she there. They out source her job to someone in India . Half of my brother sheet metal workers in Lo 73 are out of work, health care keep going up, and the pension has not gone up. I very lucky to have a job at 64 and still be able to work. My wife and I will move to Canada or France when I pull the pin

    September 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  82. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Economic fears? Money isn't worth the digital ones and zeros it's created with. What's there to be afraid of? The other day I forgot to close my garage and it was open all night. Nobody stole a thing. And that space is packed. Should I be afraid that all my accumulaed stuff is worth nothing to a crackedhead?...much less a banker?

    September 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  83. marybeth, massachusetts


    It hasn't in one sense because I've always lived under my means, don't spend money foolishly, and have always been a saver. But it has in another sense because I'm not willing to make bigger purchases because my employer too is facing fiscal crises and there will be more cuts. I've survived cuts for 3 years, and maybe this year is the year it will be my turn to be let go. Management hasn't made any changes, but the workers are fearful everyday that today could be the day we're told we're no longer wanted.

    I don't feel secure in my job at all. And I don't feel secure in the economy–last month not a single job was created, so if/when I'm let go, I don't have the security of knowing that there is another job somewhere for me.

    It's scary. Let's be honest and call the state of the economy what it really is–a depression. Yes, Wall Street is doing well. Whoop-de-doo. We bailed them out, they promptly paid themselves huge bonus as a thanks for running the economy into the deep ditch they dug, and the rest of us are hurting. There's gridlock in Washington, with the party of NO so focused on annihilating the President that they're willing to destroy the country in the process. Oh, wait, their original purpose is to destroy the country, especially the middle class and poor, and they consider it a bonus if they destroy the President as well.

    We need more than politicians putting the country first (and themselves and their party of No second); we need a miracle.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  84. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Not for me but for my children, I'm 70 years old and can survive on my retirement and savings my children on the other hand are raising their families and hoping the economy turns around.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  85. Terry in Virginia

    For a long time now, we've been buying necessities only. We no longer dream of luxuries like replacing our 50-year-old kitchen countertop. One day the economy will turn around and those who created this mess will whine about not having enough customers to buy their goods or employees to work for them or borrowers to take out new loans. It's happened before, but this time, as far as I'm concerned, let them sail their yachts on the River Styx. I'm done.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  86. Ken in NC

    It's making me keep 9 months cash in reserve and now have two freezers full of food rather than one. Keeping more cash on hand and hoping I can single handily vote every TeaPublican out of office in 2012.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  87. John H Ashburn VA

    Depends on how old you are, for those of us that are under 30 and currently have a job not to worried, ill wait it out. For those of you looking to retire anytime soon, keep dreaming, sorry to say that the politicians that you selected screwed you guys with their "Perfect Storm" of policies such as NAFTA, Bush tax cuts, and the deregulation of Wall Street. All of these thing have led us to where we are today. Our leaders have been failing us for over 10 years and now people are just getting worried?? The sad part about this is that the new candidates are all talking the same thing that has been going on for the last decade ie deregulation, expand NAFTA, and extending more tax cuts to the wealthy. When will people figure out that these things don't work neither does that trickle down economies thing. The only way we are going to get out of this mess anytime soon is if we elect Ron Paul and a Ron Paul friendly congress and senate, but that will never happen, we the people don't know what we want.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  88. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    I have given up on the idea of going back into retirement, will never be able to purchase a new house or car ever again and am watching the greatest country on earth evaporate as it falls into corporate statism. Americans, as a whole, are too weak, selfish, un-organized, mis-informed and lazy to fight for their own future. I believe we have the government we deserve.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  89. Ed in california

    Am retired and had relied on earnings from the stock market to take a weeks vacation in Hawaii each year, but now now!!

    My savings is going down in value due to real inflation and the dismal interest rate that banks offer.

    We subscribe to the DishNetwork's "everything" package, but have to watch you on a six year old Panasonic HDTV!

    Point is that while we don't have all the things we want, we have more than many! My heart goes out to the young who have such a hard road ahead of them.

    It's good to be old Jack!

    Ed, in that State all the way to the left....Kalifornia!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  90. Cecil Pearson

    Jack the economic fears aren't taking a toll on me. I am already broke. Someone has to pay for the Department of Justice' conference food. I mean 18.00 Muffins must taste good.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  91. Gigi Oregon

    Jack you can print all the scare tactics you want I'm not budging, Not going to cave into the propaganda. If it takes another ten years to wake up the people so be it, our problem is... greed of the rich. And some (rich) are scared enough to confess the reality. I"m saving more money now and faster than in my life. Home cooking never tasted better. Cheap clothing in the large department stores never looked shabbier. Why buy foreign junk when you don't need it. Arts and crafts are back in fashion and life's reality is educating my children and grandchildren to a whole new world. A song from the 30's says "The best things in life are free". One of the realities is... We have been living in this mess for the last ten years...and if it takes ten to clean up the debt created by the Republicans, the best thing to do is to vote for the party of the people and not for the elites.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  92. Hal Koffman

    I am looking harder than ever for a job – not a career, just a job, any job! (I have also increased my dosage on my tranquilizer!)

    September 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  93. Prince Hoover


    We have instituted a simple rule in our house based on where we believe the economy is headed.
    "If you can't eat it or wear it, don't buy it."

    September 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  94. Randy

    As long as Government continues to legislate based on who can afford the best lobbyist, the goose that lays the golden egg ( consumers), then America will continue it's race to the bottom and we will eventually look like the Middle East and the UK.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  95. jane

    I've lost all the money I put down on my house in 2006–over $100,000. I can't get the mortgage modified-bank won't help. All my savings are gone. Hours cut at job. I'm throwing in the towel! Filing for bankruptcy and will no longer be a homeowner. It's been a bad couple of years!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  96. David from Texas

    Can you say radio? And I hope it will be free over the air because that will be all that we can afford. Are you on the radio Jack?

    September 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  97. Carl Bengtsson

    As of next year I will be graduation out of a 4 year college experience with the feeling that a job waiting around the corner is a distant dream. I am lucky if my parents allow me to move back to their basement.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  98. Don

    It has increased my contempt for the Republican and Tea Parties. They created the economic crises of the US and the world and each day they continue to ensure that crises doesn't end, unless and until we return to the Dark Ages.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  99. Kriss in CA

    It's making me take seriously for the first time in my life the idea of having an entire year's living expenses kept liquid. The near future is not that certain anymore.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  100. Linda Kerth

    The current economy? Why should I worry? I already lost my job, my home, my good credit rating back in '08. I'm now a senior citizen without any assets at all, trying to live on $900 a month - why should I worry? I have plenty of company.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  101. Pat in Florida

    I worry for my college educated children. As a parent, I played by the rules and raised/educated them the best any parent could.
    I know that in the future they are likely not to have the life style I have had, and frankly, this angers me alot.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  102. Jess Morse

    In every way possible. My whole goal structure has changed, now I want sustainability and independence. I want a piece of land where I can grow my own food, generate my own electricity, tap directly into a water source and be beholden to nobody. We don't have an economic crisis we have a capitalism crisis. This is the fruition of the idea of infinite growth in a finite world. I'm done with republicans and democrats alike, they are still calling or growth, when there is nowhere left to grow.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  103. mark from Calgary

    As long as millionaires & billionaires (whom the Republicans like to call "Job Creators") have a low tax rate, they will avoid hiring to maximize their low-tax profits before the eventual tax hikes. They are NOT creating jobs, so they do not deserve the tax breaks they claim they need! Their certiainty, creates uncertainty for everone else in teh economy. Obama needs to raise their taxes NOW, so they can be less focused on milking "their share” out of the economy, and can FINALLY start doing what the Republicans like to give them so much credit for.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  104. dave in nashville

    No change Jack, not much hope either, been broke for several years now but still breathing. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  105. Jwolf

    Since I'm out of work and have so much time on my hands, and too broke ( and getting broker) to go out and simulate our fine economy, I can sit here and listen to you scare the living hell o out of me with your latest poll numbers.

    And watching the players in this kabuki theatre of idiots has me feeling a out as hopeless as you can imagine. I'll do my part to bob and weave through this I hope but it helps very little when you know your future is just a political chip to play.

    I was a tax payer once in a Govt bracket and now they pay me.

    Everything's changed. Maybe forever as I k now it.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |

    what economic downturn is CNN And the other networks talking about, its as simple as sunshine, the rich have horded all the wealth in this country, and refuse to share with the poor and the muddle -class, how can it be an economic downturn when the american corporations have more cash than ever in the history of this country, the only problem is they have the means to restart the economy but they won't for this president, its discrimination on the largest scale ever seen in American history, American Corporations discriminating against the president simply for political gain at the expense of the American Middle Class and the poor. Americans are their own worst enemy!!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  107. Ricardo

    As a musician, life is always somewhat precarious. But in this oppressive atmosphere, things are clearly worse: people are loath to spend money on the arts – so they cancel music programs in the schools, which further impoverishes kids, and the adults themselves go to fewer 'live' events. We all suffer the consequences in terms of cultural stultification; into the void steps the popular media to feed us an unhealthy diet of mind-numbing aural poison.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  108. aliceflynn

    I have always lived frugally, but a year and a half ago, I lost my job. I have a college degree, but my age is a barrier to getting a job. Unemployment benefits have run out and I will be age 60 in December. I still have a mortgage, and I'm afraid I'll lose my house, as now all I have left is a small IRA that won't last very long. As I said, I have always lived frugally, my car is 20 years old, I don't buy new clothes for myself, my furniture was second hand or hand-me-down. Most days, I feel like a deer in the headlights.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  109. Jane

    From Tennessee: Just before the economy fell, I got married and moved 2,000 miles away. Well, the loss of my telecommuting job and his drop in income made our new relationship very difficult. Making it much worse, I am stuck living close to some nasty in-laws and I haven't been able to afford to fly and see my own family in two years. Our house is for sale so that we can try to move on to better things and get my life back, but of course the house is not selling. This is completely devastating.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  110. Random Human

    It doesn't. I still only have the average human lifespan left, so why would I worry about how much credit debt I have... Pointless. The answer is simple. Go into the computers and press "delete" on everybody's home mortgage. This # doesn't exist! So, get rid of it with the agreement that when you want to sell your house, you get NOTHING for it. Ah, no house payment. Now I can finally get ahead! What now? That's ridiculous? I guess to the greedy it is, but that's right, our country is ran by greed! How silly of me to forget!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  111. alan hood

    I sit in front of my computer watching cnn waiting for the new's that thing's are getting better.But i don't see that happening anytime soon do to are dysfunctional government.All the g,o,p, want's to do is but heads with the president. im almost positive that if president obama used charmin for his daily need's that the republican's would tell us it's not good for the country....thank's jack and keep up the good work.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  112. Jake

    We have cut spending across the board and changed all of our plans for the future. Total stagnation. The result is another productive American family doing nothing to drive the economy. The problem, however, is simple. Until mortgage loans taken out from say 2003 to 2008 are reset at current market value (regardless of current income and assets) the economy will not recover any time soon.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  113. daviddeserres

    I do not think that I will ever find work again and will eventually find myself living in my vehicle again

    September 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  114. Michala

    My husband and my parents retired in their late 50's from the steel mill, now defunct. They had good health insurance, a pension, and at 62, social security. They were getting 15% on their cd's, while we were paying 18% on our first mortgage. We are now 66 and still working because of the economy. Our parents never made it to that age. People talk about life being worse for the next generation - it already is for the boomers.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  115. Catherine

    Yeah. I am tired to the bone. All my life I planned to retire from my technology career at 58 and do something different, something for me, or maybe join the Peace Corp. That is in half a year and it won't be happening, probably not for at least another decade, more likely I will die first. I make a decent salary but my husband cannot get work so it is all we have. And after surviving multiple rounds of layoffs, my company is working me to death, trying as so many other are to squeeze the maximum profit from fewer employees.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  116. Bernie of Lowell.

    Everyone is cutting back -except perhaps the richest 2 percent – and they're spending their wealth in building factories abroad.

    Jobs require investment – here – Jack.

    For far too long, we've had a consumer economic mentality, largely based on the notion we could keep on borrowing against the increased valuation of our homes, but certainly not based on the guarantee of increased income from something we've now lost – a decent-paying job.

    We've been much too much in the mood of "keeping up with the Joneses". Now, after the real estate "bubble" burst, it's "facing the next day with even one meal on the table."

    Something is terribly wrong with our country when corporations continue to invest only in cheaper foreign slave labor markets. It isn't just dependence on foreign oil that is killing us – it is foreign-made clothing, food, consumer electronics, automobiles,.... the sad part about this is we can do something to reverse the trend – now.

    ... or else, fairly soon our economy will revert to the pre-Revolutionary War days when we had the REAL "Tea Party".

    September 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  117. Ed in Florida

    The impact is limited.

    In 2001, shortly after retiring, Osama Bin Ladin impacted my retirement plans as did the insurance companies. I sold my expensive beach front condo and moved to a beautiful development about 2 milesw inland. I cut my mortgage by 60% and significantly reduced my homeowners insurance costs.

    Do we miss the beach – YES. Have we slept better the last 10 years – YES. Are we as impacted by the crisis since 2008 – NO. Living within your means has real benefits – The US government should try it.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  118. Bernard

    I'm not American, but it confuses me that when things were supposedly great in America a few years ago, Americans spent at great levels. Great levels to the degree that they ended up with more debt on their houses and credit cards than they were able to realistically handle. Now, Americans want those same Americans to go back out and spend to build the economy by doing what, the same thing that landed them in trouble in the first place. You can't have your cake and eat it too....spend responsible and yet spend to the same level that sustained large numbers of jobs to feed the demand that existed 5-6 years ago.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  119. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    My husband has not worked in three years, although he has traveled up and down the east coast looking for work, has sent out THOUSANDS of resumes, etc. I am looking every day for a job. I have applied at most of the places that usually hire old people (like Walmart, Kmart, Pizza Hut etc)

    I am 68 years old, and if anyone had told me when I was 30 that i would be out beating the bushes for a job at my age I would have said they were crazy.

    We held on as long as we could. But now we have lost everything, and next week will go for pre-baknruptcy counseling, so we can file bankruptcy.

    I'd say that not only economic "fears", but economic REALITIES have totally altered our lives.

    And every day I hear someone on TV griping about the unemployed, like we are some kind of lepers!

    I would love to have a job, and so would my husband. We have done everything we can do, and we are now just giving up.

    That is how the economy has affected our lives. And of course there are MILLIONS like us out there.

    Actully, I would like to try YOUR job, Jack. I am smart and opinionated and could learn to love to live in NYC.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  120. Will

    Jack my gas tank in my car is always empty by the end of the week and I only go to work. It's time for Congress to be worried not the American Workers

    September 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  121. Jwolf

    I'm out of work so I have all the time in the world to listen to you jack scare the living hell out of me with your polls especially knowing the numbnuts in this kabuki theatre of idiots isn't helping either. To them my life is a political football.

    I was a taxpayer in a money making bracket for this Govt and they are now paying me.

    Everything has changed.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  122. Dave

    If you think Iam going to spend any of my disposable income on anything even remotely unnessary as long as the Republicans are massing for a 2013 frontal assault on Social Security and Medicare ,Teachers and unions,you are halucinating.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  123. alan hood

    We as a family do absolutely nothing...Spend only what we need to and put the rest in a hole in the ground in the backyard do to the fear the republican's have instilled in us.And they expect to win the presidency......HILLARY PLEASE RUN FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN....

    September 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm |

    We are putting back food for the lean times that are coming. Just purchased another Glock for home protection. The wife is putting up extra preserves this year. We also keep a few gold coins on hand just in case the dollar becomes worthless.
    ( I knew my coin collection would come in handy someday)

    September 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  125. Linda

    After being out of work for eighteen months (construction), my husband finally has some work, but not enough to count on. Each day is a wait to see if the phone will ring with work for the next day. While we have been fortunate enough this year to at least be making some money, it is still more than a 50% loss in wages. For us that means we spend alot less than we had previously. We have followed all the rules, we pay all our taxes, we never took out any loans in excess, and have no credit card debt. With all this talk of help for the millionaire JOB CREATORS, no one seems to understand that I AM a job creator. When I have money to spend I CREATE JOBS. When there's more steady construction work I'll be spending more money and creating more jobs!!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  126. Julie, San Francisco Bay Area

    Though I am unemployed, I have to work twice as hard – in training for a new career(s). In fact, I attend two Jr Colleges (one being just online courses). Plus, i am looking for work – but only Public Sector jobs. I do not like private industry. I've already done my share of temp jobs. I've done well taking civil service exams and traveling to different cities within 3 hours of where I live to test & interview for jobs. The price of gas is hurting me though. But I feel I have to out-do everybody else in trying to get a job. The fear of being unemployed for a substantial amount of time, has caused me to be very careful with my time (no time for friends or a social life of any kind). I just hope I get a job soon.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  127. Clay in San Diego

    Fear is the currency that fuels much of the media, mirroring our politics. Hope is considered naive, foolish. We used to be a positive, hopefull. country Our economy could continue down a viscous self-fulfilling spiral unless our leaders, politicians, and the media that serves them, reaffirm our strength. We have problems, we've had worse. The world is troubled, it's been much worse. FDR: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

    September 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  128. Diane Curtis


    I am a middle aged single professional female with no children and a solid job that provides an excellent salary. Yet, despite this comfort level, yes, the current state of economics are changing my life regarding retirement plans, real estate sales, and travel and vacation plans . Shall I mention the number of hours I spend on the job due to the downsizing of our department and the expectation for those of us left to acquire their job responsibilities? If a person in my position has made life adjustments I can only imagine how challenged someone less fortunate must be. The biggest concern is the length of time I fear this economy will continue to deteriorate. Don't get me wrong, I am a glass half- full person, however it's hard to stay postivie when it's one hit after another.

    Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    September 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  129. ggwindsor

    looks like the repulicans have the middle class where they want them no-where

    September 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  130. Stephanie Angelos - Seattle

    My husband and I are in our mid 50's. We've done all the right things; paid for and worked our way through college, saved, stayed out of debt, lived within our means, invested wisely and planned for our future and retirement. Though we're gainfully employed (gratefully so) we bypass things like vacations and extra frills to prepare for the tough road ahead. Relatively speaking we're fortunate. My husband is currently working nearly 75 hrs a week on the average to keep those he's responsible for busy. We take responsiblity for ourselves as many Americans do. Sadly, we're trying to survive in spite of our government. Our retirement plans have completely changed. As reported earlier, we've lost a decade of hard work and savings between our home, savings and 401-k. Our governemnt caused this problem and now they want us to trust them to fix it? How crazy does one have to be to think that more of the problem is the solution. Our politicians have stolen our future. I feel for those who are really hurting because it's not going to get better anytime soon. Sometimes I get the feeling that our gov't would like to keep us dependent on them because in addition to putting us here, they are trying to keep their foot on our throat.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  131. Bruce of DE

    They are not. We (most people I know) are aware that the economic system will crash and be replaced by a Contributionism model. No currency, profits, greed, advertising, or poverty.Abundance for all. We look forward to the changes.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm |