How do you handle worry about the economy?

Stocks around the world have taken a rough ride lately. The market is now in what experts call a correction mode that could last a couple of weeks before it recovers. Today’s Question: How do you handle worry about the economy?

  • hiram

    I watch Star Trek episodes.

  • John O.

    At the household level, I try to watch expenses and continue to pay off debt as much as possible.

    At the macro level, there is very little (if anything) that one can do on a short-term basis with respect to market fluctuations/corrections, so there is little point in getting riled up about it.

  • Wade

    I go live my life. What good does worrying do me? I can’t change it, so I just need to live with it.

  • Rich

    US stocks have lost $1.3 trillion in market cap in two weeks. This is on the coattails of the government sucking $2.4 trillion out of the global economy in the debt ceiling compromise. Gee, do you think there is a connection?

    Congress has just voted for ten years of austerity. To do this at this stage of the economic cycle, when growth is feeble at best, and we have just seen two back to back quarters of growth at the 1% handle, is to guarantee us a second lost decade of zero stock market returns.

  • barracuda

    I fret a bit, but there’s nothing I can do about it. So I generally get on with life.

    [I’m waiting for GaryF’s copy-n-paste entry about the “beast called government” and its insatiable appetite for all of his money.]

  • Bobby

    “Don’t worry be happy”

  • GaryF

    Living within your means is the first step.

    I changed jobs six years ago and went through some very lean times and learned to live within my means. That has helped me survive through this bad economy because my income has dropped significantly over the last 3 years.

    Keep watching your 401K and investments, diversify, I bought precious metals two years ago.

    You have to keep moving. You have to adjust to what’s happening in the marketplace. No one owes you a living. Attitude is everything.

  • James

    A good Scout is Prepared.

    I talked to my 101 year old grandmother about GD 1.0

    She had a lot of insight as to what happened to her and others during that time.

    Basically she bartered for 90% of what they needed and grew/farmed the rest.

    They had to defend their livestock from four and two legged predators with force.

    People stuck together and helped each other.

    Today careening head long into GD 2.0 , with 3X the population, hardly anyone living on farms, and no one trusting each other (especially the politicians).

    Things are going to get real interesting for the next 10 years.

    The Gubment is all out of borrowed communist money.

    Get ready

    DTOM

  • linda

    with a fixed income, I just have to sit tight and ride things out. I know there are people worse off than I am so don’t tempt fate by complaining.

  • J

    I say as far away from the stock market as possible … they are as schizophrenic as Minnesota politics!

  • Stevie

    husband and I have cut back on spending. We play more cards and dice instead of going out and spending money. We are even thinking of getting rid of our cable service and land line service. Comcast is our biggest expense each month except for Xcel in the winter. Tightening up allows us to save more money. Someone said consumers need to spend money to help the economy get going. Well, not my money.

  • Larry M.

    I trudge through, I go to work, I continue to put money in my retirement account, pay my bills and try to pay down debt. I’ve always been a bargain hunter so my biggest savings come from staying out of restaurants.

  • Julie

    I’ve been saving money since 911 but I found out that inflation has eaten up 40% of its value in the past 10 years. So, I started buying up supplies for the collapse. I never owned a gun and I just bought two last month along with a bunch of ammo. I started meeting my neighbors and organizing meetings to discuss the problems that face us all. I’ve been reading a lot of the alternative news on the internet because the mass media is clouding over the real information. Ron Paul seems to have it right but he has no chance due to the media control. God help us.

  • Jason

    What’s to handle? Like anything else I deal with it, either by ignoring it or adjusting my finanaces accordingly. What gets me is that there doesn’t seem to be a normal base line to judge the market’s activities.

    “Correction mode”? Correction from what? By saying ‘correction’ does that imply that gains over a long, steady period of time are some kind of mistake?

    Whenever there is a big loss over a short period of time it’s called a ‘correction’. Then when it increases after a big loss it’s called a ‘recovery’. And all because of forces that have nothing to do with corporations’ inherent strengths or weaknesses. It’s hard to know what’s normal anymore.

  • Carrie

    I do what I always do. Live within my means.

    Don’t panic folks, it just feeds the problem.

  • greg

    work on my yard and house to maintain its condition and maybe worth. exercise to maintain my physical health and condition. Thinking about starting meditation. I’ve been reading more to become better informed ( like studies and basic data) and for recreation – novels and stories. Television (cable especially) seems to be less and less interesting and more and more expensive. I don’t micro-manage my investments or tyr to imagine the worst outcome of every news tidbit. . I consume published-broadcast news differently than I did 10 years ago. its much more like an entertainment now. When i want data – I go to sources other than media.

  • Terry

    The politians want sheeple to borrow and spend money.

    Sheeple (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”) is a term of disparagement, in which people are likened to sheep.

    The term is often used to denote persons who voluntarily acquiesce to a perceived authority figure’s suggestion without critical analysis or sufficient research to understand the ramifications of that decision. By doing so, Sheeple undermine their own individuality and may willingly give up their rights. The implication of the term is that people fallaciously appeal to authority and believe or do what they are told by perceived authority figures who they view as trustworthy. The term is generally used in a political, social, and sometimes religious sense.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I remind myself that it’s only money, not something important.

    (And, Terry, you must think the rest of us are really stupid, if you thought we needed to have “sheeple” explained at such length. Your treatise on the word told me nothing I hadn’t already guessed.)

  • CJ

    Worry about the economy is chump change and a distraction from what’s really worth the mental energy and consideration required to worry about something (or better still, plan on how to cope with it).

    Compare the current US economic issues to climate change and how it combined with a post peak oil reality will challenge governments and their citizens with increased pressures for diminishing resources. When you couple weather extremes like we see now with scarce fuel for existing energy infrastructure and limited research and development for alternatives, it means the current energy source will leap in price and be less available even to those who can afford it. Humans get ugly in such situations.

    Read your ancient human history, folks. Major climate change impacts established civilizations in huge ways. They become more warlike struggling over once ample resources that drastically diminish in availability. I’m not interested in apocalyptic dystopia imaginings because humans could make the evolutionary leap into something quite splendid. But when you place this piece of worry next to current economic problems, the larger of the two seems to me to be abundantly apparent.

    It might even be possible that some politicians, corporate leaders and other power brokers are grateful we’re not focused on the real threat because dealing with it would change the way we look at them and give over control to them in hopes they’ll keep this tired old machine’s gears turning away just a few more years until the last drop of oil is burned to keep our inefficient homes cooled and our ridiculous lawns green.

    Wake up.

  • Mary

    The same way I handle worry about anything. If I can do something to fix what ever I’m worring about, I do it. If I can’t do anything about it, then I don’t waste time and emotional energy on it. I personally can’t fix the economy so I don’t worry about it.

  • Bear

    I have to second CJ’s statement about climate change dwarfing the economic crisis, but add a few more global issues: resource depletion (more than oil to worry about), availability of potable water (1 in 3 people are impacted by water scarcity), population growth (7 billion and growing rapidly), consumption rates in developing countries growing to developed country levels (1 versus 32 units), impacts of emerging economies on resources and prices, and habitat destruction.

  • Erica

    I have to agree with Bear and CJ’s comments that we are mistakenly placing more importance on the economic crisis than the more dire situations involving our unsustainable lifestyles built on consumption of waning natural resources (they may not appear dire to the masses now, but I fear that they will, probably sooner than we would like to think).

    As for the original question, I try not to worry about it, as like others have said, I cannot change the economic situation, so we have to do our best to keep on living life.

    I have definitely made changes in my life that focus on living a more locally sustainable life. I use my free time to learn things that will help me be more self sustaining. I have been honing my gardening skills. Learning things like how to save seeds. Things like how to preserve foods and how to cook whole foods rather than ‘processed’ foods. I think harder times are coming, that will have most of us worrying more about surviving than about building our retirement fund.

  • Roul

    I worry most that the country is seeing the real face of Obama and the Progressive agenda and that_ will cause much unrest.

    Our GDP today is now worse than it was in 2007 when the Democrats took control..Of all adults able to work above age 18 to 65, we have 48% unemployed.

    If we confiscated all the assets and wealth in cash from the 400 richest in America, that would pay for about 242 days of our spending..so raising taxes is not the answer.

    I worry about all those billionairs that attended Obama’s fund raising birthday bash in Chicago, spending up to $36,000.00 to attend , not to mention they are often the evil private jet owners that Obama says are not nice as they don’t pay their fair share…funny he doesn’t say what percentage of their income they should pay in taxes yet, 47% of American adults pay NO income taxes…Hmmmm…I worry that the middle class workers building jets will be laid off now. Thank you Obama for your concern for middle class workers.

    Three years of proven failure to improve the economy and job growth is Obama’s biggest worry…like some, he must worry that eventually his incompetence and lack of business experience and his ideology of wanting USA to become like a European socialist society just isn’t working. CAN anyone show how his policies have doen any useful good for America? His loaning 200 billion to Brazil helped them and hurt us_ just saying that is one good example of his incompetence.

  • VAN

    i HANDLE WORRY ABOUT BEING MISLED BY THE PRESIDENT AND HANDED A BILL OF GOODS THAT HAS NO MERIT by learning about the Tea Party support of new leaders. I worry that Obama sees citiczens as all uneducated. He says the top ten % of earners don’t pay their fair share of taxes yet, they pay for 70+% of all income taxes!

    I worry when I read this from the watchdogs:

    On Monday, the FCC released a new carriage order that could give Obama control over what you see on TV!

    A new scheme by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could sell-off broadband spectrum that only local stations currently use. The air space would be bought up by cellular cartels like Verizon and Google. That means – religious and political broadcasters would be axed! A total of at least 210 stations would be forced off the air.

    Did you know the goals of the FCC/Obama free speech grab will…

    Gag religious voices

    Kill small businesses and entrepreneurs

    Elimination of free TV

    Choke political dissent

    Destroy all avenues of free speech

    Give Obama control of the dissemination of information

    His Attorney General knew of the BATF fiasco allowing guns to cross the border all to find evidence to push for more gun control__ the idiots don’t know that the drug cartels take in 29 billion a year so they can fly in illegal arms from across the world…they don’t get guns from little gun shops_ good lord, such scams they play on all of us.

    Have You Had Enough Yet?

  • Bill

    Wonder when my children or grandchildren will be moving to other countries for jobs like my ancestors did from Wales and Germany.

  • PragmaticLibertarian

    Everyone I know is actually doing pretty well. I know people who have just gotten better jobs recently and haven’t heard of any major financial issues close to me. I work with many different small businesses and see that a vast majority of them doing much better than a couple years ago. National GDP was 14.6 Trillion in 2010 which is more than its ever been (just to correct Roul) It appears there are a couple of posters that have been grossly misinformed about the topics they have chosen to write about.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “It appears there are a couple of posters that have been grossly misinformed about the topics they have chosen to write about.”

    Not to mention their believing preposterous conspiracy theories.

  • Klundy

    Remain optimistic about the power of compound interest, time in the market vs. timing the market. Buy used vehicles and drink good beer.

  • Brandy

    I don’t have time to worry. I’m too busy clipping coupons, using my bicycle to get around, reusing plastic bags & tinfoil, making meals ahead of time to avoid going to the drive-thru, growing vegetables of my own, making my own coffee in the morning, making new clothes out of drapes, hanging the wash out to dry. I’m thinking of adding chickens and honeybees to the backyard too. My oh my, this sounds alot like an era gone by doesn’t it?

  • Vivian

    @ PragmaticLibertarian-

    Maybe because Roul and ‘the others like him’ haven’t been basking in the good fortune that you have been. Could it Be they do not know the right people or have the right kin?

    Do you think it might be due to the fact that they are feeling the consequences of over consumption and an economy that doesn’t work for everyone?

    There is definitely something wrong here.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Vivan, you have correctly identified the problem (consumerism), but Raoul’s extreme right-wing prescription is hardly the solution. The trouble is, we assess the health of our economy mainly with one key statistic: the GDP. The GDP goes up any time anyone spends money on anything, no matter how useless, and no matter what for. According to the GDP, crime is good for the economy, because it makes people spend money on security measures and replacing lost property. Same goes for natural disasters, which lead to more money spent on rebuilding. When people don’t spend, because they decide they have enough and realize that more stuff won’t make them happy, that’s “bad for the economy.” Likewise, when people economize and spend less, get more use out of their old car instead of buying a new one, learn to find joy in watching a beautiful sunset instead of buying the latest video game, etc., it makes the GDP look worse, even if people are objectively better off. Both the far right and the far left miss the mark, because both are more concerned with money and the stuff people have access to than what actually improves well-being. We would all be better off if our goal for the economy would move from “growth” to “sustainable sufficiency.” Neither major party is saying anything like that.

  • Vivian

    Steve,

    How did the economy work before people had money to throw away?

    Both parties are run by corporations that want to stay in control and will do what it takes to keep it that way.

    Then there are the small businesses who will keep hush as long as they get a cut of the pie.

    Do I worry about it? No. I do what I can to make this unfair system fold so that these elitists will tumble and we’ll have to create a fresh, fair, new means of production, labor and trade. The current system will not last the way it is currently running.

    More people need to start action in changing it. Stop buying junk. Try to limit expenses to those that are needed.

    Let those large corporations gain all the prestige they feel they so deserve by allowing them to ‘donate’ for non-profit expences such as arts and sports, afterall it is because of their high costs of their good and services that we are in this predicament. Their only power is their accumulated wealth. Take that away and they are another you and me.

    Break the system.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Vivian, it sounds like you’re not disagreeing with me, but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to advocate breaking the system. Perfect fairness will never happen, and trying to get there would cause more suffering than the end is worth (which is why communism collapsed worldwide in the early ’90s). A regulated-but-mostly-free market economy with an adequate social safety net is the least-worst system we can expect to achieve.

  • vivian

    //Perfect fairness will never happen, and trying to get there would cause more suffering than the end is worth

    I disagree with this. I think if people really knew how badly they were getting screwed by the system and IT’s elitists, if they knew that they are willingly, currently handing their power over to these elitists they would stop and redirect.

    How did the pilgrims make it, pioneers? Look out your back door you have everything you need to survive, if it came down to that.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Maybe so, Vivian, but I don’t trust any alternative ideology, either. Utopia is impossible in this world.

  • vivian

    //I don’t trust any alternative ideology, either. Utopia is impossible in this world.

    Mr. Cynic-

    Only if you have that kind of expectation it is impossible.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Fine. Just don’t foist your Utopia on me, Vivian. If you think it’s possible, power to you, but please don’t get in the way of folks who are trying to make marginal improvements that might actually help people.

  • vivian

    //please don’t get in the way of folks who are trying to make marginal improvements

    that’s my point stevo-

    the government we have now will only allow for marginal improvements. living in mediocrity-convincing the majority that that is the best that life gets.

    you have to believe that a far better world exists to make a difference that will actually cause change.

  • Steve the Cynic

    But what happens when two or more different ideas of Utopia collide, and supporters of each are all willing both to destroy what we now have and to violently oppose competing ideologies? You run up against the truth of that old saying: The perfect is the enemy of the good. Learn from the French Revolution (or, heck, even the recent debt ceiling impasse in Congress) to avoid going too far in pursuit of ideals.

  • vivian

    //But what happens when two or more different ideas of Utopia collide, and supporters of each are all willing both to destroy what we now have and to violently oppose competing ideologies?

    What we ‘have’ now is a mess, a failure to communicate. Those who turn a blind eye get a slice of the pie.

    Those who don’t turn a blind eye-speak the truth-get blackballed.

    …and then there are those who are being blackmailed…

    this is exactly what we ‘have’ now. So much for the land of the free.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Vivian, I can’t tell from what you’ve posted exactly what your vision of Utopia is. No matter. Whatever it is, it’s a human invention, and therefore I can guarantee it will have flaws. If it ever gets implemented (over the objections of whatever vociferous and vehement opposition you find among people who aren’t persuaded that your ideal is the right one), whoever is disadvantaged by those flaws is going to complain and raise up an alternative vision, and then we’re right back where we started. Dreamy-eyed idealism doesn’t have a very good track record of solving real problems faced by real people.

  • vivian

    //Whatever it is, it’s a human invention, and therefore I can guarantee it will have flaws.

    I think that a world run by healthy individuals, (those who were raised with love, supportive self esteem building-this tosses out the majority of world religions- and non competitive environment) would be a good starting point. I think these people exist, We need to get more of them running the show.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Good luck with that project, vivian! You’re going to need it.