November 9th, 2008
10:00 PM GMT
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LONDON, England - As the dust settles after an historic U.S. presidential election, the man chosen to be the next Commander in Chief cannot afford to pause and reflect upon the significance of his victory, let alone rest up after the most gruelling and expensive election campaign ever.

What advice would you give to anyone faced with the prospect of losing their job or their home?
What advice would you give to anyone faced with the prospect of losing their job or their home?

The domestic and international goodwill that Barack Obama enjoys today will be short lived.

The millions who voted him into office as an agent for change and the hundreds of millions more around the world who see him as a figure of hope - the man to restore their faith in the United States - face an uncertain economic future.

While Obama doesn't officially take office until January, he will be involved in decisions taken right now, today, particularly concerning the economy and the implementation of the multi-billion-dollar bailout plan.

He faces a daunting burden of responsibility. People have such high hopes, but as recession bites and thousands lose their jobs and possibly even their homes, his "honeymoon" period won't last long.

So, while the president-elect appoints some of the best and brightest of minds to his cabinet and gets to grips with sorting out the mess we're in, we want to draw on the bank of experience that is the CNN audience. You.

Presidents and economic hard times come and go and yet the world keeps turning. Having lived through "downturns" in the past, what advice would you give to anyone faced with the prospect of losing their job or their home?

Many of the people who brought Barack Obama to power were voting for the first time, perhaps too young to have lived through a period of economic gloom such as this.

Just how do you cope with debt and the associated stress? With unemployment and foreclosure?

Watch CNN's Sasha Herriman talk with Occupational Psychologist Dai Williams about how best to survive the downturn



soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Sam in Spain

    Adrian,
    The worst thing that can happen is the loss of a job and therefore income. I don't know what unemployment benefit that they receive in the U.S.A. but with virtually ALL the countries now in recession it will be very difficult to find a reasonable paying job, in fact even finding a job?
    Losing your house is terrible, but at least with income you can always rent and if they have debt (usually Credit Card) as we both know then there is really no answer.
    Being a pensioner, next year my income will be down. Yes, Mr Darling is giving an increase but what good is it? now that the banks and building societies will be dropping interest on any saving with the BOE having cut base rate by 1.5%. In fact some of the building societies are no longer offering Fixed Rate Bonds.

    I'm afraid that there is no real answer, as my father once told me when I was 18. Well son, "if you get yourself into trouble, make sure you can get yourself out of it"

    Very wise words, which I have always remembered and operated by but I do fear for the public in general, especially the pensioners who will suffer the most.

    A recent article in one of the papers was headed "BRITAIN is among the worst in Europe for quality of life" it showed a league table providing "facts" Highest Net Income U.K. at £35,730 out of the 10 countries, the third lowest life expectancy at 78.9 and the average age of retirement age of 63, 5 years later than in Poland. Therefore will Britain once again become the sick man of Europe?

    By the way Spain came top, but even here they have many many problems including the falling house prices and of course the building industry (worldwide) has the highest failure rate in all industries in each country.

    November 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  2. Elvis

    Funny, just last month we constantly bombarded by WORST RECESSION FEARS SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION. What happen then, coz all the sudden this FEARS has been forgotten. And the market has been on steady rally, wheres the bear market rally? Coz, what i media are saying now is market has bottom and we are in for prolong recession, whatever that means....when just a week ago, so called experts are saying not to buy stocks as it is only a bear rally....funny....

    November 10, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Ron

    I don't fully understand why the goverment keeps bailing out all these big companies, when and where will it end? In my opinion this will trickle down through all the major companies. Who's next, major grocery stores, home improvment stores etc.. Those that need a bailout, the honest hard working citizens are loosing their jobs, can't make ends meet and are trying to cope with the why them, and not us question. Why do big buisness, the ones that are supposed to keep honesty and customers in mind get a bail out deal, when those who keep the economy on track are stuck counting their bills and watch there debt to income ratio increase? If people can't spend money and good hard working Americans continue to loose their jobs to oversea markets and abroad, we're in deep trouble.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  4. Dinesh

    Stae and Public spending in infrastructure projects is the top priority.

    At corporate level try to implement regulated salary scales by defining the organisation hiarchy in 5-6 levels and applicable salary scales and limits for operational cost. This will avoid job loss and even regulate the operational cost of the companies. This should be implemented only for those companies which are trying to avail more bailouts or extra debt.

    If Companies / Banks receive Govt bailout – the Govt should set-up a temporary body to monitor such salary and operatonal cost . If its high debt then Banks should be given the authority to establish such controls into those companies seeking more debt.

    The above should be a short term regulation and phased out as the economy strats recovering. Saving jobs is the top most priority in economic crisis.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  5. John

    I started by first business as a fresh-faced youth of 28 with a wife and two small children, just as the U.K. Callaghan government was collapsing. It was in the exhibition and display industry, and we morphed the business(es) through the Thatcher turmoil until late 1983. We didn't know any better, so we thought getting people to pay good money on marketing was intrinsically hard.

    Although there were times when I had to borrow money to feed the kids, all in all it was six years of interesting, often good times. Eventually it collapsed, and we took a break from business, but returned some years later, remembering some key lessons from that time, mainly:

    Marketing and customers are ultimately what is important, and don't spend money on alternatives to getting your face in front of your potential clients, and

    If it all goes pear-shaped, there is more to life than money and fancy stuff provided you can find some food and a roof.

    For the really poor, particularly in disfunctional countries, who will suffer through this Great Depression II in ways which most of us rich country citizens cannot imagine, who can offer advice? We leave that to the charities who must operate with increasingly sparse resources.

    For the citizens of fortunate countries, those people doubly fortunate in having loving extended families should talk with their kin about a plan. In my experience, it works.

    Love will win, actually.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  6. RAM

    It is ridiculous that each time stock market goes up gas prices are going up and the gas price is one of the (number one) main reasons why the economic situation is so bad.

    November 10, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  7. Willis Bultje

    I own GMAC Global Senior Bonds that will mature on January 14, 2009. I have owned GM and Chrysler vehicles my entire life (currently a Cadillac and two Jeeps). When I purchase my next vehicle, I plan to purchase a GM or Chrysler product. However, if GMAC goes bankrupt and does not pay out on the maturing bonds, GM and Chrysler will lose many loyal customers, including me. I am not currently looking to purchase a vehicle. However, I have a recommendation for GMAC, GM and Chrysler–as an alternative to conserve their cash, to avoid bankruptcy, and to continue to maintain their market share (maybe even grow their market share, since many persons holding GMAC bonds probably do not own a GM or Chrysler vehicle) by continuing to produce cars and not layoff as many employees. My recommendation is a win/win for everyone: GMAC, GM, Chrysler, bond holders and the employees/unions. I recommend that GMAC, GM and Chrysler offer bond holders the option of receiving dollar credit for the bonds that are maturing towards the purchase of new vehichle(s) at cost (process the transaction via the dealers and allow the dealer a "small fee" for processing the transaction). The bonds that are maturing would be paid out at face value (no additional premium or discount) and the car purchased should also be at cost. I have an MBA in Finance and I understand that this would involve intercompany transfers, but it is a realistic and practical soultion. Very few companies have this as an alternative (bartering a product they produce for a debt they owe).

    November 11, 2008 at 3:43 am |
  8. Naji Sfeir

    President Obama can solve the US problems using a very a simple solution: Give the US nationality to foreigners who buy real estate properties in the US. Quite simple

    November 11, 2008 at 8:13 am |
  9. Henry China

    Please gain our confidence to our future life. The recession will dismiss soon later, and the boom will recovery accordingly. 5 years later, an energic economy will come front of us all around the world.
    It's really!

    November 11, 2008 at 8:35 am |
  10. RAVINDRA GOPAL

    The bailout package is not a solution but a shifting of private institutional losses to the public national account.Instead of corporate losses we have national deficits.The real crunch will come if the Europeans,Chinese and the Japanese stop buying US Government debt.
    One of the ways to get over the extraordinary crisis is to reschedule the toxic loans by offering a liberal moratorium and deferred instalments. Creditworthy borrowers who repay as scheduled should be given the benefit of lower rates and the refinanced loans charged a higher interest at the tail-end. This would let homeowners get more breathing time to rearrange their finances.I would assume home loan borrowers have all the intent to pay but are unable to because of the suddenness of the crisis and the job losses.
    I also think the Government could lower the minimum wage rate for 2-3 years till the economy recovers.It is better to have a job with some earnings rather than lose the job and have nil earnings.It would once again cost the Government by way of food coupons besides creating enormous social tensions.This may stem some of the job losses to outsourced destinations as the arbitrage would be narrower.
    In any case there are no miraculous solutions, Bush or Obama.

    November 11, 2008 at 10:44 am |
  11. Laura

    I'm an ex-pat U.S. citizen, having lived abroad now for over 5 years. My husband and I escaped the sub-prime debaucle and own our lovely home here in Costa Rica free and clear, but we were deeply affected by the downturn in the economy during the late 80's in Denver. We lost pretty much everything. It was really difficult for my family, most especially since our only child was in his teens at the time. But you know what? That is a distant memory and so shall these times be for us all in a few years. What I learned through it all, though, is that I placed far too much importance on "stuff", and the acquisition of same. I believe that it is time for all of us to take stock, look around, and decide what is really important in finding peace and joy in life. And help each other. You will find that giving of yourself can be the most rewarding experience of all.

    And, finally, welcome, Mr. President Obama. We have been waiting for a very long time for you to arrive.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  12. Chris

    It's obvious that we're in a recession, facing a likely depression. Consumer sales are plummeting, and manufacturing plus retail is bound to follow. The wise move now is to cut all unnecessary spending, pay off as much debt as possible and invest in put options and precious metals, in case the situation gets worse, which it probably will.

    November 11, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  13. dori

    1. Reduce spendings.
    2. Postpone to 2010 purchasing the luxury goods.
    3. Keep the finger crossed.

    all the best!
    D.

    November 11, 2008 at 7:33 pm |
  14. Antonio Polo in Brazil

    The worst thing of this crisis is losing the job, indeed. However, if you hold stocks which lost 50% of its original values, so the worst thing to do is sell and assume the losses, in this case, if you do not need the money for now, then you should do nothing, and await for the crisis ends.

    November 11, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  15. Rosalie middleton

    I am hear what you guys are saying abu the AUTO industry makeing cars no one wants. THAT is not the problem i have been in the industry fro 24 yrs. I sold cars i was in managment now i resell insurance produts to the DEALERS. They have customers , they cannot get the customers bought by the banks.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:18 am |
  16. Zain Mohomed

    We are well aware that the current economic turmoil has its roots in Wall Street. We have heard so much in the last feW months on bail out packages for the US and UK. My question is what exactly is the US doing to assist other countries(DEVELOPING) affected by this ecomomic turmoil created by the US.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  17. Thomas

    Hi,

    I feel very fortunate in that I am a single person who does not have to support a family through these hard times. I cannot imagine the stress caused by the worry of seeing an entire family through this.

    For me, I have seen the stories of people who must survive on as little as a dollar a day and that makes me realize that I can go a long way to cut my expenses and live on much less. So now I no longer drive a car, I walk, bike, or use mass transit. I have a much smaller apartment now, which brings much smaller living expenses. I eat what I only need to eat, and eat all of it. What I do not eat I re-use for another meal for another day. This is something I have never done before. As a result of this I have become so aware of waste in all forms and have realized just how much that effects my bottom line.

    So I guess what I am trying to say is that after seeing and experiencing the stories relayed regarding the state of the world, I am a better off in so many ways for "living small".

    November 12, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  18. Sam in Spain

    My congratulations to Thomas it doesn't matter that he is single or not what counts for at least the next 4 years is reducing your spending so take note Willis! You can only live in one house at a time, drive one car at a time and eat one meal at a time.

    Seeing the absurd prices of houses my wife and I decided in 1999 that we were not prepared to pay the hughley inflated prices so we disposed of our house and have been renting ever since. In 2005 we sold our new car, took the loss of 4000 euros and now use public transport. We therefore have no Car Insurance to pay, nor Petrol at approx. $8 a gallon and if we need a car, we rent ,(usually once a month for 3 days to do our business transactions and a big monthly shop). The buses that we use are already using bio-diesel and we walk every day at least 2 kms.

    It is long overdue that households started budgeting properly instead of overspending but most use Credit Cards as if they would never have to pay the amount that they owe. We also use a credit and debit card but MAKE SURE THAT IT IS WITHIN OUR BUDGET AND THE AMOUNT DUE IS DEDUCTED BY OUR BANK EVERY MONTH IN FULL

    We are therefore bad customers for the banks but our expenses are under control and every day I record what was spent and transfer it on to my telephone spreadsheet under the appropriate heading.

    If more people didn't overspend they would not find themselves with so much debt, however many have to learn the hard way!!!! and that's what is happening to them now. NOBODY PLANS TO FAIL - BUT MANY FAIL TO PLAN

    Retired Financial Advisor

    November 12, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  19. Tom

    I wonder how all the Obama supporters are going to feel when businesses outsource overseas, money is moved offshore and their butts get fired.

    It is so much easier to move everything offshore now than it was even 5 years ago. Why would anyone that could leave their fate in the hands of an Obama administration that has already said it is going to raise taxes on the people who produce jobs.

    Why do you think so many countries overseas were happy with the election? More business for them.

    If you don't think it is going to happen, think again. It is happening now.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  20. Lawrence Reiner

    No bail out for the auto industry. This industry killed mass transit in the cities; ignored safety for years; has been run by deceit, deception and greed. Let them reorganize into a better business model, with realistic cars and realistic costs.

    November 12, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Susan

    I teach. So my job security has been awful for six straight years. I have been downsized 5 out of the last six years. The school runs out of funds for my position and I am out of a job. I always find a new one but every time I have had to move. This time I only found a half time teaching position and I am living on my daughters couch because I can not afford to get my own place.
    Because of my constant job loss I have had at times problems paying bills. Not because I don't try but when you lose your job things are hard and my total debt not counting my student loans is about 4000.00 dollars. But now my credit rating is messed up so I can't borrow any money to get back on track.
    My wonder is are they going to give us back our credit ratings from the last 6 years of "Bush". No one who has lost a job, lost the house, lost the credit is going to be able to get new credit so how is it were going to build this economy again. I WANT BAILED OUT !!!

    November 12, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  22. Alexandros Maragkoudakis

    The only way for the world to avoid the devastating effects of a recession, a slowdown or even a global economic disaster, is to turn our focus away from monetary policies. Money itself, credit, loans, banks and all businesses operate under the "prospects of the interest rate". So, debt is unavoidable.
    Therefore, if we concentrate our efforts in providing the world with free energy, which can be easily obtained by geothermal technology alone, the cost of every commodity will be minimized. Solar, wind, wave, alongside geothermal energy, the whole world will be provided with electricity for free. Jobs will be created by the millions in R&D in technology and renewable forms of energy. The whole structure of society will change worldwide.
    This plan will most definitely look silly in the eyes of financial institutions and all money loathing individuals, but it is a realistic way of providing people with most necessities, such as water, electricity, hence food (all agricultural products and meat). Having satisfied the world's everyday needs, then the effects lie on the ones who have money, not the poor ones.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  23. ADR

    First, I will not take away the end responsibility for this recession from the automakers, oil companies, Wall St, or the current administration. With that said, let's get down to the root of the matter.

    Many in the U.S., as well as other countries, have lived a somewhat greedy existence. I was born in the 40's and raised in the 50's. In that era, pre-credit cards, you paid cash, or saved your money till you could afford something.

    Today (last 20 yrs), people have bought homes they could not afford, cars/boats they could not afford, and ran up credit card debt well beyond what they could pay.... and they knew it and had no sense of responsibility to pay it back. Bankruptcy was the way out. Walk away from your debt, let them repo your car, and wipe out your debt.

    Someone has to pay for that. So, lendors raise interest rates and punish the "good" borrowers. These same people now scream about being laidoff because of companies going out of business because their customers won't pay the bills. It has all come back to haunt us.

    Everyone should take a moment, even though there are many trustworthy, responsible people out there who have paid their bills, learned a long time ago to cut back somewhere else when overspending. We all have to take some responsibility for the current state of affairs. Who ever heard this phrase, "I know I can't afford this house, but when the price goes up $100,000 I'll sell it and make a super profit...." People knew they were over spending, now the same ones are complaining.

    This will pass, trust me. We have to get back to the basic idea of spending less than we earn, NOT MORE. If you can't afford it, wait or save till you can.

    Good luck to all of you. We can all work through this and during these upcoming and current times, remember family, friends and good health have more value than money. Try to stay positive and remember, "Attitude is a decision"

    November 13, 2008 at 8:53 am |
  24. Louise

    Economic problems? Get rid of your credit cards. Only in the States can one live like royalty on poverty income. Materials (enormous refrigerators, 3 cars, 5 DVD-players, etc.) do NOT make the world go around nor give any happiness. Live on your income and there won't be a problem!!

    November 13, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  25. Eric Johnson City,TN

    I can survive because I haven't never tried to live above my means. I don't even get close to living above my means, because then you are stuck with a job you don't like, or you can't go back to school to change direction with your education, you can't put back for times like these, you pretty much screw yourself when you send every dime you make going out and barely breaking even on what's coming in. If we as citizens can do it and make it, then what's wrong with well educated businessmen and women doing handling a big business to where there's no choice but a bailout? These people are suppose to be smart and qualified! Give me a break, there over paid and really don't care about whose money there gambling with. Look at AIG still having lavish parties at a time like this. I mean my god people let's get real and let these people sink to there lowest level and then our country as a whole can learn a lesson and get over it! Don't bailout these high rolling pricks!! Let them go so far under a backhole can't freakin dig them out!!!!

    November 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  26. Kelly

    My advice is to continue living your life and enjoying the things you normally enjoy, but doing so without going into debt (your current mortgage notwithstanding). By panicking, you are only contributing to the problem. Pray and know that everything is in God's hands, and try not to worry too much unless you are directly affected.

    Try to help others in need instead of hoarding and spreading doom and gloom.

    Try to appreciate what we DO have that many, so many others, in the world do not (running water, electricity, food, a civilized and relatively society).

    These sound like platitudes but they are not. If your family really is in financial trouble, I feel so badly for you.

    My advice is pointed towards those who are not yet affected but who are panicking and spreading fear, mistrust, misinformation - contributing to more problems.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:44 am |
  27. John Abebrese

    The economic downturn in the US will begin to ease out in the next 9 to 12 months. Initial policy-actions by President-elect Obama will be slow in gaining ground because of the depth of the crisis. However, this gestation period also affords the average, forward-planning US citizen with the opportunity of readying themselves for the boom to follow. And yes, there will be an expansive boom in the US economy!!! I see the boom in the economy emanating from the construction industry, more critically the infrastrutural sector. To the young and the-not-so-young who can adapt, I will advise that they use the next 12 months to re-orient themselves by studying civil engineering and related subjects at Community Colleges, where fees are manageable, so that they can tap into the employment market when the time comes. I am a Chartered Banker and a Chartered Accountant but I do not foresee the glamour returning to the financial industry anytime soon. As a matter of fact, I am sure that the apparent care-free, self-regulating and heavy pay packet environment, once the attractive elements of the financial industry in the US, are very nearly over. The infrastructural industry is going to spearhead the resurgence in the US economy and people should take the appropriate actions to be part of that resurgence. Good luck to all.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  28. Adedayo

    After hearing all the smart economic analyst on CNN, I am wondering why they have not said anything about all the home owner that enjoyed the home boom and racked up irresponsible debts. President Bush might not be the best communicator but I think it is unfair to lay all the blame at his door step. I am not a bush fan. My advise to president elect Obama is the he should remember that the cane the husband used on the old wife is still under the bed so the new wife might get her turn from the same cane when the honeymoon is over.

    November 14, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  29. Izi Bleson (UK)

    The time has come for Heads of States, Presidents, World Leaders, Governors of Central Banks and Legislatures to set up their own economic systems. It would be unwise to still depend on America when America is still struggling to bail herself out of the same mess. You can do it on your own! Set up your own economic systems. Do not make the same mistake for the second time. Remember, America will have to help herself 'first' before thinking of helping out any other nation. 'No sinking boat rescues another sinking boat'. It is time to wake up to the truth and face it.

    November 14, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  30. Jaime Sandoval

    The Real Estate Market will always go through cycles, like any market. Unfortunately for many homeowner foreclosure is bound to happen when market correct themselves because people refuse, or can't make their mortgage payments in a down cycle. Some of the problems are due to fraud but it is part of the down cycle we will experience.

    Jaime Sandoval
    http://www.sanantoniotxrealestateforsale.com/

    November 15, 2008 at 2:17 am |
  31. M C Crockett

    I graduated from university in 1971 and was not able to find employment in my chosen field until January, 1972. Three months later, I was laid off. I wasn't able to land another job in my field until January, 1973, and then only as a temporary employee.

    As a disabled Vietnam veteran, my unemployment benefits were, essentially, non-existent. I had to take any job that I could to house and feed my wife an two children.

    It is a humbling experience to be classed as redundant. One thing that it does is teach you that you must be self-reliant. Also, it changes your view of work and debt. It heightens your desire to be the best at what you do. Debt is to be avoided and never incurred for "luxuries". For "luxuries", you pay cash.

    In 1977, I purchased a house. I financed it with an early form of variable interest rate mortgage and a 25 percent downpayment. By 1982, the interest on my mortgage had reached the 12 percent cap and had been extended to the 40 year limit in the mortgage contract.

    For most of my career, I have been paid below the market rate for my job, i.e. university graduates would start at a higher annual salary than I was earning. Ten years ago, HR was tasked to ensure that all salaries were adjusted to the market. As a result, I received a 30 percent raise. Unfortunately, this occurred after I had paid for the university education for all of my children.

    Needless to say, I little sympathy for those who are defaulting on their home mortgages or are suffering under their burden of credit card debt. They've acted irresponsibly.

    What am I doing today to address debt and stress? I'm providing each of my children an allowance. It's not much but should allow them to reduce any credit card debt that they might have and allow them to start saving for things that they would like to have.

    November 15, 2008 at 5:10 am |
  32. Philmhea

    Perhaps it will take a very long period of time, if not a miracle for the
    world to rise up from this economic downturn. Where's hte hope, the
    solutions? Maybe we need Superman.

    November 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  33. Silas Nyambok, Japan

    It is now the opportunity for the developed world to import survival techniques from my continent , Africa.
    1. Cover your left over meals and eat it the following day, cold of course. We use firewood but you have none. Using electriciyt or gas will further sink your pockets.
    2. Chose leaders who never get embarassed to beg. When they come forward and shout: "We are dying please! Will you save us". Others will listen.
    3. Practice walking instead of driving or using public transport. If you think 20Km is too long a distance, too bad for you.
    4. Start recruiting street preachers who will preach at various open places especially in towns. Attend their sermons instead of restaurants as a way of carrying forward your lunch and pretend that you are fasting and communing with the almighty. The big problem here is that they may add to your problems by asking for 'offerings'.

    November 16, 2008 at 3:39 am |
  34. Dai Williams

    Thank you for the interview Sasha – and for the suggestions above that you used in the interview on 14th November. Further information is available for individuals and business analysts on my website www eoslifework co uk / Comindx.htm or google 'Dai Williams recession'. This includes PDF versions of 'Psychological effects of the UK recession, 1991-94' and Handbook for Unemployed Support Groups. Sections on readiness for Y2K included scenario planning and web links on this. The Lifework Themes section of the website has articles on transition psychology eg 'Life events and Career Change – transition psychology in practice' and 'Human responses to change' published in the journal Futures. Further recession information, forecasts and links will be posted in coming months. DW.

    November 16, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  35. Tan Boon Tee

    What the world faces now is not just another depression or recession. It is the result of great deception, outright cheating compounded by human folly. Most of us continue to be at the mercy of those in power or in the know, unwittingly falling victims to the unscrupulous every time.

    Many people believe strongly that wealth can be created indefinitely. This cannot be the truth. To a very large extent, wealth is created at the expense of the precious resources of earth and the naivety of the ignorant. Wealth only transforms (much like energy), but appears to grow from nowhere, misleading people all along.

    Pumping in more and more cash into the markets to bail out or nationalizing financial institutions would not be the solution, for it can create a vicious circle that could ultimately destroy the free market.

    There has to be a fundamental change of our lifestyle, a shift of paradigm. What does it matter if it will be painful for many at the beginning? Think of our children's children, and their children. We have to shoulder the responsibility of a better future for them.
    (Tan Boon Tee, btt1943@yahoo.com)

    November 17, 2008 at 4:23 am |
  36. Iris Campbell-Workeman

    The question is How do you Cope with Debt and the Associated Stress? I believe that this can be done by sitting down and counting up what it cost and going about to strategically fix it. If some of your assets can be sold then do it, if you can keep your house then do that too– and if you can't then do what is next–rent it out to a few people if the mortgage is too high (trusting people). It is a chance that you may have to do what you don't want to do in order not to lose your house completely. Come on everybody it's bad out there I hear, but one good thing that we can reflect on and that is to stay afloat. Now, with the unemployment status, which has always been shaky to me, and foreclosure mania at hand- remember to get a grip because we all have to get on the ball and do some of the things that we don't want to do and that is either let it go and rest better or keep afloat by giving someone a place to stay at affordable costs. This way you get helped and your fellow man or woman. The time is flying by and the people's hearts seems to be turning cold, come on think what does this possibly mean? In my opinion based on the Holy Bible, I think that it is time to humble ourselves and pray and really find God within ourselves and he will tell us all what to do.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:46 am |
  37. Iris Campbell-Workeman

    We all really do need to humble ourselves under the Almighty hand of God and he will guide us in what we should do. Now, I am not just talking me and you but our entire planet. Let everything that have breath praise the Lord. See other comment.

    November 19, 2008 at 1:52 am |
  38. Jane

    My parents and grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression, reared me believing 2 things: only buy what you can pay for and the belief that FDR kept people from starving with the New Deal. My husband was reared the same way. We started out with hand-me-down furniture and used cars. Entertainment was playing cards with friends. Vacations were camping for free in a primative campground next to a beautiful stream in the Smokies. Because of that and a lot of hard work, after 38 years of marriage, we own our home and land and cars and take very nice vacations. The "leaner" times are precious memories.

    I have always voted Democrat because I believe in helping people; however, I have some Republican friends who seem to have always begrudged helping anybody but themselves. They didn't believe in bailing anybody out. Now it seems those same Republicans who have been so greedy want to be bailed out – corporate welfare isn't it? Poetic justice.

    As for the Republicans who believe that's the only way to get to heaven, God have mercy on their souls. They have fallen for the biggest trick of all.

    November 22, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  39. Rajeev Bhalla

    Make a Burger at home and enjoy it. You can make it as good a MacDonalds'. Use the money you save as follows: In this down turn Blue chip equity scrips are so cheap that the MacDonald burger is more expensive in most cases. So buy a blue chip equity scrip. Keep it a few years. WHen economy turns around after 3 to 5 years it shall be worth 5 times of what you paid now.

    December 7, 2008 at 7:41 am |
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