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Sense on Cents Poll: How Are You Doing?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 8, 2013 10:51 AM |

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at a 5 year high and unemployment is at a post-crisis low. This is good but are these indicators truly representative of what is going on within our land?

Rather than listening to those who get paid to pontificate and commenting on their posturing, I would much prefer to open the floor to you the readers and ask you the very simple question, “How are you doing?”

Please share your own thoughts and feelings in regard to what you are experiencing as you navigate the economic landscape.

How is your business?
How do you feel about your employment situation?
What do you think about the economy (business, real estate, discretionary spending)?
What is the pulse within your schools and around your cities and towns?

I hope people will take a minute or three and share your thoughts and opinions so we all may most effectively navigate the economic landscape.

I thank you.

Larry Doyle

Isn’t  it time or overtime to subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook.

I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Alan

    My personal income has gone down five years in a row. I watch the stock market growth and the “recession is over” news stories with disbelief. None of it affects me. Things couldn’t be worse. What does affect me is that higher gasoline, higher food prices, and this January’s higher tax is killing me. My home has stabilized, but I have no “wealth effect” and my bank won’t refinance me (to let me pay LESS than I’m paying now and therefore be less of a risk) because my income is not what it once was – even though my credit score and payment history is stellar. I’m right in the middle class and am getting royally screwed. How’s that?

  • GMA

    Recently retired, but “business” was booming when I did…I worked in a mental health facility. Depression and anxiety are rampant in our area. We have the highest unemployment stats in the state and, perhaps, in the country…formerly a thriving machine-tool, manufacturing hub. Most of that is now gone.

    Sectors of the economy / population are thriving. Those who were already financially comfortable have been able to refinance their real estate…homes and investment properties… at record low rates. Many others have not been able to qualify to do so. Our property taxes are among the highest in the nation…consequently, home prices are stagnant…a larger portion of what buyers are able to pay must be allocated for the tax bill.

    There were record numbers of protests filed last year, but few adjustments. All those promised benefits to municipal employees must be paid.

    As a retiree who saved carefully, I thought I was all set. Not with current interest rates! Big banks have been rescued from the consequences of their malfeasance and the multi-million dollar bonuses are once again being trotted out…retirees have seen income from careful savings reduced by 75% and more.

    Burned too many times to feel comfortable “playing” the stock market again. Lots of depression in the elderly, too. Many feeling “robbed” of the comfortable retirements they thought were in place.

    Overall…not too sure that ANYBODY really has any realistic ideas about how to set things straight. Just look at the “example” being set by our congress. I could go on and on. I’ll just say…not looking so good out here in the middle west.

  • James

    Good question Larry,

    I’ll tell you how I’m doing.

    Business is fine as I’m “on the beach”/retired w/plenty of interests. I’m trying to like it (retirement) with the one big exception that w/8, yes 8 grandchildren all under the age of 6. A constant & incessant thought eating at me is I feel they won’t have a life as free as me directly due to controlling socialist agenda’s on all fronts. My/our generation is failing them.

    I know a film documentary writer/producer and just this week contacted him suggesting to him a “new” documentary idea. Basically, how socialist agenda’s always hurt the poor the most thru inherent inflation & subsequent debasing the sovereign currency they (as a class) always slip further behind. I’ll keep you posted.

    As a result of apparently 1/2 of this nation & the amazingly hypocritical press not knowing The Constitution, I am very concerned for this country and this overrides most all pleasantries my current life provides.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • Mike


    Yes, the DOW is at a 5 year high but who benefits from all that newfound irrational exuberance? Not the poor and middle class if this video is any indication of where the wealth in America is concentrated.

    I live in a small upstate New York town that had boomed with the industrialization of the earlier part of the 20th century in the city across the river, Schenectady. That would all be reversed in the last 30 years as General Electric reduced its employment level from 40,000 to maybe 5,000 shipping jobs overseas and down south.

    Towns along the Mohawk River to the West like Amsterdam once a thriving mill town and Gloversville (you can figure out what they did from the name) have long passed their days of prosperity. Saratoga Springs to the North has transformed into an upscale tourist destination and retirement community filled with restaurants, race tracks, and coffee shops.

    The tri-cities as we sometimes call ourselves has the added benefit of a large and stable workforce in Albany, many excellent universities RPI, Union, Skidmore, Russell Sage, SUNY Albany.

    Global foundries is in the process of completing a 4 billion dollar semiconductor manufacturing complex in the area with the help of government incentives.

    We never had much of a real estate boom in this area so did not have much of a bust, home prices remain inexpensive relative to the coastal areas of Boston or New York City.

    My daughter is a teacher and struggles every year to maintain her position due to school budget limitations. My son has worked in digital media for the advertising industry in Manhattan and never knew there was a recession.

    Wealth Inequality in America

    Hope this is helpful, keep up the good fight.

    Stay healthy.

  • Peter Scannell

    A picture (graph) is worth a thousand words.

    I wonder what percentage of the middle class and poor’s wealth has been “redistributed” to the one percent since 2000?

  • Obsvr-1

    How is your business?
    * Was a victim of 2008 /09 debacle; shut down (25 employees cast out)

    How do you feel about your employment situation?
    * Being over 50 (and I would say 45 is the new 50) makes it more difficult to navigate in today’s job market. Too expensive, too much knowledge of the way things are, too much healthcare risk.

    What do you think about the economy (business, real estate, discretionary spending)?
    * Business – tough environment for the small / med business due to the regulatory squeeze and big business lobby which disadvantages small / med.
    * Real Estate – down 60% needs 100% gain to recover. So these small % increases Y-O-Y are less than spectacular. FED ZIRP is feeding an artificial recovery. Compare and contrast NYC with Detroit.
    * Discretionary spending is on Credit Cards, there are no discretionary dollars left.

    What is the pulse within your schools and around your cities and towns?
    * No money, teachers being laid off, Pension Unfunded Liability breaking the budgets, asking for more taxes. Union hold on tenure forcing bad resource allocation decisions. Kids suffering from the chronic structural budget issues magnified by the Unions.

    But look at the bright side,
    * there is no inflation … if you don’t count energy and food
    the market has recovered and were on to new pinacles of wealth

    * Obozo (aka Obama) will spend the US into recovery and record GDP

    * Unemployment has collapsed to 7.7%, if you don’t count people who want to work or have stayed or gone back to school (and pay no attention to that Student Loan Debt behind the curtain).

  • Randee

    I have a net worth that’a 30 percent higher than it was in 2007 thanks to investing heavily in the market during the downturn in 2008-2009. I owe it all to doomsayers like you, Doyle, with your implications that our U.S. government is less than superlative and that our SEC and FDIC don’t protect us. They do. Show them some respect, boy.

    THe middle and lower classes continue to whine because they are too ignorant to understand how to climb up. My money is spread among stocks with lots of tobacco, alcohol companies and casinos, a few bonds, real estate, gold, platinum, copper, silver, annunitis, Europeans stocks and a new thing viaticals, where you essentially make a bet with the insurance company on how long an ill person has to live.

    • LD

      I really do not care how you are doing but this 1st amendment right is a great thing so knock yourself out.

    • Obsvr-1

      yeah right, the gov’t is here to help no issues here, nothing to see, just move on.

      Randee must have broken all the mirrors in the house, not a good person looking back.

      Unfortunately narcissism has one of the largest growth rates …

  • Ron

    I am doing better. After loosing pretty much everything by 2009, and being reduced to living in my car. Heck, even my retirement account lost almost 80% of its value from its HWM.

    I’m working again, making more than I ever did in the past (but working damn hard for it). I’m socking away $35k a year in 401k and IRA, trying to get that back up where it should be. I’ve given up the idea ever being able to to afford to retire.

    I’m focusing in getting healthy and staying healthy. Lost 40 pounds, dropped my blood pressure 20 points, and took advantage of a small gym in the basement of where I work now. And now that I have a small home with a kitchen/fridge, I can now start eating healthier, better, and cheaper.

    Cap1 gave me a tiny credit card, so I’m slowing rebuilding a credit history. I wish I had some savings to buy a condo right now. But since I have no credit history, and a short recent work history, I can’t get a mortgage if my life depended on it.

    So… looking up, until the next disaster. 🙂

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