Monday, February 09, 2009

Live-Blogging the Depression: Stayin' Alive

Get ready for the bread line, baby!Last week a number of bigwigs were let go from the home office, management responsibilities were shuffled around, and it was announced that layoffs of littlewigs would be forthcoming within the next 30 days. So while I'm still employed for the moment, it's only because the axe has yet to fall. It's theoretically possible I'll survive, but as noted in the first installment of "Live-Blogging the Depression," I really don't like my odds.

I reckon the good news is that if I get laid off, I'll have more time to devote to rejuvenating this here blog (not to mention cleaning my apartment). I've also already started work on a business site, which is rather unlike me, but hey, I do have a marketable skill that people have paid for and, I believe, will continue to pay for, so why not? Freelance writer, editor, proofer, blogger extraordinaire at your service. Or "communications specialist." Or something. Still haven't decided on my fancy title.

It's time to admit, ferreals, that working for The Man sucks. It's always sucked, but in depressionary times like these, it becomes more abundantly clear how bad it sucks. The wisdom of placing your economic well being in the hands of people who may or may not know what they're doing but who, in any case, don't care if you live or die comes in for some hard questioning. I'm not sure yet what I'll do if I get the boot, but I'm taking the optimistic view that the threat of starvation will at least force me to take a more active role in my own future and maybe do things I'm ordinarily not comfortable doing, and I don't mean appearing on "American Idol."

In the meantime, I've been trying to follow the bad news as well as I can. One site I like, though I admit much of it is pure econo-babble that goes over my head, is Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis. Mike Shedlock, aka Mish, is a fund manager type who seems to have correctly called the present deflationary environment (this past summer, I was spooked by the possibility of hyperinflation, which I believe remains a threat somewhere down the road) and shuns sensationalistic predictions and such. He also understands that which far too many people, especially those in government, don't: namely, that prosperity doesn't come from government taxing and spending but from private initiative and production. It's good reading as we head into Great Depression II and, apparently, New Deal II.

On Saturday, he posted this snapshot of the depression in New Orleans:

The Depression in New Orleans

Yikes. Well, I hope I will still be able to afford to go down there and stimulate the local economy during French Quarter Fest in April.