The Worst In Three Decades: “Consumers are very fatigued and very uncertain”

by | Aug 12, 2011 | Headline News | 136 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Insiders may be buying stocks at the fastest pace in two years, but consumers’ wallets aren’t convinced that the recovery has taken hold (because, of course, it hasn’t):

    Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.

    The biggest one-week slump in stocks since 2008 and the threat of default on the nation’s debt may have exacerbated consumers’ concerns as unemployment hovers above 9 percent and companies are hesitant to hire. Rising pessimism poses a risk household spending will cool further, hindering a recovery that Federal Reservepolicy makers said this week was already advancing “considerably slower” than projected.

    “The mood is very depressed,” said Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Consumers are very fatigued and very uncertain. In the short term, people are going to pull back on spending.”

    Source: Bloomberg

    Bottom line: consumers are broke.

    The job market is dying and hundreds of thousands of more jobs are going to be lost over the course of the next two years. The post office is threatening to lay off 120,000 employees. On top of that, ratings agencies will soon be downgrading thousands of local municipalities, which means less money for them to borrow, which means more jobs lost. And those examples are just from the government sector. Private businesses are simply not hiring, because they don’t know what to expect next.

    On top of that, emergency funds have been exhausted. That is, credit card balances are being maxed out, 401(k)’s tapped, and savings withdrawn, just to make ends meet.

    As food and energy prices begin to strangle consumers further, spending habits will change – voluntarily by those who realize that the recovery was a sham and they may become the next victim, or involuntarily by those who haven’t yet realized that the world is in depression but will when forced austerity measures (public and private) take their toll.

    Many Americans are finally beginning to understand their new reality (most still don’t have a clue). And things will only get worse as we move forward, because this time around, once the recovery is exposed as a mirage and it is realized that we are still in recession and the people begin to panic as they did in late 2008 and early 2009, there will be no more bullets left for our government to fire at the problem.

    Those may be the worst consumer confidence numbers in three decades, but we would not be at all surprised to see those headlines eventually turn into “the worst in a century.”


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      1. yeah , I am exhausted trying to work within the constricts of immense goverment regulation …oh unless you are here illegally from Mexico then you can circumvent of the fees and licenses and regualtion ….frankly I am very ” bleaping ” tired

        • We are all tired. Tired of our government giving to those who want but will not contribute or claiming they did contribute so now they want. Fact is they didn’t contribute enough for their wants, and will now face the piper for it. Look at London – that is what you will reap because that is what you sowed (not you – I’m speaking to those who allowed their votes to be bought by a government willing to buy them for powers sake).

        • I don’t know if I am more displeased with the government or the sheeple that allowed the government to take control of everything. If you think about it, Obama really wouldn’t have so much power if so many people didn’t thrive unnecessarily on entitlement programs.

          • Generally speaking, I’m with you on this, but don’t be too harsh on the people. WE WERE DUPED. Some of us were duped before we were born! The elitist PTB started building the Grand Lie many decades ago. They live in their own world. Unfortunately, their world directly effects ours. They vie for control of the world physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! They want to control the very air we breathe.

      2. Don’t run to the farm country. Don’t hide at your safe place out of town. You would only be surrendering urban territory to the bad guys. Stay in the city and nearby burbs. Stay engaged with the bad guys on their turf.

        • You got it Possum……and they have our total support…… from a good, long distance……ahahahahaaaaa

          • You may laugh at this, but in reality you will be thanking those of us that actually do this thus saving you and yours……

            Be thankful we are here!

        • Yea right!! No way would I try to stay in a city like L.A. Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa, Milwaukee, Memphis (please, after the SHTF there will NOT be a Memphis left standing, trust me!!)
          I’m not buying food, ammo, meds, etc to have it burn when fires sweep the cities…no way!! And the disease that will run rampant…yikes…nope, I’m with Andy…when the SHTF happens…run for the country!!

      3. Give the post office a full nation urinalysis sweep and it still wouldn’t fix the problem in that facility, but it would be a start.

        • i have been trying to get the local letter carrier fired for the past 22 years…maybe my wait will be over soon. 🙂

          • Now that’s funny!

          • If they get rid of 120,000 you probably will not be able to tell the difference.

          • If your letter carrier is incompetent, they won’t get fired. The dept of postal incompetence will probably promote them instead! They’ll only fire the good people.

      4. How many here are in a recession, depression or ect.. ?

        Myself, I am in a slight recession, 30 to 35 hours a week. Thanks to the Tsunami.

        • Slight recession here. Haven’t had a COLA in 3 years. They keep the insurance rates the same but I keep having to dip more and more into my main income for gas, food, etc.

          • HI NetRanger,

            Working and trying to stay ahead of the game here. Constantly awaking those that want to be awakened. Remember, during the 1929 depression 15+ milion starved to death, this one is going to be bad, very bad in every conceivable way!

            By the way has anyone read the Super Congress doctrine? It’s a real eye opener for those that don’t believe our country is heading into dictatorship waters. the Constitution is nothing, but ass paper to this evil cabal of tyranny!

          • double dip recession here…lost partime job in 08 with no unemployment benefits…have not found another job, and we have not recieved ssi cola nor have we gotten military retirement pension cola in more than three yrs. depression just around the corner biding its time.

        • Recession. 30hrs week, ban on overtime, trying to dodge the pinkslip bullets that are flying around the entire healthcare network here. Healthcare costs going up (again) and likely we will have to not only skip the raise but take a 10% paycut to keep things churning for awhile. With all the layoffs we have to do the work of one and a half-to- two people. Tired in every sense of the word. Trying to stay one step ahead of the collapse and it aint’ easy!

        • borderline depression, I say that cause we still have food and roof over our heads….how ever we are3 getting our water turned off soon unless I can figure out how to get the money

          • get some barrels or containers and start filling up with water at the gas stations, car washes or whereever you see a hose available attached to a tap. we had to do this several years ago…midnight runs tothe golf course club house every few days.

            • Good idea!!! If you have gas for the car.

        • We are making it, but very hard. We have made many cuts. I think I feel a Depression coming on in our country.

        • I was laid off in July, I guess the summer of recovery hasn’t caught up with me yet!!!

          • Chuckles I was layed off in 2008 when our entire Police dept. was disbanded due the budget, the truth is the city commissioners misapproiated $40,000 and we lost our jobs. Hang in there!

            • 40,000 would hire very many cops where i live

        • Also, I am divorced with no children and doing good.

          But after reading all your comments, it keeps me in check knowing that others are having it rough. This keeps me humble.

          Wish you all a better future, with all sincerity.

        • I don’t understand their 2008/2009 “recession” date. I’ve been in one since 2006. At this point, I’m about to cut internet service in the next month. I’m already making my own laundry detergent and toothpaste, sleeping in a wet t-shirt instead of turning down the thermostat, and resorting to reusable toilet paper (cut up microfiber towels that can be laundered weekly – No. 1 only, of course – now, only have to buy two 12-packs of TP a year). I’m not even driving all the way to work, only half way. No raise in over 5 years, and my employer has always had a fulltime schedule of under 40 hours/week. I gave up breakfast last year, have a piddling snack for lunch and whatever I can scrape together cheaply for dinner. Currently, I have $1 until next payday. I go nowhere. I do nothing. Thank goodness for used books and the library.

          • the local library is a life saver for entertainment these days…soon i may have to ride the bike instead of driving into town. i am mostly out of debt which is good.and i still have a few things that i can “cut off” when necessary.

            • Caryn, you are giving out great advice. Hopefully soon, Mac has the forum up, and with all the knowledge you have can be shared on the forum will be saved and easy to find.

              Great Job !!!!

          • If you take 2006 as the peak year of the bubble, things have been going downhill for about five years with no end in sight.

        • Dont know if its a recession or a depression,just have this farm and my dear wife her partime job…I havent had a “paying”job since 05 but by doing without and making due we are doing alright…a penny not needed is a penny that neednt be earned…or somthing like that, 🙂

        • As a business owner I am down to 5 employees from a high of 14 three years ago and two of the five here now are me and my wife. I have taken a 20% pay cut and have almost doubled my hours to keep the store open. Sucks big time!

          • Feel fortunate to still be working, but have no illusions about it being permanent.

        • been 4 days/wk since may 2009.

        • I’ll let you decide. Went from $52k/year (salary) 60 hr/week to 20-30 hr/MONTH @ $9.95 hour. I’ve cut everything I can (except my DSL…LOL). By the Grace of God, I’ve not gone into debt and am somehow managing, but I sure don’t know how. Savings is gone, though. There surely is comfort in a well-stocked larder!

      5. I want all of you here to immediately contact the SPLC and turn yourselves in. You naughty, naughty terrorists. A good spanking is what you need.

        • A spanking sounds fun.

      6. Teachin myself welding. Thought it might be useful in the coming era. Heck it’s a lot of fun too!

        • I’ve been wanting to do that, if I can find a local teacher. The tech schools are for those who already weld and just need certification – they don’t really teach the art of welding. But, if I can build furniture, I ought to be able to do that.

          • My husband just started a welding class at our local tech. and has no knowledge of the trade. What do you mean by the tech. schools are for those who already weld and need certification? Not the case here.

        • Two things every man should know how to do: Weld and drive a semi. If you can do both of those reasonably well you have a very good shot at always being employed.

          • I don’t think so—diesel prices will park all semis…may be now, may be months, but it’s coming.

            • That’s absolutely true, I’m the ops manager for a storage container company,
              Fuel costs, along with all the regulations and fee’s are killing us!
              It’s getting harder and harder to route the trucks efficiently, and what few customers we have left are getting more and more demanding, because they know that all the container companies really need their business.
              Some of the larger general contractors have resorted to not paying their subs, and instead just waiting for them to go out of business….
              There’s a lot of dirty games being played in the construction world right now..

            • Mexican truckers can now pick up loads all over the USA. Soon, no more American truckers. In Chicago area most truckers are immigrants with lower pay.

            • If any fuel at all is available, a few will run. Security will be a growth industry. scary to think that driving a truck could end up looking like something from Mad Max (or Somalia).

          • I can and did both for yrs, I still own my welders, but sold the semi yrs ago. around here all the farmers that kept us welders busy are out of business and all the trking jobs are gone, nothing left to drive but garbage trks.up until about 1985, if you could weld,turn a wrench, had a class one or could run a dozer, back hoe, you had a job, At one time here I had a couple guys driving for me and one working in the shop with me over hauling farm tractors and trucks, welding machinery ect,now all that is gone to the junk yd, two working farms left out of about ninty in a fifteen mile radious.When the family farms went out, so did five feed stores,5 companies who hauled milk, six machinery dealers, all the hardware stores,tire dealers, people who installed milk tanks, barn cleaners ect. probably five hundred jobs,

            now if you want a job,you better be a nurse or beable to run a cash register in a convenience store or one of walmarts about 30 miles away.there’s an underground economy working for cash doing carpenter work, cleaning furnaces ect, but nothing with any benifits or retirement.I hated to see my kids leave the area, but even the mice left before them as there was nothing here for them to eat.THe only thing that will bring the kids back will be the final crash, hopefully, we;re prepares, oops, are we on the list now?

        • i found and restored an old treadle sewing machine…making quilts and everything else on it instead of using up electricity…i am very good at sewing and sell some of the stuff i make…sometimes i barter homemade goods for services.

        • I hear you; just got my 6G pipe certs in stick and tig at the local community college while my rich uncle sam footed the bill. I do a fair amount of welding on the side; figured that will always be one thing that will be valuable when shtf. Also learning to machine the old fashioned way without cnc, and self teaching myself metal foundry. I don’t plan on starving through lack of skill when tshtf.

      7. “Bottom line: consumers are broke.”

        Well, that statement is simply not true. I’m not broke and I know many others who are not, but then again, my consuming habits are not at all the norm.

        Not everybody has the insatiable appetite to consume.

        Consumption seems to be thought of as the right to purchase (and more often than not, with money that one doesn’t have) without thinking of the consequences. Borrowing money has become the American Way of life. It’s thought of as Normal; borrowing to satisfy one’s wants. It’s normal to be in debt. That is why most Americans are in debt. You’ve got your basic bills, i.e. home, utilities, food, but Americans consume way beyond their needs, well into their “wants”. I want junk food. I want to alter the state of my mind/body with Rx and non Rx drugs. I want the latest toys on the market. I want all the amenities that my neighbor have and more. I want, what I want, when I want, because I am special and I deserve special. I’m an American and because of that I deserve the best!

        What exactly are Americans consuming? And do these products they consume support their lives or damage their lives?

        Then there is the other side to all of this. The constant brainwashing techniques the corporations program the gullible Americans with; buy, buy and buy. Got to have that gadget. They don’t even know why they must to have it. They just got to have it so they get it. It’s an obsession in this country. Go to the landfills and you’ll see.

        Anybody who preps knows, one must contain oneself at all times to make it through the land “minds” while transitioning to the other side. One has to be vigilant and one pointed. There’s a time to spend and a time to save. There’s contraction and expansion in the universe. Normal cycles that humans can align themselves with to stay in touch with what is real and what is not real.

        If people are fairly content within themselves the desire for having more nonsensical stuff is dramatically reduced. The joys in the simple things are satisfying. An unaltered mind/body is not restless and the basic (financial) needs can be easily met. The inner journey is ultimately all that matters. Everything else is a waste of time and energy.

        Americans have become physically and mentally obese from over consumption. It’s a chronic dis-ease. Time for some force-fed fasting, no pun intended. The withdrawal symptoms have the potential to create a tiny bit of havoc, though. It’s all part of the proverbial “wake up” in store for this republic gone astray.

        • There is much truth in what Mark says. However, every article I read leaves out one tiny factor, National Debt. Give or take a few Trillion dollars we around $100 Trillion in debt on the Federal level. As for the States and Local governments…..California(my State) alone is $1 Trillion in debt. The first place these sleazy politicians will look for money is in our pockets, but they will find none. London, Greece, China(not reported widely in the MSM) and a few other countries are having riots based on this new class warfare. What do you think will happen when 45 Million Americans are cut off from their welfare checks?

          If you are judging the economy on the stock market alone, you have missed the boat completely. Companies shed huge amounts of “Fixed Overhead”(employees) to improve their cash positions. More will be doing the same. We have not yet seen the real hurt that is coming!

        • My phone service provider (cellular, my only phone, and the cheapest in town) sent me a text message that said someone (wouldn’t say who) was trying to send me a text file that my phone wouldn’t support. They invited me to come into the nearest store to see about buying a new phone. Delete. What a f’ing crock. My phone’s only three years old, has a good battery in it, works just fine and has long been PAID FOR. Crooks.

        • I learned years ago to squeeze that nickel so tight the indian is pushed off the buffalo…and still live the good life.

        • Such truth spoken…even the alcohol commercials say, ‘drink responsibly’.

          Think Chinamart can get that on their new logo??

          • ‘Spend responsibly’??

            Has a nice ring to it!!

      8. They recently posted that at this moment in time only 25% of all Americans (which is 75 million) could raise $2,000 in cash for an emergency. I would hesitate that means the vast majority is broke.

        Otherwise I’d say I an a consumer. I buy silver, bulk foods, extra parcels of land near my own, ammunition ( lots and lots of ammunition) guns (once in a while), DIY solar panel materials, – man I buy lots of stuff!

        • You are not a consumer. The things you buy do not get consumed and turn into nothing. There is a difference between spending money wisely and foolishly throwing it away.

        • Me too.. but I’m about done. With the exception of adding land at good prices; maybe some replacement rotational stuff.. I’m all stocked up..

        • Not necessarily broke, just living way outside their means. If a lot of people would give up a few luxuries here and there and settle for economy goods then raising that $2,000 or even more shouldnt be a problem. And technically Jim IS a consumer, he just doesn’t plan on consuming his goods until later 🙂

      9. My wife and I are not broke….we just choose to not spend like we did before. We still buy the important things and occasionally go out for dinner, take a cruise, go camping.

        We just don’t blow money like we use to. So if millions spend $1000 less per year that is a huge amount of consumer spending that isn’t happening.

      10. You guys rock

      11. I am quite fortunate. I work for a chemical company in Tennessee that is currently expanding with record profits. I currently work over 50hrs a week. The entire nation is not going down hill but Im sure eventually it will catch up to us. I am using this opportunity to buy supplies before it does hit the fan. God Bless You All

      12. The new mantra will become—welcome to the real world. reality is finally sinking in to many more Americans. They finally understand that what the the government is telling us is pure bull crap. Reality is a bitch for many. Interesting times to come.

      13. My wife and I haven’t been doing our ‘part’ for the American Economy for quite some time now. The very last time that we ate out, our son-in-law gave us a gift certificate for $50 over at Outback. I can’t remember the time before that. I am a much better cook than those you usually encounter working in a restaurant; so we eat better for less $ right here at home.

        We used to go to the movies; now we rent a movie on line and pop some popcorn here at home in the microwave.

        We quit doing our part for the Credit Card Companies a number of years ago. We have one credit card for emergencies, use it once a month and then pay it off in full when the statement arrives. That way they don’t cancel us for lack of activity on the card.

        We recently bought a one year old used car that was coming off a short-term, low mileage lease. Being Unpatriotic Assholes, we paid for the car in full with cash. Sorry butt-breaths, but we aren’t going to pay you any interest on that one either!

        The house was paid in full nine years ago when we bought it. Given what comparable houses in the area rent for; we figure that we recently got our entire investment out. We need to live someplace, rents haven’t gotten any cheaper; so who gives a ‘diddle’ that that we would probably only make 10k – 20k if we were to sell it. As long as we can come up with the less than $3k a year for the property taxes and HOA fees ……it’s ours.

        We are the elite’s worst nightmare; rednecks with a bit of education and very marketable job skills, who have worked hard all our lives and haven’t lived beyond our means.

        Please, somebody save us from ourselves! Call DHS and turn us in immediately!! The way we do business … we may just qualify a domestic terrorists!!! I would sooner french kiss a pig than pay a bankster interest!!!!

        • My below comment was aimed at you, MM.

        • Congrats on the house. About that it being “ours” thing, have you brought forward the patent or are you relying on just a warranty deed (color of title) to prove ownership? If you only have a warranty deed, you may want to look into the patent on the land to fully protect what you’ve worked so hard for. Just saying.

          …a color of title is an appearance or apparent title, and “image’ of the true title, hence the phrase ‘color of” which, when coupled with possession purports to convey the ownership of the land to the purchaser. This however does not say that the color of title is the actual and true title itself nor does it say that the color of title itself actually conveys ownership.

          …warranty deed, quit claim deed, sheriffs deed, trustee’s deed, judicial deed, tax deed, wig or any other instrument that purportedly conveys the title. All of these documents state that it conveys the ownership to the land. Each of these, however, is actually a color of title.

          A warranty deed or deed of conveyance is a color of title, as stated in Dempsey v Bums, 281 Ill. 644, 650
          (1917) (Deeds constitute colors of title); see also Dryden v Newman, 116 Ill. 186 (1886)

          (A deed that purports to convey interest in the land is a color of title) Hinckley v Green 52 Ill. 223 (1869)

          (A deed which, on its face, purports to convey a title, constitutes a claim and color of title); Busch v Huston, 75 Ill. 343 (1874)

          But, if you bring forward the patent:

          When there is a confrontation between two parties as to the superior legal title, the patent is conclusive evidence of title in the patentee. When there is a confrontation between two parties as to the superior legal title, the patent is conclusive evidence as to ownership. Gibson v. Chouteau, 13 Wall. 912 (1871)

          “Issuance of a government patent granting title to land is the most accredited type of conveyance known to our Law”. A patent, once issued, is the highest evidence of title, and is a final determination of the existence of all facts. Walton v. United States, 415 F. 2d 121, 123 (I0th Cir. 1969)

          When the federal government grants land via a patent, the patent is the highest evidence of title). Patent rights to the land is the title in fee, City of Los Angeles v. Board of Supervisors of Mono County, 292 P.2d 539 (1956)

          A Patent issued by the United States of America so vests the title in the lands covered thereby, that it is the
          further general rule that, such patents are not open to collateral attack. Thomas v· Union pacific Railroad
          Company,588, 596 (1956) See also State v. Crawford, 475 P.2d 515 (A-riz. App. 1970)

          (A patent is prima facie valid, and if its validity can be attacked at all, the burden of proof is upon the defendant); State v. Crawford, 441 P.2d 586,590 (Ariz. APP· 1968)

          A patent to land is the highest evidence of title and may not be collaterally attacked) Dredge v· Husite Company 369 P.2d 676,682 (1962)

          Again, congrats and best wishes!

        • Just wait until the doctors and hospitals get a hold of you. Its the number one cause of bankruptcy.

      14. Blame it on the Indonesian citizen in the Oval Office.

        • You mean the African dude hired a brother from Indonesia?

        • He’s an American citizen, asshole, just like his mother. And I blame everything on Bush the younger. He was a lying, thieving president who gave his friends tax cuts and defense contracts, started two wars and borrowed from China to pay for them, and then put religious zealots/corporate lobbyists in positions of power both here and in Iraq. That was the beginning of the end. What I blame Obama for is turning out to be Bush Lite.

      15. saving is only good if you can protect what you save.
        when a currency begins to lose value rapidy(as currently in belarus)people will use their money to buy hard assets and convert to other currencies while it still has value.hyperinflation;find out what it is and what
        it has done to other countries then prepare to survive it.

      16. And the only thing left is the rich and poor

      17. Back to school sales may provide a bump to skew the trend and provide some insight to holiday sales.

      18. pucker up

      19. Well, even though you now fall in the “terrorist” list for not being a slave to the system and thinking for yourself, give credit where credit is due: You are miles, no, light years ahead of most Americans. I only saw one “perceived” flaw. You rent movies on line? Why not watch them for free?
        (page one of generally many pages of movies to choose from)

        You can even see movies that have just arrived in the theaters. Not sure how they pull it off, but see for yourself. Am I’m off topic or what.

        • We have something here called Red Box – video vending machines all over the city with overnight rental of new releases for a whopping $1. You can rent from and return to any machine, not just the same machine, and can find them at most grocery and drug stores, out on the sidewalk. Make it a movie night with a friend, and it costs you only 50 cents – three friends, a quarter. Can’t beat that.

          • I rent from the library. FREE But i respect you.

        • No EA, we really appreciate the ‘nudge’ in the right direction. Anything that we are able to do to cut back on expenses works for us.

          The only way to ‘kill-the-beast’ is to quit feeding it with interest. Once the bankster-a**holes are unable to eat at our table, that’s when they start to weaken and die.

          You ought to see the folks in line behind us at the supermarket, after the cashier finishes ringing up our purchases and then stares in horror at the thick wad of coupons that my wife is holding out to her. Most move to other registers.

          Years gone by, we would never have thought to find ourselves shopping at thrift stores, stopping at garage sales, etc. The only thing that I won’t buy used is your old socks or underwear; you keep them, thank you kindly.

          As for retail sales this coming Christmas? They will be so bad that the number of new vacancies over at the mall will blow your mind. Things in the United States are rapidly headed South, from bad to worse.

          Please keep your heads down, keep your families close, God Bless & good luck to all.

          • Thrift stores are wonderful, as are garage sales and flea markets. 5 t-shirts for a dollar, good as new, or a pair of pants with the label still on them for $3. You have to look a little harder usually and double-check sizes, but that’s very little effort considering the savings. And don’t forget to check out the cookware, usually some great deals there too. I would recommend avoiding furniture, given the recent bedbug epidemic.

          • Never got the whole think about donating underwear. It’s not a fashion statement, so I wear mine until they are rags. Not sure who DOES buy used underwear.

            At my church they often ask for underwear (new) in clothing drives.

            • I gitcha…used underwear sounds a bit ah…creepy?
              On the other hand I never saw the point in wearing any…saves money…;)

      20. Since we’re talking about frugality…In June I was visiting one of my bug out locations which is somewhere about option E or F on my list and taking care of necessary things there. It’s outside of a small Pueblo up in the mountains of southwestern Mexico. I decided to explore a bit and wound up about 10-15 miles out of the Pueblo and ran onto a guy who had built his own house from locally sourced material and was powered exclusively by solar ( for electric ) and gas for cooking and pumping water. He let me explore his place with free rein and I was very impressed and got some really good ideas. He had virtually zero expenses, but was definately not living small or sacrificial. He had a 60-70W solar panel hooked to 6 batteries tied to a 1000W 24V converter which powered all his lights, radio, cell phone amplifier and small fridge. He had a really neat solar hot water setup and an LP stove. Outside he had an adobe oven under a really nice bamboo covered porch. He pumped his water into holding tanks from a stream using a small gas pump as needed. He had a large flock of chickens and tons of fruit trees with a small garden. This place was NICE, not at all like camping out and completely isolated. I would guess the house at about 1200 SF with 2 BR and 2 Baths, hand carved stone and wood floors and windows with bamboo shutters. His total “power” setup cost him about $7000 ( which is 2/3 more than it would cost us here ). His house was roughly about $12K, but again locally sourced and he did most of it. I learned one heck of a lot from that guy and plan to visit him again. I’ll take him a couple of the LED solar shed lights from Harbor Freight.. I want to pick his brain a little more.. the world could have ended and he would never have known or even cared.

        • what was his name PONCE?????

          • No, Enrique. Ponce’s cousin.. 😉

        • 60-70 watt WTF?

          • yes, my guess. Mine is 45W, his panels were slightly larger; I didn’t ask him the actual wattage, but I will. I was more interested in his hook up.

            • Actually, I went back and loked at the photos. He has 8 panels. I have 3 for 45W, so if it is 15W per panel, he had 120W. Sorry.

            • Sam Sounds like paradise to me! I had 5 acres when i felt everthing was good, lost my job, and fell onto hard times. I ended up selling the land, to which i kick myself everyday for!

            • Copout.. yes, I wish I could upload some pictures; it really is beautiful; straight out of Nat Geo. But I’m not sure that I would want to be his “neighbor”.. this place is truly isolated.. it takes about 15-20 minutes to drive the rutted road just into the Pueblo.. what struck me was that he had everything setup just like lots of us discuss here, but his setup was out of necessity. He wanted to put a house there and there aren’t and very likely will never be any “utilities” there. It was really cool to see, in action and application, what I have only read about.

        • Sounds nice, but I wouldn’t feel safe anywhere in mexico. The cartels are skinning people alive down there. That country is about to implode.

          • Implode ? Possibly, but not much more so than our own country. You can get dead real fast in virtually any city in the US. Once you get beyond the border cities and from a few certain other areas, the crime rate in Mexico is substantially lower than in the US. I’m not saying it isn’t bad in places; but lets face it, it is pretty crappy in a lot of places up here too. There are places not more than 20-30 miles from my house in the US that you couldn’t pay me to go to in the dark and I would only go in a large vehicle in the day ( and I wouldn’t stop ).

      21. This is not a recession. This is the new normal. For now. Because of the destruction of our currency it will get worse. It will never get better. At least not until after the complete collapse and start over. There will be no more new jobs of any substance. More jobs have to leave. As the dollar goes lower, fewer employers will be able to afford the US labor. They will have to outsource or go out of business. It’s simple math. Everything else is a distraction.

      22. Eur. Am.: Atlas shrugged and Contagion movies (see the movie trailers online) are two new ones I want to see, I will buy or rent the dvd’s at the shopping center. I’ll check on that web side to see about free ones.

        • Yes laura, go to the site I indicated above and watch them for free. It’s like a TV channel with no commercials. You can’t just start them from the beginning, They play according to someone else’s schedule. Anyway, check it out.

      23. I want a lap dance and some Hooters wings.

        • I knew there was something I needed to do this weekend.

        • Hooters sells food?

      24. What if lower middle-class folks started robbing the vampire class – home invasions in the hood for food stamps and welfare checks? Just a thought.

        • in some small isolated towns that is actually happening. maybe the government should go back to passing out the boxes of edible commodities instead of foodstamps/card then folks needing food will have it. of course, the reason they quit the commodities and went to foodstamps was b ecause folks were selling the food on the black market or trading the food goods for drugs and booze. go figure…folks are sometimes damned if the do and damned if they don’t.

          • The commodities boxes (as I recall it was called abundant foods) went away when some idiot brought up the smack to self-esteem folks got when they went to pick the boxes up. I remember my in-laws commenting on the reason they were now (back then) food stamps. Now in Alaska, they hand yoy a credit card for food.

            For ich, depression for the last 5-6 years. No problem. No debts other than utilities. Land bought and paid for before I got out of the Regular Army in ’83. Built my own cabin. Grow a garden. And yes, I could come up with $2K. Make my own homebrew and wine. My normalcy bias is set real low, but I am a consumer and everything I eat turns to shit.

            • Oh to help you all with some bright side to your plights. My telephone bill is $45 for local service and dial-up only. Electricity is $0.25 per KWH. And sniff, sniff coffee is $14.85 for a 3# can of Kirkland.

              Now don’tcha feel better?

          • Oh, crap–like they aren’t selling the cards??
            I cashiered and have never once asked for ID and have never seen another ask.

            • It’s called “Don’t ask ….. don’t tell, JJ

        • Jump ’em in the alley and take their bling and shoes.

      25. Barack Obama. Hussein.

        “this is bushes fault. The republicans fault. I inherited this. I have tried. The republicans won’t let me fix this.

        I am Barack Hussein Obama. The Greatest of all time

      26. I don’t think it’s a case of americans are broke. But rather americans are changing thier spending habits. I see people buying bulk more so than before. I see more and more people dropping thier land lines and going cell phone. I see people renting movies rather than going out. People still go out to dinner. Paid TV is losing sucscribers same as print. Gas prices have remained up so that makes us spend a bit less. But over all I till spend the same as I have for years.

        The biggest difference for me is tossing thje credit cards and going cash. With cash thre is far less impulse buying. And today I have been cleaning out my old junk, which I got on credit many, many years ago…for a garage sale.

        lectronics will be outdated in six months so why bother spending the money? Computers…same thing. Wait till actually need to replace something or have saved the money up.

        Recently I purchased a pair of shoes to ear at a wedding. Spent 15 bucks on shoes I will probably hardly wear again. Why bother buying things I dn’t need or will hardly ever use?

        I’m not broke just a scrooge.

      27. yep, the days when a person had three outfits hanging in the closet and something to dress up in for church, two pair of shoes, and maybe a hat and coat……….those days are coming back……….cant wait to hear that teenager next door screaming “but i wore that two days ago and its wrinkled.”

      28. Teen unemployment, as reported on
        You know the “real” numbers must be higher..

        Saltsman’s analysis, which was released on July 8, ranked the 20 states with the highest average teen unemployment through May 2011: the first column shows the actual teen unemployment rate over the teen labor force; the second column reflects the number of discouraged teen workers added to the unemployment rate (also compiled from Census Bureau data).

        District of Columbia – 49.0 percent, 52.2 percent
        California – 34.6 percent, 36.2 percent
        Georgia – 34.6 percent, 35.7 percent
        Nevada – 34.3 percent, 36.4 percent
        Washington – 33.2 percent, 34.2 percent
        Idaho – 31.8 percent, 33.1 percent
        West Virginia – 30.2 percent, 32.9 percent
        Missouri – 29.6 percent, 31.2 percent
        Florida – 29.4 percent, 31.4 percent
        Kentucky – 29.0 percent, 30.3 percent
        South Carolina – 28.5 percent, 29.0 percent
        Rhode Island – 28.0 percent, 29.6 percent
        Michigan – 27.6 percent, 29.1 percent
        Mississippi – 27.5 percent, 30.7 percent
        Tennessee – 26.9 percent, 27.4 percent
        Arizona – 26.7 percent, 28.2 percent
        Arkansas – 26.7 percent, 28.2 percent
        Colorado – 26.1 percent, 26.7 percent
        Illinois – 26.1 percent, 27.5 percent
        Oregon – 25.8 percent, 26.4 percent

      29. I think this is the new normal as well as a depression. Jobs are going to demand that what three people used to do working full time, one person now does -assuming you can get a job. Even folks I know with college degrees in the “hard sciences” are struggling to find employment.
        Where I live, many employers hire 5 people to work 8 hours a week so they don’t have to pay any bennies or worry about paying them a decent wage. Other places advertise “no guarantee of hours, hours are as needed”. This is the new normal around here. It’s really sad skilled folks who want to work can’t find employment that will sustain them.

        • re: obummercare

          I would hate to be a lower-tier employee in a place where there are around 50 or so employees total. Easiest way for that company to avoid obummercare is to fire a few.

          Brilliant plan to encourage hiring.

      30. The Bomster Bus Tour is coming to a city near you! You’ll know it’s his bus by the huge pictures of him on the side. Plus it’s bio-fueled and all green and efficient like. It’ll probably be parked near a bus repair shop in any given town. While it’s there you can sign up for lots of free gubmint goodies, register to vote (dem only please), and you can sign the petition for Bert and Earnie to get married. The Bomster will also be giving lots of speeches, since we just can’t seem to get enough of him. And he’ll be handing out ethnically sensitive toys and nutritious snacks for the kids. It’ll be just like a big fair, only without the gangs beating up on white people!
        I, however am embarking on a counter tour. The ‘Smokin Okie Truth Tour 2011′ will be following the BomsterBus to each and every town. You’ll know it’s us when you see the Peterbilt rig(600 hp diesel belching flame and black smoke) with a flatbed trailer loaded with dancing girls, free pizza and twinkies, beer on tap and sales reps from every known gun manufacturer in the world. We’ll be helping folks sight in their 308s, custom fit their new kevlar vests, and mount gun racks in their pick-ups. The sound system will be blaring Conway(hello darlin’) and Hank Sr at about 240 decibels- that should be enough to drown out the Bomster. Plus our freebies are much better. Stuff like ‘Trailer Trash Barbie’ for the girls and GI Joe dolls with real miniature bayonets, for the boys. Adults can get a free pocket constitution and paper silhouett targets with your choice of congresspersons face. We’re tring to get Ted Nugent signed up for the tour, but it’s not official yet. Dont miss it! The ‘Smokin Okie Truth Tour 2011’…crashing through a police barricade to a town near you!

        • Can’t wait to sit back and watch the coverage on this one….I’ll DVR the CNN version for a good laugh and watch the FOX coverage live….

        • Sounds articulating. I like it!

        • Hey Smokie! Do you think at some point in time you can make one of those cool maps like the gubmint makes that pinpoints your state and when you will be arriving? Oh wait…! I’ll just check Obummer’s map cause I forgot, you’ll be traveling right behind him. Whew, I got skeered I might miss ya! Thank goodness for gubmint efficiency!

          • Nugent’s agent just called. Said he’s up for the tour and he’s bringing his guitar AND his guns! Hot damn!
            Yes, we’ll be shadowing the Bomster all the way. Of course, between towns, when we’re rolling down the highway, we pass him so he can enjoy our diesel fumes.
            Another thing to remember, the stuff we give away, we bought with OUR money. The stuff he gives away, he bought with YOUR money. Something aint right with that…

            Program updates: The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders opted out but we got the Swedish Bikini Team (nice girls, very conservative). We got an Al Franken look-a-like to sit in the dunking tank and contrary to earlier reports, the water in the tank is only a MILD battery acid solution, it’s not that harsh. Besides, our impersonator is albino so if he gets bleached a little he won’t mind. Plus, yours truly will be hosting the Waylon Jennings karaoke hour at each stop. First prize is a custom made torque wrench autographed by Richard Petty! Should be lots of fun!

        • Smokin Okie,

          I can’t wait for the Truth Tour to come to KY! 🙂

        • Now THAT’s a tour I can believe in.

      31. To avoid the dreaded awaiting moderation, simply paste below:
        Saltsman’s analysis, which was released on July 8, ranked the 20 states with the highest average teen unemployment through May 2011: the first column shows the actual teen unemployment rate over the teen labor force; the second column reflects the number of discouraged teen workers added to the unemployment rate (also compiled from Census Bureau data).

        District of Columbia – 49.0 percent, 52.2 percent
        California – 34.6 percent, 36.2 percent
        Georgia – 34.6 percent, 35.7 percent
        Nevada – 34.3 percent, 36.4 percent
        Washington – 33.2 percent, 34.2 percent
        Idaho – 31.8 percent, 33.1 percent
        West Virginia – 30.2 percent, 32.9 percent
        Missouri – 29.6 percent, 31.2 percent
        Florida – 29.4 percent, 31.4 percent
        Kentucky – 29.0 percent, 30.3 percent
        South Carolina – 28.5 percent, 29.0 percent
        Rhode Island – 28.0 percent, 29.6 percent
        Michigan – 27.6 percent, 29.1 percent
        Mississippi – 27.5 percent, 30.7 percent
        Tennessee – 26.9 percent, 27.4 percent
        Arizona – 26.7 percent, 28.2 percent
        Arkansas – 26.7 percent, 28.2 percent
        Colorado – 26.1 percent, 26.7 percent
        Illinois – 26.1 percent, 27.5 percent
        Oregon – 25.8 percent, 26.4 percent

        • Odd, they somehow forgot Alaska in the analysis. Teens with a job is almost unheard of up here amongst the frozen chosen.

          In my area, two paycheck families are rare. I would be amazed if half the families have a steady paycheck. And we are far from being the most economically depressed area in Alaska.

          SmokinO, why no Hank Jr. twanging out “A Country Boy Can Survive?” Cause we can and we just need a bit of reinforcing of that notion. Oo that reminds me, gotta git my butt out to the greenhouse and harvest some bacco. Can’t afford them chemicalized store-boughten cigarettes. If your coming to Ak, bring along Willy Nelson with you and have him fetch some of his smoke. The natives are gitten restless and I’m a might concerned they will hit the bottle again causing us no end of grief.

          We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Look into the screen and repeat after me, “We are in a recovery, we are in a recovery.” You there, in the t-shirt, get with the program.

      32. Bottom line still living, just no living like we once did. To think my Dad was able to do better on the salary of one, where now we do worse on the salary of two. Makes no sense.

      33. The areas with high immigration levels have the highest teen unemployment. Oops!

      34. We canceled the cable long ago. Then the home internet service. Then the newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Then I made the mistake of saying to the wife “we need to cut off EVERYTHING we aren’t using.” She came after me with a knife and an evil Lorena Bobbit look on her face. I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour til she stopped laughing.

        • OMG, your hilarious, Smokie. Love you, man! 🙂

          • Hahahhahahaaaa!!!!!!! funny! 🙂

        • lmao, i need to meet mrs smokinokie! now i know how sheputs up with you! with laughter.

          • Oh my Gosh!! That was to funny, Okie!

      35. Cat scratch fever

        • Shadow of the Bomster- The Smokin Okie Truth Tour 2011 rolls on…Still tailgating the green bus. Had one minor glitch at the weigh station. Seems the Bomster’s secret service agents are getting a little peeved at us. They must have called ahead to the Missouri DOT and got one of our drivers put ‘out of service’ for logbook violations. Still, with 3 other drivers and 16 fake IDs between us, we should be fine. Not to mention the 4 decoy trucks we have tagging along. Speaking of fake IDs, I got my grandson one for his birthday. He just turned 3 but the ID says he’s 5. He wanted to go hang out with the big boys at kindergarten and have a slug of milk.
          As for the tour, it’s going well. Occasionaly the green bus has their police escort block us while they try to get a few miles in front. Guess they forgot about the cb radio. Every time they pull this stunt I just call ahead and have a couple of JB Hunt trucks start ‘drag racing’ each other (at 58 mph)in both lanes. After 10 minutes or so, the bus gives up and we’re right back on their tail. One of our drivers got lost in Chicago and ended up pulling into the Oprah Winfrey studio lot. At first, they tried to detain him but he told ’em he was with the ‘Sweetness and Light Connection to the Universal Consciousness Tour’ so they just wished him a happy karma and let him go.
          So far, we’ve given away over 1700 nancy pelosi sihlouett targets(most popular by far) and about 5000 pocket constitutions. There was one guy in East St Louis, IL that asked for a Ron Paul target and I was gonna just tell him we were out, but before I could say anything, one of the girls from the bikini team smacked him up side the head with her shoe! Guess those girls are more conservative that I thought. Overall, people are waking up to the truth all across America and we’ll keep doing our part.
          It’s a red-blooded, gun-totin’, bible-thumping, truth-telling MACHINE! Smokin Okie Truth Tour 2011…next stop: Kansas City!

      36. Control of the masses through the use of starvation. Google “Holodomor”. 1932-33 in the Ukraine, 7 million people were starved to death by the Bolsheviks. Didn’t see it in the MSM? No surprise.

      37. What suprises me is that so many people are broke and out of basic necessities yet the still have a computer

      38. Every year the US dollar buys less. It’s only a matter of time before currency destruction overtakes the rest of us. Even the best prepared will fall to this monster. As far as I know, the government has no plan for rapid restart of the economy after the collapse. This lack of a plan B will prolong the suffering. Think you can live off the land? So do 300 million others. Game will disappear in the early stages of the crisis. Fido and Fluffy the cat, right behind the game. My neighbor has a tasty looking collie!

      39. The next election vot’em all out.Including the non citizen president!
        They should all be jailed every last one of them.
        They did it so they need to pay for their crimes against US.
        If we hung a few it might change some minds in DC!

      40. Got tired of living paycheck to paycheck so I stopped working, gave the house to the bank and moved to the country. Now I garden full time and haven’t been happier. Guess what the WifFi high speed internet is better out here too. Wonder how we will survive? Quite a few of us have been doing it all our lives. Get ready SHTF coming soon to a neighborhood near you. Peace be with you.

      41. A lot of people were using their home equity like it was an ATM. Then home values crashed and more and more people are underwater on the mortgages.

        Real unemployment is U-6 unemployment. It’s 16.1%

        A lot of people lost their jobs and their unemployment has run out. There aren’t any jobs. Especially if you’re over 40. Foreclosures are going to continue to rise in the coming months.

        • I pay mortgage insurance. I’m sorry, but why are the banks underwater? That’s what started this whole thing. Wouldn’t it be the companies like AIG that insured those mortgages going broke, not the banks??

          My business has done better than ever only because we were able to stay in business long enough to pick up market-share by the mass layoffs of middle-class America. I bought out a competitor who, like many business owners, put her company’s expenses on a credit card (while waiting for customers to pay). I’ve done this myself over the years to get me through a tough spot…It was when the banks started cutting her credit line by whatever she paid on her bill, that it ruined her!

          She paid $5,000 on the card, and they cut her credit line by $5,000! Since her credit card was MAXED out, her credit score was cut, then other creditors started calling in their loans. She had no operating capital to stay in business and sold out to me. I offered to help her keep her business and even offered to sell it back to her at the same price I bought it for once she got herself sorted out. She never took me up on it. It’s sad, but that’s what happnened.

          I think we ALL need to be entrepreneurs at a time like this. Americans are the most innovative people in the world. We’ve already figured out we’ve been deceived, and are preparing accordingly. Good luck to all.

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