Financial crisis: feeling the pinch?

So we’ve been living in a “financial crisis” for about a year now. How are Technoccult readers fairing?

I have fewer friends looking for work than ever, and several of them are making more money than ever. I’m doing well enough, personally. Gas and rent are up, while pay is flat so I’m not doing stellar, but wages have been behind inflation for years.

I think a lot of us are getting underpaid, but that’s nothing new. In fact, I sort of wonder if the reason we’re not “feeling the pinch” is because I don’t know many people with 401ks, stock portfolios, mortgages, or significant savings to begin with. Now, I mostly know 20-somethings so that skews things a bit. The point is, it’s a rough economy but I can’t say from my position it’s any rougher in the past year than it has been in the past several years.

How has your experience of the financial downturn been?


  1. I’m in Springfield, Illinois watching most of my block get evicted/arrested over the past few months. Been an increase in break-ins, although I spend so much time here @ “the office” that I’m really none too concerned about that.

    I see a whole lot more fear and panic than i do actual consequences, though. McCain was right: the fundamentals of our economy remain strong. We got good smart people here.

  2. Here in Phoenix, where the “housing bubble” was particularly overinflated, I know two families who had to wait a little bit longer to sell their houses last year. Overall, I agree with your post. I would assume that many of us in these sectors of the internet’s underbelly are 20-somethings, and have not seen abject poverty or applied for food stamps just yet. One of my students’ fathers had their gas stolen this past weekend, but that happens all the time.

    As I told a friend on the phone tonight, I am waiting for food riots and mass dissent before I see the need to react the way the media system has. Said media system serves the interests of their customers, large corporations and the ruling class. Of course they would be subtly pushing such a massive bailout of those “with a stake in society”.

  3. Saginaw, Michigan-

    Michigan is in an utter spiral into the pit…Detroit is a clear view of what is going to occur to the entire state. There are no jobs anywhere for anyone qualified or not. The medical profession is the only thing keeping the state mildly sustained. Metal scraping and robbery have sprawled their threads larger across every county. It was bad to begin with and it’s getting worse…

    See I.T. Well-

  4. From Someone Already on Foodstamps:

    Until last weekend, I was living in a high-poverty apartment community in the suburbs outside Atlanta. It was filled fun types of people like crack dealers and prostitutes. Luckily I managed to network my way into moving closer to downtown. Things are actually looking up for me and my family. I’m working for a good company which is demonstrating growth even during the recent hard times. My family’s income has not yet exceeded the “poverty line.” However, my husband, who only had sporadic employment for close to two years, has suddenly found steady contract work. It seems that we’ll probably be off assistance within a year. What I’ve experienced is that times are hard for people who aren’t used to cutting back their expenses, but for people like me and my husband, things are about the same and maybe even getting better.

  5. Chicago-

    This is first time (since the late 80’s and the dot-com bust that happened later) that I know so many people unemployed. There are at least four or five neighbors on my block alone (not counting friends). I live by the train, and where there used to be hardly a parking spot empty in the mornings, there are a few available now. It’s tough selling your house here, but it’s also a great time to buy. Condo buildings that were in the process of being built have been left in the same state for months. Financially stalled for now. Our taxes are some of the highest in the nation, and the cost of living is through the roof. There have been more break-ins, robberies, and a lot more people getting killed (I’m sure you’ve read about it).

    My investments aren’t doing as badly as some people I know. I’m well diversified, and haven’t lost that much. A lot of people I know who are having trouble are older workers (there are younger people willing to do the same job for less pay and benefits), and people who owned their own businesses (all ages). It’s a tough market out here for entrepreneurs (non IT anyway).

    The financial world moves in cycles, just like everything else. There are good times and bad, and just like in the economic downturns of the past, we’ll make it through this one.

  6. I haven’t been hit particularly hard, but I work at the lowest rung in the entertainment industry. My girlfriend, however, has lost 2 jobs in the last few months, and is having trouble finding work that will pay her enough to survive (she made 2/3 more than me at her last job). She’s a project manager, with tech experience, but not enough technical knowledge like Java to pull down one of the few PM jobs around.

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