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How I Know the Economy is Picking Up - Oct. 30, 2012

Updated on October 31, 2012

THINGS ARE LOOKIN' UP

This will be a get-it-out quick article. Why? Because the 2012 Presidential Election is only a week away as I write this, and any undecided voters need to get the lowdown on inside information from this ordinary, admittedly biased, citizen. Having a biased intent, however, doesn't mean what I have learned since the middle of last week is untrue. I'm just going to tell you the facts, man, just the facts.

So a little background: My husband is a software engineer (yes, one of the Sheldon from "Big Bang types, but not quite that extreme). The week after President Obama was elected in 2008, Mike was laid off. Normally when he would get laid off, he'd get on the geeky job boards online, and recruiters would start calling immediately. There would always be a software job to be had SOMEWHERE - North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania. We certainly didn't expect Mike to land something permanent in light of the economy, but we were confident he'd be able to get a short term 6 month assignment like he's had to do before. But in January of 2009, unlike previous years, very few recruiters were calling. As the weeks wore on, there were NO recruiter calls. Fortunately, we were able to keep our health insurance payments up because of an extension of Cobra benefits under the Obama administration.(ah-hem) Since we didn't have a house and were living in an RV, our expenses were low. I started blogging about our experience in a blog paralleling President Obama's first 100 days and ours! At the beginning of that blog, I wrote that I was certain that Mike would find a job before the President's 100 days were up. Toward the 75th day, however, there were no leads. Then, just before the walls of our tiny 5th wheel were ready to close completely in on us, and before President Obama's 100 days were up, Mike found a job. Unfortunately, the position was located in Burbank, CA and we were living in our rv in the OC - a two hour train ride (one way!). But a job is a job and this one was especially appealing because it was a permanent position, so Mike took it.

By 2011 with housing prices low, we felt confident enough to try to purchase a little condo. So we packed up our meager belongings in our 400 sq. ft RV and started to live a much roomier life in our 940 sq. ft. condo. (People give up a lot to be near water and after all, my sign is Aquarius.)

During this time, from 2009 to the present, Mike has always kept his resume up on the job boards hoping that eventually he could get something that would be, say only an HOUR train ride away, or miracle of miracles - perhaps just 20 minutes away!

So that brings us to the information I wish to impart to all of us who are waiting, hoping, praying that we can stop buying our shoes from K-Mart, and especially for those who might need a push toward the party with the capital D and the President we already have in place: In all the years that Mike has had his resume up, from 2009 to now, there have been less then a trickle of recruiter calls. Since last week, however, and I'm telling you true, recruiters have been swarming Mike. He has an interview on Friday and one on Monday. While he loves the job he has, it costs $385 on the train each month to say nothing on the wear and tear to poor Mike. This is, and again, I'm not embellishing the truth, a significant change that we have personally noticed. But you say, those are software jobs. Yes, that's true, but it's been our experience and we've been around for quite awhile, that when recruiters start calling, it's a good indicator that the economy in general is picking up.

So no matter how you're voting, but I do wish it were for my guy, you heard it here first. And even if Romney should get elected, remember that the upswing started in the Fall of 2012 and "things are lookin' up.".

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    • djdaniel150 profile image

      Daniel 4 years ago from St Louis

      I still can't believe we have all these billionaires and everyone else is broke. How much money does one person need?

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      Billie

      I have friends in real estate and the short sales fall threw time and time again even with a buyer with cash. The banks just ignore the offers.

      As for sales, I know several people that have had their houses up for sale for most of a year.

      It is ironic that the banks created these bad loans, and even after the government bailed them out they refused to help their victims.

      These Mortgage Based Securities are the same securities that had bundled the bad loans that triggered the fall of the banks in the first place.

      California housing had the steepest price increases in the housing bubble and they stuck a lot of people with these overpriced homes. It was a feeding frenzy and the prices went up for no real reason other than the houses were selling and new houses were being put on the market. And the banks were OKing the necessary inflated price loans.

    • Billie Pagliolo profile image

      Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago from Laguna Hills, California

      I hear you! I'm terribly disappointed that housing wasn't rescued with the re-writing of loans. Everyone was complicit in that debacle. I remember purchasing a home in Corona Ca in 2005 on stated income. Why? because I was certain my husband and I would never foreclose and lucky for us, we didn't because of an ironic situation. He was laid off (!) and we had to sell the house 4 months after we bought it. The realtor convinced me to ask $80,000 more for that house because that was the prices were soaring . I COULD have said, "No, let's just get out the money we put in, but I listened to her, and walked away with $40,000. The person who bought that house eventually had to foreclose. The house is now worth $200,000 less than she paid and $100,000 less than our original loan. The solution is as complicated as a soduku puzzle, the hard kind. We did buy a condo in 2011 that dropped $40,000 right away, but I noticed on zillow it's back up. But for those who lost their homes, all we can do is help with their plight in any creative, respectful way that we can.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      The economy isn't any better until the housing market gets going, and that hasn't happened yet.

      Also the Feds are investing $40 billion a Month into Mortgage Back Securities, UNTIL the economy starts to recover. Those are the words from the Fed Reserve Board.

    • Billie Pagliolo profile image

      Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago from Laguna Hills, California

      DJ, I'm so sorry for your loses. You look quite young and that's the Ace you're holding. I remember in 1980, after Reagan took office, we paid 16% interest on a house we purchased merely because it looked at if the interest rates would climb to 18% on home mortgages. I've come to think that often the economy has a mind of its own and ebbs and flows often seemingly at will. This ebb was especially excrutiating, but if we use the water-in-the-bathtub analogy, it will come back with an equal positive force. I look at this time less in economic terms and more in terms of a new "Industrial Revolution". This is a transition period and guess who is on the cutting edge? You! a self-described "typical, savy website designer." Think what will be needed 5 years from now. I hope I'm here to see you soar.

    • djdaniel150 profile image

      Daniel 4 years ago from St Louis

      I think it may be starting to pan out. Business is picking up in the U.S economy lately, and we're manufacturing again. I lost everything in the down turn. What many don't realize is that this bad economy made much of the once wealthy, now broke. Thats how bad it was.

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