These are the best of times

Life has never been easier or better. More than 93% of us have jobs. Gas is under two bucks. They are practically giving away new cars with 0% financing. House prices are half of what they were a few years ago and a mortgage can be had around five percent.

It’s easy to get seats at fine restaurants. Prices are down for fine food. I walk into a Men’s clothing store and receive superior service, excellent product at half price and the salespeople openly express their sincere appreciation for my business.

Everything is great on TV: Lost, 24, Fringe, 30 Rock, The Mentalist… and Tivo let’s me access bascally anything at any time. Widescreen LCD TVs are cheap and plentiful. Vacations are wondrously inexpensive, airplanes uncrowded and on time, and there are incredible deals on vacation hotspots everywhere.

Everybody is very aware of and addressing the problems that we face economically and abroad and working hard towards resolving them.

Burger King just came out with the “Angry Whopper” which is the second true fast food delicacy that I’ve ever encountered (Popeyes spicy fried chicken and biscuits being the first.)

People at work seemed to have lost their feeling of selfish entitlement and are glad to have their jobs and committed to doing them well.

In general, people are a lot nicer and more concerned about each other than they have been recently. There’s a feeling that we’re all in this together.

If you’re a Republican/Conservative there’s a bit of a feeling of relief that now we’re not the whipping boys who are going to be blamed for everything bad that happens. What goes around comes around and doubtless payback will be a bitch.

if you’re a Democrat/liberal hey, you’re back in power and it’s going to be hard for things not to get better considering the way they are now, and even if they don’t you can still blame it on Republicans/Conservatives and their legacy for at least the next few years.

The level of hatred and vituperation in this place seems to have dropped dramatically and we’re no longer saying calling each other truly vile things over politics.

3 Cabinet nominees have withdrawn the bailout is a porky mess, Obama is trying to take over the census. Republicans are threatening to go to court and I’m debating Dawkins versus Aquinas. Politics is in the backseat where it belongs.

We are fortunate enough to live in one of those very rare times when stock valuations are so cheap that you can make a true fortune if you are prudent and brave. Opportunity is everywhere. GE is 1/4 what it was a year ago and is paying a 10% dividend. You don’t need to be a genius to take advantage of that.

Life is good.
(Idea stolen from David Granger in this month’s Esquire. I paraphrased the first paragraph or so.)

I take it you haven’t just lost your job, then?

The national unemployment rate is over 7%, so statement #1 isn’t true. Statement #2 is true for most of the nation, but here gas is averaging over two bucks again. And having just bought a car, you ain’t getting 0% financing on most cars (even with 800+ credit, the best I could get was 7%).

Well, for certain defined values of “everything”… :smiley:

Well…we’ll see. The banking sector doesn’t seem to get it yet.

I’ll give you these. It’s been like this here in Buffalo for some time, though (at least among non-politicians).

Similar things were said here in early 2001 and early 2005. Wonder what happened?

These are good things? Sounds like more gridlock to me.

Beware the false dawn of the stock market. It’s going to take a long time for enough investors to rush in.

Times are rarely as good or as bad as we see them; there are inevitable shades of gray.

Should I try this? I typically don’t care for BK sandwiches but this one looks pretty good.

It’s like sex.

Rumor has it it’s the end of paradise.

7.6% Picayune nipicking.

Gas is averaging under two bucks. More nitpicking.

Did you get a Mazda?:

Chrysler? Infiniti? Toyota? Ford? GM?

All currently have 0% financing available.

It’s out there. Sorry youd didn’t get it.

I’m in Finance. We get it.


Yes, but it did make me wonder…you mentioned cribbing the first paragraph from an earlier work. You did update the numbers, no?

A Honda. I’ve heard too many bad stories about Mazdas.

Another “Buy American” kick that is not going to work, sadly. 0% financing would have saved me, oh, about $2,000 over the life of the loan I took. Not worth it for the gap in quality, I would argue.

There’s a big difference between the “finance” and “banking” sector here. I’ve spoken to financial advisors who definitely get it. The banking CEOs who testified in front of Congress? Not getting it.

Hey, I was here in 2001 and 2005. A lot of animosity before the election, not nearly as much after. If anything, the run up to last year’s election was significantly less tense than in years past.

I see your point, but I think you’re going a bit overboard. For example, I just received my yearly statement on my 401(k) plan, which is apparently down 49%. I think my experience is pretty typical. For people who are getting near retirement age, that’s got to be a major bummer.

That’s just flatly untrue, and the guy who wrote this should be ashamed of himself. Somebody who has given up looking for work should be counted as unemployed.

You misspelled “greedy and unscrupulous”.

Holy Shit! Rome is on Fire!

I owe more on my house than it’s worth.
That’s not counting my credit cards.
Or my car loan.
Or my college loans.

I just got laid off.
There goes my health insurance.
My retirement is worth half of what it was.
There’s no way I’ll be able to send my kids to college.
Or give them a meaningful inheritance.
They may have to take care of me when I grow old.

America is at war.
*Two *wars, with few allies,
and we’re losing both of them.
We don’t have the money or the troops to turn either one around.
While we’re distracted in the Mideast, other enemies move against us, freely.
We don’t have money, troops or allies to turn that around.

The Earth is in trouble.
Global Warming is threatening to produce hundreds of millions of refugees,
This will result in wars and genocide.
We don’t have money, troops or allies to do anything about that either.

Our infrastructure, schools, health care, farmers, etc., etc., etc.,

Oh look! My Fiddle![/COLOR]

Or maybe a new burger from whats-its

You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Inaction is death. I don’t care who you voted for.
Yes, I ended my sentence with a preposition. :rolleyes:

Sure. But if they were smart and a reasonable asset allocation they can now rebalance and buy stocks and generational lows.

My retired father? my kids? Why on earth would you count people who are not looking for jobs in a statistic that by definition is measuring only people who are looking for jobs but don’t have them?

Warren Buffett is neither, nor am I. Methinks you see things through a very distorted lens. I see nothing greedy about investing money for retirement, nor unscrupulous about by buying stocks when they are cheap.

Perhaps you would care to elaborate on this untenable position of yours?

It is particularly this viewpoint of yours that gives me such cause for optimism. Seriously. Focussed on doom, you ignore the opportunity, leaving less competition for those that recognize it and would take advantage of it.

If near retirement and one loses almost 50% of their 401k, they and/or their advisors are doing something horribly wrong in regards to stock/bond allocation.

If you’re much younger than retirement age, keep contributing to DCA to get cheaper shares.

Honda makes a nice car. We have one. I also have a Ford. Neither has given me a lick of trouble.

Honda is running some at 2.9%

That you chose not to take advantage of The many 0 and low financing options that are available and went with something higher is specifically your choice.

More nitpicking. The obvious point that is being made is that there are very good deals to be had on new cars right now both in terms of price and financing. At the height of the gas price issue last summer I bought an '06 Ridgeline with every option and low miles for 18K. The thing stickered at over 40K.

The opportunity is there. I make no judgement on you choosing not to take it and instead go with something less favorable so that you could have the car you wanted but that in no way mitigates the fact that there was unusual opportunity elsewhere.

Yeah, we actually did some rate shopping though. Just nothing out there for us. Nobody wanted to negotiate, even with my credit score and income and the fact that I could have put 100% down if necessary.

Honestly, there was nothing better out there at the time, not for the make we wanted or the time we had.

You obviously do not live in California.

Neither of your examples fits the category that I stated. And I thought that unemployment measured people who don’t have jobs, period. (Obviously not including retirees or children) In either case, you certainly shouldn’t be counting them as employed.

Honestly, I’m just trying to get folks to take up their key boards; do something.