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What's the current economy in your area like?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by papa bears stove, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. papa bears stove

    papa bears stove Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Marathon, NY
    Interesting news today from upstate NY. The NYS fair attendance was down 20,000 people yesterday. The fair attendance for this years fair is down 100,000. The local newspaper announced that it is cutting back and only going to print 3 days a week now. We keep being told the economy is getting better, I keep asking where? What is the economy like in your area?

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  2. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
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    255
    Loc:
    Bedford NH
    Well, strictly my observations:
    In southern NH, there is plenty of work for those that want it. The state's unemploment rate has not seen drastic swings like much of the rest of the country has. Hmm, maybe there is something to be said about no sales or income taxes
    It seems as though people are complaining about the economy here but their habits have changed little.
    I think is a "general uneasiness" people have about the overall direction of the country.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  3. TomR

    TomR New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Central CT
    The economy in my area is OK but certainly not great. If either myself or my wife lost our job we would be in trouble. As far as can tell good jobs aren't easy to come by right now. I'm not over board with it but I do look for ways to save money - last year we installed a wood stove and added insulation, this year I'm adding a pellet stove. There is a lot of 'front end' cost associated with these purchases but I believe over the long-run I will save significant money reducing my dependence on oil.
  4. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    446
    Loc:
    CNY
    You can't gauge the economy on those two examples. Take into account that (1) the entertainment at the fair sucks this year. there are NO grandstand shows for 3 or 4 nights this year, so if you figure 20000 fans per show the attendance is going to be down. Plus Springsteen was at Vernon downs last night. (2) Newspaper readership HAS dropped, I feel it is a sad trend that the next generation is bringing about, How many young people do you see reading a paper? The Syracuse paper will do home delivery 3 day a week, but print a "smaller" edition for news stands the other days. The plan on concentrating their effort to "On line" readership.

    Work wise (rental house) we really have not seen much of an overall change since last year. Remember too that this is an election year so you will hear a lot about how good or bad the economy is depending on who's commercial it is. Plus the price of oil goes up every time it clouds up in the Gulf of Mexico or there is a refinery fire in another country.

    OK wife says I have to put the soap box back in the closet.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  5. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    495
    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    Economy here is slowly getting better ... slowly ...finally we don't have a tax and spend junkie ..
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  6. Dtunes

    Dtunes New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Loc:
    Outside of Boston MA
    Economy is ok here. Most everyone I know is working, though many people's wages haven't increased as much as the cost of living. Haven't heard of wide spread layoffs for over a year. Healthcare costs continue to rise, luckily my wife's insurance is far better than my company's. With the economy the way it is, everyone is a little more nervous about job security than we'd like. Employer's are of course reveling in poor labor market. More work, less people, almost daring someone to complain. Cost of living is so high here which is frustrating, especially seeing how cheap pellets are in other places :mad:

    I think news papers are a special circumstance though. I'm in my early thirties and none of my peers read the actual physical news paper. It's not just a matter of wanting it free(though that helps). I just can't see the sense in printing and shipping all those tons of paper just to distribute the news, seems like such a waste of resources. Also once it's printed, the stories can't be updated or expanded.

    I don't think anyone in my generation or younger reads the paper. The internet is just a more efficient means of delivering news. I will say they don't seem to have the same quality professional writers that news papers did when they were still the predominant news source.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Economy here is showing good signs of recovery. 3 yrs ago there was little new construction. This year it's picked up a lot. Home sales are doing better too. Not great, but improving.
  8. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    3,888
    Loc:
    Southcoast, MA
    Economy here in Southern MA never really changed. A whole sector of jobs disappeared and is slowly coming back, if at all, food got more expensive, gas prices moved around and my auto mechanic is still charging $115 per hour and his lot is always full. The new economy is this...if you are creative, you'll find work and do well. Education isn't that much of an issue. If you only know how to work for someone else....well, you already have one in line before you at pay day and that may be one too many.

    Rehoboth Fair didn't go on this year.
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Same here . . . from what I've been seeing Maine almost always seems to be among the last to see change -- both in terms of good times and bad times . . . and even then there isn't typically a huge change.

    Gut feeling is that things are slowly improving . . . but at a very slow pace as many people (but certainly not all -- it seems many folks have very short term memories when it comes to finances) are more cautious about spending money, investing, etc.
  10. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    mid-ohio
    business fell about 30% a few years back, has stayed steady since. Adjusted overheads to compensate for that, shows us how much we did not need to spend. Still able to give raises and bonuses. Slight uptick so far this fiscal year. Keeping 17 people employed full time with benefits. Buying a new building this year, actually going to save us some more overhead. Bank says we are one of the few doing "well" on thier balance sheet. Have diversified and picked up some new revenue streams which has helped. I have always said I am to stupid to realise I am failing so I keep moving ahead. We also feel we have a responsibility to the employees to keep them in good wages and benefits, the company keeps absorbing the health insurance increases so the employees can afford them. Not sure how long we can keep that up but we will try as long as possible.Our Ins. broker says we are stupid for picking up the tab, my responce was without employees we close (looking for new broker). Apparently we are one of the few left covering familys. We are still here and profitable.
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    6,400
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Heard this morning that NH polls say 60% like the direction in NH, but 70% (same poll- people in NH) do not like the direction that the nation is headed.

    Here is the deal- this is worth every dime you're paying for it:

    • The economy is down nation wide (except North Dakota), nonetheless- local politicians are pinning bad economic performance on incumbents- like the governor of a state is so at fault when the whole nation's economy has tanked.
    • Every economist worth his well starched collar is saying that since this is more than just a serious economy thing- it's a fiscal/financial crisis as well- it should take 7+ years after the bottom to recover.
    • We are gaining employment- albeit at a slow rate. Whoever wins this election will look like a damn hero because the economy will have better recovery. That party will say "I told you so", despite the fact that it's as much about the trend as anything.
    • The US has actually done a lot better than most nations over the past x years.
    • I sure as heck hope that Europe straightens out it's thing as well, as they can derail whatever gains we make.
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    Local: People are building houses again and in my town prices are going up quickly because a) the Manchester school system is falling apart b) people are moving to NH because it's not "that bad" here compared to a lot of the Southwest and Southern states. Friends who made it out are coming back to interview. As far as wages go I've lost 4 good people in the past 6 months, two of which almost doubled their hourly rate. All 4 were casualties of the slowdown and my company took advantage of the slowdown to really screw them. I warned the boss that we would pay for it later and now we are screwed. Meanwhile, he's hoping Romney is elected so he can "get rid of unemployment so people have to work. That's why we can't hire!". Yeah, like I want those people on my team.

    State: Our budget is balanced primarily with property taxes, so we don't get the big swings like other states when it comes to the budget. We are, however, dealing with a lot of pent up payback in the form of using retirement as a casino bankroll. The stimulus was a big bailout to state and local governments that really softened the blow coming down the pipe. Now it's gone and with the economy (flat is the new up) stable but shaky we're on the edge of making some touch choices. The state hid it's liabilities (like Greece) and balanced budgets using Wall Street shenanigans, so now our towns and state need to come up with money. Unfortunately we already have ridiculously high property taxes. With the coming Medicare crunch (federal government will pay a contribution vs benefit) it's going to get expensive for the states, and NH is ill prepared to handle it. Education spending is not enough and yet much too much. A lot of government employees (my wife is a teacher) are taking too much and almost all don't pay enough for their benefits. This is going to sink us and lead us either into charter schools, selling off our infrastructure, or a statewide sales/income tax. Short term: Better than most. Long term: Not any better than most.

    Federal: I'll save it for the ashcan.
  13. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Chelsea Maine
    The economy is only as good as the budget. If the books arn't balanced and you are borrowing money everyday, sooner or later there will be a crash with a very hard landing. Even if you personally are living within you means, you too will get sucked into black hole of the national debt.
    Things here in Maine are moving very slow, but we don't seem to be sliding backward. Costs are going up. Income is not. We educate our kids only to have them leave here for places where they can get a better income and offer their kids more. The cost of energy and 30 yrs. of socialism has this state as being one of the least friendly to do business in or as a place to retire.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  14. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    We've had less Socialism in the past 30 years than we did in the previous 30 before 1980. The debt at the local/state level is the result of the drop in federal reimbursements to the state local level.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Well, I get to watch the tourist part of the economy and based upon an informal canvas of the area parking lots on the day after check in things are still in the hopper, this is confirmed by the number of eateries that have been going for a long while closing or cutting hours. The same places still have hiring signs up that do hire from time to time and then usually let anyone who has been there for awhile go. I'm waiting for some of the big boxes to cut back as in closing stores. Inventory has been reduced and the parking lots are not that full.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Economy here is very good - largely based upon the arts, small manufacturing, college and education, etc......

    Lots of people choose to live here - a large percentage of imports as opposed to natives. My guess would be 40% imports. Either way, the longstanding traditions of innovation, hard work, education, inclusivity, etc. all work together to make for a fairly decent "no bubble" economy. I think unemployment in MA. is less than 6% or so.....
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Northern Virginia
    The only thing that happened here in Fed and Fed contractor country is a lot of foreclosures when people walked on the overpriced McMansions they built on credit they shouldn't have been given. Case in point is a huge house a half mile away on five acres originally bought new by a one man, one truck sheetrocker with five kids. Price: $1,400,000. Foreclosure sale price: $600,000.

    Because most everybody around here works for the Feds, works for a Fed contractor or gets their business from people that do it has been stable except for property values. Which brought a much needed Come To Jaysus Moment to wildly spending local government. .Food, energy and medical inflation is the same as everywhere else. Going up just like always.

    Now if "sequestration" comes about. There may be four of us out here in this development still living in our houses. We are the retired ones. I need a new car but am holding out. Could be a lot of nice ones on the market by year end.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have to say that although things are doing ok here, I noticed an awful lot of vacant storefronts in Seattle's Pioneer Square. I'm seeing the same in our small local town. Many more than say 5 years ago. Part of this is a demographic change. Pioneer Square seems to be somewhat abandoned by the city and left for the homeless and tourists. Locally it is just darn hard to keep a business going in a small town unless you market to the outside too.
  19. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    Yeah, you can't just keep spending without going bankrupt ...
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  20. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    We said that about my uncle.....my dad told us over and over that he was broke due to all his vices (many of which shall go unnamed, but eat - drink - and be very merry).........

    Guess what? He died at least a decade ago and his kids are still spending his money.
    You never know when or if the party ends. Chances are YOUR party ends way before THE BIG PARTY. As it should be.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Actually, what really set our economy back was gambling and politics. The wall street and the banks gambled and lost, but shifted their debt to the US basically by blackmail and chicanery.

    But you are right on another front. War, waged for ideological reasons, tax cuts and a bogus prescription drug plan were all done on credit for political gain. And now the bill is due.
    Dtunes likes this.
  22. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    Feb 27, 2008
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    Loc:
    NH
    I just checked my wallet...economy doing ok here. Price of pistachios is pretty high though, I just can't see paying +$8/lb for nuts you still gotta shell, but I'm just about sick of peanuts.
  23. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Bend, OR
    Doing better here...not a remarkable pace of improvement, but noticeable. I know a number of folks in the construction trades, and they say their business is picking up...finally, after some really bad years. Homeowners are spending on improvements...decks, etc. Some of the housing developments that were all laid out with streets & utilities a few years ago that never sold anything more than a model home have been bought out of foreclosure by other developers who now are ready to bet on the local market. New homes are going up on lots that have stood vacant for 4 years. Home prices are inching back up as the home buying comes back to life. I'd say we're OK, all things considered, and headed in the right direction. Rick
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Our township is booming. Recently 2 men found jobs and there has been one permit issued for a new house. Sad though are all the empty homes and most of those were built within the last 20 years.
  25. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    255
    Loc:
    Bedford NH
    "Shouldn't have taken".
    A little personal responsibility please,,,
    No guns were used in the signing of that mortgage.

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