Hard Times

John Rich’s song sums up so much of what I’m feeling about this depression.  In our town, the family owned grocery store has closed, the bank branch is closing, and friends of mine are worried about losing their jobs, all while the state government debates freezing my salary (though it looks unlikely now) and our town decides to raise our property taxes, which are already about $10,000 per year.  I won’t comment on the budget in the town where I teach, since I wouldn’t want to get dooced.

I know we’re much more financially stable than many people, but it’s still scary.  All I can do is work hard, spend wisely, and hope for the best.  But it doesn’t mean that I’m not stressed, worried, and frustrated.



Filed under Living from Scratch

10 responses to “Hard Times

  1. That is a great song, I’m sure you can imagine how it hits home in my area especially. That is really scary that your salary may be threatened. Sometimes I feel like the reality hasn’t hit for us. Brian’s job is about as secure as can be had around here and mine doesn’t seem to be at risk either. However, my Dad sold pretty much everything he owned and moved out of state recently to try to find work. That was a little too close for comfort and really sad to see.

    It is nice to remind ourselves that we (you and I) are probably better off than a lot of people since we know how to do things like garden, cook from scratch, raise animals, sew, etc. My only really concern would be losing our home. So long as we can always pay our mortgage and taxes I think we could live well here on the farm. Just to compare, our property taxes, summer and winter combined, totaled just over $3,000 last year. That is for 74 acres, the house, and 2 big outbuildings. I can’t believe how high yours are! Wow!

  2. Jena- The cost of living here is really high. It seems that as soon as we get some money saved, it all goes to taxes. 74 acres around here would be millions of dollars, since it’s all about how many houses you can build on it. Of course, this is where our roots are so we’ll stay, as long as we can afford to! Fortunately, my job is also very secure, as I have tenure and seniority. And Ed’s job is pretty secure, too, so like I said we’re better off than many people are.

  3. Rob

    It’s the same all over, I am hoping to retire at 55 – but its looking more and more like a dream. And management keeps taking bonuses. And crying when the workers want more. Damn dirty shame if you ask me.

  4. Rob

    Personally i would like to see these CEO’s and Bureucrats work for minimum wage- No company jets no snacks and coffee hours paid for by the shareholders (one of my personal gripes), and I don’t care if you graduated from Yale or Harvard- No Free lunch

  5. Jon

    74 acres would be millions of dollars… come on ab, lets try to keep it somewhere near reality.

  6. Jon- I know it may look like I was saying the taxes would be millions of dollars, but I meant the sale price of the land. I know the taxes wouldn’t be millions of dollars. What would I do without little brothers to question everything I say???

  7. I have some of the same feelings. We are trying hard not to succumb to the fear, to adjust to a “new normal” but it’s really scary. My husband’s company has restructured how their worker’s fill out time sheets which translates into a pay cut. I freelance and my clients, who are all nice people and used to pay on time, are taking 60 and 90 days to pay me. We recently went through a time when a lot of things around our house broke and could not be repaired: the DVD, the living room lamp, a set of sheets burst a hole, etc. We’re just doing without.
    I too, do my best to stay hopeful and keep on going! Hang in there.

  8. I, too, was very moved by John Rich’s song, “Shutting Detroit Down,” when I saw him perform on the Country Music Awards show the other night. But, then I was wondering if that was written before the huge bailouts to the auto industry. All the same, I know it’s hard everywhere. Some of us feel kind of secure in our jobs/careers, but we’re beginning to see the trickle-down of it everywhere. Just as Tara says when you have a business, you can’t always count on your clients paying you for services performed because they’ve come on hard times, etc., etc.

    As Jena mentioned, those who are trying to move toward more sustainable lifestyles may have a leg up in this situation. Truth is, probably most of us can do without a lot of stuff that we’ve just taken for granted; I’m sure I could if pressed!

    Also, thanks, because I’ve learned a new word! Wonder who coined that?

  9. Definitely tough times everywhere.

    For a point of comparison, our property taxes are about $12k a year. We live on 5500 square feet. No lie. AND I’m working on a campaign to raise property taxes. It’s for the schools and it is $78 a year per parcel so that we can continue to pay our teachers and maintain the worst ratio in the country – which is going to be 22:1 next yr for kinders and 24:1 for my to be 1st grader. Funny the things you fight for when times are tough.

    Hang in there, Abbie. I think we’re all doing the same. Working hard, hoping for the best.

  10. Good post Abbie, every day brings more news of a long time business either going bankrupt or closing before they lose everything. It is so sad – we feel fortunate to have most of the skills we need to survive and hubby’s job is fairly secure.

    Around here there is a 80 acre minumum to build, supposedly to save farmland, which our’s is not. Ironicallly, the really good bottom land can be built on. Go figure – and the taxes just keep going up and up.

    Thanks again for the great post!

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