Today I found this article on http://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/, 23 Doomsayers Who Say We’re Heading Toward Depression In 2011. The severity of the economic downturn is already apparent in state budgets which are far in the red. With unemployment benefits running out and state budget cuts closing social programs you can expect to see more visible signs of the global economic apocalypse.
Fortunately the state of Pennsylvania did not have another budget impasse this year. The budget has been passed so I don’t expect to be laid off this year. However, the state of Pennsylvania does not have a genuinely balanced budget. I expect the state budget crisis to get worse and worse until it eventually puts the non-profit agency I work for out of business.
There are several steps I will be taking to prepare for the great depression. It is important to do some things while you still have a job and the money to do things. Here is my list of precautionary spending:
- Buy more work clothes suitable for job interviews.
- Explore the area by taking cheap staycations in small towns which I may need to find for job interviews.
- Invest in office equipment for freelance work. I need a new computer chair and a secondary hard drive.
- Throw out junk. If I have to move away for a job, I will need to reduce the amount of stuff I will need to pack.
The last time I was unemployed for a long time, I had to drive up to Wellsboro for a job interview. I also drove to Pittsburgh. Being unemployed actually forces you to travel a bit more. You have to be on time so it pays to familiarize yourself with a few routes.
Divesting myself of the possessions I don’t really need is a long term goal. I can’t throw everything out at once or I will be hit with a huge garbage bill. So far I have thrown away some filmstrip projectors that I bought for their nostalgia value. Needless to say, I don’t really need filmstrip projectors! They were too large to sell on eBay. I probably would have lost money on the shipping. So they went out with the garbage. I will try to sell my filmstrips on eBay but if they don’t sell they will be thrown out too.
I also have some old computer equipment which I’ll trash. I have an old inkjet printer with too much ink dried up in it. I have a flatbed scanner which I’ve replaced with a better scanner. And I have a small VGA monitor which I really don’t need.
But my biggest problem is the piles of books everywhere. I have gotten rid of many books through book swapping web sites like http://bookmooch.com/, http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php, and http://www.swaptree.com/userhome/ but I need to list many more books. It costs money to ship books for swap so I need to do this while I still have a job.
The great depression will be very disruptive. It will bring many changes to the lives of a lot of people. There may be some positive aspects to the situation. For example, it may be good for an eligible bachelor such as myself. I like to live alone but it may become difficult to remain unattached as more and more women become truly desperate. I’ve read many sob stories about single women who have lost their job and health insurance. They really can’t afford to remain single any longer. The best solution to such a problem is to find a man with a job and get on his health insurance plan. So far I have only seen one woman adopt this scheme http://www.willmarryforhealthinsurance.com/ but we can expect more. I like to joke that I’ll get married when I’m the last man on earth with a job. That day is soon coming!
Since it has always been difficult to find a job in this area, the great depression may be my opportunity to move to a big city like Philadelphia or New York City. I’m too comfortable where I am now to move to the big city. But if things get bad enough around here I may angle for a job in Philadelphia or move closer to New York City. This is how my frequent trips to New York City may pay off in the end.