Community: It’s The Economy, Stupid

With gas prices ($90 to fill up my Subaru!) and inflation on everything from home repair to a gallon of milk, the U.S. economy may be sputtering. We may be looking at a recession that hits around the time of the midterm elections. Not really awesome.

We have definitely rethought some big purchases in the past few months. We put off home projects or outsourced them to Jonah. When I got a quote for $1,700 to pull down some old sheetrock in the basement, Jonah was hired at half the price to pull it all down. Other more skilled jobs, like retiling the shower, will happen next year. We are just getting around to planning a vacation for this summer, and looking at plane and hotel options; we may be spending our days in a tent.

Have you changed your spending habits this month?

4 thoughts on “Community: It’s The Economy, Stupid

  1. A recession always impacts my business, so that’s…worrisome, since Covid removed our buffer.

    For us, I’m noticing gas prices although glad one of our cars is a hybrid at least, and with my husband maintaining some remote work it’s not too awful. I am making decisions to bike down to the library which is healthy, but not sustainable in the winter months necessarily.

    For food our story is similar – we’ve been reducing our meat consumption for a while, and although some staples like lactose-free milk (we’re not vegan although I am before 6) are up, eating more and more beans has kept our budget pretty stable. I do a CSA for the growing months each year and this year since I paid for the whole thing in Feb I sort of won the vegetable lottery. Of course right now it’s so. much. asparagus and so. many. greens… 🙂

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  2. Although it might be true that politics rests on the economy and that inflation and the stock market and a potential recession might bode poorly for the Democrats, I don’t think political decisions have much affect on the economy. Large world trends (this morning, I heard an opinion that inflation, if driven by world factors and supply chains might not respond to US Fed action) play much more role than decisions the Democrats have under their control.

    Personally, I notice the stock market decline and not inflation at the pump or grocery store. But, we recently scheduled flights for our first vacation (there has been business/college travel, but this is the first vacation). I casually picked a cross country location because our kiddo will be interning in the city (cross country for 7 of the travelers) and then, when we looked for flights saw that flight cost has gone up more than anything else in May. Three of us managed our tickets by using a companion fare & miles. I think that’s our only concession to inflation in managing spending.

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  3. What is on my mind is school safety. Yesterday, I was volunteering in my senior’s school (for senior luncheon). We were decorating and planning the food outside, for after their rehearsal in the gym. At about 11, there was a threat called into the school. The teachers quickly went to lock down mode, the police were called, and there were parents with food in their hands. The teachers said, quickly, quickly, bring the food inside the gym and we leaped to that action and joined the seniors in the gym for lockdown.

    Mild chaos while we set up the food, but then the seniors ate, and sat in circles and chatted and the teachers managed the children, including the door exits (and us, we too were locked down). After a check for the hidden guns the caller had references, the police/security ended the lockdown and sent everyone home (bomb sniffing dogs were then going to check the building). Parents waited for kids to leave and then started cleaning up, but were told to stop and just leave. As I walked out among the kids, I was heartsick to hear them saying, casually, “I guess we won’t die today”.

    My senior told me later that a friend had arrived late, just after the lock down began, walked past the police and started banging on a door to be let in (not surprising, the lateness, or the assumption that he could get in). When he didn’t get in he texted asking someone to let him in (and was called to be told to go home). The police didn’t stop him, presumably because he didn’t seem like a threat to them. But, what if had seemed a threat? What might have happened?

    Schools have been a home for my children, including this big public school; as I walked through the hallway I saw kids growing up, the joy, the interactions. They cannot be homes while they are also armed fortresses. Children will show up late and try to get in the closest door. The orchestra door will be propped open, if it can be, so that the students can carry their trombones inside.

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