I live in the Silicon Valley and have not always been impacted like the rest of the country during a down economy. There are a large numbers of jobs here and maybe I've just been lucky in the past. This time is different.
I am hearing from friends that they are being impacted and we could very well be impacted in the next few months as well. The company my husband works for was acquired last week. We don't know if he is going to have a job or not in a couple months. We have put a sudden halt to discretionary spending until we know more. We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
I went to Target earlier this week and it was different. There were not many people shopping and usually it's fairly crowded at 8pm. Some shelves were empty and some had very low stock. There were a lot more items marked clearance than I had ever seen before. Two prominent chocolate factories in the Bay Area are closing, Babystlye closed it stores and website without warning, Mervyn's has already closed it's doors, and company after company announce layoffs in the thousands. Who and what is next?
News reports on the state of our economy is bleak: Unemployment rates continue to rise, 4.78 million are out of work, new home sales are down even further. I also keep hearing stories about suicides and shootings resulting from the stress and anxiety of job loss and financial turmoil.
How much more can we take as a country? Will the stimulus package help or make matters worse? Who has the magic crystal ball that will give all of us a little peace of mind?