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The day that the market nosedived, I received my USA Today renewal notice. I started reading a daily newspaper in third grade, when we were required to bring in a NY Times article once a week and be prepared to explain it to the class. I've always had the newspaper delivered. I actually thought about not renewing, because the devastating market made me "FEEL" poor.
Now, unlike some people who've been asked this question on the national news by Katie Couric, I happen to know what I read "to keep up with current events", and in addition to my delivered paper, I read a bunch of newspapers, news sites and blogs on-line. But there is something about holding a newspaper in my hands every day.
Yesterday, I needed gas for my little car, and filled it up for $24, since I have a 10 gallon tank, and usually fill at 8 gallons down. Objectively, spending $8 less a week for gas isn't a lot, but it "FEELS" like much less. So I renewed my newspaper subscription.
A lot of how we view the economy is how we feel about the economy in general, and our own financial situation in particular. They used to say a downturn was when you heard the economy was tanking, a recession was when your neighbor lost his job, and a depression when you lost your job.
But for some people, perception IS reality, and they are in very bad shape. CNN reports on people who commit suicide, or murder-suicide, or attempted suicide, over impending house foreclosures.
I don't know the overwhelming number of people who read this site: so I don't know your financial situation. But if you are in financial distress, PLEASE call a local help line, call a family member. You can get a new place to live, those who love you cannot get another you.
If you know someone in dire straights, maybe you can help. I'm not talking paying off the back mortgage, but perhaps by pointing your neighbor/friend/family member to programs which can stave foreclosure, or a mental health program.
And if you're financially able, maybe renew your newspaper subscription, or buy something: 2/3 of the economy is based on consumer spending.