Once a year, during my spring break from school, I go to Phoenix, Arizona to visit my parents and my friends. I go alone, without my family. It is the only break I get from school since I work full time and am in school all year long - fall, spring and summer.
Last March on my return trip to Knoxville, we hit some pretty major turbulence. It lasted for about 20 minutes. Turbulence in an aircraft always makes me nervous because in every airline disaster movie, turbulence seems to signal impending doom.
This latest economic downturn is like turbulence in an aircraft. Does it signal impending doom? I'm no expert so I'm not sure. Are we headed for a depression? Again, not sure. We are most certainly in a recession. Is this like the pre-Great Depression times? I don't know. All I can say for sure is that, like turbulence aboard an aircraft, one must ride this turbulence out, too. I've heard that the economy is not supposed to get better until 2010. 2009 could be a very long year indeed.
I would tend to err on the side of caution and remember this little ditty: "Use it up, wear it out; Make it do, do without." You know all those folks who lived through the Great Depression? Most of them are no longer with us, but if we can find some folks who lived through the Great Depression, I would spend some time listening to their stories to glean wisdom about how they survived it. Studs Terkel, a great author who died in 2008, wrote "Hard Times", a book about folks who survived the Great Depression. I need to read through that again. Then I need to sit down and fasten my seat belt. We're in for a bumpy ride.