How many $$ do you need to live?
You need to know. You need to make sure that your personal finances are in order. Find out your bottom line need for $$ by following the link at the end of this posting.
I am not a doom-and-gloom kind of guy. But I do believe that very challenging economic times are ahead: beginning in 2011 and going through possibly 2017. 2007-now has just been a warmup.
This means several things: continued job losses or no job growth, flat and sometimes falling salaries, tight or less credit availability.
Some things that can/will rock our world: a weak dollar, the dollar loses out as the world’s primary reserve currency (end of 2009 or by mid-2010), demand for repayment of our national debt by foreign countries, any trade war with China (we lose immediately! Americans are addicted to cheap Chinese products which we no longer produce or cannot produce anywhere near the Chinese price), inflation, and continued weakness in American industry.
This will resolve itself two ways: Adam Smith and Darwin will rule the marketplace (not likely; requires an open and free marketplace) or a form of a managed markets with government intervention (national socialism): government does not take ownership but heavily regulates/rewards industry that meets national needs.
Link to the Living Wage Calculator at http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/