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ECONOMIC CRISIS SURVEY

01. The U.S. Economy is in the worst shape since:
’82.
’73.
The Great Depression.
I don’t know – what’s worse than The Great Depression?
02. Because of the economic crisis I have reduced my household spending:
15% across the board.
To the point where it doesn’t exceed my income. (Who’d of thought that would be so hard, huh?)
Entirely - I don’t have any household expenses because I lost my house.
Not at all. (Thank you pre-Bailout Wall Street bonus!)
03. My home is now worth:
More than what I originally paid for it, but nowhere near as much as I owe in home equity lines.
Half what my mortgage broker swore it would be worth when I bought it two years ago using an adjustable rate interest-only loan that I am just now finding out he got a huge fee for talking me into.
It’s the bank’s problem now, so who cares?
04. If I had to describe my outlook for the economy in one word it would be:
Bad.
Badder.
Baddest.
As George W. Bush might say “Badderest.”
05. The best way to fix the economy is:
The House version of the stimulus plan.
The Senate version of the stimulus plan.
Get a loan from Bill Gates.
Make everybody on Wall Street who got a bonus over the last five years give it back.
Hold a really big bake sale and hope everybody in China feels guilty enough about selling us all those tainted products to buy 1 billion $800 brownies.
Pray.
06. I think the government is doing everything it can to fix the economy:
Which is why I think the best course of action is to be optimistic and wait for the turnaround.
Which is why I’m truly frightened.
Or I would think that if I wasn’t numbing myself with prescription anti-depressants and alcohol.
Who are we kidding? The government?!?!? The government got us into this mess in the first place with all that “ownership society” bullshit, lobbyist-written bills, de-regulation and quid pro quo campaign contributions. If the government was trying not to fix the economy then maybe we’d have a chance, otherwise forget it.
07. The one person I think is most likely to fix the economy is:
President Obama, which almost certainly guarantees that every Republican on Capitol Hill will try to stop him.
John McCain, but he didn’t get elected.
Bernie Madoff (which sounds crazy until you realize this is the guy who ran a $50 billion ponzi scheme for 30 years before he got caught, and if he could do the same thing with the $50 trillion U.S. economy, why the hell not? The rest of the world already blames us, so why not take even more of their money and have some fun.)
My 4-year-old son - ’cause his generation will be the ones who actually have to pay off whatever deficit we run up now.
08. If I had the last 8 years to do over I would:
Have bought a lot more property on thin, shaky, questionable credit but sold it all at the end of ’05.
Taken the cash from my home equity line and stashed it in the mattress instead of buying flat screen HDTVs for my bathrooms.
Have bought a big, huge, gas-guzzling Hummer in ’01 because then I would have been able to drive it for a few years without everyone looking at my like I’m single-handedly warming the planet with every mile I drive.
Shorted A.I.G., the Big Three auto makers, Lehman Brothers and WaMu.
Enjoyed it while it lasted.
09. The most important lesson I’ve learned from the economic crisis is:
Spend less, save more.
If it seems to good to be true it probably is.
Greed makes everybody stupid, especially people who live in Washington D.C.
Nothing. (Sad, I know, but at least I’m being honest.)
10. If things don’t turnaround in the next few months I’m:
Moving back in with my parents.
11. Ultimately I blame:
Wall Street.
Main Street for thinking it could make money like Wall Street.
Poor government regulation of banks, mortgage brokers, hedge funds, the securities industry and itself.
George W. Bush.
Bill Clinton (who really didn’t have anything to do with the mess we’re in now but is still my scapegoat of choice for everything liberal).
Sarah Palin (who definitely didn’t have anything to do with the mess we’re in now but is still my scapegoat of choice for everything conservative).
Barack Obama (and if not now, surely by this summer).
My spouse for talking us into buying a house I knew we couldn’t afford.
My parents (because I wouldn’t be going through this hell if I wasn’t ever born).
Myself, even though it’s hard to admit.
God.
All of the above.
12. If I get through this without losing everything, I plan to take to heart the lessons I’ve learned and devote my life to:
Doing something that makes society as a whole a better place.
Finding work I feel is personally satisfying rather than just financially rewarding.
Finding better work-life balance.
Any of the above, but only after I’ve paid off the credit cards I’ve been living on, which will probably take decades.

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