Thursday, August 13, 2009

Construction Blues

We are in the custom residential building business. The only time we have ever had a problem getting work was after 9/11, and then I think people objected to building big houses because it just didn't seem right. We weathered it. But this recession is causing a serious depression, both in our business and all of a sudden in me.

I am a very optimistic but realistic person. I look at what can be done and do it. I look at what can't be done and figure out how to do it anyway. But I'm flummoxed about how to outlast this latest economic situation.

There are several things working against us right now:

1. The people who are building houses don't care about getting the best. They care about getting the most for their money.
2. Illegals, who don't pay income or payroll taxes, are undercutting our subcontractors.
3. Banks, who have stolen money from you and me, are still not letting go of any. And their fat cat executives aren't spending any of their bonuses on big houses either. At least not in our area.
4. This recession, unlike any we've seen, has touched the pocketbooks and portfolios of every single American.
5. People are nervous about Obama, our growing debt, wars.

There are more reasons, I'm sure.

I feel like a rat in a maze. And somebody keeps moving the walls.


trisha said...

Dearest Mamie,

When you read the following, consider that someone in Massachusetts or Michigan, Ohio or California could have written this.

My and my husband's investments are now inching back up but will take years--years--to recover. Multiply that by how-many-millions of middle-class Americans.

My husband's company is managing the financial crisis with lay-offs, reduced work hours for some employees and by searching for new ways to do business. Any results will not be immediate.

My 74 year-old mother worries that, under proposed healthcare reform, seniors will be euthanized against their will.

Lately, almost every weekend, a man drives in from the country and goes through our neighborhood, trying to sell pine straw he gathered from his yard. His misshapen bales are free of sticks and other trash, unlike those from Home Depot and Lowe's. I admire his resourcefulness and determination.

Three houses in my neighborhood are in foreclosure and will be sold at auction. Two of them have been for sale more than a year.

A fourth house has been on the market for over a year. The price has been significantly reduced. The house has been empty since the owners moved to their new home last winter.

My brother-in-law was laid off and out of work for 5 months. His wife took a second job. They have 3 children under the age of five, 1 tenth-grader and 1 college freshman.

Where do I find hope?
In words: quitting is not an option.
In action: I, one person, will do my best and be my best for God, myself, my family and my fellow humans for as far as my reach extends.
In love: God is good.

We, all of us, will get beyond this terrible time.

trisha said...

A few notes to my lengthy comment:

I wrote, not to make light of your troubles, but to say that you are not alone. Many of us worry, struggle, suffer. Each person's situation is particular and specific.

What we can share is the hope that when decent people do their best, we all benefit, directly or indirectly.

My belief does waver. Given a rough news day, a losing quarter, a sinking dollar, I fear that I or my loved ones will not have enough.

Let's keep believing.

Greta said...

I like the maze approach represented by your photo. Not just the maze, but also the blue.

We had a small business and I take comfort (not selfishly) in the fact that we're not struggling with that.

My hope is that (some)people can let go of their anger and put that energy into working together.

Kim said...

i truly believe it will get better...that it is in fact getting better...just ever so slowly. no matter what, i'll always have your back:)