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  • Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

    1980 Home Loan rate 16.63 %. Good tradesman were idle.
    I was scraping steel. I think We're here again ! How are You surviving?
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

  • #2
    Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

    Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
    1980 Home Loan rate 16.63 %. Good tradesman were idle.
    I was scraping steel. I think We're here again ! How are You surviving?
    As I remember we were waiting in gas lines for hours. We could only buy gas on odd or even days depending on your license plate. Iran was holding our Marines hostage. Carter was doing his World apology tour. He also made a moratorium that prohibited getting raises. Many Americans were ashamed to be Americans. The economy was in the toilet and the construction industry was dead. Then in 1981 the skies opened up and we slowly started to dig our way out.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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    • #3
      Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

      I think the oil boom was peaking about then...wild and crazy times for a few years then over night it stopped,tuff times then.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

        Lets see, Carter gotten every hostage freed without firing a single shot, gasoline was well under a dollar a gallon, double digit interest rates for Certificates of Deposit, construction declined a little due to overproduction of homes and commercial buildings, yet men can still support families with a single full-time line of work.


        How hard were those times again?

        *I'm just angry at the fact were back in the late 70's, my father was still able to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table for a small family, at 60% of a machinist's wage every winter, albeit a challenge. Something that is completely impossible today with the high cost of insurance, gasoline pushing the three dollar mark again, and low spending power our dollar has today. Hell, I have a full time job, including through the winter, and I still have no way of even contemplating raising a family due to finance restrictions. How the hell were you people able to do it.
        Last edited by tailgunner; 07-31-2010, 03:26 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

          Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
          Lets see, Carter gotten every hostage freed without firing a single shot, gasoline was well under a dollar a gallon, double digit interest rates for Certificates of Deposit, construction declined a little due to overproduction of homes and commercial buildings, yet men can still support families with a single full-time line of work.


          How hard were those times again?

          *I'm just angry at the fact were back in the late 70's, my father was still able to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table for a small family, at 60% of a machinist's wage every winter, albeit a challenge. Something that is completely impossible today with the high cost of insurance, gasoline pushing the three dollar mark again, and low spending power our dollar has today. Hell, I have a full time job, including through the winter, and I still have no way of even contemplating raising a family due to finance restrictions. How the hell were you people able to do it.
          The hostages were freed after 444-days not because of what Carter did but because they were afraid of what Reagan would do. Gas may have been a dollar but that was still 3-times what we were paying and if your tank was empty and it wasn't your day you could not drive to work. I was driving a rough in truck and some days I had to sit home because it wasn't my day to buy gas. Homes were not selling because no one could afford a 20+% interest rate so while those who could afford to invest did well the rest of us did without.

          As for where you are in your life today it likely has more to do with where you are in life. Things may be tough for you but there are those out there who are doing just fine. You just finished your apprenticeship (I think), imagine how much tougher it would have been if your company was not allowed to give any raises.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

            Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
            1980 Home Loan rate 16.63 %. Good tradesman were idle.
            I was scraping steel. I think We're here again ! How are You surviving?
            I was to young to even think about it. My father talked about it a lot saying how bad it was
            Today's economy is a mess too.
            Do your best and live day by day peanut butter and jelly some nights for when it's real slow.
            Our economy here is shot. Do what we can and hope for better day's
            Sucks yes, But this economy has taught me a few lessons on running a business during tuff times.
            Last edited by UnClogNH; 07-31-2010, 04:18 PM.
            Rod
            MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
            Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
            http://unclognh.com
            http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

            Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

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            • #7
              Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

              Yep,I barely made it through.
              Running the Allis-Chalmers till the middle of the night pulling the plow.
              Moving irrigation systems in 7' corn at 100degrees.

              Corn,Soybeans and Sorghum in the unwatered corners.

              It was Carter's Russian grain embargo.I was going to farm auctions to experience the broken men's face as he watched his life's work go for...
              Carter's Peanuts

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              • #8
                Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                A lot of things seem the same the 80's and now, Gas was $1 and I said I would stop buying it if it went over $1 (yea that worked) Now I was just saying it again if it hit $4 I remember getting laid off at plumbing cuz work was slow and going to gas stations for work only to have 99 guys there for the one job that was available, and I see that happening again now. Bout the only thing I don't see is intrest going thru the roof and the only way a home can sell is on an owner contract. Remember all the 0 down get rich seminars? All will probably happen again it's called cycles. lol
                Seattle Drain Service

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                • #9
                  Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                  Great you guys just made me bust out my old Styx album Rockin the Paridise. "The Head Lines read these are the worst of times" Too funny wheres my mullet
                  Seattle Drain Service

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                    Originally posted by Cuda View Post
                    Great you guys just made me bust out my old Styx album Rockin the Paridise. "The Head Lines read these are the worst of times" Too funny wheres my mullet
                    Got it
                    Little spotty though

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                      I don't recall any wage price freeze or restrictions during the Carter administration... I do recall that happening under "Tricky Dick" in the late 60's or very early 70's. Thing with that was how ridiculous it was as the big companies clearly held us subcontractor's to the congressional order, but meanwhile grocery prices and much of everything else were rising steadily... and what are you going to do when the price of your groceries went up 10 to 20 %... call a cop??

                      In 1984 there was the big "gas shortage"... but that was sort of a joke too as the oil companies were holding massive reserves and there were some reports that oil tankers were being held in port waiting for "the word" to continue to the states.

                      One saving grace for that period was that the average saving account and of course saving certificates had excellent return... I recall making as much as 14% on a 2-year, 10K certificate.

                      Business was also excellent... but NOT in the petrochem business... which had gone into a self-inflicted political freeze because Carter had initiated certain economica and environmental initiatives. Even back then, the oil companies and the Republican party were working hand in hand to manipulate the economy against the Democrats accupying the White House. (They did the same thing when it looked like the Clinton's were going to be elected... initiating a 20% "across-the-board" cutback in just about all sectors of the petroleum business.)

                      But in 1982, my division (Ingersoll-Rand) moved three major divisions out of Painted Post and I lost my job. We had only been in our home about two years and our son was just starting high school. But, there were plenty of other industries to work for and I started my own business as a freelancer. In spite of things I managed to buy new camera equipment and design materials and even a new car by 1984.

                      Here on the east coast, the gas prices started to rise quickly but there were no lines and no rationing. Lot's of gas, just at steadily increasing prices.

                      All of that of course came to an end when Reagan was elected (I too voted for him)... but other things started changing too. Plenty of gas for one, it was like a miracle of sorts... all those gas companies suddenly had more than anyone could ever imagine (part of that Republican "magic"). Big business became a major political influence and of course how could anyone forget "Reaganomics"... with it's "trickle-down" theory that the richer you were the more tax breaks and economic "encentives" were provided (the idea of course that all those new rich folks would start buying from us little guys and by doing so, we'd be able to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

                      But of course none of that worked (Republicans would like us to think that it was all for us middle class folks... but that was when the middle class started to disappear) Instead of helping out the middle class, big business, "Corporate America" started merging, eliminating jobs, moving manufacturing off shore. Under Reagonomics workers, and especially unions started taking it in the butt. Most of America started loosing their jobs, whole plants closed, moving to Mexico or Taiwan. Unions began to dissolve, and security agencies like OSHA, the EPA, FDA, and others started to loose thier clout. American corporations began to increas their power as oversite agencies and unions lost power. The number of big name industries that started exporting jobs was almost uncountable and the shenangans that started taking place within industry and corporate management became increasingly bold and less and less oriented toward it's workforce.

                      With that came the issue of global competition and the lie that American industry was simply broke and couldn't afford to invest here in the U.S. Miraculously came the issue that hundreds of $Billions of dollars were tied up in "retirement" accounts... money that was by law, set aside for the American worker. Until that time, employers had a legal responsibility to set aside and "untouchable" pension fund, a fund that was largely paid for by the blood ans sweat of their American workforce.

                      But under the Reagan administration, these funds were seen only as a vast reservoir of $billions, which Corporate America should be entitled too... capitol that should be used to expand the business. So the retirement laws were re-written and thousands of companies were able to openly "raid" these pension funds... money which they said, and the government agreed, was rightly the property of the corporations and NOT the workers. Within months, the great tradition of "pension" was re-organized into 401K plans and under those new provisions, my retirement (as with most American industries) went from a calculation based on the highest five years of earnings... to a so-called "life-time average". Just imagine the difference between a five-highest income years of say $50K... to a realization that one started their job some 35 years prior with a starting salary of about $8K.

                      And we were the lucky ones... because with the "raid" many, many, many, companies just took the retirement accounts, invested them overseas and then conveniently got swallowed up by a bigger corporation, which the law allowed to have no reponsibility for past employment actions. Hence the big steel employees, like many other industries, simply sent their retirees a letter telling them their last retirement check would be next month.

                      In my case, I went back to the new Dresser-Rand (1986) joint venture... and though given service credit for my time with Ingersoll-Rand, my projected "retirement" dropped from a couple thousand a month to what I get now....$324 after 30-years of service (and I might add... all of that goes for my retirement health insurance).

                      So yeah, I remember the 1980s... I remember too that I was a staunch Republican and did not like Carter at all. He simply had no comprehension of the size or complications of the national government. I remember how happy I was that I voted for Reagan... the last of the great Republican presidents... What in the hell was I thinking? (Well, he did get the Russians to tear down that wall, didn't he?)

                      CWS
                      Last edited by CWSmith; 07-31-2010, 09:03 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                        I think its all in where you live. I live in southwest missouri. We are a 1 income family on Journeymans wages and we do pretty well. I make my mortgage payments on time, the cars are paid for, and there isn't too much other debt. Some weeks are tough, but we've got plans, you have to set goals for your finances and stick to them like crazy.
                        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                          Hard times.

                          There have been hard times since the beginning of mankind. Each society has seen there version of hard times.

                          Economic downfall, corrupt governments, diseases, wars, etc.

                          Hard times have always been here on Earth. They will come and go again after we are all just a memory.

                          One good thing that comes from hard times is resilience and the formation of good character in good people. (I'm sure some have a genetic predisposition for not being so good. But that's another discussion.)

                          One of my little sayings is "There is no strength without the struggle."

                          Those that have seen hard times & come through them are mostly the better for it. I see many cases where adults are doing everything they can for their children. Sounds great, but they are crippling them by not giving them the "gift" of desire to accomplish things. Not denying some of their wants or at least making them earn some of their wants.

                          Hard times aren't always good for people, but they are always good for the human spirit.

                          J.C.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                            1980 was good here, I remember 82 & 83 as the tough years. Raygun wasn't much help. Unless you liked his feel good crap.

                            Was fortunate and landed a good paying, steady job in late 83. Took me about 3 years to dig myself out of the financial dung heap with a little help from a generous boss who goes by the Big Dog.

                            1974 & 75 wasn't a hell of a lot better under Ford with his wage and price controls.

                            James

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hard times of the 80s, Anyone old enough?

                              Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                              1980 Home Loan rate 16.63 %. Good tradesman were idle.
                              I was scraping steel. I think We're here again ! How are You surviving?
                              Got to call BS on this. I bought my first home in 80, my loan rate was 11%. Not good, but it isn't 16.63%!!!

                              Bought my second home in 87. Loan rate 9.5% so much for Raygunomics.http://www.erate.com/mortgage_rates_history.htm
                              Last edited by James P; 08-01-2010, 08:46 AM.

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