My day job is as a network acceleration expert at Citrix Systems, which is feeling the economic slowdown (as who isn’t?). Wednesday afternoon they announced they were reducing their workforce by 10%. Thursday afternoon I learned that I was not going to be shown the door — which meant that I still had to meet my horrendously difficult Friday deadlines!
I’m sure we all know people who have lost their jobs in this recession. I feel fortunate to have been through this before, having been given the old heave-ho at Activision in the Eighties and WEITEK in the Nineties when their respective wheels fell off. Plus some other gigs when I was a free-lance contractor. Once you’ve been through it a few times, the prospect is a nuisance rather than a terror. In fact, I’ve never left a job of my own free will. Gigs don’t last, not in high tech, anyway.
So I’m still on the job at Citrix, which is good, since there are some cool things in the works that I want to help push out the door.
As for recession-proofing tips, I don’t suppose that I have any special insights. The key is to keep your expenses well below your income and avoid debt so you can constantly build up savings for emergencies and retirement. In our case, we bought a farm that was within our means, never buy new cars (our newest vehicle is a ’96 Toyota pickup), pay off our credit cards every month, and if our income goes up, we put most of the increase into savings. We fell off the wagon around 2000, running up considerable credit-card debt just before getting hammered by the recession that followed the dot-com bubble. That wasn’t very smart of us. But we got back out of debt eventually and are in okay shape again.
2 thoughts on “The Recession Takes a Swing at Me, But Misses”
I regularly hear comments from neighbors who see the few chickens in our suburban backyard and think that we are well prepared for a Depression. It is true that chickens were a popular investment during the Great Depression, but these days the cost of feed is so much that unless the cost of eggs and meat in the stores increases significantly, it is still more expensive to raise your own poultry.
Do you have any ideas that make the cost of raising poultry more affordable? For the backyard chicken farmers like myself, raising your own grain isn’t an option, but letting them wander the yard for bugs and grass is. I would guess that the old-time farmers who lived through the Depression would have a thing or two to say about this topic.
Food used to be very expensive: 100 years ago, the average person spent half his earnings on food, now it’s down below 10%. Food used to be people’s #1 expense, now it’s housing.
Worse, factory-farmed products generally retail for less than it would cost you to grow them yourself. Few people today would be happy with the more or less free output of old-time chicken flocks, which were basically starved most of the year but made enough of a comeback in the spring and summer to produce some eggs and meat for free. Also, a lot of the all-foraging diet of these old-time flocks consisted of grain spilled from horses and cattle and garbage thrown out the back door. Modern households and farmsteads produce far less edible waste than they used to, so an all-foraging diet works worse than ever.
What happens is that the cheapest way is the one that seems the most expensive: buy high-quality chicks, feed them as much high-quality feed as they want, and take good care of them generally. Range provides supplemental, seasonal nutrition on top of the base you get from chicken feed.