All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

A whole bunch of articles in the New York Times, about how the recession is affecting Americans, in particularly in Florida, which was one of the "ground zeros" of the housing bubble.

There are a lot of people who now have no other income except food stamps. They range from people who used to make six figures, to the perennially homeless. And this guy:

A strapping man who once made a living throwing fastballs, William Trapani, 53, left his dreams on the minor league mound and his front teeth in prison, where he spent nine years for selling cocaine. Now he sleeps at a rescue mission, repairs bicycles for small change, and counts $200 in food stamps as his only secure support.

“I’ve been out looking for work every day — there’s absolutely nothing,” he said.

I looked him up at The Baseball Cube. He's listed. Drafted by the Cubs in the 39th round, in 1979. Played one year with the GCL Cubs in Ft. Myers. He must have gone down there to report for rookie league, then never left.

Then there's this article, about real estate in Cape Coral. Someone bought a church bus and is using it to give tours of foreclosed properties to tourists. Others are taking possessions left behind by foreclosed neighbors and selling them on Craiglist and eBay, or in yard sales on their front lawns.

Things are so bad there that banks have a huge supply of "ghost inventory" - property they aren't getting payments for, but which they haven't moved to foreclose on. They have so much unsold property as it is, that they don't want any more. Plus, if they foreclose, they have to book the mortgage as a loss, which makes their balance sheets look bad. As long as they don't foreclose, it's not a loss. People report that their banks are asking them to stay even if they can't pay, just to maintain the property and keep the looters away.

But that can't go on forever. Once the water or power gets cut off, or a major repair is needed, people have to move, foreclosure or not.

Then there's this more hopeful article:

Americans Doing More, Buying Less, a Poll Finds
Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online.

But Americans are not just getting by with less. They are also doing more.

Some are working longer hours, but a larger proportion, the poll shows, are spending additional time with family and friends, gardening, cooking, reading, watching television and engaging in other hobbies.

The Department of Labor’s time-use surveys show a similar trend: compared with 2005, Americans spent less time in 2008 buying goods and services and more time cooking or taking part in “organizational, civic and religious activities.”

Several studies have shown that experiences make you happier than things. People regret money spent on things, but generally look back on experiences with ever fonder memories. I know I don't regret all the afternoons I've spent at the ballpark.


posted by BubbaFan, 1:32 PM


Interesting. i just spent a small fortune going to the Cotton Bowl, first bowl game I have ever gone too. i enjoyed it and I did make some good memories. The cowboys Stadium is Awwwsuuummmm!
commented by Blogger The ?Que Pasa? Kid, January 03, 2010 10:08 PM  
I'm so jealous. I'd love to see the new Cowboys stadium.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, January 07, 2010 5:55 PM  

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