A recent Associated Press-AOL Health poll found that mounting debt caused by economic woes is causing stress-related health problems - and even more debt!
I understand this problem, as my hubby and I have had to deal with intermittent breaks in our income throughout the Dotcom bust, the domino effects of 9/11/01 and downturns in the high tech industry in which we're both professionals. Just when we felt like we were able to breathe, again, something else happened. Fortunately, we've been able to tap our resources (unfortunately, we now have to focus heavily on rebuilding), unlike several of our friends who went belly up.
Rapidly rising fuel costs will hit electric bills this hot summer, heating fuel costs this winter, and continue to burden school lunch and transportation budgets, your grocery budget and more. People are resorting to stealing fuel and reselling it - at lower than pump prices, and laughing about it. We've fallen victim to someone siphoning fuel out of our un-lockable gas tank. I've heard people complain that they can't afford to work because they can't afford to get to work.
Then, there is the uncontrolled credit industry that imposes usurious fees as though they never want consumers to be debt free. An unemployed person can least afford 30+% credit card fees that simply don't balance with earning less than 3% on their savings accounts.
Our society has encouraged conspicuous spending versus financial responsibility, so it can be said that the consumer in dire straits should have been more frugal or judicious. Hindsight is always 20/20 and no one can fully predict what companies will do or be fully prepared for an event like outsourcing your job.
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