9 Mar 2009

FUN MONDAY - RECESSION ?



Our this week's host Sayre wants to know :

What are you and your family doing to deal with the current economic situation on a personal level? Obama's got a plan for the nation, but how do you/will you deal with your own economic stress.

I belong to the lucky persons who don't have any economic stress and my family neither. I also live in a country (Belgium) which is amongst the best economically situated countries in Europe and not comparable with the USA at all.

If I wouldn't hear in the News that we are almost in recession, that we have too many poor people and that companies are closing and people more and more without work, I wouldn't know or realize anything about it.

My life hasn't changed, we are retired, our house is payed and we get our pension every month. My friends are in the same situation and if they are still working they don't have any problems either.

The only thing I see despite the "recession" we hear of everyday, is that the shops are still full, the caddies overloaded, and expensive restaurants as usual fully booked on weekends. Cinemas, theatres or Shows of music groups or star singers are sold out. People order new cars and last holidays the airport was packed with people looking for warm sunshine or snow. There even was an increase of travelling people.

More and more houses and shopping malls are built in Waterloo so there must be enough people to buy houses and go shopping. The young couple in our street invited more than 100 people to their wedding (see the pictures below) so I suppose they are not starving either.

Of course there are also people in difficulties and have no work, but they are getting their unemployment benefits which is just enough to live, not more and so far it is unlimted in time. and everybody has health insurance which is included in the gross salary. Of course for all these legal services the taxes on salaries are very high in Belgium and can go up to 50 % depending on the salary.

Photobucket

16 comments:

Mariposa said...

Get up it's recession! LOVE that photo...LOL

You're right...people still spend...and I want to believe spending in times like this helps propels the economy.

Malls here are still filled with people, there are still cars and more new cars...yet, I think that is what economic divide is about...just talking about unequal distribution of wealth...and then, how government delivers projects to people, etc.

Nice post! And yes, that wedding was lovely, I lover her dress!

Peter said...

One of the joys of getting older Gattina, Belguim sounds like a good place to live.

Hootin' Anni said...

I've heard and read about the insurance in the other parts of the world, Europe mostly, that it is very high [cost wise that is], and I compare it to America's....thing is, even tho our health insurance is not 'government' run...the cost is still comparable when you consider the high tax you all have.

Great FM entry indeed. We seniors are lucky in so many ways.

claudie said...

I can say I'm in the same situation you are. As I'm teacher employed by the state and Pierre is working in a big public compagny. Of course we've not finished to pay all for the house and the girls are not still independant. That's why I enjoy the day we will have enough money to travel Pierre and me. For the moment I pay Pay and pay but for the girls and I'm happy if I can do it! Certains secteurs sont particulièrement touchés. Autour de moi je ne connais pas de personnes qui soient touchées. Mais vu les chiffres qu'on nous annonce à la tv ça concerne pas mal de personnes.

diane said...

Love the photo and caption.
We are fairly lucky here too. Our banks are very stable. Our problem is that our superannuation value has dropped quite a lot but when the market improves so to will the value of the superannuation. Just hope it doesn't take too long.

Melli said...

I had just commented a week or so to one of Dr. John's posts that I do not feel the recession either. I know it's out there. But our circumstances have not really made it noticeable. Just a little. Dennis hasn't been working Saturdays the last month or so - so we don't have as much "extra" - but we are not hurting at all. Still have a roof, too many cars, too much food... we do what we want. BUT... our kids are struggling. However... I struggled at their age too - and I think it's GOOD for them!

Sayre said...

You are very lucky in Belgium. There are certain European countries that don't seem to feel the pinch the same way - perhaps because your economy is set up differently.

Sweden changed their banking system so that there was competition between banks. Here, we seem to go for a few really big banks. Unfortunately, if a bank is "too big to fail" it's too darned big. There is no competition for rates or business. Our folks don't seem to get that.

Perhaps I should retire to Belgium or Sweden????

Gledwood said...

I'm going to grow little plants and sell 'em...

(hey I might even become a hamster dealer!!)

Jeanna said...

They say that the really expensive things are not in danger, it's more the middle of the road stuff, the same is true for restaurants.
Look closely at the cinemas and you'll see a lot of people catching more than one movie for their ticket.

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ChrisB said...

Gattina it sounds as though things are much better in Belgium than here in the UK.

Faye said...

What a responsible pet owner you are Gattina! Job training in case a recession hits Belgium. I know spending is a stimulus for the economy, but in some ways it doesn't make sense. I hope your country continues to enjoy a good economy. Your workers seem to be accustomed to the tradeoffs like higher taxes for health care, indefinite unemployment benefits.

Like Mariposa, I enjoyed the wedding photographs. The bride was elegant and lovely in that beautifully designed, simple wedding dress.

hulagirlatheart said...

Wow. Glad I don't have to pay those taxes.

Puss-in-Boots said...

I'm very fortunate, too, Gattina in that the recession has made no difference to me. Nothing's changed. I still do what I normally do without thinking of the cost. We seniors have a lot to be grateful for, haven't we?

Alice said...

it does certainly seem recession is hitting here in the U.S.. several of our friends have lost jobs due to the decrease in spending. it makes me glad we are retired look you. not a worry for us. unless Obama finds some way around social security and retirement funds. not a fun thought.

Lifecruiser said...

We haven't begin to notice so much about it here either, but I suspect it will later on. At least a bit.