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Thread: Inflation, Stagflation, Recession, and Woodworking

  1. #1
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    Inflation, Stagflation, Recession, and Woodworking

    I'm way behind on the American Federal Period desk project (but will post an update soon) but, with all the news about the economy lately can't help but wonder about our corner of the economic pie. Most of us are amateur woodworkers and we tend to spend discretionary funds on supplies and tools. Just thinking about the way I spend to support my habit, er hobby, I can clearly see that I've pulled back. SO, to the meat of the question; How much impact do you think our current economic struggles will impact your woodworking?
    Member; Society of American Period Furniture Makers

  2. #2
    Am hobbist wood worker that my sale of products tend to buy new products. Looks like it will be a lean year.

    WoodWorking, Crappie Fishing, Colts, Life is good!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Barton View Post
    ..... How much impact do you think our current economic struggles will impact your woodworking?
    Two answers.

    1) Direct answer to your question, unless my income goes down or up none. Nothing is changed for me. If prices go up on a item I want, I might hold off or shop around for it. But other than that why should I change unless it affects me or will affect me.

    Actually, if my work slows, it will probably means I will do more. Because I have more time in the shop.

    2) Answer to a question you didn't ask. I think many people will cut back even though it has no direct effect on them. All the talk scares people and just makes the situation worse. If we didn't know the economy was bad we would just keep spending.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post

    All the talk scares people and just makes the situation worse. If we didn't know the economy was bad we would just keep spending.
    I totally agree Jeff the same is going on here when our local politicians start talking about tightening the purse strings and preparing for an upcoming recession it just drives the economy into the toilet. The economy will always have ups and downs that is just normal. Adding a fear to the general population only makes things worse.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    ...2) Answer to a question you didn't ask. I think many people will cut back even though it has no direct effect on them. All the talk scares people and just makes the situation worse. If we didn't know the economy was bad we would just keep spending.
    I second this one... most people I talk to are getting scared and cutting back for only that reason, they "hear" all this talk about how bad it is. When pushed and asked what they are actually scared of, I rarely get a solid answer because they don't know.

    Personally, I only do 6-7 shows a year and don't rely on the income from them other than to buy new toys for the shop. I've only been selling product from the shop in any quantity for 3 years, but I've learned that you have to spend money to make money. Tools (ok... toys) are an investment. If I really thought the economy was so far into the tank that nobody will buy anything made in woodshops for years to come, I probably wouldn't "invest" in as many tools as I continue to do. It's hard to justify a CNC router just to make a few trinkets with. I don't buy that though... Even if there will be a recession it won't last 10 years, I'm looking at the big picture, so I haven't stopped or even slowed down... yet.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  6. #6
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    The thing about the economy is that it is, in large part, driven by expectations. It is an excellent model of self fulfilling prophesy. Not that long ago there was talk of raising interest rates to slow the economy down, that it was growing too fast. So now the growth has slowed and we're hearing about how bad that is. Cheap money encourages folks to spend and we hear about rising levels of debt. Folks worry, slow down spending to start paying off debt, and now that is bad too because folks aren't buying as much stuff.

    The thing about a recession is that you (and even the smartest people in the world) don't know you're in a recession until several months later. The best indicators of future recessions are historically inaccurate. Looking back, those signs were present for some and absent for others, but no real set of indicators except the insistence by one or another "expert" that we're headed that way have been present for all of the recessions we've been through. And there's always an expert or three out there willing to predict a recession beginning next month or next week or what ever.

    So, to quote a really cool song, "Don't worry, be happy." The more folks not worried about a recession, the less chance we'll have of having one. The best bet to ward off the affects of one is to be financially prepared to take advantage of it if it happens. Pay cash for what you want, and get your net worth and cash flows in the black. If a recession comes, the cash you spend today will have been worth less tomorrow if inflation accompanies the recession (stagflation). And if you're in the black with cash reserves, and there are deflationary forces are at work, then your cash will buy you more stuff.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  7. #7
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    Jerry had a good reply.
    The economy does not influence my purchases. I choose what I can afford or not based on my own values, desires and needs. And anyway, the tools I've bought over the years have absolutely been among my best investments. What else can you enjoy owning, enjoy using, have for years, and at the end it is worth the same or more than you paid for it? Though not true for cheap power tools, it certainly is for quality hand tools, and quality stationary tools [for the most part.]

    One prediction:
    Used quality table saws [Deltas and PMs] will soon be available more cheaply, as Sawstops become institutional standards due to liability risks.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  8. #8
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    Used quality table saws [Deltas and PMs] will soon be available more cheaply, as Sawstops become institutional standards due to liability risks.

    Not exactly what I thought you were gonna say, but Yep, there is a silver lining behind every cloud.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

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