You can save for years and watch your money disappear in days. With the economy looking especially volatile, local people are tightening their belts and rethinking their futures.
How bad will the economy get? It's going to get worse. All the bad apples haven't been shaken out of the system yet.
Has the downturn altered your spending? I'm sticking to essentials. I won't be buying a car or any big-ticket items.
Has America been living beyond its means? The affluent have played fast and loose, but those of us who live on our paychecks play it pretty close.
What lies ahead? I'm pretty hopeful. Once this mess gets straightened out, we'll come back strong as before.
Is the free market a myth? It is. They're all in cahoots.
How badly will the economy tank? I don't foresee another Great Depression, but it'll come close.
Has this altered your spending? A lot of our stock market investments went south. We're starting to cut back.
What do you think is really behind the meltdown? Basing the economy too much on Wall Street and the mortgage market. Losing too much industry and letting too many jobs go overseas. Running up a huge bill with the war. Letting the dollar cheapen against the euro.
What's in store for you? My husband asked the other day what we'd do if our pensions got canceled. That was a sobering question.
Is the free market a myth? It's more of a mess than a myth.
How bad will the economy get? It's artificially low at present. We'll be in recession the better part of next year, but things will bounce back.
Are you rethinking your economic future? I'd hoped to retire in 10 years. It's looking like now I won't.
Has America been pigging out economically? Absolutely running up huge credit card bills and paying exorbitant interest rates, deregulating the housing industry so people can buy huge houses they can't afford.
In your opinion, what lies ahead? In some ways, I'm more optimistic than ever. It's looking like we'll get a switch in administrations. Better ideas are coming that will put people back to work.