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Tess Vigeland: We're gonna start things off here with another question, which is "What are you doing?" Yes, you, and lots of other people who are deciding whether to change the way they save and invest.
We'll hear from them throughout this show and other Marketplace programs. To kick it off we turned to a familiar voice who's dealt with budgets big and small.
Robert Reich:I'm Robert Reich, professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and this is what I'm doing:
I'm feeling cautiously pessimistic about the economy, I'm worried that there's not sufficient demand out there in terms of purchasing power among the great middle class to keep the economy going.
Although I do have a history of buying high and selling low, I'm just basically keeping my equity shares of stock where it is and any new earning I have -- any new savings, anything I can put away -- I'm putting into money market funds and CDs.
I don't even want to think about what's happened to my finances since last September. I carefully avoid looking at the reports that come in on my 401(k). I just don't want to be aggravated. Hopefully, god willing, there'll be enough years between right now and when I retire that I won't have to be aggravated. I'll just look at it when times get better.
Maybe the only thing that's stayed the same is me. I'm not a big spender. I don't go out to a lot of fancy restaurants or buy big things. There's something in the back of my mind, and I'm sure that I'm not alone, that says if you don't have to spend money, don't spend it.
Vigeland: That was Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor.