Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Great Depression of the 21st century

History is repeating itself yet again. How easily we forget history but it just seems to come back to bite us in the rear and we never learn. Years and years ago our lawmakers put in place laws many of which were fashioned as the result of some catastrophic event. It was so that "this will never happen again". But somehow the event and laws gets lost and forgotten, down the rabbit hole of memories. We'll get rid of this law or that only to have a history replay.
Back in the early 80s our acting president Ronald Reagan didn't like a law or form of spending that he didn't want to cut. And who would he cut? That was easy. He cut those that could not fight back politically, the poor and disabled. He cut the community action programs that were the very safety nets of society. With a rapier pen he slashed the budgets of any program offering assistance to the least of us. This time it's different. Back then states still had some money tucked away for such rainy days. Not so today. Today we're seeing Reagan on steroids. Those wonderful tax cuts that Bush put in place for the wealthy are sucking money right out of the poor. Where else do you think it comes from? Their Robin Hood (in reverse) will only work for so long. Eventually big business will have such deep pockets and no customers. Customers will be sucked dry and trying to make it on the streets if they aren't there already.
They call this the Great Recession but I beg to differ. The percentages may be a bit different from the Great Depression but the effects are exactly the same. I'll bet that you can't walk more than two blocks without seeing at least one empty house or not know of somebody out of work. The last recession of the 80s was short lived lasting about a year to 18 months. This one has lasted over two and a half years and counting with no end in sight.
Massive cuts have been made in state budgets and yet there are still shortfalls. What's left to cut? The only thing left would be essential services. They're already starting to do that. Roads are being left unrepaired. Police departments are seeing staff cuts. Fire departments are consolidating personnel with other districts. We'll see more cities go unincorporated with no services. So everything will be passed off to the counties that are already under great strain. This will be a libertarian's delight until they're in need of those services and then it will be "where's the government?"
Stop to think where you'd be without your home. You could live in your car if it was paid for but good luck finding a place to park it at night where sleeping in cars is okay. You could do the tent city route if you don't mind moving every 90 days. Head for the hills? Sorry no camping permit kindly pack your stuff and vamose you can sleep here.
So the next time you see one of those cardboard carrying sign guys at the side of the road stop and consider it just might happen you.


an average patriot said...

As usual the neediest are always the first to pay the price. Starting in 2007 I did a series title the second Greatest depression and it is still coming. They are merely bankrupting America first. Michael Whitney nailed it when he pointed out Greenspan did it for Bush and it was done on purpose. The timing was no accident either!
just glance at the titles This will dwarf the Great depression.

Tim said...

Unlike the Great Depression, we don't have a President willing to go to the Mattress for the people. I guess I'm simplistic. Two months after Obama was inaugurated, I wrote of getting the Country moving. That bullshit of saving the banks was just that, bullshit. A bank should have been set up with that Money for no other reason than to help the little guy. Small business, refinancing Mortgages.
Bring the troops home and stop the folly.
Jobs. Until business got going as small business. Start up the CCCs.
How we could have used them now in the Gulf. What out listing them all, I'll just say Construction to sum up all.
Asking for an FDR is to much to ask I know. I thought Obama would be a good substitute. Like I said, simplistic.

BBC said...

You could live in your car if it was paid for but good luck finding a place to park it at night where sleeping in cars is okay. You could do the tent city route if you don't mind moving every 90 days.

Over here in my neck of the woods that isn't an issue yet. There's two free campgrounds here and two wilderness areas with lots of places to camp.

But I don't have to worry about that being as my place is free and clear and basic services isn't that important to me. Hell, the only utility bill I have is for electricity and I can live without that also if I have to.

If the roads go to hell it'll just slow traffic down, I don't see any down side to that, bring back dirt roads for all I care.

I saw it coming, I'm prepared for it and it's not my fault if others didn't.

The Blog Fodder said...

This is Monopoly played for real.

S.W. Anderson said...

In earlier times city people thrown out of work could go back to the family farm – agriculture predominated – and live and work there with dignity. When the economy recovered and jobs were plentiful, they could return to the city. The big open west absorbed vast numbers of people and was a source of capital free for the taking.

I think rank-and-file Republicans (not the pols so much) carry those long gone backstops around in their heads, as a given, as if they still exist. It's part of their fallacious self-reliance paradigm. It's also a key part of why they support the pols they support and reject "bleeding-heart liberals" and their notions.

So, you get from Republicans nonsense like "Oh, there are still lots of jobs out there; people just feel they're too good for them." "You keep people on unemployment more than a few months and you just encourage them to skate." And so on.

This kind of willful ignorance is what we're up against. It's so ingrained that there's no overcoming it with facts or reasoning.

Re: Obama's recession response. Paul Krugman and Robert Reich have made different calls from those of Summers, Bernanke and Geithner. Time and events are proving Krugman and Reich right, and Obama's economic gurus wrong. It seems amazing Obama either doesn't realize this or does realize it but refuses to make changes.

Demeur said...

SW what people seem to forget is that those small family farms are long gone bought out by corporations. Even small farms are run like factories now. Many were able to survive back then with farm jobs in California long enough until the CCC came along.

S.W. Anderson said...

Demeur, I'm talking farther back in history than the Great Depression.

You're right about how things have changed. I drive through farm and ranch country several times a year. Most are family operations. Rarely do I see a single person out in the fields. I go years without seeing two or more at work at once. They're so mechanized and controlled with chemicals, etc., the need for farm labor is extremely limited, except maybe for harvest and periodic fence repair.

Ranch Chimp said...

This is such an excellent posting Guy ... it's straight hitting and so true ... you know damn well the reality of the jungle, and the game's that are played in this. What really get's me, is even though the masses are more informed than ever ... how they buy this political talk and analyze it without seeing the basic truth of it ... wondering what he/ she meant, said, will do etc. Another thing.... that I stressed so much in my journal ... is this "getting back to normal" thinking ... the last thing we want to do in actuality is get back to what is considered "normal" .... this "normality" of recent half century is exactly what rehashes one bubble/ bust scenario after another. I started voting democrat 2004 ... after nearly all my life voting republican ... not that I think dem's are the guiding light, but simply the lesser of two evil's and make the ride for lesser folk's a tad easier in this corporate dictated globe (not just America any more by a long shot, as far as American company venture's, and the new marketplace), but when I talk with folk's locally here in Texas that known me for year's ... they say more and more I sound like I'm turning into a socialist and anti business, which I am definitely NOT ... as far as regulation's/ oversight ... and I REALLY trust government more than the private sector in 2010 ... as dumb as some think that may sound ... I'm a hustler and survivor ... and if there is one thing I know .... it is when I'm/ we are getting fucked. The sooner this cesspool collapses and start's a new focus ... regardless of how hard it will be, because nothing worth fighting for is easy and there is no "quick fix" ... the better off we will be ... and it certainly will NOT come overnight. Again ... great posting Guy!

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