"There's no money in poetry, but then, there's no poetry in money either."
Well, as of this past week, The National Bureau of Economic Research, has made it official... we are in a recession. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I have been saying that we were for months and months. But while it didn't come as any surprise to me, it seems like it did to President Bush. I wonder if it really did? How could it have? He had more access to information regarding the economy then you and I did, and yet, we got the same old tired lie... the economy is sound. The economy is doing a fine job. And wasn't that the biggest clue of all? Every time he says everything is ok, I run for cover. I am jaded... I admit it. But how can I possibly avoid it? Time after time we have had to endure his delusions and lies, and the outcome has always been total devastation.
So now we find ourselves with the irrefutable truth, staring us down. What happens next? We have been in a recession since the first of the year, could it be that we are actually in a depression, rather then a recession? Maybe we just aren't saying it. Could that possibly be? There are some scary statistics out there right now. 500,000 more people lost their jobs last month, and if the big 3 automakers fail, it will bring that much more devastation to an already over burdened unemployment system. What a mess.
I wish I knew how to feel about the probable Big 3 bailout. I can see both sides of the issue. If we bail them out, why not keep going with the love? Why not bailout the stores that I love, which are heading down the road of bankruptcy? November saw some mighty dismal sales figures, and while Black Friday posted higher then expected spending, I have seen the empty spaces at the malls here in the Bay Area, and I have to tell you, I don't remember having so much ease at finding a place to park, especially during the holiday season. It's a little spooky. I went to Target last Thursday to pick up some Christmas lights for our tree, and there were only 3 aisles devoted to holiday decorations, as opposed to the 9 or 10 aisles just last year. The prices were at least %30 higher as well. Less to choose from, at higher prices. Not good.
My heart goes out to the autoworkers. Their industry has been hit hard since the 80's. The average guy working a line making automobiles have very little to do with the stupid, greedy decisions being made by the top management. It's heartbreaking. On one hand I support the worker, but on the other hand I cannot support yet another bailout of greed and mismanagement. Alan and I watch the news at night, and we both wrestle with the issue. His point of view is that enough is enough. We have already seen waste of the original money given out to bailout banking. I never thought giving Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke free reign was a good idea, and I even mentioned that tight oversight and accountability needed to be in place. But do they listen to me? LOL. How would the money given to automakers be managed?
I fear that with a similar bailout of the auto industry, comes the waste we have already seen. It didn't particularly impress me that they drove to Washington to make their case. It didn't really impress me that they are willing to work for a token salary of $1. Nothing about what's happened has impressed me. All I know is that if the auto industry fails, and all those folks are forced out of work, it will be even more devastating for our country. I am beginning to think that we are in a depression, and no one is saying the word. DEPRESSION. If we have really hit bottom, or are about to, the good news is that there is only one direction we can go on from there. Hopefully.
So tell me, what do you think? Did it come as a surprise that we are officially in a recession? Do you think it is already too late to turn the economy around? Do you think we are poised to fall into a financial depression? How do you feel about the proposed bailout of the automakers? Tell me what you think. Opinions, opinions.
"The End Of The Day"
Pacific Grove, California
November 15th, 2008
My 2017 Reading List
1 year ago