Sunday, September 15, 2013

It Might Have Been Worse....

Chart from Mother Jones
I don't know if anyone remembers Sept. of 2007, but I do. Being an artist requires you to document all kinds of things and I would tally the stock market drops almost daily. I had cable then so I actually watched the news on TV.
I heard Hank Paulson on NPR the other day, talking about his regret that the bailout he engineered was perceived as being for the banks and it headed off a catastrophe, a catastrophe that every. single. person. I know of had to deal with.
People lost their jobs, homes, their way of life. Hank never mentioned that. The dude on Marketplace didn't either. Normal everyday people who worked hard, bought homes, raised kids, watched their investment lose it's value. They basically own homes they are prisoners of.  Others I know have offered their homes up for short sale, if they weren't outright foreclosed on, driving down the "value" of everyone else's "real" estate.
 Heckuva a job there, Hank.
"this whole economic period we're living through. It's obviously the equivalent of the Great Depression."
This is what financial journalist Michael Lewis calls this "economic period"
 Like menstruation, it's painful, messy and it seems like it just won't end.
When I talk to my Dad about the Great Depression, he tells me that things were way worse than this. He said NO ONE had a job. My Dad's family were evicted from their home and had to live with my aunt Addie. She was the secretary for the president of the Chlorox company. Ahead of her time, she was a single working woman.
 My Dad hates Lima Beans to this day, because his family lived on a sack of dried Lima beans kept in the pantry. This is probably an ordinary example of what happened to everyday Americans during the Great Depression.
I don't know of anyone living on dried Lima beans now. I do see a lot of people paying for their groceries with the food stamp card. I am so grateful that we have that for people who can't find jobs or are working for Walmart. I see people doubled or tripled up in their homes. I see homeless people with all their belongings riding their bicycles or walking, being kept on the move or else they are arrested for loitering. I guess during the Great Depression they were called 'tramps" I remember dressing like them for Halloween and carrying a bandana stuffed with newspaper on a stick. I never saw a homeless person as a child. It doesn't mean they didn't exist, I see them everyday now.
I see empty houses foreclosed on by banks that made out like bandits during the Great Recession. Homeless people and peopless homes. It just makes no sense to me. Back in the good old day's when I was a kid, I never saw an empty house. I lived in ordinary middle class neighborhoods. No empty houses, no homeless people. Everyone who wanted a job had one.
The people who work for us in Washington D.C. act like this Great Recession never happened. They think it is something in the past, long gone, while millions still suffer with the painful after effects. At least when F.D.R. was elected he understood people were suffering and because of him we have social programs that keep my Dad and other Americans from starvation and worse. Politicians see these as "entitlements" from what I can see, it is the only thing they want to focus on so they can get rid of it and we can go back to the Victorian poorhouses and workhouses of the past.
The country I grew up in has vanished.
So now Larry Summers is being vetted for the position of chairman of the Fed, a man who's "disastrous or wrongheaded policies, from his big deregulatory moves as a Clinton administration apparatchik to his too-tepid response to the Great Recession as Obama's chief economic adviser." The Case Against Larry Summers -
It wouldn't surprise me if this Wall Street insider is handed this position. Because nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to a government that tells the American people that we can eat cake, cake we can't afford. "Things are getting better" I hear this all the time but I have seen no evidence of it. 
From January 2007 to December 2011 there were more than four million completed foreclosures and more than 8.2 million foreclosure starts*
more Americans are killing themselves today than during the Great Depression*.
 You can call it the "Great Recession" if you want. You can say you saved the banks because "it could have been worse."  As long as it wasn't worse for the banks or Larry Summers or any of the criminals that had a hand in this "Great Recession."
*More Americans Committing Suicide than During the Great Depression | Washington's Blog
* Home Foreclosure Rates are Comparable to the Great Depression | Washington's Blog




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