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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Great Recession has been most depressing

It has been a difficult year for me to find the motivation to blog.  Family, friends, and neighbors are just barely scraping by.  My wife and I have helped until it hurts, but we cannot sacrificially put ourselves into poverty in order to help everyone else; what we have must last us until the end of our days.  It is hard to say “NO!” to those in need but we will be lucky if changes in the laws, price inflation, and higher taxes do not prematurely eat away our financial means.  The political ideal of “redistribution of wealth” has become the reality of “redistribution of poverty.”  The promises our politicians made to us were broken.  Our federal, state, and local governments failed us.  Lesson learned, “NEVER trust the government to fix anything, especially with YOUR money.”

The neighbor behind me lost his house to foreclosure a year or so back.  My eastside next-door neighbor lost his house to foreclosure this July past.  Just last night my westside next-door neighbor sauntered over to tell me that he was filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to keep his house.  He is still current on his mortgage payments, but only due to his sacrificing payments to other bills.  He is an honorable guy who is at the end of his financial rope.  The property taxes have doubled since he bought the house around six years ago, which is now worth only forty percent of what he paid for it.  Even though he has family health insurance, his daughter’s winning battle with leukemia had substantial out of pocket fees and co pays.  He earns good money but the needs of his family of five added up to more than his means and I am here to tell you that they are for the most part a frugal bunch.  His truck is sixteen years old and his family van is nine years old.  In any case, his lawyer is working to either consolidate his credit card and medical debts into a low interest repayment plan or outright make them go away.  I hope it all works out for him. 

On top of the aforementioned folks, we have several vacant homes going to seed in our small neighborhood and yet another neighboring house is in the foreclosure process.  Ironically, another neighbor is hoping to sell his house so he can get the hell out of the USA and move his family back to his native country.  So goes the American Dream. 

I took a case of canned food from my survival rack over to a recent well-publicized food drive held by my granddaughter’s soccer league.  WOW!  It was surprising how little food other folks were willing to part with.  From probably over a hundred parents and grandparents attending the matches, my wife saw one box of corn flakes and two bags of potato chips in the donation pavilion.  Are we all becoming too cynical?  Are we all getting to a point of “every man for himself?”  Are we all so financially tapped-out that we just cannot spare a brother a dime?  It is so very troubling.  Then again, there has been an overabundance of food drives in this area so maybe everyone has donated elsewhere. 

1 comment:

Steve said...

As usual, you have a way with words. I wish that the message was more upbeat, but it is today's reality.

I believe that things are better in rural areas, but they are far from great. Farmers have been having reasonably good years lately, but farming is a risky business and it looks like the safety net for farmers is in jeopardy. Real estate in this small town has suffered, but the base was much lower so the effect is not as striking.

I blame our current economic state on the finance industry which is very painful for me after spending most of my career there. The amount of greed that has swept into that sector saddens me. It changed as much during my tenure as the computer industry, but in a much different direction.