Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where Have You People Been?

I've been online today, reading about the government taking over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and also about the auto industry's request that Washington grant them a $50 billion (that's billion, with a "b") low-interest bail-out loan. In return, Detroit dutifully promises to make more hybrids and high-mileage small cars. Isn't that sweet of them? (Wipes tear from eye.) Dammit, I promised myself I wouldn't cry.

In the comments sections of these posts, commenters are predicting that the US is headed for a major economic meltdown, and that our economy is due to collapse at any moment.

People, where the hell have you been for the past year and a half?

For the eighth straight month, this country has lost thousands of jobs to foreign outsourcing and collapsing businesses. The unemployment rate is higher (6.1%) than it's been in five years. Though the housing value dive has slowed, it still continues and will continue further as more and more people lose their homes and mortgage companies and banks are saddled with more and more REO properties. Gas is cheaper than it was a few months ago, but it's still hovering at around $3.70 per gallon here in L.A. The price of crude oil is dropping, which is expected to be reflected in per-gallon prices at the pump in a few months. The bad news -- because you knew there had to be some -- is that soaring inflation and rising health care costs will not only offset the savings, but will outreach them, bringing American families who are on the brink of disaster just one more step closer to ruin.

The economy, as we knew it during the Clinton years, has collapsed. Government economists don't want to use words like "recession" and "depression." But, honey pies, that's where we're at. People are out of their homes, out of their jobs, out of the economic brackets in record numbers.

How bad does it have to get before we roll over and admit we've got a problem?


If we can't deal with that, then maybe we're every bit the whiners that the Republicans think we are.


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