Friday, February 1, 2008

spare change?

So, in case you hadn't heard, the the economy isn't doing so hot. At all. According to the NYT this morning the job market just slimmed down to the tune of 17,000 jobs. This, along with the staggering housing market (now is a good-ass time to refinance your mortgage. But I guess if you're reading this you don't have any sort of mortgage. And if you do, huzzah, we have for reals grown-up readers!) and the lack of consumer confidence (the retail market did pretty sh!tty during this past holiday shopping season, if you hadn't heard) spells one thing very clear-

Yeah. So here we are, the great big U.S. in a recession. Now, while I'm not an economist, I took one year of Ec10 (which admittedly was one of the worst classes of my entire Harvard career- sorry, Marty) and am pretty much a reasonably smart American, things that make it no surprise to me that the economy always has and, as long as we keep capitalism, probably always will be an ebb and flow of growth and recession. It's just the way things are. What sucks and is slightly new about this is the context in which we're receeding now. For one of the first times in popularly-known history, we are receeding in the midst of a war- you know typically a country going to war was a sure bet for giving the economy a nice little booster shot- industrial jobs here and there, general state of fear that would manifest itself in increased patriotism and sentiments of "buy American" and "support American businesses." Now, however, we're in the middle of a war that half of this country never supported and the other half doesn't even understand, with no real jobs being created to support the efforts and the jobs that COULD be created out-sourced by greedy-ass corporations (thanks, Haliburton). If that weren't enough to knock patriotism and general morale down a few steps, mishaps like Katrina aren't doing much to help.
But it's election year- we'll get a new leader and certainly that will help! Well no, no it won't.
And that part really just sucks to me. The one historical time in American history where it's actually viable for a woman of any race or a Black person (nevermind how flawed their platforms or politics are) has a chance to be a strong contestant and perhaps winner in the race for the presidency and we're facing a potentially large economic crises and some of the biggest, most complex problems this country has had to deal with.
And you know what sucks the most? This lagging economy isn't going to affect anybody as bad as it's going to affect the dying middle class and the burgeoning lower-middle class. But, as they have proved time and time again, they'll vote for someone on socially conservative issues that marginalize half of the people in their own communities before considering the ways in which fiscally conservative politics can (and often do) give the little man the shaft. The rough end of it, too.

1 comment:

That Girl said...

mortgage paying reader here (smile). I used to be ever amazed at the prospect of the have nots so eagerly shooting themselves in the foot seemingly voting against their self interests. But really. I guess we need to define "self interests". If you ain't ever had money or seen folks with money or known folks with money and known what you don't have, your self interest isn't economic. Even when you lose your mining or manufacturing or service job because of the recession, you just bond around all the rest of the folks in your community "like you" and support one another through it so that as long as your "morals" and "values" are all set, the rest don't matter. Must be nice to live that life. Agree that it's too bad we are at a historic time election wise only to see... But hey...Exxon is making record profits so maybe we just all keep our eyes peeled to their job board.

Really enjoy reading this here blog. Takes me back to the good old days of meaningful college discussions.