President George Bush is right, the country is "not headed for a recession". It has arrived - Remote Helpdesk 1 knows we are there. Besides politics, recession is the major concern of the common man as the summer vacation season hurdles towards the masses. Winter will soon be a memory and family thoughts will turn to spring break and anticipation of summer vacations.
The truth is less Americans than ever before will not be able to take a vacation this year. The number of people finding themselves stranded at home during vacation times and holidays have been trending upward for years now.
The economy has slowed according to the White House and has replaced the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the genocide in Darfur as the average American's priority. Republican nominee John Mc Cain promises to address the issue as house prices fall, fuel and food prices increase, home foreclosures soar, the dollar is in free fall, America loses 63,000 jobs in February alone - the most in the last five years and the government now admits January 2008 numbers were also negative, and we find ourselves at an all time high in auto repossessions.
The Tennessee Mountain Man wonders why politicians are always promising to fix something while running for office that they already had twenty-five years to correct.
Having been a student of business sciences in college, a life time of two ago, the Computer Man recognizes that there must be official definitions of such phenomenon as a recession and a depression, however political correctness be damned. When your rent and utilities are past due and you, your children, or your aging parents are hungry and you can do little about it, you are in a depression. The dirty little secret no one wants to address is, when some are in a recession, many are of necessity in a depression.
For way too long our elderly have had to choose between medicine and food, and of having to pay a portion of their utilities one month and paying their rent the next while children must eat two meals a day at school or go hungry.
Although it is disheartening to watch the wealthy republican establishment decry the less financially secure people of the world who make their life style possible, it was a positive sign when the newly minted world's wealthiest man, Billionaire Warren Buffett, recently said "the U.S. economy is essentially in a recession even if it hasn't met the technical definition of one yet". Perhaps he knows because Kirby vacuum cleaners are harder to move these days and those who want one can't qualify for the financing, and those, like the Tennessee Mountain Man, who use his gecko insurance can barely keep it from lapsing.
Most folk of Buffett's stature, those simply suffering from the little man syndrome, and the wanna be lose touch with the average American.
Even George W. Bush, the President of the United States, who has a cabinet and an army of advisors who are supposed to be in touch with the people and keep him informed recently declared, "I'm 'focused' on gas prices but unaware of four dollar a gallon gas".
During a recent press conference, a reporter asked President Bush what his "advice" would be to the "average American" who is "facing the prospect of four dollar a gallon gasoline.
" Bush replied, "That's interesting, I hadn't heard that." After all he travels in a 20 car motorcade fueled by the Secret Service on our dime, and when his truck needs fuel on the ranch they surely don't let him run down to the local convenience store, refuel, grab a bucket of chicken, and a cold drink.
Thursday, March the 6th, 2008, fuel hit well over a hundred dollars a barrel and hit a new all time high of $109.00 a barrel Tuesday, March 11th on it's way to two hundred dollars while the value of American Currency continues to fall around the world.
When we began to get bombarded with SPAM like this, "Lowest priced homes: foreclosure deals are everywhere!! Beautiful 3-4-5 bedroom homes in all areas - starting at $25,000 - sometimes with nothing down!", hard working Americans - the middle class - are in serious trouble irrespective of what some condescending snob wishes to call it.
When your lender shows up for his collateral and leaves you with the parting shot, "we'll see what it brings at auction and then we'll go from there" you know what he means. The collateral will be sold quickly and cheaply and then he will be back not with groceries to help you feed your children nor with money to help you pay your doctor bills and buy medicine but to seize any and everything else you possess.
A real kick in the teeth while you are down.
Just what you need at the moment. A recession by any definition remains untoward struggle and pain. Ask the suffering - the lower and middle classes in America.
Where does it end? when you lose your job? when you are in bankruptcy? when you are homeless?
Yes, Margaret, technicalities notwithstanding, the United States is in a recession. The fed can cut interest rates until the bank pays us to borrow money and the world bank can pump all the cash it wants to into the system, but in reality it is not going to get better for the majority of us any time soon. Technicalities don't get hungry.
technicalities don't become delinquent.technicalities don't worry about sky rocketing medical bills. technicalities don't have to worry about obscene burial costs.
technicalities don't get sick. technicalities don't lose jobs or take cuts in pay. technicalities don't hurt. technicalities don't get depressed.
technicalities don't commit suicide. technicalities don't cry. technicalities don't lash out in frustration - but, people made in God's image do.
When you lie down tonight - wherever you lie down tonight - please try to remember that there really is someone who is hurting more than you, and say a little prayer for that Child of God.
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