Social and Political Commentary

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Who's bailing the sinking boat?

... one guess per person, please

by Russ Priestley

Nobody has asked me yet, but I'll tell you anyway. Our exalted ruler in Washington and Texas (same guy) has not admitted we are in a recession. Our boat is sinking and we are headed for a depression. Most of you readers are not old enough to remember the Great Depression, so drag up a chair and read on.

I was seven years old when the stock market crashed in 1929, so what did I know? Many people lost everything they had invested. The wage earner in many families lost his job, and shortly after, lost the family home because of lack of funds to keep up the payments. The wife/mother did not have the time-saving devices (automatic dishwasher and clothes washer and drier, plus meals which were easier to prepare), thus few wives had jobs outside of the home. My father was one of the lucky ones because he was able to keep his job, although at a smaller salary.

At my young age I did not grasp what other families went through. In recent developments, I see a similar situation now with many of the large firms who convinced the average Joe he could easily pay the monthly mortgage on an overpriced house. Many thousands found their dream world shattered when they failed to keep up with the monthly mortgage payments. This situation has led to the collapse of many of our large financial institutions

Our Great Depression affected the economies of other countries. It led to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany. If you don't know what that led to, you can go back to your comic books and Playboy. It was not until 1932, Franklin Roosevelt became president and introduced his New Deal, then things began to improve. This plan created jobs through his Works Progress Administration... road repairs, new construction. Another plan was to put our young people to work by creating the Civilian Conservation Corps. In the banking scene, it was Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate financial institutions. Later FDR began the Social Security system.

I lived through all of this, somehow. Probably because I never knew any better. An example of how I survived through my teen years... a friend needed help to cut grass at homes which had not been occupied for years and the grass was knee-deep. They would be put up for sale and our job was to make them look livable. Before we could use the reel mower (it had to be pushed), we found we needed a scythe. That is the tall tool usually pictured with Father Time. It has a long blade, used while in a standing position and with a sweeping motion. If a rock was struck, it required time out for sharpening. After that procedure, a sickle, the reel mower and clippers.

The pay may have been fifty cents per hour, but up through 1940 when I graduated from high school, the minimum wage was forty cents per hour.

Compare this to recent happenings in the financial world. Dubya Bush has let things get out of control. He has changed the rules in order to favor his friends and cronies to make huge personal profits, resulting in huge losses to the small investor. It's 1929 all over again. Thanks, Dubya.
Now, Dubya is rescuing the poorly-managed, big financial institutions with a giant government bailout... and who is the 'government?' I'll give you one guess. 'We has met the enemy and they is us.'

A large portion of our financial problems can be attributed to his kind policy in regard to illegal aliens. They have been pouring over the U.S.- Mexico border in droves... and they are not all Mexicans. The Southwest and California has the bulk of them. If you wish to see some in your area, visit the Emergency Room of your local hospital. That has become their health insurance at our expense.

Their cost to us/U.S. is close to 60 billion dollars when one adds the annual cost of welfare, Medicaid, education, food assistance, and incarceration. Dubya thought they should 'have a chance to make a living,' The key word here is make NOT take.

October 3, 2008

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