"May you live in interesting times". I remember my mom telling us about that old blessing/curse. Interesting times, indeed. I think they are upon us!
The stock market is tanking. Our personal investments are tanking with it. Auto makers are going bankrupt. Banks are failing. Today we heard that two malls near us are going bankrupt. Our local airport is cutting back on flights. In Ohio, a whole town is afraid of failing because DHL is pulling out with thousands of jobs. Unemployment is rising every day. Many families are losing their homes. Many more families' homes are now worth less than the amount of their mortgage.
Where is all this going to end? Will we have boarded up malls and ghost towns? It sure looks that way. Many of us have seen places that resemble ghost towns: the old rubber plants in Akron, the old GE plant in Cincinnati, old auto manufacturing plants in Michigan, old steel mills in Pennsylvania. Acres and acres of abandoned buildings. Is this our future?
I don't mean to sound depressing. I hope our new president can turn things around. It might be beyond anyone's ability to fix, though. I don't understand what the government is doing. I hear that $750 billion in "bail out" money has gone unaccounted for. I don't understand why AIG is being given taxpayers' money. It seems that a combination of greed and stupidity is ruining our country.
On the news here, they keep talking about "financial survival guides" for families. It seems we are all going to have to go into crisis mode in our own lives. Growing our own food. Making our own clothes. Certainly, giving up $4.00 lattes. Up until now, we and our kids have seen endless images of "lifestyles of the rich and famous". I read about one celebrity buying a brief case for over $46,000! Many "ordinary" people want to emulate these lifestyles. We have to get realistic. I think that the times, they are a-changin'.
My mom always told us stories about growing up during the Depression. If any one wants to see a little of what that was like, you can see the "Kitt Kittredge" movie. It's basically a kids' movie, but it shows how a family copes during the Depression. My mom says it brought back a lot of memories for her.