By Pappy McFae
We all knew it was bound to happen. And now, as has been foretold by many prophets of doom, the economy is tanking...big time.
Just today, the market fell sharply. Dow Jones fell over three hundred points. Thus continues a downfall in the economy.
How could it be any other way? The economy as it is today is built upon bad credit and CEO's making billions on the backs of others. The middle class is all but gone. The number of people entering the poverty roles are up. The housing market, artificially held up by risky mortgages, has been completely decimated!
Just now on the local news, there was a story about the record number of home loan foreclosures. The number of defaults in Denton county is fifty percent. The number in Tarrant county (Fort Worth) is thirty-nine, and in Dallas county, twenty-two. According to the report, what is happening now is the highest number of loan defaults in twenty-seven years. Fifty-three-hundred homes are slated to for foreclosure in February.
Is there a surprise in these numbers? No, not at all. There were warnings abounding as the housing bubble started growing. Much of what drove the housing market's growth was over-inflated prices, very risky adjustable rate mortgages, and rich people buying house number two or house number five, or...well, you get the idea.
It was an artificial situation created by people trying to make a quick buck on the backs of those to whom they could sell an artificial dream. And it worked, too well.
Now, the piper is demanding his due for the tune which we have all collectively called. Unfortunately, the artificial situation which has been created the present situation means no one has the money to pay that tab. And once again, it is those who barely have means to pay the toll brought on by the actions of greedy money grubbers.
If that were the end of it all, surely it would be bad enough. However, one look at the price per gallon of gas tells yet another frightening story. Taking a stroll through the supermarket is yet another source of consternation. The price of fuel has trickled down, and now when we pay for a gallon of orange juice, we are also buying a gallon of diesel fuel for the trucks that bring the oranges from the orchard to the processor, and from the processor to the store.
Speaking of fuel, the new mania for converting everything that grows on the farm into ethanol for the gas tank has raised the price of corn, wheat, and everything which are derived from these grains, such as bread. remember a few months ago when there was a big protest over the price of corn tortillas in Mexico? I do.
The skyrocketing price of fuel isn't just being felt the supermarket. Prices on everything are going up. It takes fuel to ship things. And more expensive fuel means more expensive things, and well, that means that the upward spiral in the price of everything is sure to continue unabated.
The good news is, at long last, Washington seems to be getting the idea that there's trouble in paradise. The bad news is, the Republicans think that the way to fix the problem is to give more tax breaks. Oh yeah, that'll work, just like dumping enough gasoline on a fire will put it out.
Never does it enter their minds that perhaps it's time to rein in the oil pigs. Never does it enter their minds that supporting artificially enhanced markets might be a bad idea. Never does it enter their minds that perhaps it's time to admit that the economy has been in a shambles for quite some time, and that it has benefitted only the top one percent of the country.
Frankly, I am hoping it gets to the point that even Bill Gates has to start worrying about minding his pennies, like the rest of us. I hope that, because when it gets to that point, then the American people will become angry enough to actually force politicians to earn their money.
That needs to happen. It is long past time that Americans demand their representatives R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T them; something that hasn't happened in at least seven years.