posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 07:34 AM
ONTARIO, California (Reuters) - Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits "tent city," a terminus for homeless
people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city center, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California.
The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los
Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis.
The unraveling of the region known as the Inland Empire reads like a 21st century version of "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck's novel about
families driven from their lands by the Great Depression.
Our country is in serious economic peril. Our service based economy (a great experiment) has begun to fail. The dollar is falling lower and lower,
and our housing market is crashing (house values have dropped here in central Florida by 24% this year alone). The construction industry has slowed to
a standstill, but yet there is little unemployment. This makes no sense at all.
The numbers are scewed. Of my 10 closest friends, 8 are currently unemployed and do not show up on the statistics. Why? Because they are small
business owners. My sister and her husband also are unemployed (mortgage brokers). My mom and stepdad are also small business owners. They haven't
worked in 3 months. I am also a small business owner. My sales are down 90%.
This isn't just a local event either, it's all over. Small businesses are closing down at an alaming rate. President Bush himself said that small
businesses are the lifeblood of America. If that's true, the arteries of the nation have become clogged with recession.
I've started looking for a job, but what do I do? Go work at WalMart for 10% of what I used to make? The administration's fiscal policy of Corporate
Welfare for big business and tax breaks for small business has failed. Sure, our taxes are lower, but we were doing much better when our taxes were
We must end Corprate Welfare for big business, and get back to what made this country great: its manufacturing. A service based economy just doesn't
work as we're seeing now. If most of the small business owners have to go to low paying service jobs ( as is happening right now), there will be less
and less money in our economy to support the service industry. Without manufacturing, we might as well be a third world nation.
I wish us all luck in the coming turmoil.