The whole thing really is an awful mess.
The stories I hear on a daily basis are hearbreaking. I get to talk to people who are trying to refinance their homes in order to pay off debt and
help them survive the overwhelming increases in cost of living. It is hard seeing people who have worked their whole lives end up ruined and unable to
even feed themselves due to illness or job loss. The worst part for them is the lending rules have changed now to the point that if a person is even
30 days late on a mortgage just one time, their odds of being able to do anything to help themselves is all but gone. All that equity sits there
unable to be touched, while home prices plummet as owners sit and watch.
When elderly people are having to make the life and death decisions to either pay their insurance premiums in order to keep their health benefits or
buy food for the month, it is a sad state of affairs. You would absolutely not believe the number of people who are literally one paycheck away from
being homeless. Then as a knee jerk to all of the payment defaults, credit card companies are going behind peoples backs and cutting credit limits in
half. This takes away the one available option that a lot of working people were using to get by month to month.
The part about the pets suffering is a harsh blow and makes me feel just sick. You see all of these families on Craigslist trying to adopt their pets
away because they are about to lose their home or can no longer afford to care for them. Locally the SPCA and the animal shelters are literally
overflowing with abandoned animals.
Today I had a man come to my front door pushing a lawn mower. He had the most desperate look on his face, and he went on to tell me how today is the
first and his rent is due and he doesnt have money to pay it. He cant buy food for his wife and two little girls because he cant afford the gas to go
out and look for a job. I let him mow my lawn for $25 even though I had just cut it on Monday because I felt so bad for him.
Me personally, I am single, no kids, I work two miles from my house so gas isnt so much of an issue. It has been pretty tight lately trying to juggle
rent combined with the insane rate hikes in utility costs (in the dead of summer, no doubt) I grocery shop once a month at WalMart because
conventional grocery stores are a scam these days, Last time I went to Harris Teeter it cost me $147.00 for two weeks supply of basic goods. I have
cut out pretty much any luxery items, I dont buy new clothes or new toys or new furniture. I haven't taken a vacation in two years. I dont eat out
hardly ever, and I dont go to bars/clubs or any other leisure activities because it doesnt make sense to.
All in all, it seems that most everyone I know is struggling right now. The job market is scrawny and continuing education just isnt even an option
for now. I am getting by and doing better than a lot of people so I cant complain too much, but damn it if doesnt seem like all we are doing is
working to pay bills and earn the right to do it all over again the next month. It is an economic prison of sorts when you think about it.
If nothing else positive comes of this whole debacle, I believe this economic deprtession will force people to band together and take a more active
role in friends and family. It is a bonding experience if nothing else, maybe helps people focus on what is really important in life. It will also
force a lot of people to get educated about their finances, and hopefully will prevent folks from making some of same mistakes in the future.
As to how others less fortunate are making it? I ask myself that all the time. If I am making a good income and I am having difficulty getting by, I
can't even begin to imagine how some family making minimus wage with two or three kids is even surviving. If I were forced to take on a child or two
right now it would sink me financially. My heart truly goes out to the families out here trying to make it. I don't know how you are even putting
food on tha table.
My guess is a lot of them aren't
So much for living in the land of plenty.
And believe it or don't, that is your choice, but I am telling you this is just the beginning. We havent even hit the real hard times yet.
All I can say is I am glad to be where I am, and thank God I had the good sense to leave L.A. when I did. California is going to be ground zero for
the great depression part II.