We’ve all heard it countless times in the last week… month… year… the economy. I’ve been resisting the idea that it’s as bad as everyone says, even though I work in a real estate related field and have watched things get worse and worse. Maybe it’s like the frog in a pot that boils to death because the temperature rises gradually. I’ve gotten used to bad news, and hey, I still have MY job. Every time someone on TV mentions the Great Depression, I blow it off as grandstanding.
But that was before the last two days. After all the bank failures and store closings and stock crashes, it was the tent cities that got through to me. In the Great Depression there were shanty towns and bread lines. I thought things could never get that bad again. Then I saw the Sacramento tent city on the news and heard that they’re springing up in many major cities. The next night I saw the lines of average looking families lining up for free food boxes in Indiana. And all this is happening even WITH the safety nets that were put in place after the Great Depression.
So yes, the comparisons may be valid, but we are still better off than in the 30’s. The displaced are living in manufactured tents, not under plywood and tin. The food line in Indiana was a drive-through for a week’s worth of boxed food, not an endless wait on the sidewalk for a cup of soup and a slice of bread. Most families are staying together, not sending their children off to live with relatives that can support them.
Obviously this is an extremely difficult time for so many. My heart goes out to those looking for work and losing their homes. Those who hear of every new layoff and know there will be that much more competition for jobs out there. We seem to be in a time of black and whites – either you’re still ok or you’re not. Either you still have your job/your house or you don’t. Things WILL get better. It’s going to be a long haul, but we have no choice but to keep moving forward. Day by day, week by week, month by month. Maybe before we realize it, we’ll start hearing more good news than bad.