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jueves, octubre 09, 2008

What Are They Doing About All This?

The answer is Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Zero. They haven't got a clue. They are going to let it all come down, however it comes.

Permit me some extreme grouchiness. And anger. And despair.

People I know were evicted today from their home in the wake of not being able to pay their mortgage. A long legal battle ended. They lost. The Sheriffs were there. There was the cliche, the spectacle of having the young children sit on the curb while the furniture was deposited on the lawn. I don't have $30,000+ to loan them to stop it. Nor do their friends or family. And I don't see Congress or anybody else stepping in to do anything about this. Maybe later on, when they've moved out and lost their home and are living somewhere else. Maybe then there will be some "relief." For somebody else. I wish they lived in Chicago, but they don't.

And then there's this:

The Dow, which indicates (gross generalization ahead) what's happening to money my retired father has saved throughout his long career as a teacher and principal, is now at a new, extremely low level, and my father has lost, by all accounts, more than $200,000. He stands to lose even more. A whole lot more. Maybe everything. So the money he worked his entire life to save is disappearing in thin air. It's not his fault in any way. To the contrary, he did what people are supposed to do: save your money, invest your money responsibly, don't live on credit, don't borrow.

Nobody has any real idea how to stop the fall of the market. I don't see Congress or anybody else stepping in to do anything about this. Maybe later on, when my dad's lost an insurmountable amount, there will be some "relief." For somebody else.

The candidates say they have "plans." Right. McSame says, my friends, he knows how to fix this problem. That, of course, is total nonsense. If he knew how to fix anything, and putting the Country First, where the f*ck has he been, where's his fantastic plan, and why isn't the problem fixed right now? If he could fix the problem, he wouldn't have to run the negative, horsesh*t campaign he's engaged in.

And Barack Obama, who says he's really, really, really concerned about my friends who were just evicted and my father who's losing money more rapidly than he could ever make it, hasn't really got anything that can solve the problem either. If he did, we'd have it in hand right now. We'd know what he says to do. It's not about short term versus long term. He doesn't know how to fix the problem. Or how to stop it in its tracks. Does anybody? He's got nothing that can help. I don't see him stepping in to do anything about this.

It seems hopeless. It makes me despaire. And it can make you crazy. So you have my nomination for "Song of the 2008 Crash":

At least we can still rock out, while we try to find out what, if anything, can be done.

Is there anything that can be done in the short run? I have only two ideas.

First, like Russia or Indonesia, the Government could suspend trading on the stock exchanges across America. Give the exchanges a holiday until Tuesday. They're closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday anyway. That would at least stop the precipitous fall for now. Until something could be worked out, maybe this weekend in Washington.

Second, the Government could right now enact a freeze on foreclosures and/or foreclosure evictions for a while, while it gets in place something real, an actual safety net, to help people who are losing or have lost their homes. McSame's plan, which bails out lenders who made crappy loans, is not even a partial answer. But a freeze, a stop gap, at least stops the bleeding while something gets figured out, while legislation is enacted.

Doubtless you, dear reader, might have other, productive ideas. Please share them in the comments. I wish I had better ideas. I wish our leaders did. I wish, I wish, I wish.

I'm painfully aware of how much suffering there is in America tonight. I'm aware of the gigantic number of people who are losing their homes. I'm aware of the huge number of people who don't have work. I'm aware of all of the sick people who cannot get health care for acute problems. I'm aware of a vast ocean of suffering in America. Call me crazy, but I'm looking for the same thing as the Buddha looked for, the cessation of suffering. But I just don't know what can be done. I don't have a clue.

Is this what it feels like when you're heart's going to break?

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