September 30, 2008

Emotional Reaction to the Economy




Here we all are, worried about our economic system, worried about the big complicated mess we find ourselves in. Part of me is afraid to even try to write about it, it's so complicated.

But another part of me says it's not really that complicated. We had an economy that was increasingly built on moving money around, and then on creating money out of credit and inflated housing values. Instead of making products, selling them and making a profit, our economy was functioning on money from refinanced homes. I've been uneasy about that for sometime, hoping my husband was wrong with his predictions of financial catastrophe.

To complicate matters, I have these conflicted urges toward frugality. On the one hand, I find the rampant consumerism around me repulsive. On the other hand, I know that this economic catastrophe will be used to try and convince my people to settle for less. And I am definitely not on board with that. We need more not less, more healthcare, more healthy food in our grocery stores at affordable prices, more and better education, more free time, more vacations, more happiness, more jobs that we can be proud of, more community.

I know, I know. These are simplistic sloganistics statements. But I'm just trying to find my voice here, about these issues. As I write, I realize how deep my feelings and fears are, and how little I have tried to put them into words. I have relied upon doing much more that explaining. I soothe my fears with productive activity.

I know that some of you reading this are doing the same, stocking up your freezers, getting your house in order. So I know I'm not alone.

It just seems a small response when I know what pain is being suffered in this horribly inequitable economic situation. (I guess I forgot to mention my anger at those who let their greed run rampant over our lives.) I think that's why I feel compelled to find my voice. If I could speak my heart and mind more clearly, perhaps I could be a part of finding a bigger, more productive response to this situation, this crisis of the human race. I want to be a part of buidling the collective that will move my beloved humanrace forward, for surely that's where were going. At least it seems that way to me.

So let me try to put my small little self in the right place to do some good in the larger picture. Usually that means not being as melodramatic as I just was in this post, I know. Forgive the overblown prose. It's just that most of the time, politically, I have to practice such self control, try to be so practical and so reasonable and so reliable, while all these passions are roiling inside of me. Rarely do I get to soapbox like this.

More practical down-to-earth entries later, I promise.

2 comments:

Leah said...

"To complicate matters, I have these conflicted urges toward frugality. On the one hand, I find the rampant consumerism around me repulsive. On the other hand, I know that this economic catastrophe will be used to try and convince my people to settle for less. And I am definitely not on board with that. We need more not less, more healthcare, more healthy food in our grocery stores at affordable prices, more and better education, more free time, more vacations, more happiness, more jobs that we can be proud of, more community."

I know its not too "cool" to some people to voice warm support for Obama (vs. lesser of two evils kind of support because he doesn't fit a perfect preferred political ideology) but the paragraph above reminded me of the thoughts going through my head when jim lehrer was pushing him to be specific about how his plan would be affected by the economic downturn. I.e. what will the people have to give up? I liked that Obama was staunch that he cannot give a categorical response because the values remain the same even as the value of the dollar falls. And at least in his rhetoric, he will try his darndest to make sure that the people will not have to pay for having nothing by getting even less.

Karen said...

I absolutely agree with you!!! I feel that this need for a bailout was almost engineered to make sure that the middle class can't ask for healthcare and more vacation, and for paid family leave. We are the only industrialized nation that doesn't have these things.

Looking at McCain's healthcare policy, it would push people out of real healthcare into catestrophic(sp?) insurance class, by encouraging employers to dump insurance all together. Now, let me ask you, would you get a mammogram at $150 a pop, or (god forbid) an MRI at $2000, even if you needed one? Ask yourself, deep down, would you do it, or put it off, and hope you would get better.

I am not crazy about Obama's healthcare policy, but I loooovvvveeee it compared to McCain's. I think Obama is one heck of a guy, "You betcha!" :) - P.S.: I am a friend of Heather and my daughters and your grand-daughters are friends...:)