Sorry for the extended silence. I’ve started a host of articles, some even written to the finish and edit stage, only to delete them. They’re all negative and pessimistic; it’s hard to think I’ll want to claim them a few months down the road.
Perhaps obvious, I’m not overjoyed at being unemployed for over a year and a half. I think I could get minimum wage job. If I did, however, I’d lose the house (and have to pay the shortfall) while getting less than I do on unemployment, and my wife would STILL not be able to get medical care. So I can live on the dole and face ruin, or I can jump to the lowest rung and face ruin. Yeah.
I’m not as optimistic about the economy as I was even a month or two ago. The basic deal is that we’re staggering along. There is some necessary blood-letting that hasn’t happened. There’s a need for wheels to be greased, and protections put in place. We don’t need all of it, but we need more than ‘just enough to keep the patient alive’. Unfortunately, that’s not happening. Worse, there are games being played that make me fear another collapse within a year.
Health care isn’t dead, but it’s not looking good. Jobs bills are being blocked. Nothing can get done to fix these because a dedicated block has decided nothing the party in power can claim as “good” will be allowed to pass.
The fact of climate change is being hidden by a flurry of crap about some folk having opinions, and a few idiots who exaggerated the consequences. As a result we’re still going to see massive problems for our later years, much less our children. (Big deal locked in right now, just live with it, is near-constant drought from the Sierra Nevadas to the Mississippi, from mid-Canada down to, well, till the Gulf Cycle compensates for lost Pacific waters. I loved living in Colorado, but expect to see more than a little ugliness there till the constitutional clause about water retention is amended.)
My fear of major unrest has grown. “Used to haves” are a very dangerous subset of “have-nots”. Those who had, or might get, and who are then denied have a LOT more anger than those who never had, never expected to get, and are thus more resigned. The anger will go in a lot of directions, but it’s quite possible for someone to gather and aim it — and it may or may not go where they intended or at those who were preventing the wealth. Put simply, see the French Revolution.
Yes, I’m looking at the fact “middle class” is comfortably applied to people in the top quintile. Make $200,000 and you’re in the top 5% — and STILL can have the case made you’re middle class. Median household income is barely double the poverty line — half the nation is barely holding above poverty.
Rage? Disaster? Economic problems? and I’m in the middle of it? Yeah, it’s been a bit hard to write about good food or neat toys or any of the other things I like. Hopefully this bit of bile will clear the problem.