It’s the Economy, Stupid

Blogged under Crafty Biz,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Friday 29 January 2010 at 11:56 am

I normally keep my political opinions to myself when it comes to talking on the web, but after my experience today, I feel compelled to talk about it. I have a little Etsy shop that pretty much limps along because I just don’t have time to pay much attention to it. Somehow, I luck out and sell an item now and then, and that happened yesterday. I sold a pair of very cute earrings (if I do say so myself).

Today, I packed up the earrings and headed out to mail them. Normally, I mail my packages through the college’s post office, but today, I’m home grading papers and working on the book, so I figured I’d just pop up to the pak mail place, about 15 minutes from my home. I used to go there all the time but hadn’t been by in awhile.

As I pulled up, I noticed the windows were dark, as were that of about half the other small businesses in the plaza. It was closed. The sign said: “Sorry, due to the economy we had to close.” The sub shop next to it was also permanently closed, as was the shop next to that, and so on. How depressing!

The people who ran the pak mail were a man and wife team who worked their you-know-whats off and were just down right good people. This really brought home to me how all these small businesses are linked. Someone like me, a person with a small business, sells an item, and I go to another small business to ship it out. Next door to that small business is a sub shop, that I might buy lunch at while I’m there, or the people working in the pak mail might also get their lunch there on occasion. The sub shop guy might need stamps and go next door to buy them. Well, you get the picture.

This is also not an isolated incident around here. I know a number of folks without jobs. I read students’ papers that talk about how they have lost their home and it is now in foreclosure or how they have come back to school because they need to train for a new career after being laid-off. I just heard a few weeks ago about a restaurant I went to fairly regularly, and have been for at least 10 years, going out of business. All of these incidents are not separate. Like the pak mail closing, it is a domino affect.

The politicians in Washington don’t seem to “get” this. They are bailing out huge businesses that are corrupt and are also fixated on health care reform, something I do agree needs to be done but not now when there is an economic crisis going on all around us, or at least, all around those normal people who aren’t politicians. Let’s get people back to work, and then let’s fix the health care system. And by “fix,” I mean let’s work towards a system that at least the majority of voters can understand and agree on, not ram a bunch of new laws down our throats and tell us that it’s good for us and we should just do what we’re told because the powers that be know what we need better than we do.

Washington now has its eyes on a bullet train in my home state of Florida. Why would we take this train? Are we going to go to work? How can that happen when there are no jobs? These folks have zip idea of what it is like in this state. We don’t have a great deal of public transportation; however, many areas are super spread out. For example, I take the interstate to work, which takes about 20 minutes one way. I also have a crap-load of stuff I bring with me. Just making it from the parking lot to my office with all of it takes an effort. Can you imagine me lugging all of that stuff on a train or bus? We aren’t like large cities where you can walk a few blocks and buy an apple at the little grocer. There are huge subdivisions and anything considered “close” as far as shopping or work is at least a 10 minute drive. That equates to about 5 to 10 miles.

While the powers that be are all in a flurry about this train, they have decided to ax the country’s space industry, an action that will have huge financial repercussions in Florida as well as many other states. All of the money spent on programs like the Space Shuttle and Constellation will be flushed down the toilet. I read some place that Washington feels that is won’t matter much because all of those lost jobs basically belong to the elite and educated, not the masses. Again, they are showing their arrogance and ignorance. There are tons of people who work for the space industry who are not engineers. There are the folks who clean the offices, run the gift shop, work in the cafeteria, mow the grass, work as security guards, and so on. Technicians who assemble and test equipment are trained, but most are not at the level of an engineer as far as education. These are everyday working people who need to feed their families. However, rather than see this program into the future (like John F. Kennedy had the foresight to do), our new administration would rather scrap it, let foreign countries take over, and give us a train.

We have been sinking our tax dollars into the Wall Street elite and car industry (which has been heading in the wrong direction for decades), and yet, no one in Washington will give the little business owner a break. Our president spoke the other evening, and I’m sorry, but I’m tired of listening. I want to see some common-sense action. I want to see the people we elected do something other than hand out big wads of cash to the idiots who got us in this mess in the first place. I want to see the local sub shop and pak mail place open for business again!

7 Comments »

  1. Comment by Margot — January 30, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    Well Tammy, it’s all about perspective. We’ve got big problems and two political parties that are so busy slinging mud and insults, they can’t be bothered to come together and create solutions. What we really need to remember is that the big corporations were given big incentives and tax breaks to take their business overseas…and those same big corporations are profiteering on the backs of the poor in third world countries and moved their ‘offices’ overseas so they could stop paying taxes. That big sucking sound is the problem…and we’re all paying for it. You can blame both parties for that.

    As a former small business owner who specialized in Fair Trade products from this country and others, I know of which I speak. The bottom line for us was that the American consumer was so brainwashed into having a ton of cheap crap make overseas and they forgot to support small business. So we are all complicit, actually. Remember when we looked for the union label? Those days have passed.

    How do we fix it?! Well I’d like to think we’re smart enough to come up with solutions. My first one is to vote every last one of them out of office and start fresh. Then get rid of ALL non public campaign contributions, install term limits and demand action. That’s up to every one of us.

    Where’s my bailout?! I ask that question every day. I’m mad at the lot of them. So let’s get together and demand that answer from every last corrupt weenie in Washington. GOP and Democrat alike.

    xoxo,
    Madge

  2. Comment by Tammy — January 31, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Thank you for the reply on this, Margot. Just to make it clear, I do not just blame the Democrats. In fact, I’ve been a registered Independent for many years. Like you, I think they are all to blame, and this mess has been created over many years. That said, I’m very disappointed in the direction of the current administration. Not that I had any expectations of this group fixing the mess, especially not quickly, but you would think after a year things would be a tiny bit better rather than a whole lot worse, and the decisions that I seeing continuing to be made (like closing up space exploration and handing it over to foreign governments) gives me even less hope.

  3. Comment by Terry — February 1, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    Well, put, Tammy. The first step in solving the problem is to vote everyone out, and start fresh, just like Margot said, and that is what our household plans to do!

  4. Comment by Terry — February 1, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    One other thing–I was unable to listen to Obama the other night due to other responsibilities I had. I was unaware of the space program cut. What idiots! Do these people not realize how important the space program has been? Not to mention the jobs, but the way we live today, the comforts we so enjoy–microwave ovens, computers, television, internet, satellite, news, weather, safer sports equipment, automobiles (and I mean the materials they are made of etc.), cell phones, food, clothing…I could go on forever…are all due to the space program.

  5. Comment by Tammy — February 1, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

    Terry – I was guess most people (including those who are now in Washington, not just Obama either) have no clue about the dangers of handing over the space industry to other countries, Russia no less! Probably we are more informed than the average person because we are originally from the Space Coast. I, too, could go on forever, a shame!

  6. Comment by Tammy Coughlan — February 5, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    Well, I’m probably going to sound totally simplistic here…but what if we gave the billion dollars back to the LEGAL taxpayers Instead of wallstreet, etc…Each one of us legal taxpayers would receive around 300K – yes – there would be the 1 to 2% that would spend it foolishly…the other 98% would pay off their mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, personal loans…thereby solving the bank’s problems. Many of us would buy new cars – with CASH – there you go – car dealers problems solved! I am getting more and more enraged with the fact that our government thinks we are morons! Truly, give the money back to the majority – the minority got us into this horrible mess.

  7. Pingback by The Crafty Princess Diaries » Boom! Shuttle Atlantis Time! — May 26, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    […] in general is really disappointing. I have already lamented about this on here before (see “It’s the Economy, Stupid“), so I won’t rehash it. But just remember this day, folks, years from now when you […]

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