Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Dodging Bullets

As a nation, we here in the US have become exceptionally good at dodging bullets. I mean, just when the economic framework was about to go ker-plunk, the Government steps in to prop it up. The banks will be secure, the stock market is stabilizing, even gas prices [one economic factor that affects virtually everyone, what with shipping costs being factored into product prices and all] are coming down a bit. But it may be a bit early for the Nationwide Sigh Of Relief. After all, a check of history reveals that stock prices rebounded briefly in the days after the Crash of 1929. Not every bank that collapsed in the Great Depression went under in the first days after the Crash. And the global picture is not as secure as ours, if indeed, ours IS that secure.

Of course, the last time we faced anything like this was the Great Depression of 1929 and thereafter. To those born after its conclusion, no explanation is possible. For those who lived through it, no explanation is necessary. The roots seem to be the same: bad investments, naked greed, speculation by people who had no business dropping a bet in penny-ante poker, no less the high-stakes of Wall Street. And, as in 1929 and following, it's likely Government, through taxation and benefit cuts to the groups within Society that can least afford to be hit, that will shoulder the burden of paying it all off. Oh, wait; in the 1930's, the US Government put protections in place to help those most affected by the Crash. I KNEW there was a difference somewhere.

The point we should all keep in mind, however, is this: as grinding as a depression would be here, there are unknown millions living in poverty that even Depression-era survivors could not envision. We need to reach the hopeless poor, those who can't even imagine rising above the lowest level of existence. How can you and I do this? Two words: GET INVOLVED! Find a group who tries to help the poor. Join it. If you can donate to charity, do it. Here's one we can all do: it's election season. Canada held its vote yesterday [congratulations on your re-election, Mr. Harper: just remember, though, minority governments have been known to fall over social issues], the US goes to the polls on November 4th, and much of the rest of the world will vote sometime in the next year or two. Seek out candidates and parties committed to helping those in poverty, at home and abroad. If your politicians aren't talking about poverty, call them out to do so [hey, it's your vote: the least you can do is be informed]. And remember: one person living a diminished life diminishes us all.

-Mike Riley


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?