Hawking Up Hairballs

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Great Recession

I was watching the Bill Moyers show on PBS yesterday when he did a profile of this guy who started a community organizing group in Boston, with the purpose of preventing foreclosures and forcing the banks to let people stay in their foreclosed homes as rental tenants. I wish I could recall his name, but I was doing other things when the piece was on and I wasn't playing close attention. He's an admirable fellow though. He doesn't organize his group in a top down fashion. The purpose of the group is to get people to take control of their lives by fighting back. It's the only way to do things and expect them to work.

So, I was only half watching the show when something struck me. They were talking about how the group was demonstrating at the home of someone who was being foreclosed on. A representative of the bank was there and he told the group that it wasn't personal, that it was just the market.

It's just the market. That got me to thinking. I sometimes find myself shaking my head at the ideas that are put forth to justify the actions of the banksters and others. They're so obviously wrong. What I forget to think about is that these wrong ideas have consequences. These flawed ideologies empower those who work for the real villains, the bank employee, for example. I'm sure he doesn't like what he's doing to people, but he can console himself with the idea that it's just the market at work, which is like a force of nature that we messs with at our peril.

I also watched a segment of 60 Minutes. It was about Wilmington, Ohio, where Airborne Express had been headquartered. Airborne employed 10,000 people there, all of whom were laid off after Airborne was acquired by DHL. The reason I mention it, is this. I've been wondering what the powers that be will end up calling the current financial crisis. It's obviously more than a garden variety recession and they're allergic to the use of the ā€œDā€ word. Well, the reporter who was doing the segment called it the Great Recession. Bingo! I think they've found it.


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