The economy and a human face.
We are apt to talk about “The Economy” as if it were a living entity, operating beyond human control.
So I must remind us that our current plight has to do with people, not with "the economy"
We say things like “the economy is bad”, when we really mean that politicians, bankers, economists, manufacturers and the like have made bad decisions, and taken foolish risks.
We also forget that some members of this motley crew are crooks.
That crew has made such dreadful decisions since the days of Reagan (USA) and Thatcher (U.K.) that we now in a “not so pretty pickle”.
The Reagan/Thatcher choices for deregulation, the “free market” (whatever that is), and the like, were rooted in an untested ideology.
Now millions of people in many lands are paying the price. And it is a high price.
I have a friend. I’ll call him “Danny” to protect his anonymity. He is of my age.
Just a few years ago Danny was living in a lovely home on Siesta Key - one of the nicest areas of Sarasota. He was making a good living.
Then, partly due to his inattention, his partner cheated him out of mucho dollars, and Danny was forced to sell up, and lose a lot of money.
He moved to my neighbourhood and rented a home two doors away from me. I like him and enjoy his company.
But business went from bad to worse. He has earned next to nothing since March 2008.
I have supported him with money, food and friendship, but none of this has been sufficient for all his needs.
His landlord (understandably) asked him to leave for he has been unable to pay the rent.
Now he will move to another town and will live in one room, in exchange for helping the homeowner, a woman who is dying of cancer.
He has moved from being a homeowner to being a roomer in about three and a half years.
He knows that he will never be able to retire.
He is frequently “micawberish”.
Mostly he is sad.
And from time to time he is angry: lashing out at the people who care for him most.
He left today with his micawberish, sad, angry face, leaving me to think: “it is not the ‘economy’. It is PEOPLE such as my friend ‘Danny’”.