Since I spend all of my time out in public I overhear conversations constantly. I don't mean to listen, but it really can't be helped. I am beginning to think that we are just so stupid to re-elect Obama. One night there was a tv commercial on about the debt and the economy done by an obviously right leaning organization. The guy said very loudly that they can blame Bush for the economy.
Now, when I lost my job Bush was president. I was among many others who were losing their jobs at the time. Hundreds of thousands were losing their jobs every month at that time. To be honest I wasn't overly concerned at the time. Looking back at that now I realize it was a mistake. But I had enough money to live on for at least a year if I was careful. I collected unemployment for three weeks before finding the job selling furniture. To me that was going to pay my utilities and car note. I would use my savings to pay my mortgage. I figured I would be ok. Obviously it didn't work out that way. I know now that I should have rented my apartment much sooner than I did. But shoulda, woulda, coulda. I can't change it now.
As I have said before I didn't pay very close attention to politics until it was time to vote for president. I didn't even really pay attention to until well after the selections for who was going to run was done. I guess I would start reading up on them in mid October or so. The last election I didn't really need to do that. The primary process between Clinton and Obama was so protracted and nasty that I did pay attention to it. Mind you I still didn't go vote in the primary, but I paid attention more than I had before. I knew by the time that Obama got the nomination that he would be president and it would not be a good thing. McCain never really had much of chance. The media helped with the argument that he was just going to be Bush #3. People were mad at Bush for the wars and blamed him for the souring economy. People were scared watching their investments for retirement becoming worth less and less. I know I was very worried about Aunt Bessie. She came from the generation where people didn't stick money into a 401(k) from a young age like people do now. Or at least have the ability to. So her meager savings and investments have to last. She doesn't get much from Social Security. Luckily she came from a generation that people had pensions from their employment. But still, it isn't easy for her; she has to spend carefully. Aunt Bessie voted for Obama. She was scared and I can't blame her for that.
I don't know why people would be any less scared now. Matter of fact, shouldn't they be more scared? The economy isn't getting better except on paper. According to economic models were out of the recession in June of 09 or somewhere around there. Do you think we are out of recession? Does anyone really believe that people's lives are improving? I am sure that some are. I am sure that some feel that have economic security; at least for now. I used to think that way too. I even thought that when I first lost my job. I will even go as far to say that I didn't realize how unstable my position was until about last summer. By that point I was already renting a room and had just sold my car to get rid of my high car payment. I bought a used one that I thought would last me at least 2 years.
But then the realization that I was really in trouble hit. Virtually all of my savings was gone at that point. My job had recently cut my commission levels and people were just not buying as much anymore. I went from making about $1500 per month to making $700. My rent was $600. I had just used the last of savings to pay off my car note so even if I could find a cheaper rent, I didn't have the money for the deposit. Then a few months later they cut my hours. I knew all as over for me then. I knew that unless I found a better paying job I would be on the streets. I was lucky that I was able to stave it off until the weather became more mild. I didn't want to be in my car when it was in the 20's.
So to me I don't understand how people are still blaming Bush for this. Yeah, he was in office when this crisis started for me, but he was well out of office when it really became a crisis. Bush didn't spend all that money on a stimulus that wasn't really needed. If the recession technically ended in 6/09 the stimulus didn't do that. It would have been recovered on it's own. All the stimulus did was get us closer to the time that we had to raise the debt ceiling. The nastiness that is happening now with all the talk in Washington is causing more problems for the economy. The markets are reacting to the unknown, they don't like the unknown. When the markets react, the average small business owner suffers. The line of credit is harder to extend and then the layoffs usually follow shortly thereafter.
I saw this lady on a really main road the other day with a sign that said lost my job and desperate, please help. She looked like she was middle aged and dressed in neat and clean clothing. I wanted to stop and talk to her. Not that I can much to help her in my current position, but I really thing I could give her some advice on what I did to cut my costs. Also some of the mistakes that I made. Like I said, I should have rented my apartment sooner. My mortgage was by far my biggest expense. If I had been able to save on that I may not be in the position I am in now.
With my car being in disrepair and in danger of overheating, I was not able to stop. But she can't be the only one. There are millions of others who are just like this lady. Who are afraid of becoming me. She may have kids at home, which make her feel even more desperate I am sure. I only have to worry about myself. I can survive on eating bread for a few days. I don't like it, but I can (and have) do it. But imagine only having bread to give your kids for days. The guilt and the shame you would feel.
The bottom line is that maybe McCain wouldn't have done a better job. Maybe we would still be here had he gotten elected instead. But it seems pretty obvious that Obama isn't up to the task. While I don't believe that a president alone can make the economy better, he (or she) has the power to make it worse. Obama has made it worse with all interference and additional regulations that are spooking small business owners into not wanting to invest. Without investment from the private sector, the economy will not grow.
I actually overhead some woman say last night that things in this country started to take a turn for the worse when Reagan was in office because of the deregulation that he did. Huh? Poverty levels decreased under Reagan overall. Poverty levels also decreased under Clinton when he was pushed into changing up the welfare system. People were forced to go out and support themselves and once they did find jobs, their lives improved.
I read recently that the new CAFE standards for cars that Obama is putting into place is going to cause more car deaths, because the car companies will be forced to make the cars lighter. Lighter cars will kill more people and cause more expensive repairs when you are in an accident. How exactly does this new regulation help people? It must be that stupid belief that we are saving the earth this way. The difference in emissions is so meaningless that it is all just for show. If global warming is real, it won't help. So why do it?
We just may be that stupid that we re-elect this man. Very scary for that lady I saw with the sign the other day. She may be writing the next homeless blog you see.