Saturday, January 31, 2009
The Obama Depression
"So much depression, I can't keep track of it no more" from the song "Change My Way of Thinking" from Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming album. Yesterday I looked at the Drudge Report and it read like the table of contents from some apocryphal novel by Tim LaHaye. The main difference being the news on Drudge was based in reality.
North Carolina hasn't suffered as much from the Obama Depression as much as the other parts of the country. Our housing values have only fell 3%, compared to Las Vegas whose values dropped 27%. The Obama Depression (O.D.) began after Thanksgiving. I think that's when the country woke up like a slut after prom night and looked in the mirror after unsticking her tongue from the roof of her mouth. Usually at Christmas the mood at the hospital improves a bit, but not this year. I just signed another one year contract; same pay, but more weekend call. There is no negotiation in the O.D. : "be happy you have a job" is the mantra of the day. The journals that used to contain twenty pages of job listings now have half a page. There are still jobs at Indian Health Service, the V.A. and Martin Luther King Hospital in Washington D.C. Speaking of the V.A., a friend of mine had a small heart attack and went to the V.A. hospital in Asheville. He had a heart cath and a stent put in. A week later he's still whacked out. A sixty two year old lucid college professor walks into the V.A. hospital after feeling sick for a couple days has a heart cath and is now reduced to a blithering idiot. This is what we have to look forward to if Tom (I meant to pay my taxes) Daschle gets his way.
I just finished a book "The Forgotten Man". It explains how F.D.R.'s New Deal actually turned a two year recession into a 10 year depression. It seems that the brain trusts in this administration failed to look at history while they where worshipping at the throne of F.D.R. Why do people feel the government can spend its way out of a recession? It hasn't gotten as bad as the Carter days yet, but with a few more trillion dollar pork-laden stimulus packages we might get to see 19% inflation again.
In the south most people usually have a cheerful, pleasant demeanor. I'm beginning to see a slight change. There is a bit more of that hang-dog look one usually finds in the northern rust belt. Hannah stated it this way "in Rochester people are so busy trying not to get shot they don't think about getting a new hairdo". I have seen the hang-dog look before, in socialists countries. Especially in the eastern-bloc where there isn't enough vodka in the world to block out the hopelessness and despair. It is funny that our latest crisis is high levels of Prozac in our drinking water.
But take heart my friends! This June we all are going to take a road trip to Hooterville. There we are going to kick out the jams and have a two day party and forget about the O.D.