Thursday, August 5, 2010

What a mess we’re in?

Really! We’re in a mess? Really! Well, yes and no. I saw a headline on Drudge that indicated the Obama Administration might direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to write off the foreclosed mortgages on their books. I don’t know what that’ll do to our economy but most likely nothing good. Still, that does mean that each of us with a mortgage above water, or without that kind of financial encumbrance, will be paying off someone else’s mortgage; you’re welcome sir.

My neighbor is an over the road trucker, a so-called independent owner operator, and he notices a slacking of business. Of course, to him everything in these United States moves by truck at some point and I can’t disagree too strongly with that. What he says is that truck loads that used to be contracted aren’t right now. For example, the farmer who used to have sawdust hauled to his dairy farm, the wood chips that used to be loaded in Northern Minnesota and hauled down to a landscape supplier, the load of recycled materials that no longer seem to be as common as before. But he still keeps on trucking just not as busy as he used to be. Plus many of his friends also aren’t as busy that they’d like to be. Even with that business slacking, some other drivers refuse to haul a load unless they get “full price” for a load; the dollars per mile for a load.

Some of my other neighbors and friends are not working much at all. Two of them do air-conditioning and furnace installations or repairs. Another person installs and repairs tile and countertops. Another is a plumber. They all say that they’ve been stung by customers being slow to pay, or refuse to pay, for repairs. So, many of them have gone to demanding customers pay by credit card, entered up front. These folks would work hard to complete a job and will work hard to make sure their work meets high standards. Yet, many of their own customers are doing poorly themselves thus the sometime problem of customer payment.

On the other hand, Fannie and Freddie might decide to shell out large globs of money to write off large numbers of foreclosed mortgages. I guess the Obama Administration feels that move by Fannie and Freddie will rejuvenate the economy; nice if true. We also hear news that the July unemployment numbers have gone up, we heard more radio and TV PSAs about how to turn our “huge” loan amounts down to zero. We hear about how our first family is enjoying a well deserved vacation over in Spain and wonder why not spend that money in the Gulf Coast region, still suffering from the aftermath of the BP oil spill; Ok, spending that money in this country would be mostly symbolic, but that’s worth something!

Lastly, we hear how all these many issues are all the fault of “The Bushes,” those of the recent dark and painful past. Then, I recall our national history, how it took about 5-years to go from the Boston Massacre to Lexington and Concord, how it took about 3-years to go from the Boston Tea Party to those same two flash points in our struggles against Britain’s Parliament. So, our new Tea Party only dates from April, 2009, and might that suggest either we need to accelerate whatever comes next or that we shouldn’t be too impatient while waiting for that momentous coming event. Personally, I’m hoping that event is nothing more than a good election, with the will of the people being openly and honestly expressed, and more importantly, without chad drama or a drawn out contest; fair contests, won fairly. Well, one can hope maybe this time that’ll happen.

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