Great Depression

People relied on themselves and each other to survive

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For the most of us the issue today is survival, how to survive on the income we have in an economy that is hostile to the working mans wallet. Food prices keep rising, the job market is pretty stagnant and business are cutting hours if not jobs. We can not rely on our government to save us or to fix the problems. Big business can only fix the employment issues and we are the only ones that will save our selves. We can learn how to make money stretch, grow our own food and trim the fat from our financial lives from our grandparents and great-grandparents. Some of them lived through the great depression and a world war, times were very tough back then and people relied on themselves and each other to survive.

Our economy is based on consumerism, yet the companies cut pay, jobs and send work over seas. How can Americans be consumers without money or a job? The corporations are cutting their nose off spite their face, they want to save money to make higher profits but they take away the consumers jobs and money that supply the profits. So I say lets start growing gardens, raising livestock and making due with less of the products from the companies that ship work across the oceans and who are cutting wages, benefits and jobs to Americans. I understand it is a global economy now days more so than just a national one, but if you neglect those whom helped you to get rich they will eventually wise up and stop supporting you and / or purchasing your products and services.

Maybe we need to start going back to a bartering system between us working folk and keep our unessential purchases to a minimum. Maybe then the big corporations will learn that the working class and the impoverished are not to be messed with or taken for granted.

Self-reliance, community and co-operation are the things that built the great cities and nations of our world.

Ray Barbier

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An Old Mans Reflections on 2/17/2011

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HPIM0012b  As a child I saw the world through rose colored glasses and believed that all was fair and just in the world around me. I grew through my childhood and teen years trying to live as a fair and just boy / young man only to receive the wrath and cruelty of my peers. I watched friends being bullied and found myself at times standing between the bully and those he wanted to terrorize. Never the cool guy and always the average guy in the middle is the part I played through my teens. The older I got the more my eyes were open to the unfairness and injustice in the world around me. Even though the world seems to run on greed and selfishness I still tried to hang on to the idea that there was goodness in this world.

  Every time I was close to just giving up and giving in to the fact the world was cruel and had little chance of redemption someone would come along and show me there is still kindness and love in this world. Even now in my forties I have hope for the whole of humanity even though governments and businesses have gotten so powerful and rich that most average people have to struggle to even survive. The fact we must face is governments and the business sector will always be greedy and will always put their own wants and needs above the wellbeing of others. This is due to the fact the majority of politicians and business people had chosen their professions for the purpose of to gain wealth and power. Their may be a few who chose to be a politician to help and serve the people, but they are a rare commodity in modern times.

  In my life I had seen several wars occur and energy shortages several times but never saw so much come to a head at the same time. Riots in the middle eastern countries , China growing into the new super economic power and the decline of the American financial system. I do not believe the United States it yet doomed to total financial ruin as of yet, though if we do not focus on education, innovation and government financial reform we may be heading for another great depression. Though I see some progress in Washington D.C. there is a long way to go far as fixing our nations debt. The debate over entitlements is one of the hot topics on capital hill and across the U.S. at the moment. Should they raise the retirement age or increase the percentage individuals have to contribute. Seems to me if you want to save money in a company or government you either decrease the staff or their salaries. This of course is not an option the congress wants to consider due to the fact it would be their pay checks on the line.

  Even in this mess we live in I still see hope, but this hope is not found in government but among the citizens. Human beings are very adaptable and when they learn to work together there is very little as a species that we can not accomplish or overcome. When we learn to put our selfish natures behind us long enough to see the advantages of a community based mindset we will start to head down the road of recovery and prosperity. As a great author John Donne (1572-1631) once wrote “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

The world may be full of cruelty and unfairness but it is also full of compassion and love. The chore is to learn how to sort through it all and separate the wheat from the chaff without being overwhelmed by it all. To get lost in all the negativity and sorrow around us and or get trapped in the escapes from reality we have made is not an easy task either. It surely is hard to be a single candle standing against the winds of the world and the wickedness it contains. Between the wickedness of the world and the weaknesses we have to face within our own character makes the tasks at hand seem unachievable to our weary souls. This is why we must learn to rely upon the strengths of our fellow humans in life, to combine the light of each candle until we become greater than the darkness we face. Though a voice of an individual can cause change it is limited to the range in which it can be heard. The Voices of many can carry further as well as cover a larger area, therefore create change exponentially.

A dreamer I may be, But I would rather live my life dreaming of a better world to live in than giving in to the falsehood that there is no hope. For dreams foster hope and hope brings about change.

Well Enough of this Old Mans Rambling

Peace
Raymond Barbier