Yesterday, my local paper, The Staten Island Advance (suitable for wrapping fish, or training your puppies) printed this report on the effects of the recession on my own neighborhood.
Despite their best efforts, neither President Odickhead, nor Mayor Bloomberg, has covered themselves in glory when it comes to dealing with economic issues. In fact, they've been asleep at the switch, preferring to exercise their power, and devote their attention to, their social engineering projects (for Obama, Reparations for Slavery and Implementing Technocratic Socialism, for Blooomberg, removing all the Proles from public view so that the Upper East Side Brahmin class doesn't have to suffer our company).
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and make a prediction; you will begin to see many more stories like this in local newspapers very soon. The return of the "Changing Face of the Neighborhood" story, with an economic rather than cultural slant, is an old favorite, of course. I remember similar stories being written in the Advance when Jimmy Carter presided over 21% interest rates and similar rates of unemployment. It's one of the standby's that all newspapers resort to when there isn't anything to report (or, at least, anything they WANT to report about. The Advance is almost as slanted as (P)MSNBC).
When restaurants close down and the "We Buy Gold" signs go up, you're probably not "turning a corner" and "things are slowly getting better" as President Bambi likes to say, is probably not exactly the truth. Three financial crises rolled-into-one, a useless $787 billion "Stimulus Plan" a $700 billion AIG/GM/Wall Street Bailout, and a "Health" "Care" "Plan" which was already in the red and useless the day it was signed into law, and we're talking about prosecuting Goldman Sachs for running a huge bait-and-switch scheme and betting against it's own clients?
Don't get me wrong; the people at Goldman who will be brought up on charges (maybe) are probably guilty as hell. But if they are guilty of what they're accused of doing, it's only because the people who lord over them allowed it to happen, partly out of self-interest, but mostly out of rank ignorance. The results are empty storefronts and three family-owned businesses that I have patronized for near-on 30 years in this neighborhood going belly up, unemployment, and no prospects of a decent job for far too many.
Obama can be excused his ignorance -- because he couldn't find his own ass with both hands and a flashlight, on a good day, and can't even recite his bedtime prayers without a teleprompter. I expect him to be ignorant and clueless, because I never bought any of the lofty rhetorical and Messiah bullshit. Unfortunately, we're stuck with him for the time being, but that doesn't mean the supporting cast (like the insufferable Barney Fwank, Congressional Spokesmodel for Sodomy, and man who prevented the investigation of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, which are at the root of the Subprime Mortgage Scandal) need to stick around come November. More than any other group of people, they're responsible for setting up and perpetuating a system that allows (alleged) criminals to prosper, allows professional politicians with less sense than a retarded Irish Setter to stay in office forever, and empowers half the population to avoid income taxes or live exclusively on Welfare.
More than any other group, they're (the Politicians) responsible for the shuttered shops, the devastated neighborhoods, the closed family businesses, and the devastated economy. And it's not just the ones in Washington, it's the local guys too -- everytime Washington gives you a tax cut, you can bet your ass that state and local taxes rise to take advantage of your "windfall". But that's okay: you got a new law that limits the amount of sugar in your donut.
It was for your own protection. Oh, and for "the Children".
Obama can go out and trumpet "The Recovery Plan" all he wants; it's a lie. He knows it is, but can't admit it, because it would kill him -- figuratively and politically, at least (we could only be so lucky!). Take a walk down your main drag and see if you believe the "recovery" is happening.
Locally, Bloomberg ran on a platform, in part, of being the most capable person to help guide the city through this financial crisis, since he's a billionaire. He spent a shitload of his personal fortune to change the term-limits law to allow him a third term, and then a shitload more to barely squeak out a victory over a mannequin. And what did he do, right out of the gates? Why,he led the assault of Salty Foods and Sugary Drinks which are "responsible" for the "Obesity Epidemic" and "Health Care Problems" that cost us all money. A vital adjunct to his successful "Make-McDonald's-post-the-number-of-calories-in-a-Big Mac" campaign.
It's people like Mike Bloomberg that give Republicans a bad name. But then again, he only has an "R" at the end of his name because that was the cheapest label to buy.
No cutting of budgets, no fiscal austerity measures, no reorganizing the City's Finances, not even a pledge to go after old favorites like Welfare Frauds and Diplomat Scofflaws. What and how you eat is more important to Micheal Bloomberg than the whether or not you will retain the ability to even buy food in the first place.
If you live in Staten Island, New York, and your neighborhood is beginning to show the effects of deep economic troubles, the streets are slowly filling with Spanish-speaking, illegal day-laborers, and property crime is on the rise, you begin to realize that your future is in the hands of Two Idiots.