If you were watching the news a year ago, you could see this coming. People are smart, and can see the truth if they stop to look carefully. People know that a “double dip recession is a possibility” is piling it stinky and high. People have seen and felt the continued financial pressure for years. It hasn’t stopped, or even slowed down for years. This is a depression for the vast majority of us. A true, honest to God depression, and it was created on purpose.Bad home loans were given to folks that didn’t understand the risk, and then the banks took their homes back. Banks extended credit card debt to the skies, and then raised the interest rates into the 20 and 30 plus per cents. Banks won’t extend credit to small businesses, which then are forced to lay off staff or not hire help they need to be successful. Banks were bailed out in 2008, bailed out from a situation created by their own hubris. After that bailout, though, the banks did not help the citizens that saved their butts.Jobs have been disappearing due to technology, the corporate take-over’s starting in the 1980’s, and big business shipping jobs overseas. Young people are graduating college with huge school loan debts, and can’t find jobs. Unemployment rates are 9-21%, depending on your age, color, and location. In some groups the unemployment rate is higher than during the Great Depression. The gap between the very rich and the rest of us has widened for the last 30 years. I remember a book by Steve Schlossstein, “The End of the American Century,” written in the 1980’s. Way back then he noted the widening gap between the incomes of the very rich and the rest of society. During the last time that this income disparity happened, the Robber Baron era of the early 20th century, the top 1% held 18% of the wealth of this country. At this time, the top 1% holds 24% of the wealth. Last year the top 20% of our citizens made 49.4% of the income earned in this country.Politicians of all kinds are lying every time they open their mouths. They are actively punishing the 99% of the people to benefit the top 1% that donate big money to their re-election campaigns. Politicians are selling us down the river for power and money. The Supreme Court, under the Citizens United v. FEC ruling, has ruled that corporations can donate unlimited money to politicians, with no disclosure required.We are besieged on all sides- sound familiar? It is no surprise that people are taking to the streets- Wall Street mostly, but all over our country. Our politicians are working against us, as are the folks that have taken our money. The politicians are totally unresponsive to their voters. There is no one working for or protecting us. Instead we are constantly under attack for what wealth we have left. Throughout history, when the pressure from the rich and powerful becomes too much, the people take to the streets. It is the only place left to us to make our plight known. There will be much more demonstrating in this country, and big business, the rich, and the politicians are asking for it.
B. Diane Eames, GG
Graduate Gemologist (GIA)