Thursday, September 15, 2011

The 'We' in Economy

One theme that permeated my stay in the US was the many shapes that economic woe can take.
Beside the usual price increases, it played out in ways btoht expected and unexpected.

My friend Joseph has had a hard time selling the hay he grows since many people have sold their animals, unable to afford their upkeep.

One Sunday we visit the artist market at the Santa Fe Railyard. We get in a conversation with a steel artist, who tells us that he will soon discontinue his work because of the dramatic increase of not only the materials, but also the parts for his machine. He plans to sell it all and take up oil painting.

In a single issue of the Santa Fe Reporter, I see discount offers for both of the city's major yoga studios.

On every road trip, we find that the cafes and restaurants that look most intriguing (i.e.-most progressive) inevitably have closed. This despite our Moon Guide having been published in 2009.

The lack of snow, and the terrible fires of summer, have seriously damaged tourist business in a multitude of mountains towns across the northern part of the state. One cafe owner tells me how the nearby ski resort exaserbated the situation in exaggereating the snow conditions, which infuriated many potential return customers.

My mother works for the church, running an organization that gives aid to the poor. Everytime I visit her, she fields two or three calls a day from someone out of work, someone whose utilities have been cut off.

Yet on Madison Ave, the waltz goes on. And the government once again rearranges the deck chair on the Titanic...

(I'm sure I'll revisit this topic, having forgotten many examples that I'd planned on exploring. Plus, it'll be interesting to see how Japan has been faring since I left, especially with the triple disaster of March 2011. This post will no doubt be expanded sometime...)

On the turntable: Oingo Boingo, "Dead Man's Party"

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