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Random Observations by Pat Ostrye

Shades of Herbert Hoover!

    In my research, I discovered that  in 1929 when the Great Depression hit with a resounding crash, President Herbert Hoover actually said that the root cause was psychological and that it would work itself out!  What's more, the government could only help indirectly, meaning don't let the "good ol' boys" lose anything.  Not four days ago, even with IndyMac, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading the downward crash, President Bush stated that American productivity and the economy remain sound and there's  nothing anyone can do about the price of gasoline!  He should have added: and there's no FDR waiting in the wings to start the comeback!

     Although prosperity has never been the hallmark of any Republican Administration,  even the rank-and-file voter has had enough smarts to see the handwriting on the wall long ago.  And so I am rerunning most of the column I wrote in this newspaper six months ago, on January 25th,  when President Bush proclaimed that there was no recession, only slow-growth: 

      "It is hardly news to hear the "powers that be" announcing that we may be heading for a slight recession.  Really, now!! The price of gas has gone beyond reason, the prices of homes have been too ridiculous to consider for the past ten years, leading to the current mass foreclosures on those purchased with sub-prime mortgages, and today's Dow was down 306.95 points! No matter what you call it, it spells disaster for millions, with no end in sight.

       However, these same financial experts would have us believe that this isn't a Recession, it's only Slow Growth!  What's more, they advocate turning it around just like that if we would all get out and do more buying to really move the economy.  With half the country on strike every other week for one benefit or another, and right now determined to stay that way until someone says "uncle", where would the money come from to spend?  In this day and age, strikes for whatever lofty purpose, help noone but the heads of unions, who do not risk losing their homes or cars, trying to feed their families on a pittance from the union, or losing their health benefits altogether. 

       One thing we could say, comparing it to the Great Depression in the 1930s, noone has been seen jumping out of a window in despair (yet), or lining up at soup kitchens.  We like to think that this is a more civilized way of losing everything we've worked and planned for in this land of plenty.  No amount of talk will change what is happening now.  Everyday we hear "too little, too late".

       Comparatively speaking, today's "slow growth" may have a more devastating impact on the nation  because we're dealing with billions and trillions of dollars and palatial mansions, as opposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars at the most in those other Depression days and ordinary family homes.  Besides, this is a more highly-sophisticated and educated society that is reaching for and expecting the moon in all its glory!"

       By the time this hits the printed page a week from now, there could be developments we haven't even thought possible.  We can only stand by for the next press release from the Oval Office!

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