Perhaps, some of us still have our heads in the sand concerning the real state of affairs when it comes to the hardship which has hit a large part of our population, in different parts of the country, but not all of us do.
The following account, from another friend of mine, gives a pretty clear picture of what is beginning to happen all around us. It may be a little more subtle, in different areas, but it is happening, no matter how much spin is put on the actual facts, trying to soothe the harsh reality of it.
My friend is an educated man--a practical thinker, with keen, observational skills. I think what he has to say will give some insight into what is happening to real people, in real life. Any of these people he speaks of could be our neighbors, our friends, and unfortunately, our very own family.
Here's what he said, in his own words:
Everyone knows the media is not interested in telling people the news. Instead, their primary concern is twisting the news to suit their own agenda. If a newscaster on CNN said it was raining outside my house, I'd get up and go look for myself before I gave their statement any credence.
So when they ramble on and on about lost jobs and the situation in the country, you know they're just reading teleprompters, parroting whatever comes across the screen mindlessly.
Three things occurred this week that gave me some indication of how events are effecting people out in the real world. Not news anchors with six digit salaries, but real people. First , I had lunch with someone I've known for more than ten years. She's a divorced woman, about my age, who lives in an apartment in Atlanta. Her 401 K statement listed the value of her account at $147,900 the previous quarter. Her next statement arrived this week, and her account is now valued at less than $37,000. That's a lot of money to lose in a three month period.
The next day, I had a quick lunch at a local fast food place. One of the women who works there has a son that I taught when he was in fifth grade. He was a good kid, well behaved and intelligent. His parents had great hopes for him. Then his father lost his job when the plant he had worked at for years shut down. Now the whole family is living off savings and the mother's meager income from the fast food place. The husband is about my age, had specialized skills, and can't buy a job now. She told me they can't get a student loan, so instead of going to college they are trying to find something for him at a tech school.
I talked with a small businessman who had a $200,000 line of credit at his bank. He used it to cover the gaps between invoicing and receiving payment that all small businessmen have to deal with. His banker called him this week and told him the line was being canceled. They said it was nothing to do with his credit, that he had been an excellent customer for nearly thirty years. But they just couldn't continue the line. How is he going to make do now?
So all this is real, and the bland, smiling faces mouthing platitudes on the television screen have no idea what's really going on. Why should they care, they aren't going to lose their jobs.