Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I periodically remind myself, and friends who become convinced that life as we know it is coming to an end, or the world is changing for the worse, etc., that things ain't as bad as they often have been in the past.

Maybe it's because my Irish grandfather, my father's father, was born and grew up in a thatch-roofed peasant's home in Western Ireland that had a dirt floor and housed a pig and some chickens along with all his siblings and his parents.

Or that my father had to drop out of school in seventh grade to go to work to help support his family. Or that I worked for my father in his home repair business for "room and board" when I was a kid and so had to get other extra jobs to have pocket money etc.

My two grown children grew up with the financial ups and down of a father who lived by his wits and made money mostly from creative endeavors and with a lousy head for business, but they always had good places to live and good food to eat and good schools to go to and were exposed to all kinds of cultural and educational opportunities and experiences, way beyond anything my grandfather or father or my younger self had.

Or maybe it's because my parents went through the Great Depression where they lost everything and ended up living over a garage with my three oldest brothers and then lost that rental in a fire and eventually worked their way back into a home, the one I grew up in, which was very small for all my siblings and me and our mother's mother and "the boarder" and incoming Irish relatives staying until they got a foothold in "the states" etc.

Or my two oldest brothers were in the service during World War Two, etc.

Despite the intransigence of a rightwing Republican strategy that is stupid enough to possibly be creating the end of our country's being the most trusted, at least financially, and creating not just an even worse economic crisis than their former leaders Bush and Cheney brought about in their eight years but a worldwide global economic crisis worse than that as well.

Despite that, the world has still not seen a financial crisis as bad as The Great Depression eighty years since than, nor has the world seen anywhere near the level of violence and destruction of World War Two in the seventy years since that.

In fact, many of the horrible problems of the world I was born into, have either disappeared or been greatly diminished since then. So yes, maybe our government will end up defaulting on our collective debt and as a result our rating will be downgraded and the "full faith and..." etc. of the US government will end up worth a lot less than it has for most of our history, and maybe that will increase interest rates and working people will suffer even more than they have over the past decade and especially since the Bush/Cheney Great Recession was created, and maybe the "American Empire" will finally be forced to fold up its tents and pull back from imposing its military and even some of its corporate might on the rest of the world, but my guess is there still won't be the kind of world war violence that existed when I was a kid or even the kind of Great Depression economic strife when my siblings were kids, though of course the reason there won't be is because of the policies put in place during that period by FDR and Democrats, policies the right is all about wiping out and/or reversing which is a lot of what the present stalemate is about.

But the good news is things have been a lot worse for many and yet we survived, and in some cases, many in fact, we thrived. Most of us enjoy more luxuries and gadgets and devices that make our lives so rich our ancestors couldn't even have imagined it (unless we're descendants of super rich dynasties that go back more than a century like the Bushes). We may lose some of that, or have to give some up, or downsize to smaller quarters or learn to live without, but if we're anything like our ancestors, we'll continue to survive and even thrive despite the odds.

And when enough of us have had enough of the rich and the corporations they control getting richer at our expense, as we have throughout history, we'll do something about it.

1 comment:

JIm said...
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