21 January 2009

Downturn

Are you feeling it? Or is it all a figment of the imagination stoked by the world media machine? I'm talking about the economic downturn, the worldwide slump, the global recession - call it what you will. It's like a great sleeping beast that has emerged from its cave to terrorise the human race. Wherever you go you hear its awful breathing.
My heart goes out to the many thousands who have already fallen victim to this monster. Factories closing. Building sites mothballed. Homes repossessed. Dreams shelved. For we are all economic beings and any of us could end up as victims of this cruel beast as it stalks the planet.
Economic slumps are fascinating for sociologists. Suicide rates increase. There is more thievery. More murder. More marriages are fractured. Even certain illness rates increase. There's alcohol abuse, drug abuse and numerous other ways of trying to bury your troubles.

At a time like this, we need Superman to rescue the planet. He duly arrived on Tuesday - Barack Obama whose last name in Iranian apparently means "he in us". There's even a town in Japan called Obama. Magically, he seems to encompass so much of the world - from Kenya to Hawaii, from England to Illinois. My fingers are genuinely crossed for this charismatic new leader. I wish him well.
However, he isn't really Superman. He's just another guy. Though St George could slay the dragon, the beast of worldwide recession is a very different prospect. You can buy houses in Detroit for a hundred bucks a piece, banks are buckling, shares keep tumbling, big companies are folding as little businesses dissolve in their wake. These seem like very grim times and even in the escapism of the blogosphere, you find depressing posts like this one.

4 comments:

  1. Oh yes, feeling it alright! Who is immune? Obama is inspirational but he isn't a saviour - there is no such thing and people need to pull together on this one. Meanwhile, I'd like to see all the bankers still in work forced to live on £10k pa and see how they like it.

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  2. He's a man who has been handed the poisoned chalice. The banks and other financial big boys have to be called to account. As Mopsa says, they should be forced to live on £10,000 a year and experience the real world.

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  3. Still, last time this happened we had all this and Mrs Thatcher too - - and having written that I think - ah! and who've we got now? Sighhhh.

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  4. I hope that by electing Obama, we've shown that we're willing to do the work to build things up again. I want us to learn history in schools in such an invigorating way that we grow up really understanding how the events of the past shape the present and future. I think we'd be less likely to waste our resources and oppress other people if we did.

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