To say that our economy is under stress is certainly an understatement. When you watch the talking heads on the television talk shows you hear all kinds of predictions as to when the stock market will take a swing upward. Personally, I do not think anyone really knows, and we must have confidence the end is within sight.
Across America you see stores closing, and of course we are all well aware of the substantial number of foreclosures in the housing market. Our neighbor just lost his job, and prospects for his employment are not bright. While watching CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the major evening newscasts they are all focused on the big companies, such as relief for AIG, GM, Ford, Chrysler, numerous big banks, etc.
With the election over, our politicians are now running for cover and trying to point fingers at some high profile individuals so as to divert our objective attention to government’s failure to provide appropriate over-sight. Our government (I mean the current administration and the incoming leadership) are all trying to throw huge sums of money at the problems, and no one really knows just what will stem the tides of the various problems in our economy. I personally wonder when our leadership will learn that throwing money at a problem is not always the answer. For example, can you believe that more than $200 billion of the $700 billion bail-out package has been distributed with no definitive oversight in place?
Already there is a substantial softening of President-Elect Barack Obama’s pre-election pronouncements and/or promises that got him elected. Just where his administration will end up is anyone’s guess. Only time will tell.
What is lost in this very serious nationwide economic calamity is the little guy. The little guy is the individual that got Obama, and all the other politicians elected, but it appears that he has been shoved to the side until the next elections nears. It is the little merchant, shopkeepers, and service providers that are the backbone of our economy, and they are hurting badly. Their problems are right now and not six months or one year from now, but Washington postures while the core of the economy is suffering. Small businesses cannot secure bank loans or lines of credit to expand or continue their business through the turmoil.
My wife and I try everyday to support our local merchants, because they do not have the financial cushion to survive an economic downturn of today’s severity. As an example, we support Felicia and Chuck Stones’ Stones Old-Fashion Donut Shoppe, because these are two hard working individuals that are delivering a superior array of products at a fair price. I have no personal financial interest, but if you want the best strudel or donuts you should get to their store on McKinley in Mishawaka right away. These two local entrepreneurs work long hours, and deserve our collective support.
There are hundreds of local merchants like the Stones everywhere in America, and they all deserve our support. We believe that the little local business man beats the big stores every time on service and product quality. The big stores are important for some specific shopping, but let us never forget it is the little guy that is the backbone of our economic engine.
In just our community I could name numerous business sites that shine, such as Maury’s Pat’s Pub, and you can do the same where ever you reside. I do not see Washington suggesting bail-out packages be provided for the little guys. They especially deserve and need our collective support now more than anytime since the Great Depression. Hard work is at the core of the American Way, and the work ethic of our fellow citizens will bring us through our current economic malaise.
A study of history should help us not repeat our mistakes, but we seem to never learn from our errors. Economics is not an exact science, but it is clearly apparent that GREED got us where we are today.