In hard times, as usual, there are people who are not suffering hard times. My mother told me once that as a teenager, the only way she knew there was a Great Depression was that her family lost an upstairs maid.
I guess it has always been that way. Some suffer, some don't, and some don't know.
But listening to the radio as I drove back from the dump just now, the news was making noises about "the last American combat brigade" exiting from Iraq "ahead of schedule." Seven-plus years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and over 4,000 American service men and women lost. It was and remains a divisive war, but whatever side a person takes ....
It seems extra hard to get lied to in hard times. Eg. 50,000 American troops remain in Iraq and one reporter had the decency to say that the public should get ready for more American losses. Eg. 15-30 million people are without work in the U.S. depending on who you listen to and yet both government and stock market speak in optimistic tones ... about stocks, about the economy, about a trust that is growing in the land. It's hard not to wonder what planet these self-serving 'leaders' are living on. It's harder somehow to get lied to in hard times.
General Motors, an American auto maker that was bailed out by the government several years ago, is planning an initial public offering of stock a couple of months from now. The government will be partially reimbursed for its (meaning yours and my) earlier largess. Because of GM's connections to other industries, some investors will be forced to buy in. But what commodity is General Motors prepared to offer the average investor? Cars that rival Toyota and Honda for reliability? Or will they sell primarily overseas in places that will not benefit the American workers suffering from hard times?
It will be interesting to see, but it does, associatively, remind me of the old saying, "If someone tells you it's free, grab your wallet!"