The State of The Union #3,256 (NB: Its an inflated number)

The State of The Union: The building industry at work putting the economy back on its feet. Just you wait!

I’m just an ordinary slob of a guy.  I have to take off my shoes and socks if I want to count past ten.  So, you see, I don’t really get it when the current folks we put in charge of things, the boys and girls we elected, do things that make me wonder if anybody has a brain that works right anymore.

Here’s the thing that puzzles me.  For almost as long as I can remember, the money guys and such have been forecasting our financial future and issuing reports about how good or bad it is now or is going to get.  By the way forecasting means guessing, and guess is what you do when you don’t really understand things or have a solid answer. Weather guys and girls today, and generals.   Astrologers, wizards, magicians in the old days.    These guys were forecasters.  They threw bones, poked around in chicken guts, spoke to holes in the ground and looked at the king’s last BM.  Then they came out on the balcony and said, “Nah, nothing to worry about.  Go home and get dressed up.  We’ll meet at the temple tonight and roast a cow to the Great Badapple, God of All the Universe.”  Or, they said, “Go jump off a cliff, you and everyone you know.  It’s better than what’s coming.”

Maybe they do the same kind of thing today?

Because, you see, I keep hearing this line about the housing market.  I heard it back in the ’90’s when things took a dive.  And I heard it again, when stuff hit the fan.  And, of course I’m hearing it now.  All of sudden…well for four years, anyway which isn’t really a “sudden”, more like a long groan.  Anyway, all of a sudden (groan), I hear that the “housing market” needs to recover.  And, as soon as it does, why every sunset will be golden, every dawn will begin with a fanfare right out of Hollywood.

But…

The guy next door to me?  He can’t sell his house, because he can’t find a buyer at any price that will cover what he still owes on it. And that is because the value of the house has fallen below the amount of his mortgage, which he got in the Happy Days of not so long ago  That’s a situation called negative equity. I do not hear about negative equity until about three years ago when my neighbor tells me he has it.  At first I thought it was a disease and he should see a doctor.  Perhaps it is.  Perhaps he should.

And, I read the other day that in the last four year everyone in the country has become 40% poorer than they were, besides which everything costs more and 8% of the guys and girls who can work can’t find it, which figure does not count the ones who simply gave up looking for work after a couple of years and are…what?

Savings accounts?  Some big money guys are complaining that the problem is no saves a dime anymore.  Have you been to the bank and asked to open a savings account in the past few years?  You want to know what the bank gives to citizens who want to do their duty?  A penny for your dollar.  A penny don’t even buy a stick of gum.  They could save money if they don’t mint pennies anymore.  But then, in a few years no one would know what’s the origin of the word Copper, so I figure that’s why they still have them; to preserve the language.

Anyway, the housing market.  Everyone says we gotta start building and selling houses again like there’s no tomorrow.  That’ll put all of those out of work guys and girls back to work, their paychecks will fill up the empty bank vaults and pretty soon everyone has a new car and a new house and a new suit and a new lease on life.

I hear this and I think most of the new cars ain’t made here anymore and the ones that are made are made for guys who own the company back in Japan, or Germany, or maybe even Iceland, and their stockholders to get rich off of.  Most of the suits are made in a hole in the wall in Indonesia or Pakistan.  And the lease holders are all Chinese.  And the stuff we build houses with is all made mostly over there somewhere.  We have no more steel mills we can call our own, damn few auto companies and damn little of anything else.  Man, we can’t even keep our soldiers overseas supplied by our own ships.  We have to hire some other country’s boats for the job.  For cryin’ out loud, this keeps up and soon we’ll be renting warships.  Hell soon we’ll be renting pirates to chase other pirates.

And houses are supposed to make all of this get better?

How the hell is that supposed to happen?  Show me how the bird guts point that out.

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