|Recession or Depression?|
Recession or Depression ?
Written by Mollie Mercer Hewett
January 18 2009
In general most of us Americans have lived privileged lives of abundance. I would go so far as to say that even the poor in our country have it better than the majority of the rest of the world. However I could be wrong since I have done no research to validate my statement.
But I do know one thing for sure and that is something is wrong here in America. Every time I listen to the news I hear of another company closing its door and hundreds of people losing their jobs. The most recent I believe was the decision that Circuit City made to close all of their stores. Leaving 20000+ people unemployed. That is just one of many here of late that I have heard of. While I want to stay positive I can't help being concerned of the state our country is in. I certainly feel for those people with a family to feed and house and car notes. It is a very sad day in America. Iím very concerned about our current economic situation. Iím not necessarily concerned for myself but for our children and the generation to follow us. I retired two years ago and unless some new law or amendment is passed within our government (state and federsl) to cut or take away my Social Security and retirement benefits I should be fine. So are we now in a depression or are we in a recession? In my opinion and Iím a far cry from a political analyst I believe we have been sleep-walking into this depression for many years now.
About all I remember of the Great Depression (1929-1939) was hearing my parents talk about it. Having been born in 1936 I was not old enough to remember anything about it. However I recall the stories my parents told many times over about "rationing stamps" in the early 1940's. The best I recall the rationing stamps were issued under former President Franklin D. Roosevelt during WWII. The stamps were issued depending on the number of adults in the family.
My father was a sharecropper back in those depression days and we grew almost everything we ate. In later years after all of my seven siblings and I became adults we often reflected on those days without sugar and coffee. And we remembered the "Hobos" that stopped by our farm looking for work and /or a meal. Times were tough and Iím sure those days bonded us together and made us more appreciative more understanding more frugal and taught us to share with others when things were tough with them for reasons beyond their control.
Today as I write this I have the joy of being able to share my home with a young lady and her fourteen year old son. Zoe (not her real name) is a beautician. As with many other businesses her business is very slow. Zoe divorced her sonís father due to the epidemic of drugs that seems to be sweeping the country. She no longer could afford to pay the rent in the apartment in which they lived. They were very close to being homeless.. She was three months behind on the rent and that was cause for eviction. I had never heard of Zoe and her son. But someone that knew me told her about me and the fact that my husband had passed away and that I lived alone in the country. I had spoken to several ministers at different churches in search for a house mate. I have two extra bedrooms with a bath and a den that I had closed off for nearly three years. At times I wanted to sell my home but due to the housing market I decided to wait it out and see what happens. I actually had become acclimated to living alone. Although I was and still am doing volunteer work at several places in town. Helping others while volunteering kept the loneliness at bay that I experienced in the daytime. However the nights were almost unbearable. I also kept my appointments with my therapist each week. Due to my declining vision I canít drive after dark. So that meant seven nights a week thirty nights a month and so on I was alone each night except for my four cats. Having grown up in a very large family I could only hope and pray for the right person (s) to come along. After almost three years I had given up hope of finding anyone that I would be compatible with. When Zoe and her son David arrived for the first interview I think we both knew we were meant for each other. It has been six weeks now and finally I can say I am happy once again since my dearly beloved husband died. Zoe is 38 years young and one of the most honest and spiritual persons that I have had the pleasure of knowing. Without a doubt it was meant to be by some power greater than I can explain.
Frankly speaking I donít know the difference between a recession and a depression but which ever it is Zoe her son David and I are ready to walk or run right through it regardless of how long it takes for these difficult times to come to an end. But are we as a country strong enough to live through it? I believe we are. And I also believe if each one that reads my story will reach out to just one person that has been displaced I know we will be stronger for having lived through it. Not only on a personal level but as a nation as a whole. Besides American people always stand strong during any crisis!