I've noticed that people in my city no longer populate the roadways, corridors, highways and passageways as they used to. People are not traveling with the same frequency as before the great "Recession." People's purchase patterns differ also. Discount stores are experiencing a heyday, a renaissance, where patrons openly attend these establishments with a greater frequency and a more diminished embarrassment than before. It should be acknowledged that saving capital on purchases should never be the locus of one's embarrassment.
We bury our heads in insurance industry sand as we pretend that today's "faux medical insurance" actually covers anything but the band-aids we interpret as medical care. The five days recovery that a woman used to receive after having a child (ten days given a cesarean section) has been reduced to instruction for the family on how to give an injection the day after birth. Women today are routinely sent home the next day after giving birth. As Elizabeth Warren quotes from the insurance industry, "Send them home, quicker and sicker."
Now when Chairman Mao returned from "Shaanxi," the "Seattle' of China, sporting a new nation in 1949, he in Draconian fashion eliminated a reported five million opium addicts. Now I would never advocate harm to bankers and rapacious businesspersons necessarily, though we might consider revoking certain of their "rights" to abuse the public for pure profit's sake. The resultant of that far-east policy has translated to a very prosperous China that today threatens American economic hegemony. There are no measures available for the loss of hope however, erosion of goals and the unseen and unaccounted for dreams deferred due to the shenanigans of corporate types (see Fora TV and David Chandler's "the L Curve").
Inexpensive to mid-level automobiles are suffering sales losses in this economy as well. But Lexus and Benz have seen no need to lower their prices in a primal bellowing that hails their victory in the flummoxing marketplace. The bi-polar distributed market forces that have insulated these "successful" automakers from the Depression (now brandishing the misnomer "Recession") are to blame. The poor get poorer! The rich get another luxury car for their pets!
Marriages, artificially conceived for the most part anyway, are now on the artificial mend. People who otherwise would have separated from disquieted relationships are forced to remain together for economic purposes. Who can guess what increased angst this has added to a society already on edge and doing varying levels of drugs like there is no tomorrow? In one generation, actual income and buying power, adjusted for inflation, has decreased. To achieve that same level of purchasing power today requires two plus incomes where only one was necessary a generation ago.
There exists another quality of loss to the society that cannot be accurately tolled. For those who are "above water," in their lives, there is still a danger that persists. Because their neighbors are suffering so, those who are not suffering as much must still feel the pinch of the vise. "Any man's death diminishes me," so sayeth John Donne, and he is correct. We are all in this together in a very broad and spiritual way. Only those most egregious in bringing on this calamity are viscerally allowed to bypass this notion. And even the Warren Buffets of the world do so at their own peril.
We would do well to review these developments more closely. We should also wear different analytical hats while doing so. An exigent slavish state, bordered by the trappings of democracy, is a contradiction in terms. Anything short of freedom is slavery! The whole notion of the many, shackled by the imposition of debt relationships by the few, spits in the face of democracy and laughs out loud at notions of self-respect and self-determination.
That loud "clang" we all heard two years ago was the sound of the prison gates closing tight. But shame on us for not asking, who the warden is and what it is we're in for?