Most everyone I know is jazzed up for Thanksgiving this year. We’re all overdue for a couple of days off and the chance to eat copious amounts of food, watch football and catch up on some sleep.
Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that most everyone I know is more or less completely unconcerned about the Second Great Depression that George W. Bush is giving us as one last gift before he slithers back to Texas.
Since most of the people I know are middle- to lower-middle-class individuals, they couldn’t really care less that the banking, housing, retail, manufacturing and automotive industries either have collapsed or are about to go under.
Like me, they have bad credit, so there’s no worry about massive credit card debt. They either don’t have 401(k)s or, like me, cashed them in to pay medical bills. If anything, they’re gratified, because bill collectors are so busy with big-money deadbeats that they don’t have time to harass small fry like us.
When you’ve lived from paycheck to paycheck your entire adult life, you’re used to it. And the fact that rich white people who were, until recently, making six figures will have to live off unemployment checks and food stamps for the foreseeable future is kind of funny, if you think about it.
You can’t really blame poor Mr. Bush too much. After all, he campaigned for national office twice on a platform of extending war, misery, famine and economic devastation to every corner of the earth. And he delivered on those counts. Mission Accomplished. He did a heckuva job.
So, all in all, life is pretty good at the moment. Rush Limbaugh and his fellow extremists are marginalized like never before. The Republican Party is now merely a loose affiliation of gun owners, Internet addicts and religious zealots from the South, ever afraid of being left behind after the imminent Rapture occurs.
While the economy has been collapsing and the wealthy elites have been panicking, we’ve just been trying to stay current on our rent and our utilities. For the first time in years, IPL, Citizens Gas, my landlord and the cable company are all happy with me. I pull up my accounts online and I have a balance due of $0.00.
We go out to eat more often now that the Depression is keeping the crowds down. We go to the mall and make our purchases in peace since the stores are deserted.
I’m reasonably confident that, at the worst point of the Depression, before President Obama gets things turned around, I’ll be able to buy a house in Fishers for about 5 cents on the dollar compared to today’s prices.
This will indeed be an odd Depression. The working poor can’t get much poorer. Two years ago, nobody else was willing to do the jobs we do but pretty soon we’ll be in a position to reject the applications submitted to us.
I’m all for deflation. My wages are guaranteed by a multiyear bargaining agreement that includes automatic pay raises and job security for at least the next few years. So I look forward to the day when flat-screen HDTVs go for $100 and a pound of coffee is 50 cents.
By doing the one thing I was told throughout my life never to do — that is to say, spend just about every penny I make as soon as I get my hands on it, not investing in the stock market and avoiding banks — I’m in the best financial shape I’ve been in years.
Pretty soon, our new president — who also doesn’t really give a flip about the rich people either — will be sending us rebate checks and giving us affordable health care instead of funneling cash to Halliburton and to defense contractors.
If you’d told me that eight years of a Bush Administration would have ended with every major company being nationalized, and our political system being transformed into the largest socialist apparatus ever created, I’d have said you’re crazy.
By destroying the foundations of our country, Bush has given us the opportunity to reconstruct it to our liking, e.g. the exact opposite of what he intended.
So I plan to raise a toast on Thanksgiving to Mr. Bush and his friends. He’s helped set me up in life exactly where I, and millions of others, want to be.
The next couple of years are going to be fun.