Hurricane Ike Pimp Smacked the Midwest and Threw a Cold Wind on the Economy
Hurricane Ike was supposed to stay down south but instead the strong winds blew up threw the midwest, knocking out trees and powerlines in it’s wake as far as Cleveland.
The weathermen said it didn’t reach that far east, but maybe it did. Something toppled Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.
For 32 hours my home was without power. Late last night the lights came back on. I still have to rummage through the fridge to throw most of the food out. I came in today, silently rejoicing although not too much. There are still people sans electricity and hot water. Worst than that, there are people in the area who died in the windstorms.
Nearly two days of darkness helped to inspire our own makeshift version of 1900 House. Instead of watching tv I read. Instead of blogging I thought and wrote in longhand, but mostly thought. I remembered when Katrina hit New Orleans and many pronounced it as God’s judgment as if he had sent down an edict with the waters. If that is even remotely true then what was Hurricane Ike? A cold slap in the face?
On Sunday, the day we lost power, my husband and I went for what would have been a quick drive to the grocery store for quick food. Along the way we came to a gas station whose sign read .99 cent. The three had blown away. I hadn’t seen gas for that low in what seems like a lifetime but it’s really only been about eight years. I laughed when I pointed it out to my husband as we drove in. I was irked that gas was now 3.99 again and then even more upset that the pumps were down because the electronic readers were offline.
As we drove around to more gas stations who had their threes whipped away and were also offline I became frustrated. In the midst of trying to get gas, then food and get home I missed the point.
With the lights off I think I see more clearly now. But I wonder if more Americans do.
Sometimes we need to be taken back in time to recognize what is really important. Humans aren’t good at learning the lessons of our past; immediately after the even we promise to be good and we do well for a little while, only to slip back into our past selves. We need reminders of where we’ve been and where we should be going.
Right at this moment we remember that, like the weather, country is kind of in an economic tumult. Before it was dropping value of the American dollar combined with high gas prices, high food pricesand a quickly dropping housing market. It’s hard to believe that this has happened when we started the century with a economic surplus and cheap gas.
We will move past the quick torrential winds that make up the cult of personality. The eye of the storm will pass and when the clouds part we will pick up the pieces and rebuild. We just have to figure out which way we want to go?
Deregulation? Trickle down economics? Tax cuts for everyone (especially the rich)?
“Since this turmoil began over a year ago,” the said, “the housing market has all but collapsed. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had to be effectively taken over by the government. Three of America’s five largest investment banks failed or have been sold off in distress. Yesterday, Wall Street suffered its worst losses since just after 9/11.”
Maybe we want health care? Taxes on the upper classes? Stricter regulations on big businesses?
“We don’t need a dozen federal agencies doing the job badly; we need the best federal agencies to do the job right,” said the Arizona senator. “The economy is in crisis. Enough is enough.”
Who should we trust to get us out?
It’s easy to want to rush to rebuild and move past it but sometimes you can’t. It was our search for easy money, high interest loans, mchousing and unchecked borrowing that got us here. Unfortunately it can’t get us out.
You can make those resolutions in the dark, though. The wind will soon die down and once the sun comes out you pick up the pieces, if you can, and then go ahead and pretend the three was in front of that ninety-nine cents all along and it deserves to be there. You go ahead and pay for the gas and hope that you and the rich are in it together.
Or you take the bus. There you never see a Lexxus at the park and ride.