Best not to get stuck on Easy Street in these economic times.
It may seem oxymoronic to think of Easy Street and Wall Street as developments on the opposite sides of an economic rift, but that is just what is being created with this economic earthquake. While denizens of both may be sweating the distance of their fall, those on Easy Street, by implication, are really confident they have found a way to come out okay.
Those on Main Street, meanwhile, run around like town folk in a spaghetti western when the bad guys ride into town, ducking into clapboard buildings, horse troughs and rain barrels, lest the meteoric fall of the economy crush them under its growing shadow. If they knew what was good for them, they would scramble to higher ground, take buggies and coaches to the gates of Easy Street and rattle the gilded cage.
The Main Streeters wouldn’t be alone. At the gate on the other end of Easy Street are the folks from Wall Street. They are going through a ring of keys, desperately trying each one in the gate’s chained padlock, their hands sweating while they yell at each other and shake their heads.
“It’s key number two!”
“No, it’s key seven!”
“I say one! Key number one!”
It will take the traders a while to realize that the bankers on Easy Street have changed the locks, and they did it with the help of congress and Hank Paulsen. “Suspicion falls … on the objectivity of Paulsen who is a former merchant banker.” – October 3, 2008, canberratimes.au.com
If we were worried before about a growing disparity and the shrinking of the middle class, we should really be worried now. We lost 159,000 jobs in September, the worst monthly jobless report in five years. According to the NY Times, “with the job market now swiftly deteriorating and fear dogging the financial system, what optimism remained has given way to the broad assumption that 2008 is a lost cause.”
And with the Fed contemplating another rate cut, there is little incentive to save. Not that it matters, since over 6% of us are not working and making money anyway.
So the bankers will take this money that congress is approving and the president will sign, go inside their ivory towers and shut the gates on Easy Street and the American Dream. “…banks may continue to hoard their dollars regardless of a rescue package from Washington, depriving businesses of capital needed to expand,” the Times article goes on to say. If that’s the case, what’s the point of the package, except that Bush and Cheney will have succeeded in bankrupting the country of more than just its principles?
I wonder if the lamest lame duck administration in my lifetime will be forced by the courts to sell their own personal assets to help settle this debt and calm the markets. Yeah. Right. They’ll be locked safely away, while Main Streeters and Wall Streeters alike slowly go broke, starve and die. Brother, can you spare grande mocha latte?