A Visit to an American Tent City
by Mac Slavo
Reading the headlines over the last eighteen months one would think that the recession of 2008 is all but over. Unemployment, officially, is on the mend, with a reported 9.5% of Americans unable to find work (as opposed to official Great Depression numbers as high as 25%). Foreclosures seem to be stabilizing. Gross domestic product is in positive growth territory, signaling forward progress in the economy. Inflation, according to the latest Consumer Price Index statistics, is under control.
“The worst of the storm has passed,” declared President Obama in his 2010 State of the Union address. For all intents and purposes, any threat of a second great depression has been averted.
But what is depicted by our media and the official statistics put forth by government number crunchers, and what is happening on the ground on Main Street America, are two wholly different things.
Doug Walden, who lost his job during the onset of the recession, and now spends a good portion of his time helping others who are out of work or facing dire economic straits through his loosely-based organization called the Great Depression Enterprise Group explained it best when he described the desperate situation facing average Americans:
Here on Earth, outside the distorting intellectual gravitation field that is Washington DC, conditions are deteriorating for increasing numbers of Americas. The middle-class is being eroded from the bottom, as more people fall into poverty and outright destitution, and from the top, as more people find they cannot maintain their debt-financed pseudo-rich pre-2005 lifestyles.