Friday, July 24, 2009

211



No, that isn’t tonight’s numbers for the lottery. It’s a new telephone number, along the lines of 411 for information. 211 is for information also. It’s run by United Way of Georgia and is for information on how to survive poverty in Georgia.

I was riding around looking for something to photograph (I’m still struggling with digital photography) and I was listening to WPBA -- Atlanta’s Public Radio station. They had a program on about Georgia’s mortgage crisis. Georgia’s economy is in the dumps too but the mortgage problem is among the worst in the country. As the program said, Georgia is a “non-traditional” State when it comes to bankruptcy. In short, banks have had their way with the State regulators. Good for mortgage companies. Bad for consumers. And -- as it turns out -- bad for Georgia. Who would have thunk it ?

Anyway, if you find yourself in the ranks of the newly poor, take note. This service was started just for you. It turns out that a lot of people are entering poverty for the first time and they don’t know where to turn. They don’t know who to call for help when they lose their job and can’t pay their mortgage. That, of course, ruins their credit rating which means no one will rent them an apartment. Hopefully they won’t get sick too because I’m sure they lost their health insurance at work (or can’t afford to pay it if they’ve lost their house.)

You’ve probably noticed I haven’t had much to say this week. More precisely, I haven’t had anything new to say. I could say the same old things. Nothing much has changed. A lack of good government -- especially good regulation -- has brought us to the brink of disaster. Recovery will be painful. Many of the newly poor are discovering just how painful. Yet, many of our citizens are stuck in the propaganda of the last 30 years. Government bad. Business good.

”Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

It seems odd to me but it always has. I hope it seems odd to many others now. The government didn’t sell them a sub-prime mortgage. The government didn’t lay them off. The government didn’t gamble away their 401k. And the government didn’t stop paying their health insurance.

But your government -- corrupted and crippled -- failed to properly regulate the businesses involved in those ventures. A business does not establish justice nor insure domestic tranquility. It doesn’t promote the general welfare. A business exists to make money -- to create wealth. That is its function -- a function that has a rightful place in our society. Hopefully, government will soon resume its rightful role in our society; Protecting its citizens.

Don Brown
July 24, 2009

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