IN THE RED (WHITE AND BLUE)

Or, a little thing that happened to me that’s actually a good metaphor for what’s wrong with this country

OUR country’s got some problems, 232 years after this great experiment in democracy officially began. We’ve become a nation of consumers who don’t really produce much anymore other than debt. We spend and spend like good little patriots, but don’t make any of the stuff we buy. As little as our dollar is now worth, our nation still owes 9 trillion of them (with about a quarter of them owed to Japan, China, the U.K. and other foreign governments.)

That’s why this tiny little thing that happened to me last week made me cringe.

Because the newspaper business is thisclose to dead, I bailed and am out of work for the first time in 20 years. And my paper, The Hartford Courant, just announced last week it would eliminate about a quarter of its ever-shrinking news staff and its pages.

The bank business is having its own troubles. My bank, Webster Bank, just announced last week that it would cut 240 positions, about 7 percent of its employees, over the next year. Why? Webster’s stock lost more than 50 percent of its value in the previous year due to bad loans.

So last week I go to my Webster Bank branch to cash my unemployment checks (I thought I’d be more embarrassed, but actually I don’t really care). The teller, who now knows I’m jobless, deposits the money into my savings account. Then she holds up a brochure and asks if I would like to apply for a Webster Visa credit card.

Happy birthday, America. I owe you a gift, OK?

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2 Responses to “IN THE RED (WHITE AND BLUE)”

  1. Wow. That pretty much sums it up, huh? Did she then steer you to their mortgage dept. and offer you up to $800,000 toward an ARM?
    They should go back to the free toasters. . .

  2. Fred the Decliner Says:

    I think you’re missing the point. It’s not the fact that they offered. What’s really wrong is that a lot of people are so fucking stupid that they would ACCEPT THE OFFER even though they absolutely SHOULD NOT! Want to know what’s really wrong? Look at the two butt-humps you’re left to choose from in November.

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