Signs of the times in the USA

While shopping in Sam's Club yesterday, a cell phone rep speaking to my friend asked if either of us worked as an awkward way of finding out if we did to determine if we might be eligible for a discount offered to employees of various companies. (My friend replied that she worked for the local hospital, which made her eligible for the discount.) The moment the question left the lips of the rep, I wondered if unemployment is now so common amongst prospective cell phone customers that it is reasonable to inquire if two casual but reasonably well-dressed people have jobs.

stress grocery shopping
The woman discussed in this story chose less expensive groceries than those depicted here, yet she still couldn't afford them

Later that day, standing in line to buy groceries, a 30-ish woman and her daughter ahead of us removed their bagged groceries from their cart, returning them to the checkout counter after the cashier informed the mother that her payment was refused. A fleeting trace of disappointment but not surprise spread across the mother's face, after which she and her daughter calmly walked out of the store, sans groceries I presumed they needed to not be hungry for the next several days.

A year or so from now, I'll add more to this story that you'll likely find very shocking. Until then, 'nuff said.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

Comments (1)

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Comment #244 by MvM
September 26 2012 06:51:33 PM

It's a Depression

Both Max Keiser and Gerald Celente have been warning that sometime next spring there is going to be a lot of economic mayhem again; i.e., a "global collapse."

I would say, judging from what I've observed in the economy that the USA is in an economic depression. Canadians are a little less "touched" by this right now, but the jobs market isn't that great either. Doesn't matter, though, because whatever affects the USA will eventually affect Canada due to exports. The rest of the world, Europe specifically being in the spotlight, doesn't look good either, especially with all the turmoil going on in Spain as of late.

I also hear that people in both Italy and Spain are withdrawing their money from banks in droves at this time. I'm not sure about Greece, but it's safe to assume the same is going on there.

If Max and Gerald are right, it's time for people to prep and store food and water.

Right now I am living in a shared house with other people due to the depression (I don't live in the USA right now). The people who are paying the mortgage on this house are so desperate that they need people to move in and pay rent for their rooms. This is in a "first world" country that everyone thinks is "safe" and "prosperous." It is all really just smoke and mirrors, these people are under extreme stress to keep their lifestyle going. Almost everyone I know is under some sort of stress. My relative in the USA who works for the school district was just forced to retire due to budget cuts and loss of hours. I could list more examples, but I'll stop here for now.

I've learned a lot by moving around and seeing new places, countries, people, etc., and I can honestly say that things do not look very good. Max and Gerald may indeed be very right!

REPLY FROM KEVIN PEZZI: I agree. As I mentioned in some of my blog postings (as well as my ER book, of all places! :-), in the late 1980s, I knew the USA was bound to collapse economically. At that time, I presumed it would happen around the time I retire, but it now seems bound to occur much sooner.

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