Feb

16

How Hard are These Times, Really?

By admin

As I was driving home the other night listening to news about the bad economy on the radio, I couldn’t help but notice all the late model cars around me – no doubt full of people going home to watch their giant flat-screen televisions in HD. If this is as bad as it gets I think we are OK folks. You hear the news actually throwing around the D-word (depression), and it just strikes me as irresponsible sensationalism. All the news stations are fighting for the best ratings, so it logically follows that they probably think you will watch the news broadcast which promises to give you the worse news about the economy. After all, everything is fine or economy is in a small recession just sounds boring. The more they can scare you with their teaser bits the more likely you are to watch.

Using the word depression is pretty ridiculous. You know how much edible food gets thrown out every single day in the city where you live? Probably enough to feed some starving nations. There has only been one depression in American history and believe me people were not throwing out food. People were actually starving. Ever see pictures of the actual depression from the 1930’s? There were bread lines full of ordinary middle-class citizens waiting on government-issued rations of bread to feed their families! Those few people alive today who remember the depression from their childhood probably laugh at the comparison (assuming their hearing aides are working properly).

I brought this up during happy hour at the pizza parlor on Friday, and when I mentioned that there are no bread lines three people at the bar all chimed in together in replying not yet! …Which just goes to show you the mentality that the media is managing to instill in just about everyone. These people at the pizza joint are somewhat-intelligent folks who I see there all the time, and even they are showing signs of succumbing to this media brainwashing. My friends, as long as all the fast food restaurants on every corner still have that .99 menu there is no danger of bread lines or a 1930’s style depression.

Mama Riah and I went out to dinner Saturday at King’s Fish House. If you aren’t familiar with this franchise, it is a chain of good seafood restaurants with a casual atmosphere – that deliver a check which looks like you just ate in a snazzy fine dining establishment. We got there about 6:00 because we like to eat early. The place was busy and we managed to score two seats at the bar.

Over the course of the next hour and a half as we enjoyed our meal, the place became absolutely jam-packed standing room only. If the economy was terrible, don’t you think casual dining joints that are priced like high-end restaurants would be the first to suffer? By the way, we each had two drinks and split a seafood salad and each had a bowl of clam chowder for a total bill of $60. It is extremely easy for two people to break a three digit check here if they are in a feasting mood.

After dinner as we were leaving, I noticed the mall parking lot was still pretty full. I could see across the street into the ATT&T wireless store which was still open and had at least half a dozen customers in there buying new I-phones and Blackberries. You know how long the cost of one of those things could feed you for, if push came to shove?

What we have right now doesn’t even qualify as a noticeable recession. If we actually get one of those they’ll probably be calling it a national disaster. I’m almost rooting for it just so I can make my point better!

Papa Riah