Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From prognosticator to witness

I haven't been posting of late, mostly because I feel that my job is more or less done. I called it as I saw it, and, unfortunately, I seem to have called it correctly. The US is collapsing before our eyes. Stage 1 collapse is very advanced now; stages 2 and 3 are picking up momentum. I might have more to say later. In the meantime, here is a guest post from a nurse in Michigan. He does not wish to be identified.

With the decline of one of the last vestiges of our manufacturing base, the auto industry, Detroit and the surrounding areas are described as "ground zero" for the meltdown that has been occurring. Places that just a few years ago seemed like icons -- various restautants, movie theaters -- are being shut down and boarded up. Meijers, Walmarts, Target are all cutting back their employees' hours and making them work 32 hours a week instead of 40. Christmas sales are down this year, and retailers are just about giving their stuff away. There are rumors that many will further cut their already worried employees, and that others will go bankrupt.

In the last few years, roughly half of my neighborhood has gone up for foreclosure, and I live in a middle class neighborhood. I am still haunted my the memory of a neighbor down the street driving away with her 3 children, tears streaming down her face. She was a victim of the auto layoffs. I learned later that she stated that she had nowhere to go. Just a few months ago, the street was alive with the sound of children playing. Then the streets became silent. Homes that went up for sale are just sitting there, not being sold.

Many others are moving back in with parents, relatives, friends or family. Those who do not have such resources head for the homeless shelters, which, like the soup kitchens here, are bursting at the seams. Many people, when asked, will state with utter despair that they never thought they would have been in this predicament just a few months ago.

People who commit crimes do not want to leave jail. This is a first, to prefer prison over cold and hunger. Of those unemployed that do not prefer prison life, they will do just about anything to earn a dollar. There were stories on the local news last night about these people standing out in the frigid cold suffering from frostbite for a mere $40 to hold a "going out of business" sign for yet another store going belly-up. Other women whom I had met on the net and dated in my single years (my happy years) are degenerating from once happy and secure ladies to ones full of anguish and despair. Some are begging people to let them clean their houses, some are even thinking about selling themselves. There has been a large increase in prostitution in this area.

Local, country, and state governments are scaling back. I have noticed that it takes them what seems like forever to clear the highways after the recent snow storm. The medians along the highways are starting to look like they do in Iraq: cars spun out into ditches and medians, and abandoned.

I am one of the few who still has a job, as a nurse. Employers are developing a sadistic mentality: if you have a job, you had better work harder, or else you are out the door! Meanwhile, broke state governments are strapped for funds are doing everything they can to "regulate" our jobs, making an already hard and stressful job next to impossible.

In sum, things are bad and about to get much worse. Mr. Orlov is 100% on the money in my book.