Saturday, November 22, 2008


I live in the heart of one area so hard hit by this economic slide into depression. Detroit has seen one manufacturer after another close up shop either forever or just as likely, to move overseas. The first in my family to lose a job was my husband. The next was my brother AND his wife. To get a different perspective on trickle down economics, come to Detroit. Nobody is making money so there isn't any to spend. Restaurants and stores are closing. Gas stations too. Last April, my company laid off 400 employees in one of the most brutal "layoffs" I've ever seen. People who'd worked in my hospital, some with 30 years experience were just pink slipped and sent packing. Don't stop to say goodbye. Just go. Your services are no longer needed here. Another area hospital just announced layoffs matching my organization. Do you think the unemployed and newly uninsured have conveniently stopped getting sick? You'll pardon me if I don't get on the beat up on Detroit bandwagon. It just makes me sick.

For Everyman

Everybody I talk to is ready to leave
With the light of the morning
They've seen the end coming down long enough to believe
That they've heard their last warning
Standing alone
Each has his own ticket in his hand
And as the evening descends
I sit thinking 'bout Everyman

Seems like I've always been looking for some other place
To get it together
Where with a few of my friends I could give up the race
And maybe find something better
But all my fine dreams
Well though out schemes to gain the motherland
Have all eventually come down to waiting for Everyman

Waiting here for Everyman--
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand
Waiting here for Everyman--
Don't ask me if he'll show -- baby I don't know

Make it on your own if you think you can
Somewhere later on you'll have to take a stand
Then you're going to need a hand

Everybody's just waiting to hear from the one
Who can give them the answers
And lead them back to that place in the warmth of the sun
Where sweet childhood still dances
Who'll come along
And hold out that strong but gentle father's hand?
Long ago I heard someone say something 'bout Everyman

Waiting here for Everyman--
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand

I'm not trying to tell you that I've seen the plan
Turn and walk away if you think I am--
But don't think too badly of one who's left holding sand
He's just another dreamer, dreaming 'bout Everyman

Jackson Browne


WT said...

It must be really scary living through this disaster right now, particularly where you are. While I think the Auto maker CEOs could have made better choices in the past, I agree with you, now's not the time for recrimination. What's needed is some support.

PS. Jackson Browne has been one of my favourites for over 30 years, I've seen him in concert.

Winifred said...

That sounds really awful. When an area is dependent on heavy industry and manufacturing they're so vulnerable and the trickle down to other businesses is horrendous as you've pointed out.

It happened here in the North East about thirty years ago but it was mainly caused by Margaret Thatcher who also wanted to break the unions. The pain was awful and many families and whole communities are still scarred.

Luckily the NHS here provides us and their staff with a lot of protection. It's the best thing any government here ever did. Not suprising that it was a Labour government that did it just after WW2. It's not perfect, it needs increased funding to cope, gets hammered in the press and people moan about it, but God help us if any goverment ever got rid of it. It would be over my dead body! I would fight to the death for it even though I never worked in it. I value it and admire the people who work in it and do so much for not exactly brilliant wages. Apart from the scabby doctors who play both sides and get paid by the NHS and do private work too.

My son was born with a serious heart condition, most problems were corrected when he was 10, apart from a leaking valve. I've never had to worry about paying bills or getting insurance for him. Private medical insurers would never have touched us with a barge pole!

Rant over! Thinking of you.

laurie said...

i feel for detroit. the only consolation is it's everywhere. my business, as you know, is very bad; journalists out of work everywhere. laid off, bought out, phased out.... with no end in sight. doug's paper is urging people to take "unpaid leaves" next year, but nobody wants to because they're afraid that if they show the paper can get by without them, they'll get axed when they try to return.

my little sister is out of work. doug's nephew is out of work. another sister's boyfriend was out of work for almost a year.

it's scary.

and that soup in your next posting looks so good. i hate to hear how much cream and butter is involved; i always feel virtuous when i have soup for lunch.

flydragon said...

I know exactly how you're feeling. I live in a suburb of Cleveland. Every single closing, moving, shutting down, lay offs, that happens in Cleveland, and there are too many to count, affects all suburbs and surrounding cities. I hate it, am scared of it, and have no idea how they can fix it, or even if it can be fixed.

Rositta said...

Four years ago we were in LA and when I saw how my stepsons were living (high on the hog and credit) I wondered how long this could last. One of them was selling houses without down payments! The other one was selling 3 Mercedes a day. Now both are struggling. When there is unbridled consumption based on credit sooner or later it all collapses. I have been thinking of you and Detroit and all the auto workers but the truth is I will not buy a NA car any more. I had an Audi once that lasted 20 years. I now own a Chrysler that is just shy of 10 years old and won't make it another year. Consumer goods are produced to be tossed when they break down, no one repairs things any longer and that is just plain wrong. My husband too is not working, no one is renovating homes these days. I might have to get a job as a Walmart greeter! The stock market has wiped out our modest retirement funds (nice secure boring bank stocks). Sure I'd like to support the Big 3 for the people sake, but it comes out of our pockets and sooner or later it has to stop...

The Crusty Crone said...

I feel for ya. Its tough when a city/place has only one industry going... and that industry falters. Seems like I've heard that Detroit has been struggling for years.

I know nothing about economics, except when my bank account is empty I can't buy anything. I just don't know how a bailout will help the auto industry keep going. For that to happen people need decent paying jobs so they can afford to buy cars. But like I said... I don't know squat about economics.

Buckle up your seat belts, its gonna be a bumpy ride!!

Rudee said...

It's been bad in Detroit for 7 years WT. I keep thinking it can't get much worse, but of course, it can.

I was listening to the CD Everyman in my car while working last night. I was thinking how old it is while the message is still pertinent. I never saw Jackson Browne live.

Rudee said...

As much as I hate to say it, a blank check is not the answer. They have to restructure and build something people want to buy.

Winifred, the hawkish views here are very much antiunion. Wonder how those union free shops are working out for the Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian workers. I bet they have fabulous working conditions and nobody under the age of 16 works in those factories. We don't turn anyone down for health care. This means our hospital absorbs the costs of the uninsured. Surely, that can't last long.

Brenda said...

I am somewhat anxious about how the next few years are going to go for so many out of work people. It is scary to think about it. Our city has had many huge cuts also.

Lisa L said...

((((Rudee)))) So sorry to hear about your family job losses. And the 'slash and burn' mentality of the corporate bosses. Each year I get white knuckled where I work too, just waiting and wondering if next time it will be me being escorted to the front door. I hate what is happenning. And imagine how even harder it must be to be a floor nurse at your institution with even LESS support.