Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Barack Obama for president

October 29, 2008

It occurred to me today that the chance for Hardscrabble Times to join the rest of the Republican-owned mainstream media in making a presidential endorsement was slipping away, what with early voting, mail-in ballots and all. Regardless of when or how you choose to vote, I urge you to vote for Barack Obama.

The central issue of this election is the economy. Much has been made by Obama’s opponents about “redistributing the wealth.” This is something these plutocrats disguised as Republicans actually know something about. For the last eight years they’ve been redistributing the wealth of the middle class to oil companies, war-profiteers, the disease-care (some call it health-care) industry, insurance companies, Wall Street fat cats and just about every other corporate concern that I could name.

Now they want to call it “socialism” when someone comes up with a better idea — like giving the middle class a tax break and making corporations pay their fair share.

Speaking personally, for the last eight years I have had to work harder for relatively less money than at any other time in my adult life. At one point during this dismal period I actually made a fair amount of money by my standards working day and night the equivalent of three part-time jobs as a writer, editor and ranch manager. But all that hard-earned income disappeared in a wave of higher costs of living, medical and special needs expenses for my son, increasing debt and, yes, higher taxes.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This country needs something different when it comes to the economy. Barack Obama likewise offers the best hope for re-establishing our credibility in the foreign policy arena, and the best plans for addressing energy independence, education, health care and every other major issue facing this country. If you have not already voted for him, Hardscrabble Times urges you to do so.

The ghosts of economies past

October 26, 2008

By all accounts this area of the Wet Mountains was a vibrant rural community back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. There was a working lead mine in the area. Potato farming was prevalent, as was ranching. The evidence of this former community is seen today only in the old rock foundations, stone-lined hand-dug wells, and ramshackle cabins such as the one along the small creek in the valley below my house.

Something happened with the economy, and the people simply left. I suspect some sort of economic downturn, probably coupled by a shortage or inability to secure or transport food, led to the exodus.

Only in recent years with higher standards of living, reliable vehicles, free-flowing fuel, supermarkets, superior methods of food storage, advances in housing — and ways to make money out of thin air — has it again become comfortable to live in such a remote area. With the recent downturn in the economy, I’ve begun to wonder if this lifestyle is sustainable.

One day recently there was a note of seriousness on the wind that said, “There’s some momentum behind this thing.” I knew deep inside that within two days the season’s first snow will fall. I bucked the wind to run past the falling-down cabin. Not far past there, two Wilson’s snipe flushed from the swampy creekbottom, sounding their distinctive cry of alarm. They set their wings against a gust and disappeared.