Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Watching the Financial Meltdown on Wall Street and Wondering Why My Heart is Beating so Fast?

In my maiden foray into the blogsphere (I have an incredible urge to shout out "HELLOOOOOOOO" since the "blogsphere" just screams out empty echo chamber) I am finding it quite curious that I am so fascinated and a little scared by the whole Wall Street meltdown. In some ways it feels the same as when metereologists try not to sound too gleeful when a huge storm is about to hit. We all know this is a terrible thing but oh how awesome (dude!) it is. Yet, it also reminds us of how small and insignificant we are.

And the truth is, for the vast majority of people living in America, the meltdown on Wall Street really doesn't touch us. Even if you own a home and have some stocks in a 401(k) or 403(b) your stocks may tumble, but they'll go back up again because the fundamental truth about Americans - despite the hippy movement and various small pockets of communalism - is that most of us secretly want to get rich quick, and stocks are the fairy tale path that we believe will do that. (There is legalized gambling like Powerball or Lotto, but the odds there are so crazy that it's a strange truth that those with the least amount to gamble are the ones supporting that game). But back to the gaping wounds of the financial titans whose bodies are littering Wall Street.

The reason why government and the macro-economists are most concerned about investment houses going bankrupt and the insurance giant AIG falling to their knees and begging for help is that these are the corporations that prop up the credit market. And their downfall worsens what is being called the "credit crunch," the growing scarcity of loans to businesses. This mainly affects large, multi-national corporations and their ability to expand and thus create jobs. However, when you consider that more than half of the people working in America work for an organization that has fewer than 500 employees, plus all of those those people working for the massive corporations and making less than $10 an hour (any fast food restaurant, Wal-Mart, KMart, etc), there are a large percentage of people who are not actually going to be affected by this "meltdown" because they don't have stocks nor does their employer seek large loans for expansion.

So why are the newspapers writing like this is almost as bad as the Great Depression? Maybe it is a need to sell news, and the fact that we're a culture that eats up sensationalization, no matter the content. But maybe it actually is the fact that having hope in what seems like an out of control and chaotic world appears naive and ignorant. But is the world really that out of control and chaotic in your corner of the world? Sure, you may have some doubts about the direction or your life or what the meaning of it all is, but fundamentally, you're probably doing ok. Because the truth is, if we didn't know about what was happening nearly 3,000 miles away (in my case) it actually wouldn't have that much of an impact. Since I'm officially a Californian (registered to vote, got the license plate and all!) I'm going to go with the idea that giving off positive energy, thoughts and feelings is the way to counter the madness.

(I'm pausing a moment here to let the peanut gallery finish jeering and hurling insults as I send them love.)

So this blog will be about all of the wonderful things that I see going on in the world, both on a broad scale as well as all of the small, neighborhood oriented things that people do to change their immediate world.

I'll close my first post by asking you to raise a glass of your favorite beverage (mine being homemade kombucha for now) and proclaiming, "love, hope and smiles to all" as I ride off into the blogsphere on my sparkling unicorn named Magic!

You're welcome to visit whenever you like and for those of you still offgassing pessimism and negativity, feel free to blow into the blackhole I've linked to (it's invisible and virtual as all good magic is!)

Thanks for reading and love and hugs!


E.D. said...

well, let me the first. bravo. I enjoyed the blogpost.


marjukka said...

You've definitely become Californian (re: "positive feelings" and "unicorns"). What happened to the Scandinavian dour sensibilities you learned in Minnesota? Don't you know we're all doomed? Nevertheless,I will keep reading about your social experiment of a new life in California, keep the posts coming.

Maggie said...
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