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A Day Of Reckoning

By:  Greg Allen - Special to GCN   6/15/16
 
 
Someone asked the other day if we’re close to another depression.  I’ve done research on the Great Depression and things got quite bad.  The Great Depression not only affected the United States, but spread worldwide - sound familiar?  Commodities had to be rationed, banks collapsed, and a quarter of the population was unemployed.

“We shall pass this way again” might make a great lyrical line or proverb.

President Obama was asked the other day what his greatest accomplishment was while in office.   His reply was that America hasn’t plunged into another Great Depression on his watch.   
                 
When Donald Trump was recently asked about the frightening level of national debt he jokingly claimed: “We can print more money.”      A lot of people are asking how we got here.  Quite simply put, the greed of a few and lack of restraint has effected us all - We have made poor choices and not stood for principle(s) and it now rules over us.

Someone once gave me a T-shirt that says: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

The backdrop on the shirt is the Capitol dome in Washington DC.  When I wear that in public I get a lot of responses from people in agreement with the claim.

I worked in the housing sector when it began to unravel.  Government restrictions pertaining to mortgages was lax at best and I recall a young couple buying a new quarter million dollar home from the builder I worked for.  They both worked at McDonald’s and obviously couldn’t afford it, but they were praising themselves for they had acquired a new home - they lost that home to foreclosure within six months.

We’re spoiled brats and want it all.  We don’t wanna hear, “No!"

Well, we’ve come full circle haven’t we?  If we aren’t in a depression, then why are so many depressed?  Over 90 million Americans are out of work.

With new leadership coming we should be full of hope.  However, I’m not seeing it.  I can’t think of a single soul who has told me things will get better once Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton become President.  Once again, we have made poor choices and it will shallow us.

The bottom line is:  No matter how much money the government floods into the economy it will have no effect when there’s no confidence to be had.  For you see, trust is a hard thing to regain when lost.

Old-timers I’ve talked to who lived through the Great Depression didn’t trust banks because their savings were wiped out.  They kept their cash under a mattress, buried in jars, or in a drawer somewhere.

How can you have faith in a bank, Wall Street, or the government when your savings are gone?  How can one trust anything when a lifetime of sweat is poured into a 401(k) or stocks to eventually learn they’re no more.

My wife and I employed the services of a financial advisor once, until our savings vanished.  When I asked where our money was, he could only answer:  “It’s tied up in the market.”  I remembered saying:  “Our cash just doesn’t vanish into thin air.”  Then I watch the nightly news that conveys stories of CEOs raking in millions and others plundering funds.

I’m convinced God can’t be pleased, yet we ask Him to bless us.

We’ve created a mess and now we have to live with it.  There’s no magic fix for getting out of debt.  It’s a hard pill few wanna swallow.

We’ve become a materialistic society that needs to wise up and view things as just things and place value on faith, family and hard work.

Those of the past lived within their means, and that was a good thing.

I guess while most of the population was running up debt they never stopped to think that A Day of Reckoning would eventually arrive.






Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, is published bi-monthly.  He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor.  He can be reached at
www.builderofthespirit.org or follow him on Twitter  @GregAllencolumn 
© Greg Allen ~ All Rights Reserved


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