My mom and I had an encounter with reality yesterday… a homeless man begging me for a dollar on our local bus service which only operates through the local streets of our village. It was a scary event. Scary because the encounter reminded me of the homeless who are panhandling around our town, scary because the homeless are the “face” of our failure as a nation. Scary for the homeless man awash in a sea of social apathy, scary because of deadlock government inaction, and a US economy which doesn’t know whether it is “up” or “down” among other things, and yes scary because he might have assaulted us or the bus driver because of his desperation. It’s a failure to “fix the problems” and the problems seem more insurmountable in every passing day. I see more homeless people “visibly.” There is a saying “the homeless are always with us”, I don’t know who said it and, for that matter, it doesn’t matter who said it.
It’s now more than 24 hours later and I am “haunted” by the memory of that homeless man. I have thought to myself in the past encounters that I have had seeing homeless people, “there but for the grace of God, go I.” I am a senior citizen and live on a fixed income. I am very worried about the ZERO percent interest rates and how the lack of income from savings is devastating the senior population. The “savers” are being punished and meanwhile others can buy cars (SUVs) at near ZERO percent interest rates because “money” is “cheap” to borrow. What is so ludicrous is that NEGATIVE percent interest rates are now being used by the European banks to try to get companies to “spend” their money instead of storing the money in banks. Basically, if you are a “saver” at a bank, you will pay the bank to hold your money for you! The Federal Reserve “isn’t there yet” but I’ve read some financial news that it could happen here in the States. As an individual and not a company, if I’m forced to spend my savings then I have “nothing”, and actually that is happening anyway because the “non-existent” inflation is very existent for me and other seniors for sure.
Here’s a blog I’ve written previously about Negative Interest Rates.
Unfortunately, my writing this blog item will not help that homeless man. Every homeless person has a “story” as to why he or she is in such a sad and seemingly helpless predicament. Am I trying to relieve my conscious? It just bothers me I guess, our whole economic “condition”. We don’t have to look at the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (or India or other “third” world country) with disgust, horror, curiousity, or smugness (I hope not), we have the “unfortunate” right here among us, just open our eyes.
And, of course, “except for the Grace of God, go I.”