I’ve been scanning the business headlines as I usually do to find my next blog topic. Bloomberg® the business news empire of Mr. Michael Bloomberg, has posted a timely article about the Hanjin container ships that ply the oceans of the world delivering trade goods from one nation to another around the world. Bloomberg’s article refers to “ghost ships.” Because of lack of money, legal issues, international trade laws, you name it, these vessels are stranded in International waters or perhaps at a destination port of call. There are rumors that food and water may be “short” in supply for the ship crews.
Again, today I encountered a homeless person on my travel through my home area. As I have seen before, this person was walking the median strip on the highway bridge with a sign. I don’t know the circumstances of this person but as I have mentioned before in my post “Encounter,” seeing homeless people is so troubling to me. The Bloomberg article, is another example of a “homeless” situation; of course, on a very grand scale but one could make a case for connecting the two circumstances. It’s all about “representation” you see. I could make it about “symbolism” or matter of perception.
Perhaps one could call the two situations “a dichotomy” of current economy conditions. On the one hand a “boat load” of “finished goods” manufactured, built, assembled, created, in one or more “foreign” countries and the “ready to purchase or use” product ready to be deliver to customers; on the other hand, people adrift in society with no home, no stable job, no dignity of life. The container ships are “adrift” on an ocean of water and the individual is adrift on an ocean of indignity.
I think the container ships represent the total dysfunction of our global economy. Here in the United States we have a Congress that won’t talk to each other or splinter groups have their own agenda certainly not the agenda of “the American people.” I live in the State of Illinois which still does not have budget and it’s been over a year! I have one cousin who fortunately was able to change jobs so she would be paid! She works in elderly care situations. I have a nephew who lost his job as a teacher! He fortunately has found another job. He got “lucky.”
Are we adrift? Wow, I’d say so. The U.S. stock market is hitting all-time highs again. It looks good, it sounds good. It’s good for a very tiny minority of people “with money.” The US is the place to put money because it seems money is “safe” here. Thanks to certain laws regarding real estate ownership, non-citizens can purchase real estate in the US and I mean million-dollar condos as well as single-family homes for “investment” purposes. At the same time, families are “priced out of the market” and can’t buy a home because of all the “cash” chasing the purchase of a house for sale.
Ah, CASH. Zero percent interest rates have not been introduced here in the States, YET. We are almost there because a “Saver” only earned maybe 0.5% interest on savings. Actually less than that, I think, down to 0.01% or 0.02%. Does accuracy matter with these miniscule rates?
Interestingly, the hullabaloo about the “goods” that are on these container ships consist of a large “inventory” of Christmas goods for retailers here in the States. Ah, Christmas, a time of sharing and cheer and gift-giving. Ah, “retail” which at one time meant going to a “brick-and-mortar” store to purchase your holiday items. Nothing wrong with on-line retailers or on-line buying, I buy on-line just like most other consumers, but I also patronize local stores and I do like to see and feel products that I wish to purchase.
Well, I’ve gone from the International oceans to a highway overpass in this blog entry. Guess I’m trying to “let off” some steam and sort out the situation as usual.
Our last summer holiday (Labor Day) is over and the next two months get real serious because of the Presidential election. There are three (3) Presidential debates scheduled and one (1) Vice President debate scheduled over this period spanning September and October. There is much “talk” about foreign entities “hacking” or influencing the US presidential elections. Politics is always interesting and sometimes “entertaining!” In fact, one of our “third” party candidates might get on the debate podium along side Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. I wrote about that possibility here: Show me the Money.
Well, meet you all in the blogosphere and “stay tuned” for the next episode of one heck of a “soap opera.” Trouble is, whose writing the script, dialogue, and storyline?????