Mar 13, 2009
Because there is no such thing. “Stability” even in the best of times is fleeting and largely illusory. A big ol’ rock falls out of the sky and there goes 400 million years of your species’ dominance…some Master of the Universe’s house of cards collapses, taking billions of people’s money with it…a tornado turns an otherwise “normal” day into the end of the world for a small town in Oklahoma. (Why do those things always seem to head right for the mobile homes?)...“One in a million” miracles and catastrophes happen approximately 300 times a day in the U.S.
All that aside, my idea of “normal” almost certainly isn’t yours.
So, here we are - in another pickle - a recession, economic meltdown, depression…and when, oh when, will we get back to normal? Here’s a bit of perspective from the last Great Depression.
Normal before the 1930s was:
1. No Social Security
2. No Medicare/Medicaid
3. No unemployment benefits (There were some “relief” programs but they were far and few between.)
4. No bank deposit insurance
5. No health insurance
6. No credit cards (in fact, they didn’t appear until 1951.)
7. No farm subsidies
8. No FHA
9. No Veteran’s Administration (And, in one of the most shameful episodes in our history, Douglas MacArthur and glory boy Patton actually led an Army attack on WWI veterans, when the starving dough boys went to Washington to simply ask for the compensation they were supposed to receive.)
10. Infrastructure, Schumstructure. Millions of Americans (including most who lived in rural areas) didn’t even have indoor plumbing, much less electricity or phones. There was no interstate highway system (that didn’t happen until President Eisenhower pushed it through for national security in the 50s. Back then, it took a long and treacherous day to get from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, a distance of about 60 miles.)
11. The U.S. Senate had a bunch of self-important, prejudiced nattering nabobs who squawked and screamed about communists and soclalists, and were only concerned with maintaining the old white guy status quo. (Heh, guess some things stay “normal” - no matter what.)
Now, I’m going to go enjoy an abnormally rainy, foggy day here in the high desert (and glimpses of new snow on the mountains.)
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