Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Camped in a casino RV lot...

And one day from home after a great road trip to Yosemite and Death Valley and many great points along the way. Struck, as always, by the consistent kindness, openness and generosity of individual Americans despite their political inability to develop policies that deal with real problems or elect governments that reflect their own values.
And also struck by how huge the unfolding economic/political crisis is down here and how the bottom does not seem to be in sight. The slowdown in Canada - so far - is insignificant compared to the crisis in the U.S. Every local paper had stories about layoffs and big numbers of ads for foreclosed homes. School districts are slashing spending and municipalities are on the edge of bankruptcy. In California City, a high desert town, a guy tinkering outside the RV he lived in predicted the Depression would mean the people living in $700,000 homes would be moving out to $7,000 desert lots and see how the poor people live.
It's not the Thirties, but it's worse than I expected watching from Victoria.
Plunging into paying attention to the B.C. election campaign, and hoping the parties will have something to say about how all this will affect the province.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Paul!

We were in Florida visiting friends & family in March and it was just as you describe. People talking in hushed voices, glued to CNN or Fox (yikes!). Our host coming home one evening and announcing that the neighbours were moving - they'd just lost everything. Or pointing out how many more stores had closed at the local mall since the week before. There is real fear, everywhere, just under the surface.

Coming home to Vancouver was like visiting DisneyLand - really weird. Even talking to family in Ontario is a wake-up call.

But I guess that's why they call us La-La Land!

Anonymous said...

BC's unemployment numbers are higher than Ontario's or any other province. Contrary to what the pro-Campbell media would have us believe BC has been the worst-hit province.

Anonymous said...

What I find absolutely confusing is why the public (if the polls are right) believe that the current government is the right government in bad economic times. They literally have no programs or policies related to how to manage in bad times. Where are the job generating programs? Where are the community economic development incentives? They don't exist. The liberals look great in good times and completely incompetent in bad times. Our job losses tell the real story.