Friday, November 16, 2007

American Nightmares

Touched on the American Dream and the lack of thereof for many of the black population but of course the real American nightmare is not simply restricted to race .

Michigan, by some calculations, has lost 400,000 jobs in the past seven years. That's in a state whose population is only 10 million. Detroit is seeing unemployment running at nearly 8%, twice the national average. The number of homes in the city "foreclosed" - or repossessed by mortgage lenders - is among the highest in the country. An economic storm is hitting this state - falling property prices, a credit crunch, a shrinking tax base and rising oil prices.

"This is ground zero when it comes to poverty..." an organiser at Gleaners Community Food Bank, a charity which provides food to needy people, reported .

A marked increase in the number of professional workers who are seeking food assistance.

Daniel Wolfe worked in civil engineering for 22 years. He lost his job eight months ago. Daniel had been earning $90,000 a year . Daniel and Cynthia thought of themselves as middle class. He was laid off when the state government cut back on contracts to private companies. His unemployment benefits expired. Much of that money had been spent on trying keep up the family health insurance. And his savings disappeared . In the course of eight months, Daniel and his family have gone from prosperity to poverty. Daniel and his wife Cynthia collect free groceries from a charity food bank .

"To find myself in a position where I couldn't afford a gallon of milk, I couldn't afford a loaf of bread - it was very humbling," he says. "For want of a better term it made me feel like a loser...I think we're on the poverty line right now..."

So will Michigan's pain spread to the rest of the country?

"Keep an eye on Michigan . I believe what's happening here could happen to the rest of America ..." - Augie Fernandez at Gleaners food bank
Hat-tip to PB at World Socialist Movement Forum for link

1 comment:

RedLenin said...

I'm from Michigan, and i can tell you that things are not looking good. The State Government had a hell of a time trying to get the budget passed, jobs are being lost left and right, and GM workers got screwed once again by the UAW/GM (my father works for GM, luckily he has seniority).

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