27 January 2009

And the Layoffs Rise...

As posted on the Democracy Now website...

"Pfizer, Caterpillar, Sprint Announce Major Layoffs

The list of major companies announcing mass layoffs grew on Monday as Pfizer, Home Depot, Caterpillar, Sprint Nextel and at least eight other firms announced plans to cut more than 75,000 jobs. Pfizer said it would cut nearly 20,000 jobs as part of its acquisition of Wyeth. Caterpillar plans to eliminate 20,000 as well. 8,000 jobs are being cut at Sprint Nextel, 7,000 jobs at Home Depot, 3,400 jobs at Texas Instruments and 2,000 jobs at General Motors. Last week, Microsoft announced it would cut as many as 5,000 jobs in the company’s first mass layoffs."

How are this Nation's new President, Congress and Senate going to stop this rolling boulder which continues to gain speed and crash through what is left of our shattered lives? Is there a way to stop it? Or does everything need to crash so our Spirits can rise from the ashes renewed and humbled? Is this what it takes to truly get folks to understand that they need to simplify their lives and stop the overindulgence and gorging on the endless supplies of junk?

The people of the US needed a wake-up call due to the heights of our destruction to Earth. We are such a wasteful society. I wish no ill will on anyone, and this is another sign, like in Katrina, that when the shit really hits the fan, you're on your own. It's crashing. The United States is a tailspin with all the engines on fire. We can scream, "Mayday!" But screaming won't do any good.

If you are fortunate enough to still have a home, plant a vegetable garden. Be sure to use heirloom seeds so you can save your seed and not buy seeds year to year. The initial investment is less than a weeks grocery bill, but provides food for as long as you keep a garden.

Be friends with your neighbors. If you don't already know your neighbors, shame on you! Get out there and meet them because you are going to need each other's help in the years to come. In times of turmoil, your direct community is the best resource.

And remember, when you're at your lowest, there is only one way, and that is up.

The bottom line is that the USofA had an unstable unsustainable economy from the start. We may see a shift towards communism. Some would have you think as a very nasty practice. It Etymology is from the French word commun, which translates to common. It may be the only way to survive. Instead of holding on to everything so tight that we squeeze the life out of everything, maybe sharing isn't such a bad idea.

Unfortunately, we weren't raised to share. People need to be taught to share. Our society seems to be inherently greedy, but again, is it because we have been socialized to act this way? Well, of course! Are nuns greedy? They practice communism as does the rest of the Catholic Church. Were the native peoples greedy? Probably not, since they saved the pilgrims from starving to death.

Look out! The boulder is gaining in size and speed, and if we don't shift our thinking quickly, we will all be crushed. I'm not suggesting communism. I'm simply pondering a few ideas. But what this nation needs to wake up to is food security and sustainable living practices. This crash is larger than the 1930's simply because we have a much larger population to feed. In the 1930's many folks had a family farm to return to live and work. This is not the case anymore.

As food shortages rise, we may see mass exoduses to rural areas, but none of this can help if folks have lost all contact with Earth. If folks haven't the know how to grow food, doesn't matter if they live on the most fertile farm in the nation.

In schools, the focus is math and science. The focus needs to also allow space for gardening in regards to food production especially in urban areas. In urban areas, cities need to preserve their green spaces to provide areas for community gardening. Within each state, encouragement and support needs to be given to local farmers especially those who practice sustainable agriculture. State governments need to put a moratorium on new subdivision growth (I don't think one could trust counties to do this, so it would need to come from a state level.) to preserve land for farming. State governments need to stop looking towards the federal government for aid and support and truly run their states like independent countries. Each governor has the power to enact agricultural reform within their own state boundaries.

As citizens, we need to work together encouraging our local elected officials to begin preserving the immediate land in each individual county. Local government needs to stop looking towards the federal government as well and begin working hand in hand with surrounding county governments towards agricultural sustainability. They need to look towards their governor more like an elected President.

Not that I don't think that our new elected President can't handle the job. I really like Obama. I think that he is a leader who can guide us. I also think that he is inheriting a big stinky pile of shit. What a fucking mess! What a fucking nightmare! And the boulder continues to crush as it barrels down the hill.

I do think it would behoove us all to pull our local resources, act more like a community within our own neighborhoods and possibly begin to enact the concept of sharing.