I was reading yet another article this morning based on the World's economic uncertainties, and the effects of the day on markets, investors outlook and banking industry overviews. Got me to thinking about how little anyone writes about the individuals caught under the wheels of the Bus with no where to go, but down.
All well and good to go about trying to fix things manipulating interest rates, but who does this hurt? Swamping the money supply by various means gets some attention, but does anyone talk about the effects being seen from the result of years and years of focus on growth, and the result of the extraordinary exit of investment monies from real estate growth into oil futures that we saw last year?
Most focus is on the peripherals, how it came to be, what happened during, but little is said about the pinch now becoming a grab, by many of those companies that were created or greatly expanded during the growth period, and what they are currently doing in the marketplace. An example of which can be found on the shelves of your local giant corporation owned grocery outlet. How many products spiked by an extraordinary amount supposedly due to increased transportation and production costs related to energy, only to have remained at that level or higher? What about the ruse employed by Oil giants concerning the cost of Diesel and home heating oil? Demand is down significantly, so why is Diesel still priced higher at the pumps than gasoline? Quick answer, because they can.
There are a lot of people who get caught between a rock and a hard place in times like these. We hear about those who lose their jobs, and many truly sympathize. Some know what it is like to be in similar circumstances. How much do we hear about those who worked for many years, encountered these or similar difficulties and approached retirement with some savings, perhaps RRSP's and largely relied on Government pensions, meager private industry pensions or combinations thereof, and hopes of some steady supplement from their savings? Not much I think.
Some say that housing and auto prices have declined, so overall we have deflation. Well, maybe if you are still active in that sphere of economic activity, it is significant. If not, things such as rising energy costs, grocery, property taxes and the like are priority concerns. These things are going up. In Ontario, and I expect other Provinces soon to be heard from, harmonized sales tax will grab you by both cheeks of your backside and squeeze you some more. So with the recent debacle in the markets destroying half of savings for many, and interest being virtually useless in regards to income, what are these people to do in order to cover these increased costs for the necessities of life? Many even have to pay their own medical and dental costs, plus eye testing and glasses. If you are desperate poor and don't have private coverage, most Provincial Gov's have programs to address this. Not easily accessed programs mind you, but they are there buried under lengthy bureaucratic process and mountains of paper.
Unfortunately though, those with Old age security and or CPP benefits plus a little bit of savings generally don't qualify, so they are in fact more poor than the poor, especially if they are ill or have disabilites that incur extra costs. Neat system wot?
Not to forget the officially government designated poor though, as they have similar concerns and are also extremely sensitive to the increases in costs for basic needs.
I can't remember the last time I read an article in a major media venue that brought these things out in the light and focused on it.
To the MSM, I would say kindly put some focus on these largely forgotten people. Not just the murders and other sensational news from the United States. Never know boys and girls, someday soon you too might be seen at the Food Bank hurrying with your bundles to your leased Escolade parked around the corner.
Here's the link that got that mini rant started;