Economy and Business
Our hearts go out to the Haitians. Earthquakes and hurricanes. Disaster after disaster. There’s no letup. We’ll send cash, food, meds, trucks, pumps, clothes, shovels, tarps, bulldozers, cement, computers, docs, water, clergy, plumbing, prayers, and everything else we can think of.
Giant corporations are trying to co-opt the meaning of one of our important words: “local.” It’s important because small businesses across the country have created a very positive, grassroots economic movement, based on being local producers, providers, and marketers. Over 130 cities have “local business alliances,” with 30,000 businesses enlisted.
Over 40 years after Dr. Over 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, his words still speak to the social conditions that so many Americans face. Our unemployment rate is hovering at 10 percent, and the wealthiest 10 percent of us control over 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. Economic inequality remains a barrier to greater racial equality. The national commemoration of King’s birthday, therefore, is more for reflection than celebration.
It’s a good thing my long-haired calico Hyacinth can’t read the newspaper. Otherwise I’m sure she’d be deeply offended by all the recent headlines about “fat cats.”
It’s bad enough when a person drowns in debt. Shock waves multiply when a corporation teeters on the verge of failure. The economy becomes even more agitated when a country declares bankruptcy, as Iceland did in 2008 and Hungary and Latvia almost did in 2009.
The holidays can be stressful for overscheduled families. The kids are home from school and daycare. The in-laws visit. There are year-end deadlines to meet, awkward office holiday parties to attend, and self-inflicted New Year’s resolutions to conquer.