Today an anonymous call came in and it turned out to be a political survey. Being distracted, I said I would do it, and being distracted I didn't ask who was behind it. :) They said it would only take a few minutes, but when a "few" turned into fifteen I had to hang up. Multiple implosions were beginning. :) The one question that stuck in my mind was, "Who do you think is responsible for the current economic crisis congress is dealing with?" (A bit non-specific, but I assumed they meant the bailout... hmmm...) The options were big business, George Bush, the federal government, and various other governmental usual suspects. The thing is, I couldn't point the blame at ANY of those things.
I am not an economist by any stretch of the imagination (our high school economics teacher was out with a heart attack all semester, so I didn't even get anything then!), and I'm certainly not one to delve publicly into politics (though I have great simpatico conversations with my own dear husband), but I strongly feel that we, the American people, are to blame. We've been living high on the hog, buying more than we can afford, spending lots of money on fancy electronics that our grandparents would never have dreamed of spending, buying houses that are twice as big as the average house of 50 years ago, paying little attention to retirement savings, and hoping that somewhere along the line someone else (governmental) will be there to bail us out when we get into trouble.
What about the kind of personality that went into shaping this country? What about rugged individualism and providing for our own needs? What about saving up for something and THEN buying it? What about when credit scores didn't exist? I think the current finances of the average person in the United States are built on a stack of cards and that it is starting to crumble. I think we've lost our heads when it comes to common sense, personal responsibility, and self-sustenance. I'm not feeling optimistic about the economy at all.
I'm really hoping we are able to move next summer (or sooner), sell our house, get a higher-paying job, and live somewhere with a much lower cost of living. It's been tricky identifying a community though. Places with large extremely affordable Jewish communities aren't really the places that pop into our heads as great places to live - Cleveland? Houston? Memphis? Pittsburgh? Nowhere really on the west coast. :( I love the midwest, though, so I think we'd do well there. Dean just really doesn't thrive in really cold Cleveland-like weather. Maybe Cincinnati. Not a large community, but a viable one. And we have an observant cousin in Columbus! That would be great. Anyway... post midnight, inter-dish preparation ramblings.
I'm glad we have a couple days of yom tov. The logistics are a bit daunting, however. The first day, I think we'll just stay home and Dean will go to shul early, home for lunch around 2:00. The second day, Dean will go early to shul again (7:30), leaving me and Davida to push the kids to shul later (9:00ish). I'll probably have to do the major pushing and Amirah will walk with Davida. It's a 2-mile hilly walk, and I guess I'll have Avi in the backpack and Eli and Raizel in the stroller. Maybe I'll start out telling Eli he has to walk, then put Avi's backpack in the stroller for backup. When Amirah was 3 it took her 100 minutes to do the walk. We'll see! Thank G-d, the E family is having us for lunch (and they're only a couple blocks from shul) so we won't have to walk back too. Dean can catch a ride back to our van and come get us. Chazak, chazak. :)