A sum of money is a leading character
in this tale about people,
just as a sum of honey might properly
be a leading character in a tale about bees
--God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater,
Ranger frequents pawn shops, and following a Friday visit thoughts of the economy streaked through his mind.
Businesses are dying faster than Haitians in an earthquake, and the losses toll weekly. Even in Tallahassee -- a relative oasis since it houses the State government and two universities -- the malls are as lively as death camps. This weekend's paper reports on the closing of local Boys and Girls clubs, the very services that help keep a society thriving.
What businesses are prospering? Check cashing scam joints, Payday Loans which legally charge patrons the usurious fees of 38% interest rate on their loans, title loans, foreclosure storefronts and pawnshops. These are the big winners in the Russian roulette eof modern life in the fast lane.
All are legally entitles to screw the little man with no realistic prospects right into the ground. Legally, just like credit card companies, but that's another story.
During my last several trips to the pawnbrokers, there was a heightened sense of desperation among those pawning their belongings. On Friday the lines were long, and the wait for service slow. People don't have money to get through the weekend, let alone the week or month. Poverty is chewing on their asses like one of Michael Vick's pit bulls.
These people are desperate, and Ranger wonders: Have any of our leaders have ever visited a pawnshop or talked to the people humbly and sadly awaiting their turn in line to sell or pawn their meager possessions? It occurred to me that there should be two lines, "Hope" and "Change"; you pay your money, you take your chances.
A technique sometimes used by MACVSOG Reconnaissance teams was called "Running for your life". The teams were not designed as fighting units, but rather intelligence gathering. If they fought they often died, and many teams disappeared from the face of the earth.
It was also called "Breaking contact", in which immediate action drill was initiated and all members dropped everything except their getaway gear. The individuals stripped down to run, and their ability to do so meant the difference between living or dying. When the teams ran they discarded everything except survival-oriented items.
The people in pawnshops are similar as they, too, are fighting for their lives by dropping all non-essential items to facilitate their survival for one more day. This is not Lost Vanuatu -- this is Lost in America.
Since the people have no hope of positive change, we can blow smoke up their asses and call it sunshine.
God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater.