Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

They Are Here
by James Glaser
January 16, 2009

That would be the bad times, the down turn, the recession, maybe the depression, what ever you call it, it is here now. For months we have been seeing guys with sandwich boards or large signs on street corners, waving them, trying to get our attention about this or that business closing up. Usually the sign has "75% OFF" in big letters, and if they have good people working that corner, they get your attention by working those signs hard.

Today though, there was a new sign on the corner, and this one was carried by a nice-looking middle age woman. The sign said "Legal Secretary," "25 Years Experience," "Needs Employment," and then there was a phone number. The lady was dressed nicely, and she was waving, but she didn't look at all happy.

Times are tough, and they are going to get tougher. People I talk to are worried about their jobs. Even places that always seemed to be doing well are thinking of ways to cut costs. The guy at the lumber company who was helping me load my truck was talking about how he was cutting corners to save money. He now brings his lunch instead of eating out, and he and his wife stay home more.

Well, Wanda and I are doing the same thing. We are eating at home more, and we think before we buy something. You get lots of people cutting back, and that starts to mushroom. If everybody starts taking their lunch to work, restaurants start laying off people, and then some of them shut down.

What are you going to do though. People are scared. Even with a new President being sworn in this next week, there isn't much enthusiasm for our future. Pawn shops are filling with workers' tools, and what do you do if you get a job, but all your tools are in the pawn shop?

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know the government borrowing money to make jobs for us is not the answer. George Bush did that for the last eight years, and that is what got us in the mess we are in now. Lots of Americans know this and that just adds to their worries. Maybe a new President will change attitudes. I sure hope so.

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