Herd on the Street by Les Swift

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					Herd on the Street                                                   by Les Swift


                                                                                                  I went to one of those fabled industrial 
                                                                                                  cities of the Midwest, and almost im-
                                                                                                  mediately  saw  a  long  line  of  people, 
  In Search of the Recovery                                                                       wrapped all the way around the block.
                                                                                                       Finally! I thought. This must be it. 
                                                                                                  Everyone is here to see The Recovery. 
  For something that’s supposed to be happening everywhere, it’s                                  I took my place at the end of the line, 
                                                                                                  knowing  it  would  be  well  worth  the 
  been awfully hard to find.                                                                      wait.
                                                                                                       Breathless  with  anticipation,  I 

  P    resident Obama has seen it, and so 
       have Larry Summers, Ben Bernan-
  ke,  and  Tim  Geithner.  The  bankers 
                                                  Recovery  has  already  started—or  at 
                                                  least, is just around the corner.
                                                       I  believed  them  when  they  said 
                                                                                                  asked the person in front of me how 
                                                                                                  long we’d have to wait to see The Re-
                                                                                                  covery.
  have seen it, on Wall Street, the City of       there was no problem. I believed them                “Ain’t no recovery around here,” 
  London, and in the European financial           when they said the sky was falling, but         she said. “This is the unemployment 
  centers.  It  seems  like  everyone  has        that they had the solution, even though         line.”
  seen it but me, and I’m starting to feel        I was confused as to what the problem                “But  Obama  said  The  Recovery 
  left out.                                       was,  since  they’d  insisted  that  there      had started,” I sputtered, fighting back 
       I’m  talking  about  The  Recovery,        was no problem. I believed them that            the waves of doubt sweeping over my 
  of  course. You  know,  that  great  eco-       they’d  saved  the  day  with  their  bail-     soul.
  nomic  rescue  we’ve  been  promised,           out. I even almost believed them when                “Well, McDonald’s has a job open-
  ever since the bottom blew out of the           they said we were turning a profit on           ing,”  she  replied.  “But  you’d  better 
  global financial system.                        that bailout. So why, I ask myself, am          hurry. There’s already over a thousand 
       It’s all a bit puzzling. Back in 2007,     I having so much trouble believing in           people in line there.”
  that Lyndon LaRouche guy told us the            The Recovery?                                        Curses, foiled again, as they say in 
  system had died, but our leaders dis-                Feeling a bit guilty at doubting our       those  old  cartoons. Wherever  it  was, 
  agreed. Don’t worry, it’s nothing but a         leaders,  I  decided  to  go  out  and  find    The  Recovery  clearly  wasn’t  in  the 
  little bump in the road, they told us.          The Recovery, to see it for myself.             Rust Belt. So I headed for California.
       A few months later, Bear Stearns                My  first  stop  was  the  newspaper            Things weren’t so hot there, either. 
  was  given  a  shotgun  marriage  to  JP        stand, since the press guys seemed to           I  passed  by  row  after  row  of  empty 
  Morgan  Chase,  with  a  huge  dowry            know where The Recovery was. I read             houses  and  boarded  up  businesses—
  from  Uncle  Sam.  I’ll  admit  to  being       everything I could get my hands on,             foreclosure signs and out-of-business 
  concerned about that one, but our lead-         but  somehow,  The  Recovery  still             signs were more common than street 
  ers said not to worry, that The Recov-          eluded me.                                      signs.  I  came  upon  a  freeway  and 
  ery was just around the corner.                      My next stop was the Federal Re-           couldn’t believe my eyes: There must 
       Then  came  September  2008,  and          serve. Since Ben Bernake had seen it,           have  been  ten  families  living  under-
  all Hell broke loose. Banks were fall-          I figured the Fed could steer me in the         neath the overpass. Shaking my head, 
  ing like toxic flies, and all of a sudden       right direction. Unfortunately, the se-         I  kept  driving,  and  then—shades  of 
  the guys who had been assuring us ev-           curity guards wouldn’t let me in. I as-         Hooverville!—came  across  one  of 
  erything was fine were having hysteri-          sured them I wasn’t there to steal The          those giant tent cities, with people liv-
  cal meltdown migranes, and demand-              Recovery, but merely to see it, but to          ing  in  cars,  trailers,  tents,  and  even 
  ing  dictatorial  powers  and  unlimited        no  avail.  If  The  Recovery  is  there,       cardboard  boxes.  Must  have  been  a 
  funding to save us all from a problem           they’re keeping it hidden.                      thousand  people,  packed  into  what 
  that wasn’t supposed to even exist.                  I tried the White House, but they          used to be a public park.
       It’s  enough  to  make  you  suspect       were  erecting  a  giant  poster  of  our            Speaking  to  these  people,  it  was 
  that  they  had  not  been  telling  us  the    Glorious  Leader,  and  I  couldn’t  get        clear that The Recovery was not in Cali-
  whole  truth,  and  maybe  none  of  the        near the joint. Perhaps The Recovery            fornia, either. But it must be somewhere, 
  truth at all.                                   was behind the poster, or maybe locked          because our Glorious Leader said so, so 
       A  year  later,  we’re  regaled  with      in the closet in the Oval Office. Maybe         I’m going to keep looking. I’ll let you 
  tales  about  how  our  glorious  leaders       so, but I still hadn’t found it.                know when I find it. I think I’ll try Vegas 
  pulled us “back from the brink of fi-                Fine.  I’m  sure  it  must  be  in  the    next. Maybe my luck will change.
  nancial  catastrophe,”  and  how  The           heartland, so I decided to try there next.                      lesswift322@yahoo.com


50  Economics                                                                                                    EIR  September 25, 2009