November 14, 2008

The tech sector is officially bleeding jobs with everyone else. I wonder when the food service and preparation sectors will feel the pinch. I wonder when the manager will tap me on the shoulder to have a heart-to-heart in the walk-in cooler about what a good sport I am, about what a good worker I was and where my opportunities lie. I wonder when the financial situation will stop being an excuse for jokey headlines and ironic despair and will start being a chance to fundamentally reshape our economy and make and do things here in America again.

I wonder what will happen if General Motors falls apart. I wonder if we should let it– let the old economy die so the new one can be built to last for the generations to come. General Motors doesn’t have much of a future anyways, the way gas prices are going. They’ve resisted innovation at every turn and were beaten out by companies who– gas mileage aside –simply made a better product. The free market in motion, right?

There’s a good article in the Buffalo News about the effect of the subprime mortgage crisis I sort of understand on neighborhoods in Cleveland.That city, according to the article, lost almost three percent of its homes to foreclosure last year. 10,000 homes became vacant husks in a relative instant.Money quote:

“I like to compare it to a tsunami coming off Lake Erie and destroying 10,000 homes,” said Frank Ford, senior vice president of Neighborhood Progress, a Cleveland group that fights to revitalize city neighborhoods. “If that happened, every presidential candidate would have been here yesterday, talking about this,” Ford said at a City Council forum on the issue last week.

Buffalo was luckier. In the Albany area, where I grew up, the story was similar.Across Upstate New York, through a combination of common sense and pragmatism on the part of lending institutions and determined prosecution on the part of former-A.G. and current Governor Eliot Spitzer, communities have been spared the immediate impact of the subprime collapse.So that’s something. Right? I mean, how often do you get to write the sentence “Buffalo was luckier” when you’re not talking about industry in the early 20th century or the distribution of amusingly vowel-less surnames? All other horrific shit aside, let’s be happy for Buffalo for a second or two.Take pleasure in small miracles today. Let me know how it goes.Hey, it’s something to do while you’re looking for a new place.