The Long Deep Economic Downfall

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

I'm seeing signs of this recession at every turn.

The other day I was in Wal-Mart when I ran into a friend of mine, Chad.  He told me he'd lost his job early this year and was thinking about leaving the state, but couldn't.  When I asked why, he said, "What do we do with our house?"  Good question.  He's put feelers out in places like Colorado and Wyoming, but doesn't think he can sell his house.  If he lets it go back to the bank, his credit is ruined for a decade.  He's actually part of our story on News 10 at 11 tonight (Wednesday).  It's putting a face on the desperate need for assistance from the government.  The night I talked to him was the same night of the Obama prime-time press conference.  It was funny to hear Obama repeat what some of the folks in Elk Hart, Indiana had told him earlier in the day.  He used words like "terrifying" and phrases like "I just don't know what I'm going to do."  They were the same things Chad said.  He's working with Michigan Works and hopefully can land something, but I feel for him knowing he has small children and is a proud guy.

Other friends and neighbors who work for Gm are in the same boat.  They wait every day for the next round of layoffs if they haven't gotten the axe already.  One thinks about moving, but again is anchored by their home.  They built it a few years ago to be their dream home and if they try and leave, statistics show they won't be able to sell it.  And even if they could they'd get much less than they owe leaving them with two mortgages wherever they land.  These are Americans doing things the right way-- paying their bills and mortgages on time-- and getting crushed by an awful economy and mistakes made by freewheeling Wall Street execs with their private jets and million-dollar junkets to Vegas and the Caribbean and parts unknown.

I walked into a favorite spot of mine to grab a bite tonight, Submarina, only to find the door locked at 7:05.  I read the sign at the store on Edgewood Boulevard next to Sam's Club to discover they'd shortened their hours for the second time in less than a year.  Luckily, they opened up and hooked me up with my Tuna wrap.  I gently broached the subject of how things were going given the earlier closing time.  Things weren't so good.  They are down to just three employees, but they did get some good news recently.  They will have a shop open at Spartan Stadium this fall.  That must be a weight off the owner's shoulders, that seem to be heavier every time I see her.  Opening a small business in hopes of doing something you love only to see it on the verge of failure.  The place is a nice little shop, with great ambiance and a friendly staff.  But there are so many options and when everyone is saving it can seem like a lot to drop $8 on a sandwich. 

Luckily, one instance where fortunes turned just in time.  For the others, I guess they sit and wait for the stimulus plan praying that the influx of money into the state economy somehow trickles down to them and their kids.  I know I'm getting sick and tired of depressing news everyday-- both at work and at home.

Read More Blogs

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Cathy Location: Mason, MI on Mar 26, 2009 at 01:52 AM
    Hi Jason, I am an employee of Submarina and I just wanted to mention things are starting to look up, probably has a lot to do with the warmer weather and this blog entry! Many people have been into the store and mentioned reading about us on you're blog! Thanks you for the recognition and for being a wonderful customer! See you in there soon for a tuna wrap!
  • by keith perry Location: charlotte on Feb 16, 2009 at 06:58 PM
    i do not want to see anyone with out a job .and did you know that when the wallstreet execs drop a millon dollars down on a get away they are stimulusing the economy in las vegas .the people we need to hold accountable is the shareholders that said lets give them 1 millon dollars salray and if we get .30 more a share he can get 12 millon dollar bonus. yes ,there are people out there doing the right thing .i see people that borrow money and the bury it in home loans that now they can not pay because they lost there jobs.
  • by Teresa Location: Osseo on Feb 16, 2009 at 06:12 PM
    The stimulus package is not going to help until it is too late for all the people whom have paid their bills on time and have lost their jobs. I have 3 young adult children and they have all moved to other states for employment. My husband and I would also move but for the same reason as the other people have stated, what do we do with our home? No one in Michigan has the money to buy our home and land and no one from out of state wants to come to Michigan where there are no jobs. Granholm get your head up and help out the people who need your help. The middle class is drowning and there are no life rafts left for us.
  • by stan Location: Prison Employee on Feb 15, 2009 at 03:48 PM
    How about a prison system, tha is run like a business. Instead of a "for profit organization". $4.8 million for an air conditioned tent for prisoners.? Used 2 times and then red tagged.! No accountability.! Time to privitize..!!!
  • by Jason Location: Newsroom on Feb 13, 2009 at 12:36 PM
    She has proposed a paycut-- 10% for her and all lawmakers. It's hung up while they check to see if they can reduce judges' salaries.
  • by Gary D. Location: Lansing on Feb 13, 2009 at 04:00 AM
    Granholm talks about takinng a large amount of the stimulous, & putting it into education. BUT.. yet she plans on cutting $26 million out of education funding? Does she plan on pocketing that money too? Like the $4.3 Billion she demanded last year? Where did that go. In her pocket? And she's cutting back wages & jobs of state employees. Why doesn't she take a pay-cut?
WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability
Gray Television, Inc.