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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Playing with my family - Vacation

Since 2008 with the crash of the economy, I have seen people lose their jobs, I personally know over five people who have lost their homes and two more in the process of having to down size dramatically because they can't afford to keep the home they have.  With the volatility of the stock market since the United States' close call on defaulting on it's own bill paying abilities, and the tragic short term fix our elected Representatives choose to temporarily keep things a float on a very leaking ship.

I don't see this economy getting any better.  I am on vacation with my family.  We are not going anywhere because we frankly don't have the financial means to take a real vacation.  We don't even have the extra income to pay for a hotel or motel out of town, or the gas to get there and back.  So were are playing together in the Greater Kansas City area. 

We have a mall in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, that the last time I was there it was a fantastic and vibrant place to visit.  A giant square of shops and restaurants, a movie theater, a huge mall.  I have never before been in a mall where there were more empty or closed shops than open ones.  It was depressing.  The Death Of A Mall.

I was happy to see a huge store called the Book Warehouse, and I remember it was there before the last I was there.  Their inventory is way down, almost everything in the store was drastically reduced.  They were selling four full sized novels, hard backs, for $15.00.  That's 3.75 per book.  Now for a book lover that is great!  For an author, a new author, seeing your idols books, their hard covers, discounted and not selling, it was heart breaking!!  The small book stores went away by the 100's with the birth and rise of the large mega stores like Barnes & Noble, Walden Books, Borders, and such.  But Borders is in it's death throws, and the large book stores are hurting also.

I wish I really knew how the Big Six Publishing Houses are really doing?  Then again maybe I don't.  What if the combination of e-books, on-line reading, and a full out economic depression in our country actually ruins the Publishing and Book Industry as we have known it.  What if you have to go to antique stores or library's to actually get a book.  What if the day came and there were no more new books, at least not real books you could hold and turn the pages and read.  It is scary to even contemplate. 

I had fun playing with my boys and shopping with my wife.  All said and done what I saw in public depressed me terribly about the state of local businesses, the economy, and where things may be headed in the near future.  I know things run in cycles because I am a student of history, and this cycle is still in the downward direction.  It hasn't bottomed out, leveled off, or begun to turn around to the better yet. 

My mind reels as I wonder if there is a stellar, decent candidate, out there somewhere who has charisma, charm, smarts and the ability to stop the crooks in charge, rally the people, and turn this country around?  Of course such a talented and smart individual would have to have their head examined if they decided to enter politics and run for office, now wouldn't they?

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