The economic meltdown in our nation this past week has many Americans on the edge of their seats, worrying and wondering. Not only are we worried about what will happen, the majority of us do not understand enough about economics to even comprehend the issues involved.
In my middle-class neighborhood and among my close friends, most of the fears involve the safety of their investments and retirement funds. None of them are facing bankruptcy or unable to pay for groceries like so many lower income Americans.
However, my fears at the moment are more immediate. After a few years of relative financial health, we have suffered significant loss of income and mounting of debt as we struggled to maintain our family business during a bleak two years of markedly decreased sales. My life as I know it, and my beloved family home are at stake.
I have experienced first-hand the negative impact of a credit & banking industry with little regulation. In one month, the monthly payment on one of our business lines of credit increased $300.00, due to an arbitrary jump in our finance charge. We have not been late or missed payments on our loans & credit cards, but these companies have the right to raise the finance charges at will if your overall debt to income ratio rises. This is not only unfair, it should be illegal.
To me, this is probably one of the reasons so many people in our nation are in deep trouble with credit card debt. It is impossible to maintain a budget when a bank can drastically raise your interest rate at will on an existing balance.
Anyway, I certainly hope the coming elections will populate our Congress with people who place value on the financial success of the average citizen and begin to reign in the greed of corporate America. "Trickle down economics", the brainchild of the Republicans, does not work in a greedy society.
I am finding it more and more difficult to relax and find the inner peace that is so necessary to me. Normally, a walk in my lovely garden or watching the sunrise from my quiet porch rejuvenates my soul -- now these simple pleasures are overshadowed by the pervasive fear that I may lose this old home that is so precious to me.