I must have been stopped about 10 times in the city by homeless people on the street asking for some change last night. In San Francisco that may not be an unusual occurrence, but the frequency is up.
On my way into work, the economy is the topic of conversation on the commute on the BART. Pending known layoffs or nervousness about possible layoffs are being spoken about by everyone on the train. People are trying to be positive but you can tell as 2009 approaches there is definite fear beneath the veneer of a brave front.
You wonder how in the world did we get to this point to be the mess we are in now. Of course this is the discussion that has been already been had amongst the political pundits and economists. There is nothing that we can do about it now except to work ourselves out of it. It is going to be painful. Unfortunately, the average Joes and Marys are the ones that get affected the most.
If there is one lesson that we as average Americans can take from this difficult period is for each of us to be actively engage in our government and political process. We need to hold our elected officials accountable for the policies implemented that affect our lives. We need to make sure our voices are heard. We need to affect the change.
Only our inaction will continue to promote the kind of decisions that benefit only the few and create the kind of chaos that affect our pocketbooks and future economic health.
We enter 2009 with a new President and many newly elected local and national officials. We still have the same problems. Let us make sure it is not politics as usual.