Aug 302010

Concerns about the economy are going  mainstream. Everything looks worse than it did even two months ago. For example, take a look at this article on why housing is going down the toilet and can’t come back soon. Housing has been our economy for the last many years since we quit making things and outsourced good jobs off shore. (Our economy is now based, apparently, on people driving around in cars). On Lummi Island people are worried that a lack of a ferry to Gooseberry Point will lower housing values. One should point out that housing values will go down significantly with or without a ferry. People who can’t stand the thought of no car ferry service every thirty minutes and who feel like they need to move won’t be able to sell  their houses anyway. Even if the ferry contract is renewed people will still have a difficult time selling their homes because the housing market is in the crapper. There aren’t many buyers, there’s no credit and Fannie and Freddie are broke.

The Federal Government is as helpless on the economy as the County is on the ferry. The feds can only print so much money before it creates a tipping point while the county can’t print money at all.

Those who were optimistic about Mr. Obama should read this which details how nothing has really changed in two years.

Why are things this way? The late George Carlin spells it out:

Joe Bageant adds some detail.

The Lummi Island ferry is the canary in the coal mine for Lummi Islanders. It’s a warning that things are going to change and that we will have to adapt and  solve problems locally. But we resist change. We want to maintain the status quo no matter how unrealistic that may be.

In Transition language we are facing “Peak Ferry.” What we’ve enjoyed as a society since the availability of cheap oil will not continue.