Friday, October 03, 2008
I think this bailout plan is especially hard for Appalachian folk to accept and wrap their heads around. The farmers can probably understand it, because they depend on credit--though the farmers I know are pretty pissed. But your average folks live hand to mouth for the most part in the Appalachians. They have very creative ways of making money here. I recently wrote a story called The Moss Gatherers that features the wildcrafting culture. Entire families make their living from gathering moss, trillium bulbs, gensing, ramps--anything they can find in the woods. They even go around buying boxwood clippings. It's really why the Park has such strict rules about picking plants. They aren't worried about you nabbing a few leaves to press--they are after the gatherers poaching entire stands of gensing or ramps. Stripping the forest of mosses and trilliums. All that craft moss has to come from somewhere and it usually comes from this mountain range.
So. People who make their living this way, only buying things when they have money, living in a purely cash economy, are mighty pissed off about the bailout. Because they don't connect that the grocer needs credit to buy food--our entire economy runs off of it. The world runs off of it.
It seems weird to me, too. I've never been particularly credit worthy having spent the majority of my life in the arts. It's why I try to convince young people going into the arts to do something else for a living. Keep the arts as your bliss, because once you try to make a living from it, it ruins it.
So, people are already calling it The Great Depression of 2008. We all may be out there gathering moss.