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.


  1. KMTBerry said...
    Yeah, but who is going to buy it?
    Margy Rydzynski said...
    Wall Street bailouts and people living hand-to-mouth. Quite the juxtaposition. I wonder what's going to happen with all this crap.

    On a cheerier note, the hubby and I went apple picking today and came home with a ton of beauties! I'm drying a bunch and will be baking a lot of pies and cakes in the next week or so.

    Hope you're feeling better and relatively comfortable?
    Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...
    My parents were a product of the Great Depression. They always were thrifty, lived within their means, saved money to buy things, worked hard knowing they could lose their job at the whim of some employer and they believed a good education would save their children from having to struggle so hard. Of course the poor are still (and always) in a Depression and have many of these values.

    Perhaps, the Depression of 2008, will see the return to some of these virtues. If the 700 billion works and saves the status quo, the hard lessons will not be learned. Some day, it will all happen again.
    Elizabeth said...
    I felt very naive when I saw that California needs $7 billion, and that most states run on credit. I really had not thought of that!

    Margy, it's has been a great apple year here, too!

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