as i mentioned in my last post, the economic crisis hitting the states hasn't hit us yet. and economists say that with a little exception in imported goods, the dominican peso should stay steady.
when i first moved here, the dominican was experiencing a very severe economic crisis. the peso had flown to nearly 60 per US dollar. and considering that minimum wage in those times was about 100 US dollars per month, there was a lot of hunger happening.
i'm not really sure about the specifics and so i'm not going to write something super un-informed. but the long and short of it is that the national reserves were emptied - probably into some politicians pockets - and the dominican people had to pay the price.
the difference between here and there? well. here it was not about whether people were going to lose their homes. it was about whether their children were going to eat. it wasn't about whether people were going to lose their cars. it was about whether their children were able to get to school. it wasn't about whether people were going to lose stuff. it was about losing their families.
we get some american television channels. i'm so amazed by how it's about stuff. STUFF. sure, my dad will tell you how much he has to spend for food nowadays. how much it takes to fill their gas tanks. how hard the situation has gotten.
but they can still buy food. fill the gastank. and have money left over. not nearly as much as they did before. but they're by no means floundering.
they still have stuff. and as far as i know they're not really in any danger of losing it.
and for that i'm grateful. because i benefit from their stuff. i talk to my family. a lot. and usually its mom who calls me. and their computer helps us send pictures back and forth. so they can see their grandson. their cars take me places when i visit. and their "surplus" of money? flies me home at least once a year.
what scares me is not my family. it's the others who are doing everything in their power to keep their stuff. i see stories of families who are re-organizing their budgets and instead of taking out some of the stuff, they're just taking money away from education, food, their children... all to keep that brand new car, laptop and designer clothes.
i'm detached. i don't see it happening. all i've got is the news. the internet. and maybe i'm way off base. but i think maybe it's time for americans - me included - to take a look at where we spend out money. how far out of our means we are living. and start fixing ourselves before we expect the government to fix everything for us.