A person can't help noticing, driving through most any of the greater Kansas City area, all the empty buildings that used to be occupied by businesses. It's such a common sight that I probably wouldn't think much about it, except that sometimes Cliff keeps up a running commentary about the empty buildings ("Look, another one."). My son-in-law used to work in one such structure.
The closed businesses are just one more sign of our economic woes. I'd rather not think about this, because I don't see things getting any better. In fact, things may be getting a lot worse shortly.
The Claycomo Ford plant employs almost four thousand people who are paid better than your average blue-collar worker. There's a lot of talk about it closing down, and of course the state of Missouri has decided to offer some tax incentives in an effort to keep this big employer around. Where does all this money come from, anyhow?
I have a feeling that even if Ford is enticed to keep the Claycomo facility open a bit longer, it will eventually close. So far the automobile maker is remaining silent about what it will do next.
When it does close, there will be less money spent in this area on recreation and dining out. There will be fewer homes built, less home furnishings bought, and more foreclosures.
There will be more empty buildings where businesses used to be; one of them will be next door to where Cliff works, because it houses a business that manufactures seats for the Fords being assembled in Claycomo.
The dominoes keep falling; the house of cards is blowing away on the winds of recession, while elected officials scratch one anothers' backs and live off the fat of the land, all the while making speeches that are supposed to convince us change is ahead.
You bet it is, but it won't be a pretty one.