Cartoons, cartoons, cartoons.... John Crowther's Cartoon Odyssey

I think of it as The Fool's Journey. I've been asked who the "fool" is. It's me, but in the classical sense of the court jester. Only the fool was allowed to tell the king of his follies. All cartoons are available as prints or originals, framed or unframed, through my website or e-mail. For mugs, t-shirts, and other products visit my gift shop at* (be sure to include the *).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

It's curious, but suddenly the media doesn't seem to be talking anymore about the economic crisis, whatever you want to call it: downturn, recession, depression, panic, credit crunch. The market's still tanking, the jobless rate is rising, consumer's aren't buying, and gas isn't cheap, despite the fact that prices have dipped. Meanwhile, an article in the Los Angeles Times tells of the Sunset Marquis in Hollywood, where a luxury suite goes for $7000 a night. Who has that kind of money? The CEO's whose companies got bailed out?


Anonymous il professore said...

In 1921 Richard Whiting wrote a song with Gus Kahn and Ray Egan:

"Every morning
Every evening
Ain't we got fun
Not much money
Oh but honey
Ain't we got fun

Landlords mad and getting madder
Ain't we got fun
Times are so bad and getting badder
Still we have fun
There's nothing surer
The rich get rich and the poor get laid off
In the meantime
In between time
Ain't we got fun."

Deja vu all over again?

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Lee said...

ok, idiots like me, got caught without medical insurance, had a catastrophic disease and had to hock the family homestead for chemo and etc. Hopefully I will get on my feet again before I lose the old homestead. But what I don't understand is how mortgage companies could give loans of 400k or more to people on welfare. Did they really think that the borrowers could start paying the mortgage after one year of no payments? Did they think that these people would be able in one year to get a job paying a salary of atleast 60k a year in order to suddenly pay the mortgage. Common sense ought to have told these companies that the bottom would fall at some point. I don't blame the people on welfare for grabbing the chance, not sure of the ins and outs of the sub prime loan but if someone offers you a home for 1 to 5 years free, you can bet that most people would say yabba da ba do, and go for it.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Couldn't agree more Lee. I can't believe this was allowed to happen. Where is the regulatory body that should have been there to oversee the industry and ensure that it was operating honestly and above board. Since when did "regulations" which protect people (sometimes from themselves and certainly from those who would exploit them) become undemocratic? Just doesn't make sense to me. Now the whole world is going down the gurgler (even those countries with good regulatory systems) because faith in the system has been lost.

Also... I've got to say... what's happened to you should never be allowed to happen anywhere. When we are ill we need all the help and assistance we can get. Surely some of that war chest could have gone toward a decent (free) health care system in the US to look after those unfortunate enough to become ill. We are in no position to face financial ruin when we are attempting to recover from a serious illness! And we shouldn't have to. The injustice of it makes me sick to my stomach and I feel for you deeply. Take care of yourself won't you?

John... sorry... another great cartoon!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on! roger

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Lee said...

Jean, do not believe that NHS could work here as the country is too big with too many people. I was arrogant as I had not been ill in over 20 years, never went to doctors, no breast cancer in family and through carelessness did not have health insurance. My fault entirely. I made the decision to hock the old homestead after talking to my children who encouraged me. What I did not understand was the loan. I was in constant pain, sick all the time, taking chemo and had chemo brain. Had not owed a mortgage in the past 15 years and when I had one, this type of mortgage did not exist. I do fault the mortgage broker who lead me astray but in the long run, I was the one who signed the papers. No one put a gun to my head. Now all I am asking the government to do evem though I hate the idea of having to request help is to make sure that I have a reasonable chance of repaying the loan by lowering the mortgage interest rate to 5 or 6 % instead of the 8 to 9% percent that it will jump to in about a year. I do not want a bail out as I am a stubborn old Scot who has always paid her own way without help for any one or any government.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Lee said...

PS, well I am a stubborn old Scot who has made a few typing errors in the comment but hopefully you will get the jest of it. Thank you for your kind thoughts but say once again that NHS will not work here and medical insurance from a private company can be purchased if one just has the sense to do so. The less government is in my life, the better I like it. As I said, I have always stood on my own two feet from the time that I was young and foolish so it is too late to change now ...grin...

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Lee... I reckon it could work even though you have a bigger population. We pay 1.5% of our taxable income toward the Medicare levy and those over a certain income threshold pay an additional 1%. The public hospital system is free. Most people choose to have private health insurance as well which covers the choice of doctor and any private hospital anywhere and extras like optical/dental etc. But the public system works. Sometimes better than the private if you are really sick... because a priority system is in place to deal with urgent cases. In my state of Queensland we used to have a wonderful free public hospital system completely funded by the State Lottery! The service was second to none... and as people are never going to be able to resist the urge to gamble on a lottery ticket... the health service was assured of continuity. Then somehow the federal government got involved and the system was brought into line with the other states. But it's still not a bad system. Most importantly... no one here has to sell or mortgage their home to receive medical attention. Yet. (grin)

12:18 AM  
Blogger John M Crowther said...

Thanks, Jean, for that post, and thanks to both Lee and Jean for the civil discussion, which ought to be a model for contemporary discourse. Mankind attempted to fly for a long time, with disastrous results, before the Wright brothers showed how it can be done. I believe the fact that universal health care hasn't been perfected doesn't mean we should quit trying. The health industry we currently have is a bit like paying protection to the mafia: if you can't afford it you're out of luck. And meanwhile health costs are astonomical prescisely because of our insurance system. It's a racket that insures only that millions of people must suffer and die needlessly because they don't have the big bucks.

7:50 AM  
Blogger gretchen said...

I love the conversation between Lee and Jean. And Lee I'm almosst to my 5 year clear on ovarian cancer, I send you my best healthy vibes!

John I am so happy to hear what you said about the insurance industry. Even in the more liberal newpapers that support a real accessible national healthcare system, very seldom is the insurance industry brought to task. Your mafia analogy was spot on.

5:19 PM  

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