Depression (Both Kinds) Is a Government Conspiracy

McClatchy picks up an article from the Fresno Bee, about Mendota, California, where unemployment is 41% and people don’t have $1 to pay for a blouse in a thrift shop:

The customer seemed interested in a black blouse offered for $1 at the thrift store. But instead of buying it, she set it on the front counter.

Maybe tomorrow, she told the cashier, she would have the money. Or the next day. But not now.

“That is the way people are now,” said the cashier, Alicia Reyes, as she watched the middle-aged woman walk out of the store. “They just come in here and look. They just come in here to kill the time. And then they take off.”

Welcome to life in Mendota — the unemployment capital of California. With a 41 percent jobless rate, the town’s social fabric is tearing at the seams. Alcoholism and crime are on the rise. To save money, some mothers wash and re-use disposable diapers. Unemployed men with nothing to do wander the streets and sit on benches.

The irony is obvious: In a large swath of the nation’s most productive farming region, many struggle to fill their own cupboards.

I was going to point out that places like Mendota, California, are precisely the reason why we need accurate and comprehensive information about sources of help for people who are experiencing mental health issues, emotional or psychological problems, or family dysfunction in this horrendous economy — and that reputable, trustworthy, credible web sites where such information can be found are like lights at the end of a very dark tunnel. I was going to add, after pointing out this obvious idea, that it would be a sad, soulless person with very little, if anything, to rely on in the way of human feeling, who would actually make fun of such an information source — mock it, declare that “the soul-fixer-in-chief is here to dry your tears,” issue dark warnings about the federal government using the nations’ “fragile mental health … to justify yet another Federal power grab,” et alia, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

I was going to say all these things, but I see Chris Good has beat me to it.

Cross-posted at Liberty Street.

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