In The Market For A ChangeOctober 21st, 2008
There are many of us who do not own stocks, who aren’t really too sure how the erratic and failing market is going to affect us. We have been inundated with news stories reporting the market’s every ominous move with only a slippery grasp on how this will manifest itself in our daily lives.
Perhaps the best indicator would be to step back and visualize the safety net, stretching up San Francisco’s Market Street. Starting with it’s already frayed ends in the Tenderloin, so many of our poor and homeless neighbors have slipped through this outdated and insufficient web. As you continue up to Powell Street, we see the city’s retail and tourist industry workers, struggling to collect enough hours to make ends meet; maybe picking up another job, or restricting their spending which cuts into rent, medication or, most often, into family food budgets.
Now more than ever St. Anthony Foundation is seeing low-income families, the working poor, people working two and three jobs to survive in this city, coming in for a meal, for a food bag, for medical care that they cannot afford to provide for themselves or families. Where there was once even if modestly, at least security, this safety net has frayed perilously higher up the economic ladder than we have seen in decades.
Instability weaves its way through the twine of this net reaching all the way up to Montgomery, to closing banks, out of work brokers and down-sizing businesses. It is now that the story of hard times makes the front page everyday.
From the stock market, to our supermarkets, up Market St. we are seeing the effects. It doesn’t need to come from the ticker, no industry experts analysis, we see it in the streets of our city, in the faces of our guests.