Rusty Stait | Senior Reporter

We, as a country, have slipped into digression. The government didn’t do that to us. We’ve done it to ourselves. How often have you heard someone say things that remind you of something your grandmother might have been saying back during the Great Depression? Not as often as we should. Because of our bad habits, we have some serious personal problems.

We’ve learned a lesson or two from the COVID pandemic. Because of restrictions, there were fewer colds, less pollution and less gasoline usage. What we face now has been much worse than in the past and we have overcome it.

1. There is more fat on American Streets than on all the hog farms in the country. We eat too much of the wrong foods. Americans waste enough food every year to feed all the starving hordes in Africa.

2. We have lost our mobility in that we cannot function on our own without everyone in the family having a big car; having everything done for us rather than doing it for ourselves. It is one thing to take it easy and another one to simply be too lazy to get the job done if we can have somebody else do it for us. We’ve developed a disease better known as “the gimmies.”

We, the people, built this country, not the millionaires on Wall Street who are now referred to as billionaires.

There are examples of how we dug ourselves out of big holes in the past. The Great Depression came upon us out of the Roaring Twenties, a time when they said, “Anything Goes.” Not true. In 1929 when the Stock Market crashed, it was the American family together who brought us out of that mess. Sure, we suffered in the process, but we kept going and as the thirties ended and we were wading out of the Depression, we were thrust into a World War we were unprepared for.

It was the ordinary American, like you and me, who brought us up to snuff and got us through to peace. However, it was not without sacrifice. Sacrifice seems to be left out of the equation in today’s society.

So we have inflation. Welcome to the real world. That happens when demand overtakes supply. Remember the hysterical toilet paper days during COVID? Instead of helping, we cleaned off the shelves as there would never be another roll of paper? Paper goods flew sky-high because of our greed.

There is power in our numbers. One at a time, we add up to a mighty force. Nobody can intimidate us when we are together.

The time is now to do that.

A man on the street survey about our current situation brought some almost astonishing answers, considering how we live these days.


What would you be willing to contribute if it would bring down prices?


a. Staying home more. Going out less.

b. I could work at home. I did during COVID.

c. Spend less. Put off large purchases and unnecessary luxuries.

d. Stay home and skip out-of-town trips. Save gasoline, I guess.

e. Stay away from Walmart and big box stores. (This one was very popular.)

We helped the government row the boat during the Great Depression and World War II.

When there was a shortage of things, we did without them for a day, or were only able to buy certain things on certain days., like meat, clothing, shoes, tires, etc. Thrift stores carry some pretty good styles of clothing nowadays. Also lots of jeans.

During the war, when gasoline was rationed, we cut back on driving, except for work and timed our trips to cover more than one thing in one trip. We adapted to public transportation. (Oh, my God, not the bus!!!!!, you say). Today we get into the car and drive two blocks for a loaf of bread or carton of milk.

We have high inflation. One way to decrease prices is not to buy unless we need to. It won’t hurt us if we don’t have a new pair of shoes or new jeans for a while. Skip some meals or don’t eat one day a week. It would not only contribute to our physical health but can you imagine how much prices would go down if we stopped spending money except when we need to? That old car will still run for a while. During the war they didn’t make cars for civilians. The busiest places in town were the auto repair shops. Ask our older seniors and they’ll tell you how easy it was. And why does everyone have to have his or her own car running every day? Unless you need it for work why not try driving as a family. You might get to like it. We already know how to carpool. The kids get to school, but not with the same driver every day. If we all did that, think of how much gas we would save. Can you imagine how much less gas you would consume if you carpooled to the grocery, and even church? The point is, Americans have always found a way to rise above the ground, always reaching for higher things, while cutting back on things we merely “want” but don’t “need.”

If we got rid of everything we “want” and kept only what we need, most of us would be living in near-empty houses. It is not suicide to cut back in order to bring down prices. When there is an ample supply of goods, prices are reduced; when we clear out the stores with our wants, prices sky-rocket.

Time to stop blaming political parties for our grief. The bottom line is that we created them and we can stop them. We created this mess and we can fix it. All it takes is some reduction in eating and binging on things we could well do without for a while, or do without entirely. You don’t have to believe me. Try it. Just sayin’ rustystrait@alice-petersen

• DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author’s articles on this Opinion piece or elsewhere online or in the newspaper where we have articles with the header “COLUMN/EDITORIAL & OPINION” do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints or official policies of the Publisher, Editor, Reporters or anybody else in the Staff of the Hemet and San Jacinto Chronicle Newspaper.

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