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Mon Dec 26, 2011, 09:09 AM

The New Dealers: Is the recession driving Americans into the economy's last growth sector?


from Mother Jones:



The New Dealers
Is the recession driving Americans into the economy's last growth sector?

—By Tony D'Souza
| November/December 2011 Issue


For some time, I'd been hearing stories from my sources in the interstate marijuana racket about law-abiding "civilians" turning to the game because of the recession, and so, armed with introductions, I hit the road to meet some of these unlikely criminals face to face. That's how, on a hot evening in June, I found myself in Dan's Northern California kitchen.

Dan isn't his real name. Nor are any of the names in this story, for obvious reasons. But his situation is a familiar, harsh reality for many Americans, as I learned while doing research for my recent novel on this subject. Dan is in his early 40s, a slim, soft-spoken former short-haul trucker who once owned all the toys: a used Mercedes, snowmobiles, Jet Skis. When they were both employed, he and his wife—a retail manager—easily cleared $100,000 a year. "We ate out breakfast, lunch, and dinner," Dan, now a minimum-wage laborer, tells me with folded arms. "That's the way life was for 17 years."

Today, Dan's toys are gone, sold to support an underwater mortgage. His wife, who kept her job, left him three years ago, driving away in the Mercedes. "She didn't like the fact that I sat at home and she was going to work," he tells me. "There were no jobs. I filled out a thing for the city, and 400 people were there for one opening—a garbage truck driver."

Keeping the house has been Dan's only real goal since 2008, when he was laid off. It's a simple three-bedroom, two-bath in a prefab, working-class subdivision off the I-5 corridor. "I wanted my kid to grow up in a safe community," he explains. "I have always made my house payment, and I've always made it on time." But he fretted over things like gas prices. "My daughter would say, 'Can I take your truck to the store?' That's 1.2 miles, which makes it 2.4 miles round-trip. If she went there once, I would not make it to work the next day. That's how my money was. I've fought for it the past three years working two and three jobs. I've even changed my morals." ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/tony-dsouza-marijuana-growers



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Reply The New Dealers: Is the recession driving Americans into the economy's last growth sector? (Original post)
marmar Dec 2011 OP
Kolesar Dec 2011 #1
no_hypocrisy Dec 2011 #5
shanti Dec 2011 #9
i_sometimes Dec 2011 #6
DireStrike Dec 2011 #8
Kolesar Dec 2011 #11
al bupp Dec 2011 #2
xchrom Dec 2011 #3
DCKit Dec 2011 #4
msongs Dec 2011 #7
RainDog Dec 2011 #10

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 09:33 AM

1. Grow your own food in the backyard

That could take care of half of your food budget.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 10:15 AM

5. Unfortunately I'd expect my neighbors or others to come on the property and steal my

harvest.

Wish I were wrong.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 08:17 PM

9. the smell is pretty hard to miss

even if growing inside, it would have to be vented outside.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:06 PM

6. Not possible.

 

Half? no.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 07:56 PM

8. What is this "backyard" you speak of? -nt-

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Response to DireStrike (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 10:15 PM

11. Join a community garden

I don't want to risk getting a conviction. It makes it hard to get a decent job.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 09:34 AM

2. Yet another great Mother Jones piece, definitely worth the read /nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 09:39 AM

3. Du rec. Nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 10:09 AM

4. Hardly a new development when the #1 cash crop in VA, KY...

 

probably TN and WV too, has been teh eviiiiiillllll weed for years. Meth manufacture and use haven't gone down either.

Moonshine is a lot more available in those states than it used to be, too.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 02:40 PM

7. legalize "grow your own" and all this problem disappears nt

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