01/02/19 Dunnellon-Ocala, FL

DAY #74

On the second day of 2019, I out did myself, I did even less than yesterday. Hope this doesn’t become a trend.

I did take a ride that took in the exurbs, suburbs, and central metro of Ocala, FL. Since I had so much fun doing it, I took the same way back.
It was late in the afternoon before I hit the road and in both directions, traffic was heavy and it sucked. A couple highlights of the drive was seeing my first ‘Tesla’ charging station (for cars), and stopping at a Latin grocery store, which I didn’t know until going in.

My Rant For The Day:

For decades the standard of living for the middle class, has been stagnant at best. There are facts and figures that can establish and confirm this, it isn’t just opinion. Even with these facts, we’ve been able to continue to delude ourselves that that wasn’t the case, and of course the politicians did everything they could by way of ‘smoke and mirrors’ to reassure us life was good. But for me, there’s been a change, it’s become more than just the facts. I’m seeing signs across the land that are not just telling me, but showing me just how true it is.

I’m amazed at the number of ‘Dollar General’ and ‘Family Dollar’ stores I’m seeing. These stores are like a ‘canary in a coal mine’ only applied in reverse. They appear & thrive in areas of poverty and a lower standard of living, promising more for less. These stores are beginning to make Walmart look upscale. Pawn Shops and Check Cashing Places are becoming more the norm along the corridors of commerce, a change from a time when pawn shops were centered exclusively in low income urban areas. Retail strip malls and shopping centers/malls are replacing the stores of old (when wages & living standards were on the upswing) with more and more discount and low price stores. ‘Big Lots’ and ‘Savers’ have replaced ‘Dayton’s’ and ‘Dillards’ (I understand the effect online shopping has had).

Were no longer moving forward, no longer moving up. Instead, it seems we’ve adjusted and accepted the way it’s become, lowering our hopes and dreams, and expectations in the process.

The canary has stopped singing.

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