If you are wondering why your family can’t afford a private lawyer,
it has a lot to do with the state of our economy. Everybody is talking
about it. It's on the TV every day and whenever an election is coming
up both sides use it in an attempt to get themselves elected. The fact
is that their economic problems have very little to do with who is president
and a whole lot to do with what happened back in 2007 with the real estate
collapse. Now, I realize this is very technical , but it is important
for people to understand what happened so you can have some hope, or at
least knowledge as to where we are headed.
Back in the days before 2005 almost anybody with two arms, two legs, a
head, and a job could buy a house. You didn’t have to be rich. And
so thousands of people across the country were able to buy houses, some
very low in price. Well, as more people bought houses the prices began
to rise. These prices rose in lower priced homes just like they did in
higher priced homes. What that meant is the value of everyone’s
house rose dramatically. All across Southern California the value of houses
went up and soon a home that was purchased for $75,000 was worth $250,000,
then $300,000, and even more. It was a boom time. The new California Gold Rush.
Then as people accumulated value or “equity” in their homes
of several hundred thousand dollars ($300,000 – $75,000 = $225,000
in equity), lenders everywhere made it easy to borrow off this value ($225,000).
You didn’t have to prove much income to get a “home equity”
loan back then. So people started thinking about remodeling, new furniture,
trips, and cars. All of this was a great boon to the economy. Construction
companies and remodelers were going crazy with work, furniture and household
goods manufacturers and retailers were making and selling loads of furniture,
and car manufacturers and dealers were selling their products like hotcakes.
Jobs were aplenty and we were doing well.
A lot of these loans and equity loans stretched people to the max! The
big financial companies started selling “securities” based
on these mortgages even though most were very faulty and one day it started
to collapse. And when it did you couldn’t sell a home for anywhere
near what it was worth. All those companies who were manufacturing and
selling things started to slow down rapidly. Construction dried up throwing
tens of thousands out of work. The country began to collapse.
Well that collapse has persisted until today. Even though the recession
was officially over some time ago we still haven’t caught up enough
that the common folk are back working and making a good living. I can
say, from watching all of what is known as the “economic indicators”
that we are making progress. These economic reports come out weekly and
monthly and they measure specifically a number of things that let us know
what direction the economy is headed. It is clearly headed upward but
it is a slow grind and will be until it catches fire. For instance, last
month the country added 160,000 new jobs. Economists say that to have
real growth we need to add 250,000 jobs monthly. So we are growing but
slowly and we are a long way before we are back to normal.
One of the things that is going on is that Europe and all of its countries
are having major economic problems. That affects us because a lot of our
American companies sell things to Europe and so those companies are suffering
right now. Another thing that is happening in America is that companies
and most all businesses are afraid to expand right now. A lot of them
are doing okay because they pulled back and shrunk when the economy tanked
but they survived. Right now they are “treading water.” They
are afraid to add more workers, or plant space, or open new stores, or
remodel existing stores, because the economy hasn’t shown enough
signs of recovery yet.
For all of you in trouble and in jail, this means your families just don’t
have the jobs, or the cash, or the credit card that they can plunk down
a few thousand for a lawyer or for bail. I’d like to tell you this
is going to change soon, but it is not. Best thing you can do is hope
that your overworked public defender can get you the right result or that
you can negotiate a good bargain for a good private lawyer to take on