What has happened to this country? People seem to have lost their freaking minds. The state of Michigan would rather have kids wait outside in the rain and snow (give them an umbrella was one suggestion) for a bus than let them wait inside a neighbor's house. They have a law on the books that says if a child who isn't related to you is in your house more than 28 days a year while their parents aren't at home you are running an unlicensed daycare center even if you aren't being paid. It doesn't matter if the kids are there five minutes or five hours. As one commenter pointed out, if one of those kids was abducted there would be a completely different attitude and people would be wailing about how neighbors don't watch out for each other anymore. Once again no good deed goes unpunished.
Who's doing the economic projections now? Condoleeza Rice? It's not unexpected to me or anyone else I know that consumer confidence would drop. Money doesn't go as far as it used to and opportunities to increase one's income have become almost nonexistent. It's only if you live in a bubble that you think things are getting better for the average consumer. You know people aren't dealing with a full deck when they think that a few hundred people on Wall Street raking in dough is an indicator of a bogus recovery than the reality that hundreds of thousands of people who can't play the stock market, don't have jobs, are losing their homes and dying for lack of health care. Nobody could have seen that coming.
Many years ago I worked for Home Savings in their signature verify department. There were three of us whose job it was to match suspicious check signatures to their enrollment card on file. The other fifteen people in the department had the responsibility of authorizing which checks would be paid from flagged accounts. They would spend the morning ordering the checks so the bank would make more money on overdraft fees. That was 1983 and not much has changed other than the fees have been increased. Like any other business they want more of your money and aren't ashamed to use any means to get it. Debit card transactions and are one more way to accomplish this. The mistake most people make with banks is thinking that it's your money. It was until you put it in the bank, now it's theirs and they decide how you can spend it.
Chopped liver, onions on the side.