Thirsty at the Home Show

Many would say that the falling stock market, the increase in violence at home and abroad, the rising unemployment rate and the sheer multitude of natural disasters in the last few years are signs of the end of the world. While I do find those things alarming what really scares me is what I saw this past weekend at the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show….a deserted beer booth.

 It is a sad state of affairs when an average American cannot afford to buy a beer at a community event. I actually watched as one man walked up to the booth with hope in his eyes and asked, “How much for a beer?” and the woman behind the counter replied, “Seven dollars.” The poor man simply shook his head and walked away.

I was at the show working a booth for my employer, talking to people about ways to conserve energy and decrease their electric bill. There were not that many people at the event. I haven’t seen exact figures of attendance but I would be surprised if it was anywhere near the number of people who attended last year. Someone mentioned they had wanted to buy a large outdoor grill but that they weren’t able to finance it. Scary stuff. It’s one thing when these issues are a national problem and can be viewed from a distance. It’s another thing to see the effects of the economic crisis when it shows up at your front door.

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