- credit crisis - USA
Time and the recent recession in the US economy have taken a serious toll on the legendary Route 66 which crosses the country from West to East. Tucumcari, a small border town between Texas and New Mexico is slowly dying after years of prosperity. Almost no one comes here anymore. The country’s economic crisis hit hard out here, where businesses were already ailing.
Carole Keith, the director of the Chamber of Commerce, tells the story of Tucumcari’s decline : "The last nail in the coffin was when the railroad pulled out. We lost 120 good paying jobs and all the families that go with them."
Tucumcari used to be one of the main stops on Route 66, but the new highway which bypasses the town contributed to putting an end to that tradition. Justin Galvan, Del’s Restaurant Manager adds that the current rise in the price of gas has done nothing to help Dels’, and the other businesses which are struggling to bring customers back into town : "the high price of gas makes the prices on everything go up. And people have their own ways of dealing with. For example, they don’t eat out anymore. "
Bill Kinder, the owner of the Blue Swallow Motel, blames the credit system for the country’s economic turmoil : "The whole US economy has to get booming. When I grew up, you never bought anything without a 25% down-payment. A credit card was something you earned. Now, with the younger generation, everybody has to have everything right away without having to earn it."
Others, like Deborah Lopez, the manager of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Bar feel like they’re not the only ones suffering and that it’s time for the next president to focus on his own country : "I think he needs to pay attention to here. The United States, the people in it, their children, their health, their education, the elderly...they need pay attention to here and not elsewhere. This is going on everywhere, not just in Tucumcari, everybody’s feeling it. "
Caught in between the problems of the general economy and its own, Tucumcari is desperately trying to find a way out. Its inhabitants, just like those of many of the small towns along Route 66, miss a past that shines in comparison to the meager promises that the future seems to hold for them.