July 4th Weekend Along the Shore of the Gulf of Mexico:

That's what the beach at Gulf Shores, Alabama, looked like yesterday. If Pensacola is the Nice of the Redneck Riviera, then Gulf Shores is probably its Saint-Tropez.

That's Vicki Guillot (pronounced "Ghee-yot") walking alone in her now-closed Debbie's Cafe' in tiny Gheens, Louisiana. It had been open for only six months and doing well, but once the price of shrimp went up 50% (let's not even talk about the oysters), well, any restaurant owner will tell you that if something goes wrong in the first year, you're not gonna make it.

This weekend, the usual flood of people on the beaches of Pensacola, of Gulf Shores, of Grand Isle will be reduced to a trickle. Dauphin Island, Alabama has had cancellations of up to 80% of its vacation bookings. That means the shops and restaurants will not have customers, which means the waitstaff won't get the tips that a busy July 4th would bring, which means they won't have the money to spend on groceries, which means, which means, which means. You don't need a basic economics lesson. Or maybe you do. Apply this to any number of workers, like the cleaning crews at the hotels, or to the condo owners, many of them senior citizens, who supplement their incomes with rentals, many of whom don't even live on the Gulf and thus spend the money they would have made on condo rentals in their communities all around the United States.

That's Susan Sundell from New Hampshire discovering last week that everything she'd seen on the news is real (and probably worse). All of the waters from Pensacola to the Florida state line are now under a health advisory.

The bright spot? Mississippi won't be hurt quite as bad (although it's taking a beating) because people love the casinos. If one corporation has screwed up your world, simply give your money to another. Just like the Founders intended over two centuries ago.