The Economy "Bust"
My newest letter to the editor:
Listening to the Bush - Cheney team the last couple of weeks, one would think that we are approaching an economic era that has dollar bills falling out of Average Guy’s pockets. Sugarplums and lollipops lay free for the taking along the highways and fairies stand on street corners handing out hundred dollar bills.
This would almost be laughable if it weren’t so sad. While company’s make billion dollar profits off the back of Mr. Guy and others by outsourcing his job overseas, Average’s job choices usually leave him with less pay and benefits. Other companies with healthy profits like IBM are freezing pension plans while some are handing them over to the government with huge decreases in what had once been promised. Millions of Americans saw their overtime pay taken away by Congress last year and the bankruptcy rule changes for Mr. Guy; will pull thousands into the poverty ranks when catastrophic medical bills or other life changing events occur.
An economic report in November showed that worker wages were down, with unit labor costs dropping by an annual rate of a half percent. Add to that the increase in gas and heating costs and the food chain effect will increase prices for goods and supplies we all need. Sure doesn’t look to me like Average Guy’s life is getting any better.
Right now there is a budget package before Congress that cuts billions of dollars from things like medicaide, food stamps, college loans and the school lunch program, while the Bush bunch is out touting permanent tax cuts that go mainly to the upper two percent of our society. None of that helps out Mr. Guy or makes his economic life any easier and the hurt it will cause in the lower income community will be substantial.
While the poverty rate has risen each year for the last five years and the gap between wealth and everyone else widens, Dear Leader must be preaching to the choir about his booming economy. It doesn’t boom in Middle Class America, actually no one here has even heard a small pop.
P.S. After writing this last night, I noticed the stock market hit eleven thousand today. I was curious as to the effect it might have on Mr. Guy, so I asked him if that had changed his opinion on any of the things we had originally discussed yesterday. His reply: “With Christmas; braces for my kids’ teeth; paying the gas bill; buying clothes and shoes for kids who seem to outgrow them every two months or so; paying my college kids’ tuition; paying the outrageous car insurance for my teen drivers and with the pay cut I had to take last month to keep my company in the black I had two cents left over to do me another week until I was paid again. I checked and I couldn’t find any stocks I could buy for that, so does it affect me? NO, IT DOESN’T!”