Monday, January 21, 2008

You Call This A Recovery?

You want to know why John Edwards and millions of other Americans are angry. It’s simple really, the country has been hijacked by greedy and ruthless men who don’t give a damn about the poor people left in their wake. The funny thing about America is that there is parity, it just takes longer for it to get around. In other words, the same thing that’s happening to blacks and other minorities will eventually make its way around to whites. Whether it is the epidemic of drugs or the loss of wealth, it is all just a matter of time. It is precisely this effect that causes me to not understand why there is not more coalition building going on. NEWSFLASH – It all rolls down hill people. If you are not in the top 10% of the wealthy, you are in trouble. It won’t matter what race, creed, or color you are. Greed knows no boundaries or has no racial preferences.

The following depicts the nature of the so-called Bush recovery for millions of Americans, not the ones who have received the big tax-cuts or the golden parachutes. No these are the collateral damage stories and there are millions of them every day. As more and more jobs that once promised a decent standard of living disappear and are being replaced by the minimum wage service sector jobs there will be a political firestorm. The backbone of any democracy is the middle-class. If the middle-class loses its vibrancy and is allowed to dwindle, then the stability of our government will also diminish.

Between her husband’s factory job and her intermittent work, they made $30,000 a year in the best of times, Mrs. Joos said. Since last fall, when her husband was laid off by the Merillat cabinet factory, which downsized to one shift a day from three, keeping anywhere near that income required Mrs. Joos to take a second job. She works at a school cafeteria each weekday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m and then drives to Wal-Mart, where she relaxes in her car before starting her 2-to-10 p.m. shift at the deli counter.

The average American worker is having to work so hard just to try and keep their heads above water that they don’t have time for the intricacies of democracy and this is exactly what the top 10% want. Keep the workers so insecure and busy that they don’t have time to concern themselves with the business of democracy. Every day there are more Americans placed in these tenuous positions of having to decide how they are going to make ends meet. It is no longer the illegals or the minorities, but mainstream Americans are having to move back home at middle-age or downgrading their life-styles.

It is not a lack of hard work that has placed them in these positions, but a pattern of corporate greed and a race to the bottom of the wage ladder. In an effort to maximize profits, jobs are being moved to the lowest wage earner countries that are stable enough to sustain their slave workforces. While all this is taking place the politicians and the “experts” are saying don’t worry, be happy. We don’t need those jobs anyway, we will replace them with new better jobs. Tell that to Jeffrey Evans, who now lives with his mother at 49 because his factory job laid him off and now he is working for half as much at one of these “better jobs”, or the wife that has to take on a second job.

Mr. Evans said that moving back into the home where he grew up, after decades of independence, was a stinging reminder that “I lost everything I worked for all my life.”

His mother, Shirley Sheline, 73, had worked 28 years at the same auto parts plant, and shares his dismay. “Can you believe it, a grown man forced to move back with his mother,” she said.

There is growing disappointment for millions of Americans as they watch their standard of living drop precipitously, while at the same time the corporate class standard of living continues to rise. They are no longer buying into the rising tide or trickle down economic garbage they are being fed. There is a trickle coming down all right, but it isn’t economic prosperity, it’s someone pissing on them. The bottom is about to fall out of this economy. The banks and Wall Street have built a house of cards that is about to collapse and it will take with it the dreams and futures of a great many Americans. They have layered so much false paper in their business practices that they now have to go begging from foreign investors to put value back into the economy.

Now more than ever we need someone to step up and face down the greedy. It is time for America to be told some hard truths, the jobs that we are hemorrhaging are not coming back. We need to come up with jobs that provide living wages and a decent standard of living. These jobs can and should come from our efforts to detox ourselves from the current sources of energy. This task will not be easy because the current crop of CEO’s are too greedy and short-sighted to willingly give up their cash cow which is predicated on our current sources of energy. They no longer should be given a choice, it is time for the government to lead with either the carrot or the stick.


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