Greed is good.
- Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
It seems as if we spend a good deal of attention span on the recession, or at least the mainstream media’s portrayal of it. If you get your news from the MSM, you’re probably thinking that the economy’s in good shape because the stock market has rebounded and achieving new heights. That’s good news to be sure, but the state of the stock market has little to any impact on the financial stability of mainstream America. The recovery on Wall Street may mean the stock portfolio of those who bring us the news are in better shape, but it does little to improve the lives of those not in high-level corporate positions.
We live in an America in which middle class wages don’t begin to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Millions of America could honestly say that their quality of life is lower that what their parents enjoyed…and many of those same Americans are living with their parents.
The average American worker earn 273 time LESS than the average CEO
The US ranks 93rd worldwide in income inequality
The share of income earned by the middle class fell from 62% in 1970 to 45% in 2010
Median household income declined in the first decade of the new millennium
And it gets better…well, no, it really doesn’t:
Meanwhile, as lower- and middle-class pay has dropped, the cost of living has risen, making it ever more difficult for the middle class to make ends meet. In the past 40 years, college tuition grew between 80-113 percent, the price of a home nearly doubled, health care costs went up 50 percent, and the price of gas went up nearly 20 percent.
Put all of this together and you get a picture of an America for whom the recession is still raging. Those at the top of the economic food chain are by and large doing just fine. Drill down to the bottom 98%, and the story is much different. THIS is the problem that we should be figuring out how to address…except we all know that this Congress, as a very wise man once said, “wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.” Crude, perhaps, but all too accurate. This Congress, specifically it’s Republican caucus, neither recognizes nor cares about the plight of middle class Americans (or the poor, or minorities, or….). What they fail to understand is that helping to prop up the middle class will ultimately benefit their benefactors- the 1%. With money in their bank accounts, Americans can’t buy the products and services that have made the 1% what they are. It’s not “taking” and it’s not a “handout.” It’s a way to ensure that a rising tide will lift all boats.
Congree could play a positive role in restoring America back to its former greatness. Or it could continue down the path of hyperpartisan inertia and continue blaming the victim. I think we all know the decision that was made.
WE DESERVE BETTER.