“The Study of Reality”
Warning! This Blog Contains Social Commentary, Brilliant Observations, Dry Wit, and Rampant Sarcasm. Use At Your Own Risk.
Posted American Dream, Business, Consumerism, Economics, Politics, Society on Wednesday, August 15th, 2007. Comments(11)
The other day the prez came on TV to reassure everyone that the economy’s great and that people should keep on spending themselves into a debt blackhole because it’s good for the economy. The first thing I thought was "This guy’s on crack!" But then I remembered that he’s detached from reality and a fucking moron. Then it made a lot more sense.
Then he started with the standard scare tactics straight outta "dictator 101"…"The evil democrats are gonna raise your taxes so watch out." Gee maybe it’s because they have to pay for your fuck-up in Iraq. ($452 BILLION and counting!) Or how about the $1.2 TRILLION for your unfunded prescription drug benefit. Or how about the wasted BILLIONS from your failed no child left behind policy. I guess the Bush policy is "promise it but don’t pay for it". Any self-respecting republican and/or conservative has got to hate Bush for all of this crap.
Even if we didn’t have to eventually pay for the president’s fucked up decisions, we still have the problem of our "house of cards" economy that’s been growing out of control for years. (Personally I blame the 80′s and the selfish yuppie fucks that Reagan spawned for starting it all. Although I guess you should properly go back to Nixon and taking us off the gold standard. Causing the dollar to devalue by 75% so far. Yea!) The economy is totally screwed and we’re all living on borrowed time. Buy, buy, buy, and never thinking of having to ever pay it back. The credit card economy. The selfish and short-sided "I want it now (and cheap from China)" mentality. (Remember what happened to Veruca Salt when she tried to have it all NOW!)
Of course the prez’s speech was prompted by the stock market tanking because of the collapse of the sub-prime lending market. (Economy.com [Moody's] says: "the nation’s housing market will slip like it hasn’t slipped since the Great Depression.") Damn, that’s gotta hurt!
(God I hope we don’t have another savings and loan collapse/bailout type debacle.) For once and for all, regardless of what the politicians and TV news reporters want you to think, THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY! REPEAT—THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY!
Let me put it plainly—in rough numbers and in real dollars, the average American worker is making less now than they were in the late 1960′s and prices have increased by dozens or hundreds of percent (depending on the product/market). Meanwhile the average CEO is making 600x more than they were in the late 1960′s. Does anyone see a bit of a disparity? I know you don’t mr. prez, but do any of you regular folks see anything fucked up about this? And people wonder why mom and dad both have to work now and still can’t pay the bills. That and they’ve fallen for the buy, buy, buy mentality.
Of course I could go on and tie this short-sided, childish, and selfish economic mind-set into the recently "discovered" infrastructure problems, but I don’t want to write that much today. Suffice it to say, we live in a "plastic surgery" world, where if it looks good then it must be good. Don’t look behind the curtain or behind the boob-job because it ain’t pretty.
I’ll just leave you some fun facts here from Will Marre’s latest blog post.
* We live in a country of 300 million people in which the richest 3 million own more than the bottom 256 million. 1% owns more than 90% of us put together!
* Profits are at a 40 year high for Fortune 500 companies ($705 billion) nearly 2X previous high, and worker productivity is up 48% between 2000-2006, but average wages are only up 1% (inflation adjusted) (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).
* Median personal income is actually down, below 2000 levels (BLS), and also below 1977 levels in real dollars! (The real median income in 1977 was $51,223 (inflation adjusted). In 2006 it was $50,700.) (National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)).
* Prices in real terms of housing, college education, and health care have risen nearly 300% more in the past 30 years, while individual incomes are stagnant. (College Board and U.S. Census Bureau).
* The amount of monthly income it takes to buy a house today is nearly 23% vs. 17% in 1970. People who pay 50% of their income for rent or mortgage payments are at an all time high.
* The average home price adjusted for inflation in 1970 was $115,000. Today it’s 2X as much in real dollars ($219,000). (Fetterman, Mindy. (2006, Nov. 19). Young people struggle to deal with kiss of debt. USA Today.) In many markets it’s 4X more (475,000+).
* The average debt of a college graduate is nearly $20,000+ (College Board).
* 47 million are medically uninsured. Most are in families with at least one full time worker.
* In many communities, teachers, policemen, and firefighters cannot afford housing.
* Medical Insurance Premiums of an average American family exceed $1000 per month.
* Loan defaults and foreclosures are doubling monthly in many parts of the country.
* In Cleveland, Ohio nearly 10% of the homes are vacant and abandoned due to foreclosure caused by job loss.
* Retail sales are declining due to increase costs of gasoline, insurance, and housing.
* The savings rate for the average American 30 years ago was 9%. Today it is at zero.
* America has fewer manufacturing jobs (14.3 million) than it did in 1950 with 2 times the population. SOURCE
* Since 1977, inflation-adjusted medium income for U.S. males has declined 7.5%.
* U.S. productivity in terms of output ranks 8th behind Norway, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Germany (OCED).
* U.S household debt exceeds $12 trillion.
* U.S. Federal Deficit is $8.8 trillion!
Please read Will’s post. He’s always got something great to say.
To be fair, to the current prez, it’s not all his fault although he’s made things much worse. Most politicians are weak spined and won’t make the hard and necessary choices, because they’re scared of the people not reelecting them. Whatever happened to "leadership"? The pols and the people all need to pull their heads out of the sand and start fixing things. It’s selfish and irresponsible to keep pushing this disaster upon later generations. People say they care about others, and their children, but they don’t act like it.
Excuse me now. I’m gonna go bang my head against the wall…
Popularity: 95% [?]