Okay, I have to ask...
When do you get tired of this?
When do you get sick to death of a bunch of rich Republicans telling you how great the economy is, and showing you numbers that you know are bullshit, in order to convince you that you're crazy?
Look at the idiots in politics and the press who are trying to convince you that the economy isn't really all that bad. They're all millionaires many times over, aren't they?
To a man/woman, few have have had to go into a supermarket in many many years, to buy a week's groceries for the family on a budget, and had to cut corners on meals, because prices have gone up, or they have $20 less, because the price to fill up their old, but paid-for car has gone up that much in the last month.
How many of them, do you think, have had to purposely pay the rent late, because the late fee on that is a hell of a lot less than the late fees on the credit cards, if they're late?
How many of them have had to forego going to the doctor for an infected cut, because they lost a good job in the last eight years, and have been forced to take a job that pays far less and has no benefits?
How many of them have been forced to shop yard sales and swap meets in recent years, because they need a few extra dollars to pay a bill?
How many of them have been forced to suffer the humiliation of having to ask someone for assistance, whether it's the government or a family friend, just so that you could feed your kids, or pay the electric bill?
Seriously, folks; look around. If we're not in the position I just described, we have been there. And if we haven't been, we know someone who has been. And yet, we continue to listen to these rich people tell us the economy's in great shape, and the NUMBERS tell us we have nothing to worry about.
Look, folks; this economy hasn't been in great shape for 40 years. It's been at least that long since the economy has grown without benefit of a bubble of some kind. Even during the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was president, things were looking up somewhat, but a large portion of that was courtesy of the tech bubble.
But let's be real; it used to be possible for one person in the family to work, and the other to stay home and care for the house and the kids. It used to be possible to get a job in your local city, and keep it for the rest of your life. It used to be possible to do all of your shopping in your little community, and to start a small business, just selling trinkets out of a local storefront. And pretty much everyone who worked had access to health insurance, and really only needed catastrophic care, anyway, because you could take the kids to the local doctor for $10 each, and the doctor would give you a little time to pay, because he knew you. It used to be that we worked hard and were promised a pension when we put in our time, and retired.
Now, it's pretty much impossible for most people to own a home, without both adults in the household working. Good jobs have become increasingly scarce, as politicians have actually helped businesses get bigger and bigger by shipping more and more jobs overseas. Entrepreneurship nowadays consists of paying some huge corporation a boatload of money to open a franchise, where you're forced to buy their overpriced crap to re-sell, or putting tiny little classified ads in newspapers or on the Internet, in order to get people to spend far too much for a book or access to a web site that tells you how to sell the same thing to some other sucker dumb enough to fall for the same scam. You can't just open a store and start selling stuff to make a few extra bucks, because the big box stores already sell it, or will start to sell it once you open, to eliminate the competition.
Why do we allow these puffy old rich guys to throw numbers at us, and make us think the economy really isn't as bad as they've made it? Everything they've done in the last 40 years has served to undermine our economic security, yet they keep telling us it's all for the good. And we keep falling for it.
The government keeps telling us inflation is only 3-4% a year or lower, yet you'd be hard pressed to think of a necessity that hasn't more than doubled in the last ten years. (Keep watching this blog, because I plan a post explaining why this is...)
The government keeps telling us the unemployment is "historically low." But they don't report on the number of people who stopped looking for a job, or who took a job that pays half as much, because that was all that was available.
They tell us our economy is growing constantly, and yet, every community has roughly the same businesses popping up everywhere. Where is the growth, except in large corporate profits? And once the big box stores and chains have grown to their maximum level, what happens then? When the Chinese, Indian and Indonesian economies grow to a certain level, and we're no longer able to buy cheap crap from those places, what happens then?
We have gone from an economy that was at least 90% self-sufficient up until 40 years ago, to an economy that is almost entirely dependent on imports for everything. It's difficult to think of anything we manufacture to any great degree anymore. I mean, we apparently can't even make our own beer anymore.
Most of the deterioration of our economy is due to the neocons running things. Under Republican leadership, rich have gotten far richer, and whined about their entitlement to those riches, while the poor keep getting poorer, and the middle class has increasingly joined them. I'm not letting the Democrats off the hook, either, because they're almost as bad, for even letting the neocons control the debate for so long. Few Democrats have even mentioned the poor and middle class in recent years, and Democrats like Bill Clinton have been far too willing to take credit for the effects of economic bubbles. That's not to say that Clinton didn't do anything right; he did more to open up markets, and manufacturing in this country was actually starting to increase on his watch, and "enterprise zones" actually stoked the fires of real entrepreneurship for the first time in years. But when he left office, Democrats refused to insist that such programs continue, and they should have been much louder during the last eight years.
Stop buying the bullshit, folks. Use your instincts. If the economy feels bad, it is bad. Don't allow people who simply put a card into a gas pump and don't worry about the cost to tell you that gas prices aren't really all that high "when you adjust for inflation." Stop letting them tell you that prices have only increase 2-3% a year, when you know damned well that 3% raise you got last year doesn't even begin to cover your increased costs. You never used to have to save for 20 years just to afford to send your children to college, and college students never used to leave college $50,000 in debt, before they even start working for a living.
You're not mental; they are. And it's well past time that we stopped feeding us a load of crap. Stop listening to "experts" who haven't had to struggle in years, if at all.
Of course the economy is great to a president who's never had to work a day in his life.
Of course the economy's great for the vice president who owns stock in a corporation whose government contracts have provided that company with record profits.
Of course the economy's great for the news anchor who has a car pick him or her up for work every day.
Of course the economy's great for the pundit who makes seven figures every year to write 2-3 columns a week, have a ghost writer pen a book every year, and appear on television for 20 minutes once or twice a week.
The question to ask is, how is the economy for the rest of us? And the answer is apparent, if you don't fall for the hype.