The 30-year repression, when income rose slower than the cost of living, was a bare economic blip affecting million of people deemed not to matter. People straightened their backs and worked more diligently to keep their American dream on track. Then pension plans vanished, middle management was downsized and mergers became an efficient cost-saving measure. The rumbles of change were felt but their vague nature was hard to pin down, so the middle class did nothing about it. Workers doubled down on living smart. Beige cars and clothing occupied the marketplace. Pastel flavors and shades replaced lively red and blue and green changed from lime to watermelon. The dips of the nineties were solved with free trade agreements, Wall Street investment, social reform and credit card debt. Consumerism ruled. The century changed and what was once American became global. Downsizing became outsourcing. Industrial and corporate deregulation fostered epidemic greed. Profit was king.
Recessions are loosely defined as dents in normal patterns, but Webster’s Dictionary didn’t have an intermediate word for what was coming next and policy makers would not utter the word on the next level. So it was called ‘The Great Recession.’ It smartened everyone up. The government sacrificed ‘for the people’ and cast its publicly-funded safety net around the corporate community. Other societal classes felt the impact of the great divide and were buried in the deep hole rightly called a depression. Shovels are in short supply for the unprotected and no one is on the other end of the rope. We are at the bottom of the fiscal cliff and know it. Our declining standard of living is a choice we did not make.
Red or Blue, Left or Right, circumstances over the last twelve-year-stretch are clear indicators it will take all Americans to change the policy direction of this country. Any level of government-imposed mandatory tax and fee increase, penalty, service charge, license or forced usage charge substantially alters workers’ ability to contribute to the economy. With the leftovers, Corporate America loots your wallet with eternal price gouging to meet gluttonous profit objectives.
Our part of the budget deficit reduction has been paid. Salaries at 1980s levels do not meet 2013 costs no matter whose math is used. We have to be counted as too MANY to fail.
Figures measuring the economic recovery are mythical reality. How’s that for an oxymoron. Unemployment is down vs unemployment benefits extended. The DOW is at the highest level since 2000 vs nervous investors threaten fragile market. Educate Americans for 21st century jobs vs States cut education funding. These indigestible contradictions are served as daily fodder for the masses to swallow. It doesn’t matter how much Disney charges for parking when you can’t afford a ticket to the park.
The purpose of our democratic government is so the greatest interest of the nation is served. It is to be the barrier against forces that would destroy its welfare. The majority population once applauded individual success and saw their earned riches as meritorious benefits. The wealthy preach community involvement and charity but participate only if it is tax deductible. It is their turn for some heavy lifting. All their dollars earned must become dollars taxed. The entrepreneurial bleeding of the public purse must end. Challenge businesses to use their own money to invest in other businesses. Public funds are meant to benefit the public not foster for-profit private industry.
The corporate world is watching. What will America do?