|08-21-2005, 03:10 PM||#1|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
Disturbing news on the economy
FOR MORE than a year, hard-pressed Americans have been trying to signal the political establishment that something is upside-down wrong in an economy that is producing soaring costs and flat incomes. Given the blinders associated with his fervent ideology, President Bush's deaf ear is expected and unremarkable.
It's progressive politicians who should be paying more attention. More than a hundred years ago, Charles Dickens's cockeyed optimist, Wilkins Micawber, explained to David Copperfield that the difference between happiness and misery involves the positive or negative difference between income and expenses.
The signal coming from working Americans (and retired ones, too) has been precisely that. As the government confirmed once again last week, rising costs have outpaced stagnant wages in ten of the last 12 months. The only positive news was recorded last September and in June. But that was overwhelmed by the trend that has eroded the value of the ordinary paycheck. As almost always happens in such spirals, the problem involves wages and prices. The former are as close to stagnant as it's possible to get; these days, a 2 percent raise is heralded as generous and the employee who gets one is considered lucky.
It's the prices people pay, especially for necessities, that have exploded. For more than a year, the cost of gasoline and heating oil has been soaring. And for five years, the cost of healthcare has been exploding, too, even as the value of what care people can buy has been eroded via sharp increases in deductibles and copayments.
Full story here: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/edi...n_the_economy/
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