Monday, June 12, 2006
Economic Gaslighting: "That's Not Rain On My Leg!"
As the callers' reactions to a recent Minnesota Public Radio show touting the "strength" of our economy show, Americans know full well that most of them are decidedly worse off than they were before Bush took office. Ironically, a recent story in the Minneapolis StarTribune gives the lie to the economic happy-talk gaslighting:
Food shelves in Twin Cities suburbs -- even affluent ones -- are suddenly busier than they've ever been, according to a report to be released this morning. A state study that is undertaken only twice each decade will reveal a huge jump in visits in places such as Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Golden Valley, according to Hunger Solutions Minnesota, the organization that coordinates the work of the shelves. In Eden Prairie, it says, the number of visits for free food soared from slightly more than 1,500 in 2000 to nearly 10,000 last year. "Hunger is not an issue that just affects homeless people on downtown streets," said Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions. "They also live next door." Beneath the numbers, experts say, lie a number of intriguing messages, including a rise in affordable apartments in many suburbs long considered bastions of wealth [PW notes: This is bull -- the 'burbs experiencing the biggest rise in food-shelf visits simply don't allow affordable apartments], and a widening gap between wages, on the one hand, and rents and mortgage payments on the other. The report comes weeks after one from suburban Dakota County, whose board of commissioners learned last month of a sudden increase in poverty after decades of low and stable rates. The most notable increases in the food shelf study, however, occurred in Eden Prairie and other cities in neighboring Hennepin County, suggesting a wider suburban phenomenon. By comparison, use of food shelves in Minneapolis, in the same stretch, barely budged...We're still seven million jobs short of where we should be to have the level of employment we had when Bush took office. The GOP/Media Complex's gaslighting isn't working any more. People know they're being screwed. Some of them are even figuring out who's screwing them.
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