Sunday, December 17, 2006


What's Wrong with This Picture?

From where I sit, as a briefcase-carrying, newspaper-reading wage earner myself, the economy doesn't look any better to briefcase-carrying, newspaper-reading wage earners than it does to lunchbox-carrying, hardhat-wearing wage earners. If you're a wage earner, no matter what work you do, your basic economic statistic is "How are my wages relative to my expenses?" Fact i,s expenses have gone up way faster than wages and our jobs are no more secure than our retirement. Net result: the economy sucks. So why are we hearing that the economy is improving? Because when The Usual Suspects say, "The economy is improving," what they mean is, "The stock market is going up." Because unearned income is what matters in the Ownership Society; we wage earners only exist to pay the taxes, just like in pre-Revolutionary France. Except even the stock market isn't in the great shape the Usual Suspects say it is. If you didn't have the foresight to sell everything in November 2000, it's been six years of trying to break even, thanks to the policies of the CEO President. It's been six years of, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" I think the 2006 midterm elections answered that question.
Actually, the picture should show about ten thousand lunchbucket folks, pink- and white-collar workers on the one side, with two or three very-expensively-dressed persons on the other. That would be more accurate.

Still, I must applaud the artist for at least recognizing that the "boom" is illusory for a non-trivial portion of Americans, even if he did underestimate the size of that portion.
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