As the November 2012 presidential elections rapidly approaches and Democrat and Republican politicians / lawmakers across the United States jockey to win American public opinion for increasing / decreasing taxes on the rich, 2% of America’s “most fortunate” are “living large” meticulously evaluating the performance of their Apple and Home Depot stock, purchasing $100,000 luxury sedans -when bored- and renewing their membership at the local yacht and country club; while on the flip side of living “The glamorous life”, 98% of the rest of America is on economic life-support, wondering if the job they faithfully pour 60 plus hours a week into will (because of greed) be out-sourced next month to college educated Indians (India) and Filipinos that are willing to be paid less than their U.S. counterpart to perform the same job.
Money is not evil, however….
Being wealthy is not a sin. In fact most Americans dream of one day becoming economically independent, free of financial stress and the physical aliments that are associated from the affects of sleep deprivation and being overworked. In fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working hard and becoming wealthy, living a life free of worries of how your bills will be paid while ensuring your children are afforded the opportunity to receive a top notch education that will enable them to compete against young and academically gifted adults in Indonesia and Taiwan in 21st century global markets.
Indeed, isn’t this the very reason why immigrants still come to the United States and the reason why most Americans still wake up each and every day motivated to succeed? Setting aside being born into wealth, America is STILL the land of opportunity where the children of first generation Haitian laborers can end up one day becoming captains of industry and innovators of technology.
Dreams of obtaining financial success in a land called America and working hard to achieve those dreams is the “stuff ” that motivates both immigrant and American borne to work hard and to have a purpose for not giving up when work and school becomes almost intolerable.
However in retrospect to those who make it to the “top” and are fortunate to live the glamorous life via their dedication, hard work and yes, in some cases being born with a golden spoon in their mouth, is obtaining wealth through market manipulation, predatory lending and outsourcing American jobs un-American and immoral?
America‘s “Free Market” at “it’s best”
According to current Republican / Conservative ideology, outsourcing jobs and implementing “creative” banking policies are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet Trucks; indeed the aforementioned business actions that has created unimaginable wealth for America’s 2% super rich over the last three decades has also ruined tens of millions of lives, creating ghost-towns inhabited by proud people that aren’t use to receiving charity as a means of “getting by”.
On September 13, 2011 the Census Bureau reported an additional 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States in 2010, marking the number of Americans living below the official poverty line at 46.2 million people, the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on poverty in the U.S.
In layman’s terms, 1 in 6 Americans can be classified as being poor.
In order to fully understand the gravity of America’s economic woes, the next time you’re at the supermarket take a minute to look around and allow the reality to soak in that 1 in 6 Americans that are shopping are in need of some sort of federal assistance in order to buy food to feed their family.
Contrary to GOP and Tea Party political dogma and accusations from right-wing pundits, the poor can no loner be associated primarily with people of color, in fact to the surprise of very few, being poor in America has now “crossed over” even into the whitest of Norman Rockwell’s Americana.
With a national unemployment rate of 9.1% (18% in Black / Hispanic / Native communities) tens of thousands of jobs are being exported abroad each month in order to further fatten the financial portfolios of corporate CEOs and company shareholders. And just like “magic”, being poor in America has for the last decade plus, evolved into being an equal opportunity “benefactor”.
2008 Poverty Thresholds, Selected Family Types annual income
Single Individual under 65 years: $11,201; 65 years & older: $10,326
Single Parent with one child: $14,840; With two children: $17,346
Two Adults with no children: $14,417; With one child: $17,330; With two children: $21,834: With three children: $25,694
Source of information: U.S.Bureau of the Census, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008, Report P60, n. 236, p. 43.
A startling reality
• Child poverty increased in 2008 from 19 percent to more than 20 percent in 2009.
• Blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
• Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The games politicians play
Political prognosticators emphasize that from now until November 2012 the plight of America’s poor and struggling middle class will worsen as the White House and a Republican led Congress “duke it out” for control of U.S. revenue and job creation.
Republican Presidential Candidates and lawmakers are gambling that allying themselves with America’s 2% ultra rich will provide them with substantially more political “punch” as they wage war against President Obama and his economic / social policies.
However, national surveys indicate that the GOP effort to paint the ultra rich as being over-taxed “job creators” that are being unfairly singled out by President Obama is falling on deaf ears as the disparity between the wealthy and the struggling / poor has never been greater.
The question that tens of millions of Americans are now beginning to ask is, “Are Republican / Tea Party politicians so blinded by their quest to win back the White House that they’ve become completely insensitive to people that have fallen on economic hard times?
By saying, “No” to every solution the president offers as an economic stimulus to America’s economic woes, have conservatives in Washington lost touch with reality? If politicians can find the money to fight endless / senseless wars then why can’t they find the money to create jobs for those that seek employment? Or is the GOP master plan (in reality) to create a feudalistic society that is created by waging class warfare against the poor and the middleclass? Is Orwell’s “1984” the reality that we’re already living in? Inquiring minds want to know. Sound off.
Until the next time Louisianans, Good Day, God Bless and Good Fishing.