An Economy In Shambles
Sixty three thousand jobs evaporated last month. This was the second straight month of jobs being lost. This is on top of the foreclosure mess that has people losing their houses in record numbers, shrinking credit market, record numbers of bankruptcy, the dollar is dropping as if it’s wearing concrete galoshes, and stagnant wages. The Bush administration used to be able to say that it was creating jobs for America. For every decent wage job lost there was a job popping up at Wal-Mart or at an Exxon/Mobil station with their three dollars a gallon gasoline and forty billion dollars of net profit. But the reality is that a number of Americans who don’t work for Exxon/Mobile or Wal-Mart or in the Bush administration have to deal with this mess we are living in. When the President was asked a question about the fact that some economic and oil analyst are predicting four dollar a gallon gasoline, Mr. Bush feigned surprise and ignorance saying that nobody told him that four dollar a gallon gasoline was to be expected. The President of the United States didn’t know that oil trading at one hundred five dollars a barrel during off peak season could lead to four dollars a gallon during peak season. Who voted to put this man in office…not once but twice?
However, even with the perfect economic storm coming together on the horizon the President and his administration insist that the country is not in an economic recession but in an economic slow down. Once everybody gets their six to twelve hundred dollar checks everything is going to be right again. A six hundred dollar check is going to replace somebody’s job. Either the President is seriously out of touch or he is truly inept or some incredibly bad combination of the two.
I have not forgotten the fact that I’m talking about the son of Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush paid a visit to the Astrodome down in Houston, Texas to offer some moral support to all of the people who had to be evacuated after hurricane Katrina and lost practically everything they owned. These people were told to leave but couldn’t or wouldn’t for whatever reason. These people spent four days in the southern Louisiana sun without food, water, medicine, or anything else that people need to survive. Mrs. Bush stands on the floor of the Astrodome with all of these people around her wondering how they were going to get on with their lives and makes some of the coldest, couldn’t care any less comments from someone who was supposed to be in a position of leadership in this country. The former First Lady said that these people “were underprivileged anyway so this is working very well for them.” The woman was, is totally heartless and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
The Bush administration has been doing its best to screw the American public almost from day one of its residency in the White House. The oil policy of this administration was shaped by a secret panel of oil executives. And now oil companies are making money hand over fist and the American public is about to start paying four dollars a gallon for gasoline. The President authorizes a war on one of OPEC’s major oil producers and disrupts now the price of a barrel of oil is breaking through all kinds of records on a weekly basis that has oil companies reaping all kinds of windfalls. And as a former oil man, as a man who grew up in a family who earned its living from the oil industry, George Bush understands better than most what it takes to make money from oil. The President may try to pretend he’s stupid and has no clue as to what is happening and who is paying for it and who is being paid for it. He’s laid down plenty of material for people to just dismiss his antics as nothing more than a lack of intellect. But the President could not have become President without some kind of intellect.
The President and his Republican controlled United States Congress changed bankruptcy laws to keep people from using the court system to get out of their crushing debt. Now, the court will provide no relief to people who have made the mistake of getting in over their heads financially speaking. Tax breaks to all Americans that save the average tax payer fifty dollars can net the average billionaire hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mr. Bush would veto an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP because there was too much of a risk that a child from somebody who really could afford to pay the premiums for their child’s health insurance might get in. The risk that somebody might get around paying to enrich the insurance company is just too great. It’s actually better if no extension of healthcare is made and nobody gets the benefit. And in all honesty the price of oil isn’t going up. The value of the dollar is plummeting and oil is traded in dollars. Compared to the rest of the world’s currency, the price of oil has remained relatively stable.
Everyone says that the key to a successful recovery is the American consumer. When America was attacked the President went on the air asking the American consumer to shop, spend money, and do what we could to keep the economy going. The average consumer does his or her share to keep things going. But then who is supporting the average consumer? Don’t get me wrong. The six hundred to twelve hundred dollar tax rebate is a nice little surprise. But it is much too little much too late. The rebate to come is just scratching the surface. In order for the average consumer to help keep the economy strong the economy needs to work to keep the average consumer strong, to have one without the other will only lead to problems.
A person can insist that this economy is strong and everyone is doing well and there is no recession. But the fact of the matter is that the average consumer knows so much better. We don’t have to sit around and wait for some economist to stamp his seal of approval on whether or not the economy is in trouble or not. The average consumer already knows what the deal is. All the arguments as to whether or not the economy is in good shape don’t mean anything to a consumer who knows that his or her personal economy is in ruin.