Thursday, February 23, 2006

The state of the nation

There are many ways to measure how the US is faring, among them its position in the world, its freedoms and security, and the truthfulness, fairness and good will of its representatives. Okay--we're in terrible shape on those counts. But what about our economy, specifically, the condition of our wage-earners, the middle class that for decades has made the US so vital and strong?

Well, I gotta tell ya, it sucks. Check out this report which, from top to bottom, lists scary data about our citizenry. The median income of the middle class is stagnant, its net worth is stagnant, its savings is nonexistent, its debt is at sky-high levels, and the gap between rich and poor is higher than ever--by far. And this is no crazy-liberal report, this is the Federal Reserve's annual fiscal report, as digested by an Associated Press economic reporter.

As it suggests, when the real estate bubble bursts, and as interest rates and inflation rise--as is already happening--the middle class is in big, big trouble. Let's hope they have enough gasoline money to get to the polls.

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