Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Middle Class Anxiety Attack

The June 26 issue U.S. News & World report has an interesting article. I find it discussed issues far more relevant to the lives of average American voters than the now-ritualistic Republican noise about "flag-desecration" and "homosexual marriage". I don't know what George Allen supporters are reading but I hope that Webb supporters will take a few minutes to look at this.

Even though the economy grew at a rapid 5.3 percent rate in the first quarter, and the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in nearly five years [according to the U.S. Government, BLS], the president's approval rating stands at 38 percent. And a whopping 67 percent of 1,002 adults surveyed last month by the Gallup Organization said they were "dissatisfied" with the state of the union. Another recent Gallup Poll found 64 percent of respondents thought the economy was either "only fair" or "poor."

America is fast becoming a nation of haves and have-nots, with rising income inequality...Income distribution from 1995 to 2004, during both an economic boom and a recession, kept tilting toward the already wealthy. The top income quartile gained 77 percent, while the bottom gained just 8 percent. Such statistics reinforce the commonly held notion that Congress and Washington are only looking out for the rich, changing the tax code in recent years to favor those who derive their income from investments rather than wages.

Let's hope that Jim Webb continues to address the issues of economic fairness and the elimination of middle class American jobs. Americans appear to be more interested in this than "flag burning" or a "marriage amendment" -- the issues Republicans use to fire up their increasingly narrow "base" -- not the issues of concern to most Americans.


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