Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » August 2004 » It seems pretty simple to me....

[« This says it all....] ["...by their fruits you shall know them...." (Matthew 7:20) »]

08/09/2004: It seems pretty simple to me....

Melanie at Just a Bump on the Beltway quotes Bob Herbert:

The Century Foundation, in a recent study, addressed the problem of outstanding debt. For many families borrowing has morphed from a tool that, used judiciously, can enhance their standard of living into a nightmare that threatens to destroy their economic viability.

"Debt burdens," the study said, "are at record levels because families have been stretched to the limit in recent years. With more income going to housing and other rising expenses related to medical care, education, vehicles, child care, and so forth, families are relying on credit as a way to meet everyday needs. Remarkably, a family with two earners today actually has less discretionary income, after fixed costs like medical insurance and mortgage payments are accounted for, than did a family with only one breadwinner in the 1970's."
She then comments:
Bush tax and financial policies favor wealth over work, increasing the pressure on working households, privileging the employer above the worker. Since 2/3 of the economic "growth" in this cycle has been consumer spending, as the consumer runs out of cash, the "growth" runs out of gas.
A while ago, at one of the Memphis blogger bashes, one of our "red bloggers" was crowing that the economy was rebounding, saying that there were more jobs. I expressed some concern that while there might be more jobs, they weren't paying near as much as the old ones that were lost. My acquaintance's reply? "So what?"

Of course, he's a business owner; I assume lower wages are good for him. But what happens to the economy when nobody can afford to buy things? Does anyone seem to care anymore?

Len on 08.09.04 @ 12:26 PM CST


Replies: 3 comments

on Monday, August 9th, 2004 at 8:11 PM CST, gooseneck said

Len, This is my biggest gripe about the Bush Adm. It doesn't seem that anybody does care anymore.

Meanwhile my daughter's grandkids will still be paying off our national debt.

on Monday, August 9th, 2004 at 8:22 PM CST, gooseneck said

I don't think I was clear there. Let me try it this way.

"Where is my money!"

on Tuesday, August 10th, 2004 at 7:36 AM CST, Len Cleavelin said

If I may venture to disagree a bit, your daughter's grandkids will only start paying off the national debt; at the rate we're going her great-great-great-great-(or more) grandkids will be paying it off.

But I think Melanie's hit an important nail right on the head: it's consumer spending that fuels the economy, and the tax policies of the bAdministration seem designed to take money from a lot of consumers (what little benefits wage earners get from the federal tax cuts are sucked up by state/local tax increases in many cases) and funnel it to a tiny handful of consumers. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me....

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