Came across a commentary I wrote in February 2008 about how Americans were being lied to re: the economy by most our leaders and media. Interesting how all the denial during that time enabled many wealthy individuals and corporations to reap profits even when too many Americans were “feeling the heat” re: financial problems with mortgages and daily living expenses. It makes you realize how slow our leaders react to urgent issues at the national, state and local levels.
Anyway, thought it was interesting that I have been writing about urgent issues and the economy for the past decade and so few wanted to hear it. Many even were critical of what I was writing and pooh-poohed what I was saying. Hopefully, the new administration will lead us to a better place in time.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
By Peter Stern
Too Many American Leaders & Media In Denial Of Our Economic Plight
Where the heck are we going?
Where are these facts stated by government officials and many news media that the economic is healthy and not in recession? We hear about all the jobs being created. Exactly what jobs are being filled by U.S. citizens?
Unemployment in the U.S. is the highest in many years and the outlook remains gloomy.
Another question: How many homeowners are there in the U.S.?
Very few officials and news media are being truthful when reviewing the status of homeownership in the U.S. Some say that most (up to 94 percent) are “able” to pay their mortgages. So, a measly six percent of maybe 100 million Americans who own homes can NOT pay their mortgages? What’s that total number… maybe only six MILLION? Guess it’s not any of our officials or members of their families who are in that bracket?
By the way, those figures lie.
Also, just because more people are not in foreclosure or are “able” to pay their mortgages does NOT mean they can afford to do so.
Even if homeowners are paying their mortgages, for many it’s merely using the “free and easy” credit still available to them, but it is a “walking time bomb” until they no longer can pay their mortgages. Some also use “reversible” mortgages, while some homeowners sell their homes prematurely and at less of a market value to sell more quickly.
In fact, many Americans even are using plastic to pay off their taxes to “Uncle Sam” because credit cards are a way of life for all of us.
By the way, even reliable statistics don’t always tell the whole truth.
Foreclosures from last year have increased 25 to 30 percent, so I don’t know where some of these unsubstantiated facts are coming from.
According to an article titled, “U.S. economy leaving record numbers in severe poverty” by Tony Pugh of McClatchy Newspapers, Sunday, February 25, 2007:
“The portion of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line, and the gulf between the nation’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ continues to widen.”
How can our president and congress provide citizens with more tax breaks and paybacks when we are TRILLIONS in debt?
One thing is very clear: the U.S. economy cannot sustain itself and continue to deny American citizens the basic needs of daily living. Our nation has swiftly moved from a Representative Democratic Republic to a seemingly Fascist Monarchy in which only the chosen few get the wealth and perks.
In short, we are hurting our own people socially, politically, and economically by denying them successful lives.
We must all stand up and demand accountability, starting with a big change in America’s management and that our government provides all Americans with:
· Jobs at all skill levels for any American who wants to work
· Affordable public schools and higher education that provide quality programs for all children
· Make higher education more affordable for all American children
· Affordable and quality health care
· Enforce our immigration laws
· Fairer distribution of taxation
· Holdback on “rogue” cutthroat profiteering
· Decrease/stop outsourcing of American jobs
· Find fair alternative sources of tax revenue
· Provide quality affordable health insurance
· Provide affordable Rx medication and insurance premiums
· Provide our veterans with the goods and services they need
· Develop more controls on the financial credit/cards industry and high runaway interest rates
· Provide more tax dollars for domestic needs and decrease the budget for overseas ventures.
Most of all, whatever happened to that great American virtue of getting “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work?”
While it’s true that the America we once knew has changed over the past several generations, there are values that still should be employed by all of us to make this nation great again. We can’t do that if our leaders continue to be irresponsible. They can’t be permitted to continue ravaging profits all over the globe, like unruly children grabbing for all the merchandise in a candy store.
I look at this once great nation with tearing eyes and sadly shake my head, remembering what it once was and how we all once worked together to keep it great.
In closing, too many Americans, officials and news media may be “closing their eyes” to the reality of most U.S. citizens, much as Bush & Co. has for the past seven years, or, maybe they are the minority of those who have wealth — but “the truth is out there” should you really want to see it.
Currently, fewer Americans can afford to pay their daily living expenses and that’s NOT going to change any time soon UNTIL the voters demand it.