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LJWorld.com weblogs 'Nuff Said

Brother Can You Spare A Tax Cut?

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Today's middle-class workers are experiencing, like never before, job instability related to international competition, technological advances and outsourcing of jobs to China and India. Yet, our belief in the American Dream spurs us to strive ever harder in the face of greater unemployment levels; rising healthcare and energy costs; and the current housing crisis.Until recently, our economy has experienced a rise in overall growth and productivity; some say due to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Many businesses have experienced record profits while the middle class worker has seen decreases in wages and skyrocketing healthcare and energy costs. For some of these workers, the promised trickle down effect has come too late. Recently, talk of a recession has the stock markets falling and Washington considering an economic stimulus package. That has lobbyists and special interest groups scrambling to grab a piece of the pie, while Democrats and Republicans fight over economic ideological differences. Back in the real world more and more Americans are falling below the poverty line and middle class workers, like the forgotten Everyman in E. Y. Harburg's "Brother Can You Spare A Dime," ponder:"They used to tell me I was building a dream,And so I followed the mob.When there was earth to plow or guns to bear,I was always there, right on the job.They used to tell me I was building a dream,With peace and glory ahead --Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?"

Comments

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

I am a single mom and have two close friends - one recently divorced and another a single mom also, and things are really bad.

Once again it will be the elderly, people on a fixed budget, single moms with children, disabled, who are feeling the brunt of the economic problems right now. It isn't getting better anytime soon and it is a long, cold winter.

I was listening to a report earlier today that something like a third of all of the people coming back, who have served in Iraq, will have some form of brain trauma injury - a lot of people who will need medical care for possibly the rest of their lives. What are our health care systems like at present to care for them? We don't seem to be doing a very good job now with people needing mental health care or care for their disabilities. Well, that area is about to be swamped!

What thoughts do you have about the election of a new president and the recession?

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kansascrone 6 years, 3 months ago

Ronda and Alia: I don't necessarily mean to be an alarmist but things do look a little scarey. Hopefully the stimulus measures will help. Last night CNN had a panel of "experts" encouraging people in a very up-beat fashion to keep investing. Looked a little staged to me.

All this talk about the market creating bubbles, government printing money, etc. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I know we have pulled out of recessions before but seems like the global nature of our economy makes it much more complicated. We'll see.

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Alia Ahmed 6 years, 3 months ago

Ginny, I think you story really hits to the heart of the matter. A small percentage of our population has gotten richer and richer while middle and lower class families are struggling like never before. In terms of the proposed tax rebate of $800 for an individual or $1600 for a couple who earn less than $80,000-$100,000, how much of the tax rebate will actually be spent on purchasing new items to stimulate the economy? It seems for most middle and lower income families, the proposed tax rebate will go towarding lowering their debt. Will that help overcome a recession? I don't know the answer to that.

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Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Great quote Virginia.

I know people are in a panic - pulling all of their stocks out of the market. Not the best time to be planning that trip to Nassau!

I am hoping one of our Presidential candiates can help pull the recession out of their bag of tricks.

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