Monday, June 06, 2005

Stuck in Low Gear

Have you been feeling a little stuck in a rut lately? A financial rut?

It's not surprising, really. Those of us making less than the top 10% of earners are having a harder and harder time making any headway, much less can the bottom 10% live up to the old American dream of class mobility.

In today's New York Times, Bob Herbert puts together many of the things I've thought about and read about over the past several years into a powerful opinion piece. There's no doubt that my wife and I are firmly ensconced in the middle class, but it seems that we can never get ahead - never get comfortable. Herbert lays it all out there; stagnant wages, a jobs market full of more fear than jobs and a plutocracy that's determined to take it all with them. Or at least leave it to their kids.

The privileged classes, with the Bush administration's iron cloak of protection, avoid their fair share of taxes, are reluctant to pay an honest dollar for an honest day's work (the federal minimum wage is still a scandalous $5.15 an hour), refuse to fight in their nation's wars, and laugh all the way to their yachts.
I'm not laughing. And many of our compatriots in that lower 90% are crying and those who are "fighting our nation's wars" are dying.

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