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Gilded Age

We’re living in it. This economy has hit like a tornado in our area – and, I suspect, many areas across the country. For those not raised in the midwest, when a tornado hits it’s not the wind that causes the damage as much as the drop in air pressure. Sure, the winds are bad, but not like a hurricane. What causes homes to explode is when the windows are all closed, and there can be no exchange of air between the inside of the house and outside. Every child in flat, flat Ohio is taught that when a tornado is coming, open the windows a bit.

The change in pressure is of such great force that homes explode. Ironically, right next door the house of a neighbor may remain untouched. That’s how this economy’s been. One family is moving because they can’t afford their mortgage after years of sporadic employment, one family buries a mother who dies of a disease which would have been treatable if caught in the early stages – and had the family health insurance – while right next door a family has two new SUV’s and a vacation in Tahiti and a new nose for the daughter because of a huge work bonus. If anyone has any question about privatizing social security, remember that these huge bonuses are made up of fees paid by investors. The same fees we would ALL be charged as part of this cockeyed scheme.

In an article in the New York Times today, bonuses on Wall Street are discussed. I had to put away my breakfast as I read it because I became ill.

The void between the rich and poor is already so wide – and is widening. We are entering a desperate, disparate era, and we still have time and opporunity to change it. If we don’t, we will curse ourselves – and our children will curse us – for letting things fall apart while we ignored the poor and fawned over the rich.

Here is a quote from the article:

The manager with the Aston Martin [dealership] said that last year’s compensation packages for associates were ridiculously low. “You had third-year associates making $210,000 to $225,000; a lot of these guys are married and have young kids and they are working very hard,” he said.

Many of those associates are expected to use their new wealth to pay off debts incurred from three years of relatively meager bonuses.

Thank heavens the tax cuts will help them pay off those heavy debts. I work hard, too. So does the clerk at Wall Mart and the janitor at my kid’s school.

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