The Presidential Election That Almost Was... Or Why It's Difficult for Me to Vote, 4
"It's the economy, stupid."
That sentence--despite the rather impolite use of the final word--won a presidential election a few years back. And it's resurfaced from time to time in this election as well.
In fact, the last few elections have seemingly focused on this issue. Politicians spin out their tax proposals, health insurance plans, and bicker about who best serves the ever-present "middle class."
But for all their talk about the economy, do you ever really feel as if they are talking about you?
I don't. And if there was ever any doubts, the "bailout" plan should dispel them. Count the last several financial and corporation catastrophes. How many of them featured a bailout for the consumer or the citizen? There's this year's plan. Score one for the banks and executives. There's the Enron fiasco and the tech bubble that burst. Going back a little ways there is S&L, and so on. It seems the dominant economic philosophy isn't quite Republican or Democrat; as a brother at the church put it to me yesterday: it's "privatized profits and socialized debt." Which is another way of saying "the American people" (another oft-heard phrase too general to communicate) who end up holding the bag for economic greed and scandal.
This year Sen. Obama actually offered something of a definition of "rich". Turns out that if you make over $250,000 per year, you're probably rich. No one has yet offered a satisfactory definition of "poor." Kinda gives us a clue as to who is really protected and cared for in the economy. There is a preferential option for the rich, whether that's defined vaguely as "middle class" or "earners above $250,000."
As far as I can tell, fewer and fewer institutions and political types give any attention to the poor among us. And by "institutions," I'm including churches."
Read the entire article here.