Statistics from the census bureau:
– In 2005, 46.6 million people were without health insurance coverage, up from 45.3 million people in 2004.
– The percentage of people without health insurance coverage increased from 15.6 percent in 2004 to 15.9 percent in 2005.
– The median earnings of men declined 1.8 percent to $41,386. The median earnings of women declined 1.3 percent to $31,858.
– In 2005, 37.0 million people were in poverty, not statistically different from 2004.
From another source:
The heads of America’s 500 biggest companies received an aggregate 54% pay raise last year. As a group, their total compensation amounted to $5.1 billion, versus $3.3 billion in fiscal 2003.
If you take this, combine it with the price of a home, and the price of gas, and the staggering healthcare inflation, and the average working citizen is clearly screwed by “trickle down economics.” This should suprise no one.
I really don’t have a problem with successful CEO’s getting paid well, I don’t even have a real problem with in increasing gap between the earnings of the rich vs. the poor… UNLESS, the poor and middle class net earnings decline. During the Clinton years, the gap increased but EVERY income category did substantially better than historical norms. This was progress.
It was so much progress during the ’90s, in fact, that even today we are better off than 20 years ago. However, the trends reversed over the last 10 years, and those trends are accelerating. So all the gains will be gone shortly. What’s changed? Republicans are in charge. That’s all it takes.
Combine this with morale and execution problems throughout government bureaucracies, lack of oversight and enforcement of consumer and worker issues, massive corporate acquisition of votes, the widespread closure of small, independent commercial enterprises in cities (replaced by huge chains) and we have serious social problems in our immediate future.
I like business. I like enterprise unencumbered by red tape. I like low taxes. But we’ve turned a corner here towards banana republic corruption and the end of government of, by and for the people. Clearly, regulation and enforcement should be optimized, not minimized. Clearly government should be responsive to business, but not at the cost of the lives and health of customers and employees. Clearly taxes should be kept at a minimum: The minimum necessary to pay the bills keep the government running. Not the minimum that runs up debt and cripples the government’s ability to execute (a la FEMA).
Republicans live in a fantasy world and they can’t be trusted with our government. So, I made a bumper sticker/mug/t-shirt design, available via CafePress: