Julie with a B

Sunday, May 01, 2005
The depressing truth is...
the Democratic Party doesn't speak for most of us that are "left of center". I have over the last several months tried to figure out what this means for myself. What is important? Mostly the things that "everyman" needs. A decent job at a living wage, education for my kids, access to basic health care, an environment that isn't poisoned, and personal privacy.

LATimes recently had an article that described what is happening in the Blueing of the West.

Ralph has an apt description that I quote often as a "Coyote Democrat".

But what sticks out . .the change. . is the individualism of all of these comments. That is what is different from the old blue, it is not the socialist/unionist voice, but the voice of personal rights, to choose for myself.

But that's a digression from today's "cut and paste" article.

Molly Ivins has a recent column that speaks to part of my concerns. That right to a living wage and the current economic trend in the country.

"And it's not just consumers who were screwed by the lobbyist-written bill. The Wall Street Journal shows small businesses are also getting the shaft, as the finance industry charges them higher and higher transaction fees. If Democrats aren't going to stand up for regular people, to hell with them.

Now here's some populist lagniappe (that's a word us populists often use) for you to chew on.

The Economic Policy Institute reports the economic well-being of middle-class families has declined between 2000 and 2003 for three reasons: the generally lousy economy, the Bush tax policies and the cost of health care.

-- Pre-tax incomes for middle-class families of every type (children, young singles, seniors, single mothers) are down, leaving the typical household with $1,535 less income in 2003 than in 2000, a drop of 3.4 percent.

-- After taking into account changes in both pre-tax incomes and taxes, the finding remains that most middle-class families lost ground between 2000 and 2003. This is true for married couples with children, elderly couples and young singles, although single mothers did gain 1.9 percent because of the greater refundability of child tax credits.

-- Family spending on higher insurance co-pays, deductibles and premiums escalated, rising three times faster than income for those married with children, absorbing half the growth of their income. "

. . . ." "The data show that the share of real income growth that has gone to wages and salaries has been smaller than during any other comparable post-World War II recovery period, while the share of real income growth that has gone to corporate profits has been larger than during all other comparable post-World War II recoveries."

In previous recoveries, workers got an average of 49 percent of the national income gains, while corporate profits got 18 percent. This time, the workers are getting 23 percent and the corporations are getting 44 percent -- about one half as much as the share that has gone to corporate profits.

None of that apply to you? Good. Go listen to Tom DeLay give another lecture on moral values. "

whole article here.


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