STOP CLOWNING AROUND WITH OUR ECONOMY

Here’s my no-cost economic reform plan for America: all politicians and economists who keep blathering that things are really in good shape, if only people would get over their “mental recession,” must henceforth wear clown suits and sit on a whoopee cushion when they speak. This will put their insights in proper perspective and at least contribute to the national good by giving us a chuckle.

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Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
STOP CLOWNING AROUND WITH OUR ECONOMY
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Here’s my no-cost economic reform plan for America: all politicians and economists who keep blathering that things are really in good shape, if only people would get over their “mental recession,” must henceforth wear clown suits and sit on a whoopee cushion when they speak. This will put their insights in proper perspective and at least contribute to the national good by giving us a chuckle.

I’m talking about the clowns who deadpan that, technically, America is not in a recession. Then, led by clown-in-chief George W, they bowl us over with a slapstick routine claiming that all of America’s economic fundamentals are “sound.” What a scream they are!

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Sound? They tell us that even with that little housing hiccup, the unemployment rate is only 5.7 percent, so be happy, go shopping. I hate to burst a clown’s balloons, but that’s nearly 9 million of our people who can’t find jobs—no laughing matter.

Sound? Hidden in their happy numbers is a painful economic reality that’s straining millions of working-class families who do have jobs. These are folks who’ve had their full-time positions chopped to part-time, meaning that their incomes drop precipitously. Also, part-time status generally means no health care, no chance for overtime work, and a desperate reliance on credit cards just to make ends meet. This involuntary reduction in hours is the stealth thief in today’s economy, and there’s nothing sound about it. More than 3.7 million Americans have now had their full-time hours slashed—the largest number since the government began tracking such data a half century ago.

This is Jim Hightower saying… Instead of economic tricksters pulling numbers out of a hat, America needs real leaders who’ll produce a sound jobs policy based on restoring middle-class wages. Doing anything else is just clowning around.

Sources: “A Hidden Toll on Unemployment: Cut to Part Time,” New York Times, July 31, 2008.
“Jobless rate creeps up again,” Austin American Statesman, August 2, 2008.

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