It's Labor Day! How ya doin'?

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Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown

It’s Labor Day! How ya doin’?

To hear George W tell it, these are boom times – worker productivity is way up, corporate profits are zooming, new jobs are being created, and the economy is growing faster then crab grass. In fact, he says the economy is so strong that he can’t figure out why Republican lawmakers aren’t campaigning for re-election this year on the “Bush Boom.”

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Well, George never has had a tight relationship with reality, so it’s not surprising that he’s so out of touch with the ground-level economy that most Americans are experiencing. For example, while Bush brags about the 2.6 million jobs created on his watch, he doesn’t seem to know or care that this is a pathetic record, not even keeping up with some nine million new job seekers who’ve entered the workforce during his tenure.

In fact, the share of the workforce with jobs has dropped on George’s watch – including a drop in the employment of college graduates. Then there’s the little matter of wages. In the “Bush Boom,” 80 percent of workers have seen zero increase in their real wages – and the income of America’s middle class has actually fallen in each of Bush’s five years in office.

Also, while there’s no doubt that the country’s economic pie has grown, the real issue for average folks is the size of the slice that they get for their contribution to this growth. As even the pro-Bush Wall Street Journal reports: “The share of national income going to corporations and the wealthiest individuals, already large, has expanded, while the share going to typical wage earners has shrunk.”

This is Jim Hightower saying… This doesn’t count shrinking vacation time, loss of health insurance, looted pensions, and other “How-ya-doin’? realities. In this election year, you won’t hear Republicans asking the old question: “Are you better off?” For the great majority of Americans, the “Bush Boom” has been a Bush Bust.

“Left Behind Economics,” The New York Times, July 14, 2006.
“Strapless Boots,” The New York Times, August 8, 2006.
“The Rise of Shrinking Vacation Syndrome,” The New York Times, August 20, 2006.
“As Bigger Piece of Economic Pie Shifts To Wealthiest, U. S. Deficit Heads Downward,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2006.

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