While our esteemed government economists are crowing about America experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in decades (which is easy when that particular statistic doesn't reflect any form of reality anymore, anyway), the average American still feels his future threatened by the unpredictability of our economy.
While our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicates that our economy should expand at a 4.9% rate, the number of personal bankruptcies have hit all times high in every area of America. In fact, the average American is now four times more likely to declare bankruptcy than in 1982, which was during a time of extreme inflation that reached 20% per year.
In 1970, Americans saved 8.5% of their income but, in 1996, we only saved slightly half of that amount, approximately 4.4%.
Unbelievably, we now owe over $500 BILLION DOLLARS on credit cards alone and the credit card industry continues to inundate nearly everyone with a mailing address with more and more offers of further credit cards with higher and higher spending limits. That works out, by the by, to over $4,000 for every working man, woman and child in America. The average annual interest rate is around 16.5% and nearly 4% of those cards are seriously over due for payment.
In 1970, a Harris poll showed that the average number of hours Americans worked was 40.6 hours and we spent 26.2 hours in pure leisure. By 1996, those figures were 50.8 hours working but only 19.5 hours relaxing (but doesn't explain how many of those hours are just laying in a drooling trance before the TV rather than interacting with other real human beings or being involved in actual movement). We work harder and harder and get less and less time to live a real life year after year.
Now I ask you, did you learn any of this information through any of the major media outlets like the evening news? Have you seen such depressing news in any of your major "Liberal" newspapers or magazines? Would you believe that I found it in the most unusual of places, the Feb./March '98 issue of Mother Earth, a magazine devoted to organic gardening and country living? Were they editorializing some left wing complaints or forming a conspiracy? Nope, just leading into one of their stories about a lady who told you how to take control of your financial world.
Today (Aug. 31, 1998), the stock market dropped an amazing 500 points due to the ridiculous monetary policies forced on the leaders in Asia by the International Monetary Fund dragging the absurd Global Economy down in a spiral which well may not cease until a planet-wide depression comes about. We have allowed Corporate America and their vile brethren around the world to control our future for long enough. It is far past the point where we, the true citizens of this nation, take back control and to demand that those who gamble on the stock markets must accept their loses as well as their gains without depending on the rest of us to bail them out when their poor decisions come back to haunt them.
America has become a place where, as long as you're wealthy and own enough representation, you can gamble on the future of the nation's and the world's business climate and have no worry whatsoever as to any possible loses while gleefully taking any gains and putting them in their own bank accounts. Corporate America happily offers their stocks knowing that they can just lay off another few thousand Americans should their stock values fall below some profit level that they arbitrarily can determine.
Ladies and gentlemen, you and I are paying the price for the stupid choices made by the very few wealthy individuals by having to work harder for less free time while being able to save even less and all the while acting like a bottomless pit of money to bail them out when their stupidity catches up to them. I honestly believe that it is time for all of us to demand a stop to this redistribution of wealth from the middle- and lower-classes to the rich.
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