Saturday, September 03, 2005

“Fend for Yourself and Don’t Look Down”

Judging by the results, our motto “In God We Trust” isn’t serving us very well. Approximately half or working America is doing quite well, with comfortable salaries and fair prospects for improving their lot. The other half has stalled for the last several decades with few prospects for improving their lot. While the cost of living has increased wages have barely budged, while many jobs no longer include good fringe benefits or full time employment. More and more households are kept afloat by having two or more occupants employed.

A metaphor for the situation might be depicted as a giant ocean with many boats afloat, many planes overhead, and many people straining to remain afloat or submerged beneath the waves. Those in the small boats are envying those with the big boats and those with the big boats are envying the jet setters flying overhead, all envisioning someday achieving their status. No one above water seems concerned about those sinking fast into the surf or submerged in the deep.

Meanwhile, government actions are more and more decided by those willing to sponsor representatives. Districts are gerrymandered to ensure one or the other major party stays solidly in power while economic performance is judged on aggregate measures so as not to disclose who is succeeding and who is failing.

All in all it appears a better motto would be “Fend for Yourself and Don’t Look Down”.

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