Spin City, Spin the Bottle, Spinning Wheel Goes Round and Round

Consider:

  • The unemployment rate dropped half a point and now we are saved?
  • The stock market is steadier and rising?
  • Black Friday was a roaring success and so everything is now hunky-dorey?

Who’s kidding who?

Now consider this:

  • While driving to work today, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army said the number of people applying for assistance this season is up 40%
  • 2.6 million people entered into poverty this past year, bringing the total to 46.2 million people living below the poverty line – the highest number since the Census Bureau has been keeping records: 52 years
  • A Harvard professor was quoted as saying these last years represent the longest period of stagnant household income levels since the Great Depression
  • The bottom 10th of the population’s median income fell by 12% last year, while the top 90th percentile dropped just 1.5% (these are clearly the folks doing the everything-is-wonderful reporting)
  • There is a mass movement of 25 – 34 year olds moving in with family and friends because they simply can’t make it on their own

Then there’s the “Older, Suburban and Struggling …”:

  • The CB revised its poverty determination formulas and in an updated report (November, 2011) on the “new measure of poverty,” one in three Americans is either living in poverty, or just above the poverty level
  • These people describe themselves as “living paycheck to paycheck”  (sound familiar?)
  • There are 51 million people in this category, and they are said to resemble “The Brady Bunch” (in other words, just like you and me)
  • 49 percent  live in the suburbs, half are white, 18 percent are black, and 26 percent are Latino

Finally, says The Huffington Post: “U.S. Household Wealth Third Quarter 2011: Americans Take Biggest Hit Since 2009

So say economists about the upcoming year:

“This year is not likely to be any better, economists said. Stimulus money has largely ended, and state and local governments have made deep cuts to staff and to budgets for social programs, both likely to move economically fragile families closer to poverty.”

My point in writing and posting this is not to engage in a sparring match with Ebenezer Scrooge, but rather to protest yet another attempt at spinning reality into wisps of cotton candy that do nothing but poison and pollute. 

Bah Humbug!!!

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