Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Soothing Thoughts That Spring Out Of Human Suffering 

picture1 Let them eat cake:
"The nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the Census Bureau said Tuesday."
Great job, George! Put more people in poverty again, did you? Let's see how the nation's tradeable labor pawns played out on the White House gameboard:
"Overall, there were 37 million people living in poverty, up 1.1 million people from 2003...

The last decline in overall poverty was in 2000, when 31.1 million people lived under the threshold -- 11.3 percent of the population. Since then, the poverty rate has increased steadily from 11.7 percent in 2001, when the economy slipped into recession, to 12.5 percent in 2003...

The increase in poverty came despite strong economic growth, which helped create 2.2 million jobs last year...

Tim Smeeding, an economics professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, says
the nation has experienced a shift from earnings income to capital income and capital gains, which aren't reflected in the Census Bureau's latest numbers.
''Most of that growth in the economy over the last couple of years has gone to higher income people and has taken the form of capital income -- interest, rents, dividends,'' Smeeding said."
And how low does a family's income have to be for them to be considered "living in poverty? I dare you to live on it:
"For instance, a family of four with two children was considered living in poverty if income was $19,157 or less. For a family of two with no children, it was $12,649. For a person 65 and over living alone, it was 9,060."
Nice, eh? And remember, these numbers are only about people who slipped below the thresholds, not the many who exist in that fiscal twilight just above them. What is $9000? How much do you think Jack Welch throws away on a night on the town since he retired in luxury?

This is pretty good progress for you George, even accounting for your usual slothful approach to work. Why, it was only just last year we saw the same upward trend, though I have to say, it probably wasn't nearly steep enough to suit your constituency, of whom Jack Welch was one of the most avid.

It's not everyone in your position who's been able to stuff the maw of the ravenous rich with the bodies of the poor; sent the excess and expendable cannon fodder of the trailer parks and tenements to the flesh shredders of a trumped-up war courtesy of a deadwagon load of transparent lies anyone could have seen through except a nation in love with its own victimhood; broken the national budget to enrich the wealthiest while passing laws to entrap the unfortunate in endless, hopeless debt; hid with one's yellow tail between one's legs inside the comfort of some faux auxiliary assignment during one's youth while others died, then pulled the same abracadabra routine in middle age as an incompetent schmutzbag in "president's" clothing; and systematically proceeded to dismantle every existing Constitutional safeguard for its citizens except for the one allowing rampant deadly weapons to metastasize throughout the country.

And all while posturing as a paragon of morality and Christianity, spouting shibboleths and saber-rattling in the best Old Testament tradition, none of which would the bovine American public think to contrast to the institutionalized torture mandated by the "few bad apples" whose tree's branches twine upward into the highlest levels of the Pentagon and West Wing. No, as your usual dumb luck would have it, no lie or rampant contradiction that falls regurgitated from your mouth is ever deemed too absurd for my fellow citizenry to swallow like starved fledglings.

These are indeed accomplishments for which you can be proud, George. And after having worked this hard to fashion hell on earth for so many others, maybe one day you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of that labor yourself.

Cross-posted at It's My Country, Too.

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