Bush boasts that the US economy has never been so robust
with the Dow hitting over 13,000. This figure shouldn�t be any surprise after
he and his GOP cohorts pumped money into the top tier and the business sector
via tax cuts, corporate grants and a war economy. Bush has been playing
�Republican Trickle Down,� except there is little trickle down. The 13,000 Dow could
be the boom before the bust.
Many low and middle-income Americans are noticing that the
Bush economy is not really doing so well. They see jobs disappearing, wages
slipping and opportunities vanishing. They see folks living in cars and eating
dog food. There are 37 million struggling below the poverty line soon to be
joined by millions more of marginal earners after they are hit with bad luck.
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that with a gain of over
3 million, the number of Americans living in extreme poverty has grown more
than any other group since Bush took office in 2000.
According to the US Conference of Mayors, many indigents
asking for food hold jobs, but are paid so poorly they can�t feed themselves.
Yet, Republicans, until recently, have consistently thwarted Democratic efforts
in Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. The $5.15 wage has been stalled
for nearly a decade and is now at its lowest level in real terms since 1956.
Then, it was 50 percent of the average wage, but is now only 30 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics official unemployment count
is 7.6 million. Add another 1.5 million who are no longer counted because
they�ve haven�t found work for a long time. Add another 5 to 10 million who are
underemployed and can only find part-time work or are doing jobs below their
potential. It totals up to 20 million out of work or making sub-standard pay.
Globalization is responsible for the lost jobs for Americans
and the downward spiral for middle-class wages. With Bush�s support, disloyal
businessmen, eager to exploit the massive pool of cheap labor in Third World
countries, are dumping well-paid American workers and sending their jobs
overseas, as well as replacing them here with imported low-wage foreign workers.
Furthermore, it isn�t just blue collar manufacturing jobs
being affected. Five hundred-sixty thousand 560,000 American high-tech jobs
were sent abroad, while more of the same number of low-wage high-tech foreign
workers on H-1B and other temporary visas were brought in, according to The
American Engineering Association in 2003. As a result, enrollment in science
and high-tech college courses started to decline, which provided an excuse for
employers to lobby for further increases of the low paid foreign high-tech
employees allowed to work in the US under H-1B visas.
The Bush economy is ripe for a depression. Runaway spending
for his tax cuts for the rich and his Iraq war has pushed the national debt up
to $8.6 trillion. It is impossible for the United States to pay off this mind
numbing debt so, instead, China, Japan and the oil exporting countries are
The US dollar is still afloat only because of frenzied
consumer spending, which makes up 70 percent of the GNP, and the fact that 70
percent of the world�s oil is traded in US dollars, forcing central banks to
amass it in huge quantities. However, both of those underpinnings are beginning
to crack. Huge American personal debt and -1 percent savings rate are putting a
drag on consumer spending. And American insolvency has induced some oil trading
countries to reconsider their allegiance to the dollar as the main oil currency
and to replace it with the Euro and other currencies. As these reverses
implode, our creditors will stop financing us and the world�s central banks
will jettison their hoards of collapsed dollars back to us causing the Bush
Dan Merica has been drawing
political cartoons now for 50 years. He is presently battling the right-wing scourge now devastating our
constitutional liberties and standard of living. If it isn�t stopped, there
isn�t much time left for a democratic America.