Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Where Does the Money Go?

I don't write very often about money or the statistics involved. Thinking about billions of dollars gives me a headache and trying to wade through chart after chart causes my eyes to glaze over. I begin to look like seannc's little guy with his head banging on the keyboard.

It's usually enough for me to know that my husband couldn't fill two needed prescriptions because Humana (Medi-care) didn't cover them, the cost totaled over $800/month (more than his Social Security check), and we're considered over income for the state Medicaid program. I know I've written about that before so I won't belabor it here.

The cost of prescription medications is ridiculous but that's a subject for another time.

I know, in theory, that the gap keeps widening between the very rich at the top of the ladder and all the rest of us. I know the salaries and perks received by CEO's are obscene. I know that wages for most of us haven't kept pace with inflation, jobs are being outsourced, the fringe benefits I took for granted when I was still working have been systematically eliminated (for example, my health care was paid by my company with a very small charge that covered all dependents).

Anyhow, while I was looking through my morning email, I came across this article from Alternet that spells it out in words even I can understand.

It doesn't say much that all of us don't already know but it's put together very well.

And it's disgraceful.

Here's just one example from the article, talking about working families.

It's not that they're not working hard. The typical U.S. family puts in more time at work than ever before. The typical married couple works an additional 13.3 weeks per year--533 hours--compared to a generation ago. But even though families are working more, their incomes have grown by only a third between 1973 and the present. That's much worse than the generation before -- between 1947 and 1973, the typical married-couple family saw their income rise by 115 percent. And that was often just one parent's income -- this was a period when most families could afford a stay-at-home mother. Of course, fewer families have that luxury today -- those with stay-at-home moms have the same inflation-adjusted median income in 2007 as they did in 1973 -- they haven't gained a penny from three decades of growth.

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