When it involves two cats giving their all in an attempt to climb up the slippery slope of a kiddy slide, it is entertainingly cute. (See video here.)
When it involves main street families trying to scramble up and out of an increasingly homeless, jobless, and saving-less recession, and they are not given the same kind of government ladders that empowered Wall Street’s climb, it is heart-wrenchingly unfair.
And it comes as no surprise when Consumer Confidence Continues to Slide. The ABC News:
Consumer Comfort Index fell to -49 last week down 8 points since the beginning of 2010. This index is approaching the Recession and record low reading of -54, set a year ago. 45% of Americans say their personal finances are positive, which is below 50% for 75 of the past 78 weeks, another record by far. Only 33% say is a good time to spend, which is 14 points below average and only 9% rate the economy positively, 29 points below average.
But for Wall Street to flash its gilded ladders …
Goldman’s big sacrifice is that it could have paid even bigger bonuses.
… Pushing $16.19 billion in compensation to its 35,000 employees still works out to roughly $462,000 — down from the high-water years, but substantially more than the U.S. median income of $50,000 and no comparison to $290 the average unemployed American receives in benefits — if they’re still getting them.
at a Main Street that is stuck on slides that have become steeper and slicker, is to be unimaginably cruel.
… people continuing to claim regular benefits dropped slightly to just under 4.6 million. …
But the so-called continuing claims do not include millions of people who have used up the regular 26 weeks of benefits customarily provided by states and are now receiving extended benefits for up to 73 additional weeks, paid for by the federal government.
More than 5.9 million people received extended benefits in the week that ended Jan. 2, … That’s an increase of more than 600,000 from the previous week…
The rising number of people claiming extended unemployment insurance indicates that even as layoffs are declining, hiring hasn’t picked up. That leaves people out of work for longer periods.
And the American people are standing up to say enough is enough. From the Kaiser Family post-election survey of Massachusetts voters:
Dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, antipathy toward federal government activism and opposition to the Democrats’ health-care proposals drove the upset election of Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Sixty-three percent of Massachusetts special-election voters say the country is seriously off track
Health care topped jobs and the economy as the most important issue driving Massachusetts voters, but among Brown voters, “the way Washington is working” ran a close second to the economy and jobs as a factor.
Sizable majorities of Brown voters see the Democrats’ plan, if passed, as making things worse for their families, the country and the state of Massachusetts… Less than half of Coakley’s supporters say they or the state would be better off as a result.
Obama administration’s policies … nearly half of all special-election voters either dissatisfied or angry about those initiatives…
Republican policies prove even less popular, with 58 percent of Massachusetts voters saying they are dissatisfied or angry about what the Republicans in Congress are offering…
Patience is no longer a virtue the American electorate is willing to explore. Nor is trust. And being given a bunch of populist rhetoric by our President (or anyone else) won’t get us to sit back down and shut up.
Thanks to the Massachusetts voters, President Obama along with Congress and both political parties will be learning the frustrating realities of — going nowhere!
And maybe, just maybe they will also learn the merits of populist actions.