I was up late reading the New Yorker, Feb 9&16, ‘The Ponzi State’ by George Packer. Wow–where is Swamp Thing when you need him?
It was a very scary picture of what happens when you run a state around low taxes, ‘freedom’ from regulation, and neglecting to consider the long-term welfare of the working class.
I know that we’re all middle-class here in America, whether we make $10 an hour or $500,000 a year but we have to get over that. Most of us work. Jobs. We depend on a paycheck.
The profiles of couples who were able to support their children as bank tellers or construction workers, and who now are jobless with only a high-school education are chilling. That could be a lot of us if things continue to deteriorate.
These people who are willing, in fact, desperate to work need health insurance protection, job retraining and temporary employment to get through these times, but that would mean a change of direction.
I was wondering too, why high schools don’t teach financial literacy the way they teach algebra and geometry. Why don’t they teach civics and how to critically evaluate the tide of advertising that comes at us every day? Sex education is good and necessary, maybe we can get up the nerve to open up the topic of money some time soon.
Governor Carcieri was on the radio calling for more tax breaks for upper income Rhode Islanders. He should take a drive around greater Providence and see all the ‘for rent’ and ‘for sale’ signs. Florida had a trickle-down philosophy of government–watch what is happening there and ask if you want Rhode Island to go the same way. It’s colder here too.