2010-10-15 / Letters

Heads In The Sand

Dear Editor,

The Ostriches at National Bureau of Economics Research says we are out of the recession. What a headless bunch of bumbling bureaucrats! If you told that to a donkey in the old country he would kick you where the sun don’t shine. That has to be, if not the joke of the century, certainly the joke of the year. Something went radically wrong with our government and it didn’t start recently. It has been a slow decline for more than fifty years. Here is my take on it.

I was born in the late 30’s. If you can’t figure out approximately how old I am please stop reading now and go back to what you are best at, and that is preaching where president Obama was born. In 1954 I was working on an assembly line in a woman’s handbag factory downtown NYC. It was one of the lowest paying jobs around at the time, but there were plenty of them to be had. Every week I took home $40.32 in a long brown envelope after taxes and everything else was paid to the government. It was all documented on the brown envelope. I gave my Aunt Lilly $10.00 every week for room and board. I opened up a bank account because I couldn’t spend the $30.00 I had left no matter how I tried. Everything, or almost everything, was 5 cents, a bus ride, a subway ride, a glass of beer, a soda, a loaf of bread and too many other things too numerous to mention. The daily newspaper was 2 cents.

I went to every Irish dance hall in the city, The Jager House, City Center, The Caravan, Irelands 32, The Tuxedo just to name few. I paid 50 cents to get in to listen to a 20-member band. Any band with ten members or less was only 25 cents admission. I lived the good life along with the good times. Anyone who lived in America in those days had it good, but many were complaining too. There was no mystery as to how people my age became comfortable financially. We had the tools to work with. It was easy to own a home. Jobs were in abundance to pick and choose from. The rule of thumb was that one-week’s wages was one month’s rent. Unfortunately we never stopped to think about the future, and now our children and grandchildren are paying for our mistakes, and of course we are never going to admit that it was our fault.

We left a sad and sorrowful world for them to navigate through. We weren’t watching the store, because our bellies were full. The wages never kept up with the cost of living while the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

That downhill ride is still happening, and all the Obamas and Bushes since president Harry Truman can’t seem to slow down the runaway train.

What is the answer? R E V O L UT I O N. Do you know any other way? I hope someone comes up with the answer soon.

JOHN BAXTER

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