Friday, December 10, 2004

The Wines of Wrath

“They're workin' away our spirits, tryin' to make us cringe and crawl, takin' away our decency.”
Tom Joad from John Steinbeck’s "The Grapes of Wrath"

President Bush announced two items that should scare everyone, because they make no sense. Why there is not an outcry from the masses is beyond The Misanthrope. (Actually, most people probably have no idea what the government is planning.)

Bush revealed plans to move forward on the creation of private Social Security accounts for younger workers without raising taxes or breaking his pledge to cut the deficit in half by 2009. This is evidence that Bush’s yes-men and -women in the Cabinet are coming back to haunt the country, since this is not fiscally possible without turning the American economy into a clone of Argentina’s.

According to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:
There is, by the way, a precedent for Bush-style privatization. One major reason for Argentina's rapid debt buildup in the 1990’s was a pension reform involving a switch to individual accounts - a switch that President Carlos Menem, like President Bush, decided to finance with borrowing rather than taxes. So Mr. Bush intends to emulate a plan that helped set the stage for Argentina's economic crisis.

Social Security was and is the salvation of many an elderly person, but Bush and his gang want to lower the United States’ living standards, so we can again be competitive in the world-manufacturing arena. Unfortunately, the results will be another Grapes of Wrath era of Joads, packing up the SUVs and Hummers (just ahead of the repossession man), similar to how the Joad family piled into their truck with what remained of their belongings, because the U.S. economy is heading south.

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