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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Sunday, January 02, 2005

Money Matters

It's not that I've abandoned my grim prognosticating about the economy. It's that I'm no longer certain what to think --- and I don't mean that I've become an optimist. Instead, it's as though a strange new landscape were opening up in front of me, one which I don't quite know how to describe.

Consider this: Project Censored reports that "further increases in the imbalance in wealth throughout the world will have catastrophic effects if left unchecked [...] a third of the world's population will be slum dwellers within 30 years."

Think this doesn't apply to you? Think your comfy salary will be an adequate cushion, and that surely all these dire warnings only apply to the working poor or Third World Countries or the horribly over-extended?

You might want to adjust your thinking a bit.

And what about this: in a matter of just two weeks last year, Burtless' finances were thrown into disarray when Bethlehem collapsed and, adding injury to insult, he was badly hurt on the job and saddled with more than $90,000 in medical bills. Having fallen through cracks in the workers' compensation system, he now ponders a wrenching question: "Am I going to have to go bankrupt?"

Sure, you might not be a steelworker. You might have a *safe* job, like teacher or whatnot. But do you drive a car? Or use stairs? Or ever venture outside in snow and ice?

If you're a multimillionaire, these statistics and forecasts might not apply to you. But, if you're an average wage earner or middle-class or upper-middle-class, they do. The Washington post, among others, is reporting that Average-Wage Earners Fall Behind.

There's more, of course. But this will have to do, for now.

Me, I'm busy rethinking my options for heat, and trying to do so in the most economical and environmentally friendly way possible.

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