IRREGULAR TIMESA Most Irregular Economy
Take away the jobs and the wages, and what's left?

We're in an economic recovery, the Republicans say. Everything's all rosy again, they say.

Oh, it's true, they admit, that it's still nearly impossible for millions of Americans to find work. It's a jobless recovery, the Republicans explain.

Oh, yeah, it's also true that for those Americans who are lucky enough to have work, their pay isn't going up at all. It's a recovery without pay increases, the Republicans explain.

In another painful twist, we find out that under the mismanagement of George W. Bush, inflation has come back. That means that prices for the things we buy have been going up, and up, and up. So, actually, pay for American workers has been going down, especially for those workers at the bottom of the pay scale. The minimum wage is at its lowest, in real value, in over 30 years. Yes, the Republicans admit, it's a recovery with pay cuts.

Of course, the Republicans don't think that a jobless economic recovery with pay cuts for workers is a bad thing. Part of the Republican philosophy is the belief that it's a good thing to make American workers struggle to make ends meet. I'm not kidding! Republican leader Senator Rick Santorum said so just last week.

I want you to just stop for a minute to consider what all of this really means.

Okay. Time's up.

Here's the important question that reveals what it all means: If there's an economic recovery, but Americans are being fired faster than they're being hired, and those American workers who are left are being paid less and less, then who exactly is recovering? Who is reaping the rewards of the Bush economic plan?

Well, take away the workers, and take away the unemployed, and who do you have left? Big corporations and the idle rich, that's who.

How is this possible? How can the corporations and the richest Americans be doing so well while the rest of us are just struggling to get by? The unfortunate answer is that big corporations and the super-wealthy are doing well because ordinary, hard-working Americans are in trouble.

It's pretty simple, actually. Because of Bush's lousy economic planning, the Americans who still have work are forced to take big pay cuts. So, the corporations and rich people who employ American workers get to keep more money for themselves.

While the rich are getting richer, and American workers have to work harder and harder just to run in place, the top executives in the big corporations make more and more and more money. These people get multi-million dollar bonuses while they fire tens of thousands of Americans who just want a good day's work. While their workers take pay cuts, these rich executives drive their Italian cars to ritzy restaurants and take sailing vacations on their yachts.

What else do these richest of the rich Americans do? They vote Republican. They write big checks for George W. Bush.

How come these mega-rich Americans give so much money to George W. Bush and the Republicans when they won't even give fair pay to their workers? The answer is that rich people look at donations to Bush and the Republicans as investments that will pay off big time.

You see, at the same time that ordinary American workers are taking pay cuts, George W. Bush makes them pay a bigger share of taxes. Yet, Bush has given two huge tax giveaways to big corporations and to the richest 1 percent of Americans. So, even as they take a bigger share of the profits, corporations and the richest of the rich are pulling less of their weight.

Pretty cushy deal, huh?

This is the deal that underlies all the Republicans' talk of "economic recovery". Their recovery only works as a matter of averages. Averages work like this: if you make one dollar every year, and your boss makes one million dollars a year, the two of you are, on the average, making $500,000 a year. Of course, that doesn't help you out much, does it?

The rich get all the recovery, and you get to support their habit for rare french wine and vacation homes. All this giving from ordinary people warms the cockles of the heart, which is a good thing, because after Bush's Iraq adventure, the cost of home heating oil is going through the roof.

People, a jobless recovery is like a cheeseless pizza, where a tasteless top soaks the people at the bottom for all they're worth. It's time that Republicans shared the toppings.

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