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Mad as hell

September 30, 2008 - LLee Janssen

I'm ticked off. (Actually, there's another word I want to use here, but I'm not sure it's appropriate in the context of a family publication.)

The people we elect to represent us have sold out the American people and allowed the you's and me's who have little more than 2 cents to rub together to be hitched up to a machine that sucks our life forces from us.

We work. They play.

We toil. They raid.

We pay our taxes. They find loopholes and laugh all the way to the corporate yacht.

Yet still we show up at the office, loyally, for weeks and years and decades on end. And we don't ask for much. We want to be treated with respect. And we want to do more than just survive while we're saving for retirement.

Yes, saving for retirement. Many private businesses long ago ditched the pension plan that was the norm when I was a child. They've replaced those plans with the promise that, if you save 4 percent of your income, we'll contribute 1 percent. If you save 8 percent, we'll pitch in 2. But if you don't save, oh well. Your problem.

And so many of us buy in. Meaning less in the paycheck we take home. But all in the hope that a cushion will be there when we're old and our bones hurt and it's hard to climb that ladder anymore.

Except, much of that money went up in smoke this week.

And tomorrow we'll bail out the Wall Street elite, who will still get to fly around in their corporate jets and make so much money that the wages of middle America will resemble, to them, nothing more than spare change.

But we'll bail them out nonetheless, so we will still have jobs and get paid next week. So the markets might have a chance to stabilize. And so that our retirement savings may somehow rebound.

Yes, let's bail out those who caused the problem so we can all survive. But don't be fooled into thinking that, the next time you need help and go to one of those high and mighty banks with your hand out, that they'll be there for you.

The system just doesn't work that way.


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