Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 29, 2014

BRADBERRY: State of the Illusion address

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The real point here is this: The annual presidential State of the Union’s declarations boasting about the Nation’s strength is an illusion.

While the stock market continues to surge and corporate profits are soaring through the roof making a few people at the very top, very ridiculously rich, too many of us down here on the ground have been left in the dust trying to make ends meet as we seek what is rapidly becoming for many, The Man of Lamancha’s absolutely Impossible Dream.

Too many people simply cannot make it, not even on New York’s eight dollar an hour minimum without help. So why do we keep subsidizing big businesses by allowing them to pay unlivable wages making the so much of the workforce eligible for food stamps instead of collecting a real living wage?

Naturally, as always, there is another side to this; businesses will argue that raising the rate will cause them to lay people off because they cannot afford to pay higher wages.

Some will have to raise their prices, making some things even more unaffordable to those already suffering.

Both are rational arguments to some extent, but most of us would be willing to pay a little more for products manufactured here in the good old USA by our neighbors earning a livable wage, wouldn’t you?

Most of us don’t measure our economic health by the ebb and flow of Wall Street; that whole so-called “trickle down” theory has unequivocally failed leaving millions feeling more like they’ve been pissed on rather than helped.

We measure our economic health by how much we have to worry about keeping food in a house that we can no longer afford, gas for a car we wish we had, a future better than this for our children.

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