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Franklin bifocals Sunday, January 20, 2008

[1783 - US and Britain end hostilities]

Comedian George Burns
[1896 - George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum), comedian, born in New York City]

Director Federico Fellini
[1920 - Federico Fellini, director, screenwriter, born in Rimini, Italy]

Actor Deforest Kelley
[1920 - DeForest Kelley, actor, born in Atlanta, Georgia]

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
[1937 - Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn into office]

JFK with Jackie
[1961 - John Fitzgerald Kennedy is inaugurated]

Joe Montana - Super Bowl XIX MVP Super Bowl XIX ring
[1985 - Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers 38, Miami Dolphins 16]

Rising Tides

During the Reagan era "trickle down economics" was the order of the day. It was justified in part by the assertion that tax cuts for corporations and for the wealthy would result in general prosperity and lead to a better standard of living for all Americans, including the poor and disadvantaged. In those times the cooler heads labeled this nonsense as "voodoo economics," which it certainly was. Instead of raising the living conditions of the nation's citizens, the Reagan era left the country with record deficits that were only extinguished by sounder policies of the '90s.

When the Bush administration came in and dusted off the Reagan ideas, the country was in a condition of budget surplus. Predictably, Bush exhumed the failed policies of the 80's, which led to the same results, with catastrophic consequences for the common man. From a period of surplus we have returned to record federal deficits for the foreseeable future. In a time of record high corporate profits, real wages for workers have not even increased rapidly enough to keep pace with inflation. As a result, real income for the working class American has actually decreased in each of the last three years, and millions more citizens have fallen below the poverty line. Meanwhile, corporate executive pay has increased exponentially when compared to the income of rank-and-file workers. In most cases this executive compensation bears little relationship to performance. In short, with Bush at the helm the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle-class shrinks as it loses health-care coverage.

William's Whimsical Words:

A rising tide lifts all boats, except those that are stuck on the bottom, which get swamped by it.

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