Features & Essays

A TALE OF TWO CITIES REDUX

The President has taken credit for having “…created perhaps the greatest economy in our country’s history”.
No doubt the economy has been good for some.

For others, there is despair that doesn’t show on the business pages.

If you are working a job at or near minimum wage the economy may not seem so great.
Wages that are at or near minimum wage are not living wages.

Education has always been a magic key to improving one’s economic possibilities.
Unfortunately, for many, a college education means incurring a mountain of student loan debt.

Those who have a preexisting health condition may be apprehensive about obtaining health coverage. Affording that coverage and prescriptions is cause for more concern.

Those who are at or near retirement age may be distressed to hear that the President has proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Further, those who are a part of state pension systems remain fearful that the powers-that-be will try again to degrade the pension that they worked for, paid into, and have earned.

For those who struggle to pay their bills; for those buried in student debt; for those dealing with health related concerns; for those who are anxious about their retirement years, the President’s robust economic numbers are cold comfort.

There is nothing extreme in the desire to make a living wage or improve oneself through education or want to be in good health or to live one’s retirement years in dignity. These are middle-class values and concerns.
Even those who benefit from this economy have reason to be ill at ease.

The current administration inherited a strong economy from the previous administration. Unfortunately, this administration has threatened America’s economic well being by massively increasing the deficit. Further, this administration has imposed tariffs that hurt our own citizens and may possibly start a trade war. Reckless policies could cause stagnation or worse.

Thirty-five years ago Mario Cuomo said that America may be a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for a few but a struggle for many others. Until everyone can share in the blessings of “the greatest economy in our country’s history” America will remain ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.

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