Deficit Propaganda


As the government of the US announces a record deficit in excess of $400 BILLION dollars, mainstream media scurries to "spin" this horrendous news and ease our concerns. On WB64 locally in the Greater Cincinnati area last evening, Mark Hyman's commentary assured us that in light of the large deficit, it really isn't much of a threat to our economy which, by selective statistics, continues to strengthen.

According to Mark, in Ohio, our 5.6 percent unemployment rate is lower than 19 of the last 25 years. Home ownership is up and worker productivity is strong. What Mark DOESN'T mention is that here in Hamilton County a record number of homes were sold at Sheriff Auction in the past year numbering over 3,000. The reason? Lack of jobs.

As our fellow countrymen and women continue to lose jobs at the rate of an average of 230,000 jobs PER WEEK and the jobs created to employ them are mostly minimum wage service jobs, I would hardly call this a strong economical base. In addition, we need to be reminded that approximately 2 million unemployed workers exhausted their 18 month benefits as of January 2004 meaning they are no longer counted as a statistic. Unemployment statistics only count those filing for unemployment benefits and don't include those that continue to be unemployed and worse, underemployed.

In addition, worker productivity will typically improve as less people perform more work for the same or less pay. And given the number of workers being laid off or let go permanently it's only logical that worker productivity will continue to improve.

It behooves us to remain aware of the propaganda presented to us in mainstream media to "soften" the hard truth that a record deficit is and will continue to affect us all in one way or another. We must remember that coming into 2001 there was no deficit; in fact, there was a surplus. The current Administration has implied that they "inherited" this mess, when in fact, they created it. There is no amount of spin available that can turn this atrocity into a positive situation.

© Anna Webb 2004

About the Author:
Formerly in computer network design and sales until permanently laid off in 2002, Anna Webb is now a writer and an advocate for the unemployed. She co-hosts a local weekly radio show called Waves of the New Age on WAIF FM 88.3 and resides in the Southwest Ohio area of the United States. Email Anna with comments at annawebb1@yahoo.com.


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August 2004

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