Saturday 22 Oct 2016

The Economy Sucks
Matt Seinberg

In one way or another, we've all been hit by the recession or, as I refer to it, as the sucky economy. Watching "The Apprentice," with Donald Trump once again hosting, makes me realize the "haves" will always be okay, whereas the "have not's" continue to suffer.

The stimulus package, offered by President Obama, was a flu shot; good for just a few months before you need it, again. Did the President really think that his "Cash for Clunkers" program would keep the momentum going for the auto industry? The mistake, as I saw it, was that the program should have only been for cars made mostly in the USA. At least 80% USA content, if not more.

The other problem was by taking all those old cars off the road deprived the secondary car market from cheap transportation. Not everyone can afford to pay $25,000 or 30,000 for a new car, not even $3000 for a used car. All those $500-to-$2000 cars, taken off the road and turned into scrap, is good for the environment I admit, but not the economy.

At the time, I wish I could have taken advantage of cash for clunkers, but my 1997 Saturn SW2 wagon didn't qualify. How can a car with 80,000 miles not qualify? It was almost 14 years old for goodness sake! Even though well maintained, there was no way it was as advanced as any car today.

We waited, until this year, to sell the Saturn and buy a new car. Buying a new car was a most dreadful shopping experience; the worst most of us must endure. No one likes to shop for a new car. We believe the salesperson and dealership are waiting to pounce like a cat on a mouse and separate us from our money. We delay the decision until we must push our car onto the lot of the dealer and we finally must buy another.

Back to Donald Trump, but just for a moment. No matter how bad the economy, Trump manages to not only keep all his money and make more. On television this season, he has sixteen people vying to become another one of his well-paid minions. Come on, now, tell the truth, if you had the chance to work for Donald Trump, would you? I would think long and hard and, probably, say, "Yes." Of course, it would have to be a nice, comfortable and undemanding office job, with a gorgeous secretary and a nice view of the Manhattan skyline.

In Nassau County, where I live, our new Republican County Executive, Edward Mangano, is auditioning for the old "Ed Sullivan Show." He's juggling three almost undoable tasks. He wants to balance the budget. He wants to get rid of tax grievances. He wants to redo the property tax assessment system. Good luck, Ed, I'm with you, although many have tried and all failed.

On top of all this, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is threatening to pull all the funding for the Long Island Bus system. Most regular riders, of the MTA, are moving to and from work. If the bus funding is lost, will these workers hitchhike? Many will lose their jobs. Talk about domino theory

I know many radio people that can't get a job, at any price, because they possible employers believe they are too expensive. How can any employer know these workers are too expensive without an interview or a first-contact phone call? Sometimes, workers take a pay cut to keep working, hoping to bump-up their salaries over time, when the economy improves.

There is one simple thing I have learned, in all my years of life. Once a job benefit is gone, it never comes back. I don't care if its health benefits, money, vacation time or any other means of compensation. Unions try to retain as much as possible for their members. Often, unions or workers compromise in hope of regaining what is lost, today, later. It almost never happens.

Donald Trump is the poster-boy for the main effect of an economy going south. In a bad economy, the poor get poorer and larger in number, whereas the rich get richer and smaller in number. The USA needs to tax the rich, more, and the poor, less, as well as make a job, working, a right along the lines of freedom of expression.

I urge you to form small groups, right now. Sing labour songs, loudly, during your lunch and coffee breaks, at work. Plan, diligently, for a quiet, social and non-violent revolution that requires local, state and the federal government to care for workers, in good times and bad.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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