Journal Entry

There is a nexus for life style and government policy

It is most noticeable when you visit friends and relatives over time.  My son and daughter-in-law are the great American success story.  They are upward mobile, live in the suburbs of Denver; they are truly enjoying the good-life.  The right to work laws, the pressure on government employee groups to reduce their numbers, and more importantly our portrayal of how over-paid American workers are is having its impact. It becomes more visible as you visit family members bi-annually, or annually.  As business and government has pushed hard to reduce the costs of labor you can see it in those visits. It is like capturing life using time-lapse photography; the impact is ever more readily visible. You see definite changes in the upward mobile.  The cars are now purchased much more carefully, at a greater discount, and much less frequently.  Raises are non-existent and bonuses are much harder to get.  Costco is viewed as too expensive and coupon purchasing and sale price purchasing are the order of the day.  The grocery shopping trip driven by impulse is gone and the new directive is the shopping list.  The loss of personal wealth (probably around 25 to 30%, if not 40%) apparent and has squelched talk, or dreams, of a newer, bigger house.  In this economy lights are carefully turned off, the AC is not used unless the heat is above eighty degrees; showers are 10 minutes or less and thought of through the lens of utility bills.  The real question is if we see the demise of healthcare driven by policy and we replace it with a more ideological market based solution, if right to work legislation continues to impact wage scale,s will we continue to see contraction of the economy: the direct result of ideology and policy.  The question that rises  to top-of-mind is what happens to the families that don’t start this journey with a Camry, an SUV, and a house that is worth more than $400,000. What will their lives be like without that cushion, what happens to all of us that flourish as a result of a growing economy.  The key to success is education , but at $120,000 how is that possible?

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