Today as opposed to any other day? Yes, I am stressed out. Forget about my personal life, that is my private universe and I expect it to be stressful at times and wonderful at other times. I can deal with all that. However what has been giving me more stress than usual is the economic and political situation we are living in these days. I can’t remember ever being this worried for the future of our country. Through 3 decades of shipping jobs overseas, stealthily deregulating the financial industry, emphasizing a service based industry over a manufacturing based industry, letting middle class wages stagnate while the top 10% exponentially increased their share of the income; our middle class has been decimated. The financial crisis of 2008 and the great recession that followed it ( in my opinion we are still in a recession) have battered our middle class. The conventional wisdom was normally a third of your money in stocks, a third of it in real estate and the remaining in savings. Well 2008 blew all that out of the water. So many families I know have had their 401K’s or portfolio’s decimated, lost their jobs, their homes lost in value and their savings being depleted in the meantime. What are we going to do? The industry that used our entire economy as a casino is conducting business as usual without any consequence. The republican party who now once again have the House are trying to gut the health care legislation, social security, the financial reform legislation and any other progressive programs that are designed to help the less fortunate. I realize that these rulings won’t make it past the Senate or even the President but it makes me worried that this situation where the wealth is concentrated in the top tier of the pyramid and the rest of the pyramid is either the working poor or the poor will become the status quo. Neither party is dealing with the joblessness problem which is a direct result of a lack of demand. Why is there a lack of demand you ask? Because this economic crisis has sucked all economic life out of the middle class which is the ship that keeps the whole country afloat. Why don’t the politicians realize that without a strong vibrant middle class our country is heading down a huge downward spiral which will be so hard to climb back from, no matter how rich the top 2% are, they are not the ones that make our country work; we are and we need to start demanding better wages and also start demanding that secondary education and health insurance not cost 400% nor 250% respectively greater than they did 3 decades ago. These are things that would have a great impact on our situation and I believe that these items are not unreasonable to explore and negotiate in our collective quest for a better life in this country.
So unless we decide as a country to stand together and fight for a better life for all and not just for some we are all going to be very stressed out.