‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime?’

‘They used to tell me I was building a dream

And so I followed the mob

When there was earth to plow or guns to bear

I was always there right on the job’

‘They used to tell me I was building a dream

With peace and glory ahead

Why should I be standing in line

Just waiting for bread?’

‘Once I built a railroad, I made it run

Made it race against time

Once I built a railroad, now it’s done

Brother, can you spare a dime?’

Once I built a tower up to the sun

Brick and rivet and lime

Once I built a tower, now it’s done

Brother, can you spare a dime?’

‘Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell

Full of the yankee doodly dum

Half a million boots went sloggin’ through hell

And I was the kid with the drum’

Oh, say don’t you remember, they called me Al

It was Al all the time

Say, don’t you remember, I’m your pal

Buddy, can you spare a dime?’     Songwriters; E. Y. Harburg/ Jay Gorney

man person people street

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‘A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments, a red flag for the economy.’     Washington Post

Although many economic indicators are pointing to a booming economy…there are millions of, hard working, Americans…that are having great difficulty in making a living!

Many, middle class, families are discovering, to their chagrin, that they are receiving little to no tax refunds this season…when they customarily relied on those refunds.

Could it be that the tax cut, which primarily benefited the rich, was funded on the backs of the middle class?

‘Credit card debt hits record high….The average American has a credit card balance of $6,375, up nearly 3 percent from last year, according to Experian’s annual study of credit and debt in America.  Total credit card debt has reached its highest point ever, surpassing $1 trillion in 2017, according to a separate report by the Federal Reserve.’     CNBC.com

bank blur business buy

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The United States national debt has reached 22 trillion dollars.  This is up 3 trillion in the past two years.

The last tax cut added 1 trillion dollars to the national debt!

‘According to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone.  The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt.’

 

Those economic prognosticators and experts that contend that our economy has recovered and all is well…do not see the suffering people that I see on a daily basis!

In all of our, little Southern Illinois, communities we have either food kitchens of food pantry’s…and the people that are in line for some food…are, often, not homeless…but rather people that have jobs.

All too often…the poor of the land are invisible to our political leaders.

I, vividly, recall when former president Reagan, who I voted for, said that he knew that there were people who were making as little as 30 thousand dollars per year and trying to survive….when at the time of his, demonstrated understanding of the poor, I was making well under 30K!

man hat usa portrait

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Many of our grade schools and high schools provide both breakfast and lunch to their students…and have food programs for the summer recess…as these are the only meals that many of the students receive.

Often students do not eat a meal from the close of school on Friday until Monday morning.

‘As of 2007, the richest 1% held about 38% of all privately held wealth in the United States, while the bottom 90% held 73.2% of all debt.  According to the New York Times, the richest 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 90%.’     Wealth inequality in the United States

I began life, solidly, in the middle class.  We had a beautiful home in the Chicago suburb of Sauk Village and the environment was much like the, ‘Leave It To Beaver, television show.

Suddenly, my mom and dad began having martial problems and we moved to Southern Illinois…to Eldorado…the city of gold!

Soon, mom and dad…divorced…and mom and I were destitute!  I saved my pennies…until I could garner a dime…to purchase a glass of milk and a local restaurant…as all we could afford was powdered milk.

A family change or an employment reversal or a bought of bad health…can devastate your economic reality!

If I see someone who gives a damn about the working poor or the middle class or the homeless…they will receive my vote in 2020!

I have considered that many of the, super, rich have gotten to their lofty perch on the backs of their hard working staff…and that usury…has not gone out of fashion!

 

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