Over on Pandagon, Amanda has an interesting post up about income disparity, and that growing gap between our rich and our poor, and what's up with the middle class.
Go have a look, and a think.
This issue is particularly itchy with me today since I took the kid to the oral surgeon yesterday. We were at the dentist last month, and the orthodonist two weeks ago. She's only eight, you know. But my, her jaws. Anyway, she needs two teeth extracted and she has a tongue-tie, apparently, though you wouldn't know it from the rate she talks, and then in June the orthodontist is going to start doing major work...we have insurance. Oh, yes. But you know insurance these days. It's useless.
Longtime readers of this blog will know I went through bankruptcy over medical issues just two years ago. I pay almost five hundred a month for the medical/dental coverage I have now. That's just for the coverage. That doesn't begin to address co-pays and drugs, which I also pay for. I'm not pleased to find out how little of the surgery is going to be covered -- almost none of it, as it develops. It will cost over a thousand dollars to extract two teeth and clip her lingual frenum, and I have to pay for almost seven hundred of that.
Someone remind me again why socialized medicine is a bad idea.
Which is not my main point. My main point -- and I do have one -- is besides my massive health insurance bills, relative to my income, my huge medical expenses, relative to my income, my giant tax bills, relative to my income (nine thousand to the Federal government last year, seven thousand to the state, who knows what in sales taxes, because who can keep track), I have all these incidental expenses, added on: three dollar a gallon gasoline, thanks to some stupid Iraqi war; food prices that skyrocket, thanks to the three-dollar gasoline; an electric bill that was suddenly, last summer, in the triple digits, thanks to the skyrocketing cost of fuel; and what am I, the squeezed middle class, going to do about this?
Take money out of my trust fund? Oh, wait. What trust fund?
Cut back on labor cost? That would be cool, if I only owned the means of production.
We are left with nothing to do but either stop eating, stop buying something (but what? rent? fuel? clothes?), or go into debt. I refuse to risk that last one again, and what else is there?
We're doing without clothes at the moment, and eating crap, but that is starting to get truly grim.
As Amanda points out in her article, the New Deal was struck for a reason, and it wasn't because everyone loved Socialists, either.
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