Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sen. Webb on America's Economic Divide

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a former Republican, gave the Democratic response to President's Bush's State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Like Bush, Webb touched on a number of important issues, including the war in Iraq and terrorism.

We blogged about Webb and the war yesterday, so today we want to focus on the nation's economy. "When one looks at the health of our economy," Webb wrote, "it's almost as if we are living in two different countries."

Webb provided this telling example:

When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today it's 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

This is a fantastic statistic, one that highlights the wage inequalities in the corporate system. To many Americans—including the AltTulsa team—it seems fundamentally unfair and unAmerican. The rich, it appears, keep getting richer, while the poor and middle class fight for the economic scraps.

Webb also cites a few other significant economic issues:

Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world.

Again, bleak news that the Bush Administration would rather not confront. But with the new Congress in place, we suspect that some of these economic issues will become increasingly prominent in the weeks and months to come.

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