A new year has begun.
Unfortunately, the new year in the United States looks, in many ways, a lot like the old year.
For example, according to U.S. News and World Report, the vaunted U.S. economic recovery touted by that great liar George W. Bush is only a revival for those folks who don't need one.
Median family incomes for the average American household during the past 25 years have risen less than 1 percent annually, for a 25-year total of 18 percent-way below cost-of-living increases once inflation is factored in.
Most American families actually lost money.
But median income for the top 1 percent, the folks most of whom have inherited or-if you read the daily business pages, full of stories of crooked executives-stolen their way to the top of the economic dung heap, while profiting from our more and more skewed-toward-the-already-rich tax tables, has gone up 200 percent.
Another way of looking at this in layman's terms is:
You have 30 children, and the oldest gets 10 or 15 times more than the other 29 combined.
And never even makes his own bed, much less yours.
From 1980 to 2004, the wages of a typical worker (once you factor in inflation) fell, while among the top 20 percent of earners in the United States, incomes (even without counting perks) rose 60 percent.
They are not all working harder than we are.
I hear all the time about my alleged enemies in Iran and Iraq.
But the truth is, unless you were working in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, or were sent to Iraq or Afghanistan in the past five years as a soldier or a sailor, your biggest enemy, if you are an average American, is Mike McGavick and the other already rich who prey on you.
And who deprive you of health insurance-more than 50 million Americans now, many of them innocent children are not insured.
And who, not content simply to enrich themselves by bonusing obscenely at fired workers' expense, often run for public office to add political power to their already unfair, unearned and unregulated economic advantage.
Again, according to U.S. News and World Report (not a wildly liberal rag), 85 percent of the nation's wealth now resides in the hands of the richest 15 percent of American families.
The bottom 50 percent claim only 2.5 percent of net worth.
Saddam Hussein was a bad man, and I have no sorrow around the fact that he was recently hanged by our shills in Iraq. Good riddance to a callous murderer.
But personally I would have rather seen Ken Lay of Enron infamy strung up before he took the coward's way out and died on the ski slopes instead of going to a country club prison for a couple of years.
The American rich who have cooked the income tax tables, and now want to get rid of death taxes, too, are my enemy.
Not the wacky president of Iran. Not the crazed dictator at the helm of North Korea.
The board of directors at Halliburton has done more harm to me and mine than any fanatical Arab or Asian leaders.
And if you make less than $75,000 annually and yet don't agree with me, you are simply foolish, not patriotic.
Since when does being a good American require the average citizen to allow multinational corporations, corrupt political leaders and greedy billionaires to take everything you have, while they continue to fix things so that getting ahead by simple toil and ethics is harder and harder?
The invasion I would support by a true citizens army would be to attack and confiscate all the gated communities along the Florida and California coasts, for starters. Share the wealth.
Ignore the Iranians-they have their own insoluble troubles over there in the desert.
Let the North Koreans' corrupt dictatorship starve its own citizens to death.
Concentrate on this place, where some people can afford five medical opinions, a complete plastic surgery overhaul of their entire aging body, and seven homes and six luxury cars, while others, working 40 hours a week, cannot even get an annual physical checkup for their children.
Forget dental exams for the kids; even more Americans no longer have dental insurance.
More than 40 million residents of the United States now live under the poverty line, and another 54 million are considered one to four paychecks away from the same situation. That totals out to one in three citizens of the once-greatest country in the world.
Payday loan places, charging exorbitant interest, are more crowded on Fridays in many neighborhoods than the local banks.
Wake up, America, you are giving your country away to scoundrels and prevaricators wrapped in American flags and fancy suits.
To paraphrase Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is our alleged corporate leaders and elected officials.
The United States should be for all citizens; otherwise it is simply a colder, wetter Chile or Argentina.
Dennis Wilken can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.[[In-content Ad]]