20 November 2008

What a bad economy looks like in America

If we didn’t learn before, one thing we learned this election season was that many of us really don’t want politicians who will tell us the truth, especially (1) when that truth is about us, and (2) it’s not good. We had a candid politician tell us we are a nation of whiners, something the rest of the world (whose good opinion we are supposed to crave) pretty much knows. That politician's former employer (the one who fired him) just lost a certain election. Dog catcher, I think it was. Anyway, we do have it good, even when we have it bad.

Chuck Green, columnist in Colorado, describes it:

So how much will [Thanksgiving] dinner cost the average American, according to the prices that AP collected from the American Farm Bureau Federation?

A whopping $4.61.

That’s right - you’d enjoy this feast and get change back from a five-dollar bill.

The numbers are based on all the ingredients that you could buy, including a 16-pound turkey and two pumpkin pies, three pounds of sweet potatoes, a gallon of whole milk and everything else on the table, for a family gathering of 10 people - $44.61. That is $2.35 more than the same meal would have cost last year.

The cost of $4.46 per person is a mere 23 cents more than last year’s banquet (an increase in cost that could be avoided by dropping the dinner roll from the menu).

That’s the picture of a bad economy in America - stuffing yourself silly with a smorgasbord of delicious food for less than five bucks.

Is this a great country, or what?

Despite the sour economy - a statistical recession by most experts’ reckoning - Americans still are enjoying the best standard of living in human history. We still can get a full holiday dinner for less than five dollars, while hundreds of millions of people around the world are living on less than $100 a year and safe drinking water is a rarity in many parts of some nations.

As a friend of mine recently remarked, only in this country could the War on Poverty, launched under President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, morph into a War on Obesity under President George Bush just 40 years later.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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