Saturday, February 28, 2009

VP Biden's Task Force on the Middle Class

Nobody messes with Joe! No sir, not our Vice President--we heard it directly from the President's mouth during his State of the Union-like address last week. VP Biden is now going to lead a Task Force on the Middle Class, which had its inaugural meeting last week in Philly (take a look at the photo of Arlen Specter joyfully embracing Joe Biden--you'll see more of it in Specter's next primary battle, I can assure you of that).

The article contains an interesting discussion of whether the President's tax cuts on "the rich" will be sufficient to fund his ambitions (seems both Dems and Repubs agree the answer, and there is an equally interesting discussion of just what makes someone "middle class"--do we measure it by income, net worth, or by numbers of people?

What does frost my pumpkin though, is a statement in the article by a John Russo of the Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State. "Working people have a healthy resentment, and it's not just envy. It's that this has been going on for the past few decades for them, and no one gave a [expletive] when this was about blue-collar workers," he said. "You talk to working people, and they say, 'We understand this. We've been through this. Now the others are starting to know the pain, too. But where were they when we needed them?' "

Who are these "working people", and why am I not considered a "working" person? Or am I? I pretty much feel like I work my ass off Monday through Friday, and then a good many Saturdays and Sundays too. I spend a ridiculous amount of time on airplanes and in work-related "events" during what most people would consider my "off time"--so why is it that only the guy punching a clock at the valve-manufacturing plant gets called a "working" person?


Smoothfur said...

Calling it a "Task Force on the Middle Class" rather than a Task Force FOR the Middle Class may be a Freudian slip that speaks volumes.

Mudge said...

I predict that Rep Sestak will be challenging Sen Specter in his next run. And I hope it is a landslide whoever runs against this Republican imposter.

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought as I got your question about what constitutes "working."

I recognize the value in all sorts of work. While there are some jobs I would prefer not to do, I am glad there is someone who does do them.

I don't assume that because someone works with his hands, he is stupid. However, when someone who works with his hands says things like this, I begin to suspect that he is.

Sure this wrench turner isn't held in the highest of esteem in a society that admittedly has many priorities out of whack. Life isn't fair. Not everyone gets a trophy.
Didn't get mentored? In this case, feel free to truly blame your parents. They shouldn't have had children if they weren't adequately prepared to make do and still instill good values and the like.

That having been said, I'd still wager that these folks have it better than a lot of people in this world.

I'll bet, by comparison, some of these wankers still have it a thousandfold better than some Chinese factory worker who just got laid off from the $1/hr job, for which he had to travel hundreds of miles away from his ancestral home, because we screwed it [the global economy] all up.

Doc Milnamo said...

Hmmm, the "Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State". I'll bet Youngstown State also has a "Leisure Studies" program/center.

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