Monday, January 26, 2009

An open letter to Vice-President Biden

Mr. Vice-President:

I’m just watching your interview on Face the Nation (Sunday, January 25, 2009) and when the question was asked “Aren’t things worse that you thought?” you replied “Things are worse than anyone thought!”

Mr. Vice, I beg to differ. The working people who have been watching the job market collapse have known things were bad for years before it got bad enough hit the people you are listing to. Michigan was the canary in the coal mine and our leaders ignored it. My industry, technical writing, has been bleeding jobs for 10 years and no one paid attention. The textile industry in the southeast was decimated and that too was ignored.

The real problem is that as long as things are good in New York, L.A., Atlanta, and Washington (DC) the politicians and media talking heads can ignore anything. You’d be better served to have a policy board of plumbers, electricians and small business owners to help you understand what is happening the the rest of the country.

According to Time magazine's business section on line (,8599,1873234,00.html?xid=rss-business) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 addresses the government’s planning failures.

At the beginning of the bill, the authors write: "Since 2001, as worker productivity went up, 96% of the income growth in this country went to the wealthiest 10% of society. While they were benefiting from record high worker productivity, the remaining 90% of Americans were struggling to sustain their standard of living. They sustained it by borrowing ... and borrowing ... and borrowing, and when they couldn't borrow anymore, the bottom fell out."

If we are expected to trust this bill, we must accept this part of their analysis. Something that any person working in a factory, as an auto mechanic, or like me - writing technical manuals already knew and tried to tell you and all our representatives. You listened to the “experts” and that’s good, the problem is that you should have ALSO listened to us. You need to bring in a different set of ordinary people both working and out-of-work on a regular basis to include their representative problems in your calculations. And how about weighting your sources toward the practical (those regular folks) and not the theoretical (those experts again)?

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