Friday, January 27, 2006

Reality Check: 'Stagnant and Declining Wages'

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's political capital continues to soar citywide, and you can count me among those applauding him.

His speech to the US Conference of Mayors, as printed verbatim at LA Observed this week, speaks to the very thing I've harped on time and again — we are not soaring economically. All that's soaring is the cost of housing, and the national debt. The American Dream is fading fast for many of us, for the people who don't make enough to buy a home of our own in our communities. And shame on you who says we should move where there's cheaper housing to make room for the rich folks. We ARE Los Angeles. We are all — rich, middle class and poor — residents of this city. We all have a right to be with our families, to pursue our careers and chase that so-called American Dream. And yet, many of us don't even know what the American Dream is supposed to look like anymore. Talk all you want about this housing market being strong and bubble free, I won't waste my time arguing with you. The time to play word games with spinsters who want to protect their precious housing values is past.

¡Viva La Raza! ... And yes, I mean the entire human race.

From Villaragosa's speech to the US Conference of Mayors, with a hat tip to LA Observed:
"With savings rates at historic lows, the average American is
carrying $8,500 in credit card debt. And just to get by, most
families are spending more than they earn.

In the last four years, over four million Americans slipped from
the working class to the under class.

And with the shape of poverty being rapidly recast in the
accelerating story of global economic change, the issue is
moving from the margins to the mainstream.

Families are working harder than ever today, struggling to make
ends meet in the face of stagnant and declining wages, losing
ground against the escalating costs of energy, tuition, medical
care and childcare.

And they’re struggling to keep faith with the idea, with the basic
idea and the defining thread of our common national story. The
idea that in America hard work earns real rewards. That work
builds individual wealth. That it yields generational progress.
That if you work hard, and you pay your taxes, and you take care
of your kids, you ought to have a reasonable expectation of a
good life. What’s more, you should be able to look forward to the
future secure in the knowledge that your children will have
greater opportunities than you had."
This has been an excerpt. Find the complete text at LA Observed.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble