Dismal Labor Day News for Workers

There’s not a lot for American workers to celebrate this Labor Day, according to research commissioned by the AFL-CIO.

Besides high gas prices and looming winter energy bills, people were already feeling like they couldn’t keep up, according to John Sweeney, head of the union group.

Sarasota Sun-Sentinel:

A record 53 percent of working people say their family’s income is falling behind the cost of living.

Rising health care costs are eating away at Americans’ security…More than 40 million are uninsured and soaring health care bills are one of the top causes of bankruptcies in this country… 73 percent say establishing a national health care system should be a top priority for Congress and the president.

Real wages haven’t risen in 20 years, but for decades family income nonetheless outstripped the family bills, in large part because families had an extra worker in reserve — women. Now the majority of women of working age are working outside the home, and households don’t have more workers to throw into the mix to boost their income. Suddenly family income is declining — it’s down nearly 3 percent between 2000 and 2003…

Working Americans…[are] pinching pennies and clipping coupons, hoping that the one member in their family with a health plan doesn’t see his or her job shipped overseas.

And I thought it was just me. As a single, full-time self-employed person who recently added a part-time job just for the benefits, I’m treading water as best I can.

I think we are headed for some real economic woe, however, because even the people who could afford those massive houses and SUVs are about to get fed up with utility and gas bills sucking them dry. Changes are on the horizon. And I think it will get worse before it gets better.


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