mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Evidently, "they" are at war with me...

I don't usually watch CNN, or a whole lot of cable news besides my weekly half-hour of The WSJ Editorial report (what can I say, Kim Strassel is hawt). But I finally made it to the gym yesterday, and they happened to have the TV in front of the elliptical tuned to CNN, where Lou Dobbs was informing us about the war on the middle class.

This is evidenly his meme, and the subject of a book I've never read by him.

There is often criticism of the fact that the term "war" is often thrown around in situations where it doesn't apply - the War on Drugs or the War on Terrorism, where the fight is against something that probably will never be defeated.

I haven't really followed Dobbs, but the stuff he was reporting on - foreign direct investment, airline surcharges on soldier's checked baggage - didn't really strike me as up there with Russians in Georgia. Does the government and businesses sometimes do things that leaves the middle-class worse off? Yes. Are they at war with the middle class? No.

For years, the press has been eagerly awaiting bad economic times, because bad news sells news. Now that things have slowed down, they are finding plenty of people who were worse off than they were before - a finance board I skim has a running joke of CNN's real American heros, people who are worse off - although many are due at least in part to poor decisions or planning on their part.

So how is mad anthony doing economically? My guess is pretty similar to a lot of people - not as well as I was a year or two ago, not as well as I wish to be doing, but nowhere near a bread line or eviction/foreclosure. I probably owe more than I could sell my house for, which sucks in that I can't make any drastic life changes like moving across country - but from a day to day perspective, doesn't affect my life. And it's not like I'm entitled to 50% gains in housing prices, although it is kind of depressing that by the time I was old enough to buy a house, it was the worst time to buy... and I bought anyway. Gas prices and higher food prices mean I'm not saving as much I would like, but I'm not pawning my stereo or running up massive credit card debt either. The biggest, umm, hit, to my finances - paying for the car I hit - is the biggest reason I don't have as much money as I'd like to. Luckily, because I work in a non-cyclical industry - higher education - it doesn't really affect me, and thanks to poor planning and staffing, I'm getting a ton of overtime.

So I don't feel like I'm being fired upon. And I seem to fit most of the definitions of middle class (PDF).


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