Discontent in America

The Economist has in its July 26th issue, the first of two articles on Discontent in America. The polls are in alignment. Gallup shows a strong rise in discontent in America. When asked “How do you feel about the way things are going in America ? “, close to 85% of American register Dissatisfied versus only 30% in 2001-2002 at the height of the US Economic Internet bust and after the 9-11 attacks. Likewise  President Bush has reached the nadir of approval ratings, less than President  Nixon at his historically lowest point of popularity. And of course, the President and his party seem to be working overtime to earn that disapproval rating with their concerted obstructionist policies in Congress where partisan politics has determined that Republicans must lower Democrats ratings by vetoes and filibuster.  The net result of obstruction – approval for Congress has fallen to 14%, half that of President Bush.
But the both the short term and long term economic indicators are bearish in America. While the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are draining the US of $350-500 billion per year(depending on whose accounting you have faith in) just when:
1)oil prices are hitting new highs 10-15%  above those seen in the past;
2)food prices rise by 10-25% precipitated by a combo of bad weather, fuel costs, and displacement of corn into energy supply  as subsidized biofuel – another rushed “solution” courtesy of the Bush administration and a compliant Congress;
3)continuing health care cost rises  outpacing  inflation;
4)inflation itself continues to grow at higher rates reaching 5.7% and growing;
5)the greedy guts financing debacle continues to undercut the housing markets with a double whammy of tighter credit and declining home values (16% down  but between 12-35% in various US cities).
So Americans, already holding record debt levels

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