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By René Ryman


November 13, 2005

As many Americans are beginning to think about the upcoming season of celebration and holiday cheer, a large majority of us are preoccupied with thoughts about not only our own financial status, but that of the economic stability of the United States. This concern begs the question as to whether or not the American public is really financially better off this year compared to previous years. May we quiet our fears about our family's future and truly indulge in a celebration that includes not only being grateful for what we have to be thankful for this year - but will our future be prosperous as well?

According to President Bush we are on the path to a secure future. On February 8, 2005 President Bush discussed the state of the U.S. economy with the Detroit Economic Club in Detroit, Michigan where he claimed, "Pro-growth policies have helped to overcome a recession and helped make this country's economy the fastest growing of any major industrialized nation in the world."

As citizens and residents of the most powerful country in the world, we must decide how we measure economic growth? While the statement from our country's leader made at the beginning of this year is certainly full of hope and promise, a review of government information reveals other alarming issues that the American public must consider before they decide if we are achieving economic progress or not. Since 2001 the average median household income has increased less than five percent while unemployment, bankruptcies, and poverty rates have not returned to the lower rates the nation experienced in 2000.


Lowering unemployment and rebuilding the economy should continue to be a priority for our government leaders. However, without decent paying jobs after unemployment benefits run out, many will continue to reach poverty levels and become dependent on social welfare programs and/or be forced into bankruptcy. It can be argued that neither of these scenarios will help the economic recovery unless the focus of 'job creation' shifts to 'decent paying job creation.' We may solve a lot of social problems with higher earnings for employees that will generate more tax revenue to build a stronger society. Jobs are needed, but job stability along with sufficient compensation is needed to secure our future.

René Ryman
Denver, Colorado - USA


Note: René Ryman is the author of the award winning book, Health Careless: How American Sold Out On Health Care. Ryman is on the faculty at the University of Denver and president of Ryman Consulting, Inc. She is also the founder of You may email her at


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