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Financial Health of America: Bureau of Economic Analysis & Morality March 21, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in economics, finance, freedom, Income, morality, news, religion, taxes.
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Last week the state of America’s financial health was evaluated from the perspective of the IRS and individual income and debt. This week we will consider the same topic from the latest report on Personal Income and Outlays produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

According to the BEA, income of Americans increased 108.1 billion dollars. I bet you haven’t seen that reflected in your paycheck or bank account. If you are an average Jill or Joe, you might have seen a whooping $788 more in your wallet in January. Notice the operative term might. Most of that increase was paid out in bonus checks and stock option gains. Your monthly income might have actually increases $323, but only if you were one of the middle class lucky ones or blessed ones or ….

Because taxes also increased 35.1 billion dollars in January, most of your financial blessing was given to your very fat uncle, Uncle Sam. Assuming you are still among the average middle class, your net was a depressing $67 dollars. Another way to look at it, you might have been able to enjoy a couple more movies and dinners at Applebees or McDonalds. I guess it depended on the size of your family.

Still a little is better than none.

The little word might turns out to be a mighty big problem though. According to BEA, in spite of the gain, it was all lost and then some on more hamburgers, cokes, cars, presents, hang-overs, houses, etc. In other words, average middle class American workers spent $864 more than they could afford.

Now, we are back to the problem addressed last week in IRS & The State of America’s Financial Health. Americans are enslaved to their appetites. Americans are still addicted to the plastic vision of the American dream, which is actually more myth than reality for many. Most Americans live for the benefit of corporate profits and political paternalism rather than good ole American liberty. Hyper positive rhetoric of independence or personal freedom is a mirage. The founders were right: real liberty requires moral discipline, and religion is the source of morality. God is the source of true religion.

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