May 2, 2005

Make sure to vote this November--but do so wisely

If you think your vote in the November election doesn't really matter, think again.

In the period of the 1940s through the 1970s, U.S. productivity and median family income more than doubled.

However, in the first five years of the new millennium, productivity has increased seven times faster than median family income.

More goods and services are being produced, but the people who actually perform the work are being paid proportionally less.

In 2004, it took Wal-Mart's CEO 2.3 hours to make the amount of money the company paid their average employee for a year's work.

Jobs downsized in the 2001-03 recession are being replaced by jobs that pay 20 percent less.

Why the drastic change? Simple: In the '60s, U.S. politicians began using media advisers and political strategists to stage their runs for office.

Astute people with national political ambition recognized the potential of an emerging communication medium--television.

Their paid consultants may have also recognized the gradual shift that was occurring with the American voting population, a shift to a lemming-like willingness to be led to their opinions by slick marketing campaigns.

Today we worship entertainers and athletes with a reverent dedication previous generations reserved for God and church.

"Style over substance" has become the new American mantra. Is it any wonder we now have a body politic bereft of even a semblance of personal integrity?

Well, we've gotten what we paid for!

The briefest thought of the legacy we are building for future generations should shame us into paying more attention to whom we vote for.

Search media reports on the performance of those we select to govern. Don't vote for someone until you've exercised the diligence to understand what they stand for and what they'll fall for.

Vote, but for the sake of current and future generations, vote wisely.

Rex A. Hoover