Hey Oregon! It’s All In Your Head

Earlier today, John McCain’s top economic advisor, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, described the current recession as being “mental” and that we, as Americans, had “sort of become a nation of whiners.”

How charming.

So, when I filled up my husband’s hybrid and the total was $59, (the most I’ve ever paid for gas), I guess the shock was just in my head.

When I now spend over $200 a week for food for a family of four, I’m just kinda imagining what a total bummer it is.

But I’m one of the lucky ones…I can afford food and gas. In Oregon, 19% of all adults with children are at the poverty level, over 350,000 people. Today in Oregon, nearly 2,000 more people are unemployed than a year ago. Nearly 4,000 more people in Oregon are on food stamps. And there are 6,700 fewer jobs available in the state than there were a year ago. I’m probably just whining when I talk about these statistics, though.

And there’s more. Families USA estimates that over 20% of Oregonians have no health insurance. Of that 20%, one person A DAY died because of lack of insurance. Yes, one Oregonian a day died because he or she could not afford to go to the doctor.

But, you know, it’s probably just all in their head. They were all probably just a bunch of whiners.


2 Responses

  1. As an Oregonian, also, I concur that the situation is dire.

    We are a small state and have a better sense of Community than many others, but there still is needless rural-urban bickering that holds us back.

    And, even for professionals, the job situation here is really difficult. As a personal example, I have a relative, with 3 ivy-league university degrees, who has been unemployed 3 of the last 4 years, and the whole family went into no health-care, too. Only year 3 was available as a term-limited job, with no carry-over potential.

    And, believe it or not, my relative never qualified for any social, health or food program, even after bankruptcy and foreclosure. Serious stuff, and real food for thought as to how badly off those who DO qualify must be!


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