Here, dear readers, is another installment of your favorite topic — America by the Numbers.
A recent Gallop Poll tells us that 64 percent of Americans rate the ethical standards and honesty of Congress as “low” or “very low.” This is the worst rating on record. In fact, it puts Congress below telemarketers.
Now that’s low. The most recent Rasmussen Poll found that only five percent of the nation thinks that Congress is doing a good job. Forty-three percent of Americans would rather have Washington run by a random selection of people from the phone book than the current elected legislators. I am old enough to remember the ancient George Burns gag: “It’s too bad the people who really know how to run the country are so busy cutting hair and driving taxis.” There’s probably a lot of wisdom in what he said. So what can we do about it? Let’s throw all the bums out and vote for the challengers.
• • •
Eighty-six percent of American adults say that they are paying more for groceries now than they did a year ago. Seventy-six percent predict that they will be paying more a year from now. The Federal Reserve continues to tell us that inflation is under control. Yeah, right!
I wonder where the members of the reserve do their shopping. Maybe in their commissaries the prices are under control. They certainly aren’t in local supermarkets. Strolling through the aisles in Brooklyn food stores is almost like window shopping in a jewelry store. Hey there, Chuckie Cornflakes. Where are you now that we need you?
• • •
For many years I have been saying that there are Floridian Snowbirds who are registered to vote in New York and Florida. A recent investigation would no doubt find that many vote in both. The Pew Research Center tells us that there are 2.75 million Americans that are registered to vote in more than one state. Pew also tells us that there are 1.8 million dead Americans from various states registered to vote. Again — many of them still do. Now that is real democracy!
• • •
These are the most recent numbers from Rasmussen. Thirty-two percent of U.S. voters now think that Obama’s bailouts of banks, auto companies, and insurance companies were good for the nation. Fifty-one percent view the bailouts as bad for the country. Seventeen percent are still undecided. They are busy watching “Glee,” and haven’t the foggiest idea of what’s happening.
• • •
Employment of young Americans is at its lowest level since 1948, the year when the government began collecting statistics. Only 54.3 percent of people ages 18 to 24, were employed in 2011. There’s a “Now hiring” sign on the window of the local McDonald’s.
There are at least half the tables taken by those young, out-of-work people sitting there with their computers. The manager tells me that these people, with or without an education, sit there for hours and refuse to work in a fast-food restaurant. They want to work in banks, professional offices and government. “My hamburgers are beneath them,” he tells me.
Times sure have changed. When I was a hungry 18 year old, I did everything from washing cars to washing floors to earn a buck. Nothing was beneath me. I wasn’t proud. I was hungry.
• • •
Here’s one from Rasmussen that amazed me. If Israel attacks Iran, 48 percent of our nation wants the United States to help Israel. Taking into consideration that the American Jewish population is a miniscule 2.1 percent, I find that 48 percent number outstanding. I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net agreeing with the First Lady about being proud of my country. But then again, I’ve always been proud of my country.
Stanley P. Gershbein's column appears every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.