'Misery' in this generation and the next

July 06, 2004

Dear Editor:

Rich Lowry accuses the Kerry campaign of using a "jury rigged misery index" to measure the state of the American economy. And then he asks, where's the misery?

First of all, one does not need to artificially inflate numbers that come from our current government, when all you need to do is wait a couple weeks for someone to find an error in the figures, and force revised, more accurate, numbers to be published. Secondly, I would answer the question about "Where's the misery" in two ways, this generation, and sadly, the next generation.

My aunt knows a young man who wanted to take advantage of the college aid that was "positively raining" on him in the form of the GI Bill. On the day he turned 18 he enlisted in the National Guard, so that he could afford to go to college. He was not told by his recruiter that immediately after basic training he would be deployed to Iraq. His mother is currently in misery.


A year before to 9/11 my brother had finally landed a job with a major airlines. He moved his family to St. Louis and bought a house. Thankfully, he was not flying on 9/11. He did lose his job shortly thereafter, when airlines were force to make drastic cuts. He re-enlisted in the Navy to make ends meet, but his tour is up now, and he has decided not to re-enlist. He is still unemployed. While not exactly in misery, he is very worried about supporting his family.

Lastly, this administration leaves me more concerned about the quality of life our next generation will experience. I am concerned about the tax burden they will face if we ignore the deficit, in favor of tax cuts for the well-to-do. I am concerned about the environment, when the people making policy are the ones with the most to gain from relaxing government regulations on clean air and water.

And most of all, I am concerned that the rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution will continue to be eroded, since many people believe that leading the war on terror should elevate our leader to a status that is above the law.

The following quote by Al Gore is taken from the closing paragraph of a speech made to the American Constitution Society. It speaks to the heart of what this presidential election is about for me - defending constitutional freedoms in spite of the fear of terrorists at home and abroad.

"Our dignity and honor as a nation never came from our perfection as a society or as a people; it came from the belief that, in the end, this was and is a country which should - which would - pursue justice as a compass pursues the pole. And that although we might deviate, we would return and find our path in the name of our founders for the sake of posterity."

Diana Linville


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