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Labor Day Weekend

Front Page of today's P-D --- Census Report: More are stuggling to get by...from 2000-2005, the St. Louis Metro area experienced a 1.8% average increase in poverty and a 5.9% average decrease in median income. Bottom line - The metro area is failing to give its local working class the help it deserves.

Front Page of the Business section of today's P-D --- A federal judge bars Union flight attendants from striking on Northwest Airlines, prompting them to enact CHAOS - that is an acronym for Creating Havoc Around Our System - by having temporary work stoppages on key flights and hubs. CHAOS will only exacerbate the real problem that is plaguing Northwest in particular and the Airline industry in general - a lack of revenue caused by excessive overhead and poor competition. There is no good side to take in this one, as on the one hand, you don't want to set back the legal rights of workers to organize, and on the other, the only way you ensure that these people get paid, let alone healthcare, dental, and retirement pensions is by making sure they still have a company to work for. It places the union in an uncomfortable position - Take less money for more benefits or drop the benefits to maintain your pay.

BP is the subject of a price fixing probe - angry motorists can now calm down a bit - your fears have been allayed. The Justice Dept. is investigating the oil giant (3rd largest in the world...) for playing fast and loose in the futures market, where BP can best be described as an "aggressive player." While BP is lining its pockets to the tune of 2.9 billion dollars profit from trading alone (just in 2005), The average American is growing accustomed to forking over an arm and a leg for gas, something that will in a short time drive the economy to gridlock.

Lastly, Chevron has been booted from the nation of Chad for failing to pay its taxes. Chad is not an especially large reserve (though it is a young and underdeveloped field - and therefore important), and the effect on U.S. oil supply will be minimal at most until this gets straightened out, but it is nonetheless indicitive of the wildcatter robber baron attitude that our corporations project all around the world. As de facto ambassadors of the United States, those who govern MNC's have a responsibility to not only pursue what's in their best interest, but what's in the best interest of their country, which in any circumstance is compling with the host nation.

My point in writing this post is not to hammer a partisan difference, although I could. It's merely to foster an appreciation for the hard working people that form the back bone of the country. That, after all, is what this holiday is about.