HIGHTOWER: A Failure of Leadership

Commonsense is a stranger among America's economic leaders.Wall Street celebrates everytime the workaday majority in our country gets socked. Newt Gingrich says the power of working families to organize into unions should be cut back. Bill Clinton brags that the economy is the best it ever has been. Alan Greenspan complains that economic growth needs to be slowed down.If ignorance is bliss, these people must be ecstatic.If only these so-called "leaders" had been at midtown Manhattan on March 18th, they could've had an up-close-and-personal demonstration of how wrong they are, and how they are leading America to economic ruin and social rebellion.Owners of the Roosevelt Hotel, scheduled to open later this month, had run a tiny classified ad in New York for 700 jobs -- maids, maintenance workers, security guards and the like -- paying $6 to $15 an hour. People from Queens, Brooklyn, Jersey and all around began to line-up for interviews at 3 AM. The line snaked down the block, across the street, down the avenue, around the corner, back up the next street -- a four-block square. Then police started another line, and it ran four blocks the other way.More than 4,000 Americans stood in these two lines in the winter cold of March 18th, many for as long as eight hours, trying to be interviewed for a $6-an-hour job. Welfare mothers were in the line, along with teenagers wanting to get a start, minimum-wage workers hoping for a slightly better job, plus middle-aged men in suits who've been downsized -- all a part of the Wall Street-Gingrich-Clinton-Greenspan economy.One of those in the line, Elizabeth Gatling, 55, said: "I'm going to look the [interviewer] in the eye and tell them the truth: I'm honest and reliable and I'm desperate for work."This is Jim Hightower saying . . . This is the economic reality our leaders have created. What a bunch of failures they are.

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