I always look for reasons to quote great lyrics, and today’s title is from the Drive By Truckers, “The Righteous Path.”

Since the holidays I’ve been pinching pennies a bit, saving for Paris in the Springtime. Exactly ten days ago I did a quick(en) review of my short-term finances and it looked like I had an extra $800 or so in checking that could be moved to “le fonds France.” After dark, I walked out along the short front walk to check the mailbox, its long slender pole-neck finally out of the snow sweater it had been wearing for a couple months. I pulled out a Victoria Secrets catalog, about 14 credit card solicitations for Megan and… ugh… my heating oil bill for $673.05. I’m not complaining. I can pay it and don’t need to re-fi my house to do it. I wonder how other families less fortunate than mine are coping with the rising costs of heating oil and gasoline.

There are far too many families that can’t pay and can’t save because offshoring and the Wall Street theft of 2008 have swelled unemployment and depressed wages. A Culpepper salary survey pegged US salary increases for 2009-11:

2009 1.66%
2010 2.38%
2011 2.91% (projected)

In stark contrast to Wall Street bonuses:

2009 $20.3B
2010 $20.8B (Average bonus $128,530)

Love him or hate him, Michael Moore isn’t afraid to state a point of view. Recently he was in Wisconsin to support the union workers there. He said:

“America is not broke. Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages and settle for the life your great grandparents had. America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it is not in your hands.”

“It has been transferred in the greatest heist in American history from the workers and consumers to the banks and portfolios of the uber-rich. Right now this afternoon just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined… most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer bailout of 2008 now have more cash, stock, and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined.

“I’m trying to keep focused on the righteous path.” Amen.