The Hightower Report

The latest Son of a Bush has a plan to make you richer

Let's hear it for Jeb!

Bush, that is. Maybe the other Republican presidential seekers will stick with their mopey and dopey negative attacks against Barack Obama's economic policies, but Jeb Bush is going positive. Rather than just nattering about income inequality, for example, Bush is offering his own fresh ideas for middle-class recovery. In a recent interview, the self-described problem-solver got down to specifics, proposing a straightforward, simple mechanism for lifting people's incomes: "People are going to have to work longer hours," Jeb declared. "Through their productivity," he explained, "[they will] gain more income for their families."

There you have the worldview of the latest Son of a Bush wanting to be president, perfectly free of any connection to the real world. You have to wonder, has he ever met a working stiff? Americans today are scrambling between two or three part-time, low-wage jobs, working day and night, six days a week, to try patching together a living. And full-time employees in our country already have the longest workweek in the industrialized world.

Also, I hate to pop the bubble that Bush the Third is living in, but working longer hours and increasing worker productivity does NOT increase one's income. Since 2000, workers have hiked America's productivity by 25%, but their median paycheck has had zero increase. That's because corporate bosses – many of whom are behind Bush's record campaign war chest of $114 million – have simply pocketed the new wealth that workers created through their greater productivity.

Jeb might as well have proposed that working people increase their incomes by doing what he did to become a multimillionaire – he chose rich parents. I suggest that he spend some of that campaign cash he's been given to buy himself a ticket for a one-day visit to reality.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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