Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Truth is Being Sidestepped, Omitted by Politicians & the Corporate Media
Those at the highest levels in politics, along with the Corporate Media, are avoiding talking about the Economic Crisis in this great Land. For most people here, the American Dream has turned into the Nightmare of the Working Poor.
Fifty percent of working households in the USA now are economically insecure. They are just getting by... barely. Many of them have two part-time jobs because they can't find a decent-paying, full-time gig. Many companies nowadays prefer part-time workers...fewer employee benefits to cut into corporate profits. Ask the Great Wall of Mart...the largest private employer in the world. Because these workers are only scraping by, they can't save for emergencies...or anything else.
Many college graduates now are working as bartenders, or waiting tables in restaurants, or working as CSRs in "call centers", or as security guards (the minimum wage type), or as part-time cashiers in retail stores. Not only have wages across the board stagnated for the last thirty years, but adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage in this country is the same as it was in the 1960's. Meanwhile, those few in the Upper Crust here have seen their incomes go up by 700% in the same time period.
Ever since NAFTA and other "Free Trade" Agreements were approved, millions of jobs have evaporated from our economic landscape. Since the year 2000, about 60,000 factories have closed or been moved out of the country. The TPP will exacerbate the problem. The jobs replacing those generally good-paying manufacturing positions are mostly, to be blunt, shite...crap...bullshit. For the most part, they are low-paying, often part-time, and sometimes temporary. They rarely match the jobs lost in terms of pay & benefits.
The 2008 Crisis resulted in the loss of eight million jobs. It's clear by now that the cause of that Crisis was not only "greed". Massive fraud was involved...by Mega Banks, by stock-rating agencies, by real estate brokers, by due diligence companies, etc. On top of all that, the highest levels of the Fed Gov't were not paying attention to the developing Crisis. Worse yet, at the beginning of the meltdown and in between the times when TARP was voted down by the Congress and when it finally was passed, the Fed Reserve made between $12 trillion and $13 trillion (estimates vary) available to several Mega Banks in loans at point two-five percent (.25%) interest. That amount of money is equal to all Fed Gov't expenditures from the Revolutionary War to the beginning of 2008. Think about that. It turns out that the overwhelming bulk of those loans was not converted into loans for businesses or consumers. The Mega Banks either hung onto it or used it for more stock market casino gambling. Neither action created any jobs. The Fed saved the Mega Banks instead of the economy of our Land.
What should have happened is QE for the People instead of the Mega Banks. All those trillions of dollars did not "trickle down" to the economy of We the People; those dollars stayed in the Big Banks. QE for the People would have saved the economy. About 70% of our economy is driven by consumer spending. It isn't driven by Mega Banks or the Stock Market...and especially, not by the Casino Gambling done by Wall Street ever since the invention of bizarre financial derivatives. Those derivatives now infect almost all commodities and stock transactions to the tune of $1.25 quadrillion (best estimate by experts).
Estimates of the real unemployment rate are at about 20%. Some people have given up looking. I remember looking in 1997 for what turned out to be my last wage-slave job...the last before I retired in 2004. I sent out 88 inquiries & resumes, had 16 different interviews, and finally secured a job after about five months of effort. I was getting fairly discouraged just prior to being hired. Some people today have been looking for two years; imagine how they feel.
Despite what the highest levels of the Gov't and the Corporate Media tell us, there is no Recovery going on in the U.S. Any honest evaluation of our economic condition shows that. In addition, the world economy and financial situation appear to be imploding. The whole scenario, according to many reputable analysts, is so fragile that we are a hair's breadth away from another Great Depression. Unfortunately, too many people in Power seem to have their heads in the sand. Either that, or they don't want to risk putting us into a panic. Or, worst case, they are keeping us in the dark until they and their Big Business Cronies can suck as much wealth as possible out of the economy before the Crash. [The last choice probably is unlikely...but I would never say that it's impossible.]
Not only my opinion. Be Well