Recently, an article in the business section of the Washington Post praised our economy (with an eye on edifying Obama, the alleged savior from the Great Recession, while putting down Trump’s campaign appeal to struggling Americans):
The article’s headline boasts: Middle-class income hit highest level on record in 2016, Census Bureau says
And this cheer is based on this claim: “Median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year and the second consecutive year of healthy gains, the Census Bureau reported…”
Sounds like we are having a good time, huh? So, uhm… why don’t we actually?
What this jubilation blithely leaves out is the fact that, in America’s Golden-Age-days, which some of us can still remember, a “household” typically represented a single job’s income earned by ONE person. Today, both spouses (or partners) usually must work at least one full-time job, or even several part-time jobs each(!), to reach the reported level of a household income, and they tend to have a lot more expenses on their hands than in the much fairer past I recall — such as spending most of that extra income of that second income-earner on daycare, since no adult is left at home to take care of the kids. Similar situations apply to our senior care!
Also, real estate prices have been driven out of reach for most people by the speculating banksters, so that most of us must now rent the roofs over our heads, paying exorbitant rents to finance the landlords and their banksters rather than saving up equity ourselves for our old age… And, then, there are also all sorts of debt and insurance payments, and drummed-up penalties, with which we get burdened nowadays… Oh, I could go on and on, and I do so on my blog here with regularity.
At least the article admits that the Census Bureau also reports that Middle-class households are only now seeing their income eclipse 1999 levels (yes, 1999!), and that the top fifth of earners take home more than half of all overall income, a record — which, of course, means that eight out of ten people must share among themselves less than HALF of the total income, and – if you look more closely – the bulk of the missing half goes to a percentage of people much smaller than a fifth of us.
The article also brags that the national unemployment rate was merely 4.4 percent in August, just about the same as pre-recession levels. What this leaves out is how our REPORTED unemployment rate is kept artificially low by ignoring all those who have given up searching for jobs that are simply not there, retired early, or sunk into part-time jobs and gigs that don’t make ends meet.
To top it off, the article subliminally endorses our rigged system by giving us an installment of our daily dose of billionaire glorification. It says: “And in July, U.S. employers had generated enough jobs to restore national employment to where it stood before the recession started in 2007.” Employers… had… generated… jobs? Get the hell out of here, you establishment shill of a journalist! Market demands create jobs! Employers only take advantage of market demands, hiring people today to meet the demands, firing them tomorrow when demands drop, and cutting wages and benefits every year to increase their own profits, driving us into ruin! Enough with the lies about the economy!
The article has the gall to parade a man in his forties as proof of how good we all have it. The Great Recession pushed him into temporary, unstable, minimum wage jobs for a few years. The article continues:
“I was really struggling,” said West, 44, who was forced to move back in with his parents.
In 2016, he went to a temp agency in Phoenix and landed a job that paid $18 an hour. It did not last, but the recruiter called again and moved him to the job he has now at BB&T Bank monitoring car-loan payments and repossessions. The job pays $16 an hour, with ample opportunity for overtime pay, he said.
So, this guy is now making a better (though still insufficient) living adjusting the shackles and chains of his fellow slaves!
That’s our modern economy. Fewer and fewer of us produce anything or do something useful for our communities. Instead, more and more of us get employed policing, spying, advertising, and collecting fines, bills, loan payments, and fees for the rich or the intermediary institutions which pass them to the rich, so our robber billionaires never have to work a day and can compete with each other for the largest fleets of luxury yachts or adding that shiny extra billion to the billions of dollars they already are “worth,” while the rest of us must struggle harder every year to just survive!
Let us not be duped any longer, folks. We are learning to see through the establishment’s smoke screens. Nearly a hundred years ago, our predecessors were appeased by FDR’s New Deal, and the robber barons were spared a Russian-style revolution. But the greedy rich couldn’t leave well enough alone and rolled back the New Deal. And so, as we working folks can’t stand the anguish anymore, the revolutionary fight is back on. Listen up, you robber billionaires of today, and your lackeys in politics and the media, as well: get ready for our torches and pitchforks! You gambled away our trust; and our gullibility is dying along with the good lives we were promised but denied by your greedy machinations.
Here, if you are new to this publication, are some related recent posts:
- Why Bernie isn’t a “Democrat” — Or: The DP is not a People’s Party
- When the Rigged System Doesn’t Hurt You
- The Mentality of our Selfish Politicians and their Crowd
- Trump’s Arpaio Pardon: Far More than Meets the Eye (the things the MSM didn’t tell you)
- Our Morally Upside Down Country: Jailing a Man For Trying to Save His Family (JD)
- Quickypinion: Why and How Working People Must Revolt
Or if you want to dig a little deeper:
- Inequality for All (BM, RR, & DD)
- Amazing Speech about our Economic and Political Mess (and How to Fix it)
There is a lot more to come, including a book when I can make the time to finish it over all my struggle for survival…