They Say That The Economy Is “Good,”
But Who Is It Good For?

Is the “economy” booming for you? Don’t ask a farmer, or an hourly worker. Noam Chomsky suggested that we use farmer suicides as a more accurate measure of economic success. Hourly workers, across the board, haven’t seen a raise relative to inflation in forty years. The people of the South and the Southwest haven’t seen any significant increase in industrial capacity since the Eighteen-seventies. In small towns and neglected cities all over the country, new jobs never come open. (“Have you applied at the Burger Buddy?” “Yeah, Mom. Everybody applies at the Burger Buddy, and their last hire was the owner’s nephew.” “Well you have to do something!”)

“Foreign multinational and other investors own 35 percent of all United States corporate stock, up from 10 percent in 1982. That share of the pie exceeds the single slice owned by taxable American shareholders.”
[Source: The New York Times]

The fact that we don’t own our economy anymore isn’t a surprise, though hearing it as a done deed is shocking. Nor the revelation that the stock markets are more a measure of ability of the wealthy to utter self-fulfilling prophecy and make it reality by raising prices, than a measure of anything. But, even if our economy is expanding, we can’t look forward to sharing in the benefits. It’s not for us, just for them.

It’s just like the new technological revolution looming on the horizon: if it is a boom, they will do everything possible to limit the profits to a very few, as always; and the benefits to white people.

Look at who the self-described “Billionaire Class” really are. They are a small handful of outsiders who are as disconnected from the rest of us – and our ideas – as is imaginable. They might as well be from another planet. Instead of paying taxes, they take giant tax breaks then write themselves checks as bonuses for failure. They sell products that you pay for your whole life, and can’t live without, from cradle to grave, like cars that never change in quality or innovation. Or basic services. And, they own the government and allow it to be run by corruption and bribery. We know that that is all immoral, and unjust. They don’t understand how anyone could think otherwise than they.

Our government was the envy of the world! “One person, one vote.” How incredibly daring! “All men are created equal!” How powerful. Government by, “an idea,” how hopeful! But, negotiable. And, losing credibility. All that wasn’t important. Not to them. Money defines us now – greed. Mafia corruption. That’s our legacy.

So, the “economy” is booming. Or is it? If the only measure of the success of the economy is the stock market, which measures the optimism of the rich that they will continually get richer and richer, at a faster and faster rate of growth, then that’s not necessarily good for the rest of us. They are defined by their disgusting greed, and they seem to want it all, justice be damned. There is no sane reason to believe that they will ever let up. But, they have a criminal mentality, and most of us aren’t like them.

They want all power to intimidate and coerce politically, without consequences, even if they discard their honor in the process. They claim a “right” to influence dishonestly. And impunity to hire political assassins and illegal foreign agents. They use every slimy tactic known to hell to steal votes, and teach the fundamental mafia principle that the end is always worth the means; even if you sell your soul to achieve it.

There is one abiding good that could come out of all this pain: if we put the 1%’ers in their place where they belong. Where they are seen as what they are: perverted hoarders. Bums always looking for a handout from people who work for a living. Preachers of anti-intellectualism who prey on ignorance. Cowards who foment war – where other men’s sons and daughters are maimed and killed.

This isn’t just their country. There are people who want America to be only for a few. They seem to be having their way. But, they can’t win. The idea of America is too strong, too good, too true.

My generation (over 65) were shamed, and ridiculed, and imprisoned by the tens of millions. Our idea was rejected by our own children, and they broke our hearts. We taught you better than this. All that’s almost forgotten, except in the words of a song or two. But, if you look deep down in your souls, you will find that the Dream – “America” – is still there. That dream will never die. No, damn your soul, Donald Trump, that dream will never die!

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Air Force brat. My dad was shepherd to a bunch of B-52's; the GI's called that place "20 Minutes From Armageddon;" because a missile launched in East Germany would pop over our heads twenty minutes later. That put me in some of the best schools anywhere. I wrote in the Press Office of a powerful, charismatic Midwestern Governor. I dabble in graphic arts. My 50+ entertainment sites get a few million visits, and I have stopped counting the fans, likes, and shares, per year. I've rambled the world, hitched around the continent (counter-clockwise). Climbed a couple of teeners, been to a couple of thousand rock, blues, and jazz concerts. I was at a free concert on Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA with about 350,000 freaks and hippies; and other festivals. I won a writing contest when I was six. It was a Poe-like horror story taken from an account of a mining disaster. I had already been reading Edgar Allan Poe (which may explain a lot). I could read before I could talk. I implemented some of the first client/server, TCP-IP networks (the Internet) at many of the world's largest corporations. I know a half-dozen programming languages, and have implemented and administered many network operating systems. Right now I build ebikes, and lithium batteries from scratch. I was taught that race and ethnicity don't set us apart. I think that the best thing that could happen in this country would be if a woman were to be elected President of the United States. I admire President Obama more than any man in history, save one.

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kesmarn
Admin

Steppenwolf, I agree that a hefty percentage of the American population is no better off than they were immediately after the Crash of ’08. In fact, many are in worse shape now than ever.

My feeling these days is that if we keep on doing what we’ve always done, we’re going to keep on getting what we’ve always had. I think it’s time to vote for candidates who are not in any way acceptable to the establishment Corporados and to the government hacks who serve them. So far, Bernie Sanders is the only Dem candidate who’s had the brass to post a list of “anti-endorsements.” In other words, a list of people — which includes Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan-Chase and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, along with a lot of others — who really hate him. And for all the right reasons.

I’m not saying Sanders has to be the candidate, but if he isn’t, the country needs someone a lot like him. Someone who is almost ridiculously dedicated to a set of real moral principles (which is not demonstrated by spouting some phony pseudo-Christian prosperity gospel).

Because, at this point, the people in both parties who are more dedicated to protecting America’s “interests” than in defending her principles have gotten us into a helluva mess.

Nonpartay
Member
Nonpartay

Elizabeth Warren strikes me as fulfilling all your criteria. Plus, she’s a woman, something we were cheated out of in the last election, and she’s not at death’s door. Sanders is 5 years older than I am, and I’m too old. Elizabeth Warren has the facts at her fingertips, and she has actually put together an entire agency that was quite successful at restoring billions to Americans cheated by those corporations you love to hate—before the fascists got ahold of it. She has proven to be effective and caring, and the US would finally join the rest of the world in showing that we really do believe in the equality of men and women—if 44:1 is even remotely equal, but at least it would be a start.

(And before someone complains ? that we’ve had 45 male presidents, no, we haven’t. We’ve had 44 since one served two terms.)

AdLib
Admin

History is very clear in proving that “trickle down” is a fraud, that tax cuts for the wealthy don’t end up increasing the incomes of the working class and that government revenue decreases sharply and deficits skyrocket when the wealthy pay a smaller percentage in taxes.

As many Dems have mentioned, unemployment may be low now but how many people are working 2 jobs to get by? How many people are increasingly getting buried in debt? How many fewer people are able to afford college, houses and cars?

The sad thing is, we’ve gone through a series of technology booms, where the wealthy have gotten so much wealthier but not 99% of Americans. And this has been the best of economic times, it can only go downhill from here.

Meanwhile, the study came out that almost 40% of Americans couldn’t cover a $400 emergency.

And half of older Americans have nothing in retirement savings.

There is a social time bomb ticking and when the economy eventually goes into recession, as it must, that bomb could go off.

The current system is not sustainable and either the US economy declines into a less literal form of mass servitude (imagine how poorly people will be paid in a recession when these low paying jobs are more scarce). And what will happen to that 50% of older Americans as they get too old or too ill to work?

Not to mention, Trump, The Kochs and the rest of the GOP wants to slash Social Security, Medicare and every other safety net.

It couldn’t be more urgent for Dems to take back control of government in 2020. Economic issues need to be addressed before they explode and in a divisive country that Trump has whipped up, desperation could lead to some really terrible scenarios.

History is looking to us to rescue this country from the disaster Trump is steering it towards and we need to rise to that moment.

jac
Member
jac

Big Businesses. Still waiting for the trickling down thing to start working. Anytime before I die or retire would be nice.
Remember that campaign promise of that raise and bonus. How many actually got it?