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!