A decade ago, there was much hue and cry about the vanishing middle class. Jobs were being “out-sourced” to overseas slave labor markets, illegal immigration was forcing wages and salaries down, old line “smoke stack” industries were crumbling under the weight of foreign competition, and technology was replacing manpower. The rich were getting richer, and the poor were getting poorer, and there wasn’t much in between.
Now, looking back, those were the good old days. Today, due to an global economic collapse, even the overseas slaves are loosing their $2-a-day jobs. Whereas a few years ago, people were flocking to big box stores like Costco to stock up on heavily discounted staples like bread, milk, rice, and 30-pound bags of M&M’s, now people are lining up 10 deep in the same stores just to get the free sample of pita chips and hummus. Gotta eat something.
Friday’s “jobs report” was sobering. The so-called economic recovery ground to a halt in July as only 31,000 jobs were added to the private sector. In fact, there was a net loss in jobs. Here is the reality:
– 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
– 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck.
– 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
– For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
– In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
– The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
– More than 40 million Americans are on food stamps.
– Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.
– Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
– The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
And, of course, the irony is that that top 10% of Americans who earn 50% of our national income are, in large part, the same swindlers who’s greed and avarice caused the economic melt-down in the first place. And what is the Republican party’s response to this disaster? They want to extend the Bush tax cuts so that Goldman Sachs, et al, can keep a few billion dollars more of their obscene profits, while the hard working wage earner can pocket an extra 400 bucks.
To be fair, the Obama administrations response to the collapse was weighted heavily in favor of Goldman Sux and Shitty Bank as well. Exactly where are all those high paying jobs we heard were going to be created by TARP, you know, the ones rebuilding dilapidated bridges, spraying Round-Up on Mount Rushmore, and shoring up decaying infrastructure? Oh yeah, that didn’t happen.
But at least the Repugs know who their constituents are, and unlike the Dims, they’re out to reward them. Look at the above statistics: millionaires actually constitute 16% of American society, and they vote. And once that the tea baggers and the rest of the boobgeosie are convinced that the tax cuts, like gun ownership and homophobia, are part of God’s sacred covenant, these millionaires will be laughing all the way to the bank. The one they own.