By Manifesto Joe
Leave it to the likes of me to rain on your parade. Today is Babe Ruth Diet day (hot dogs and beer), which is fine with me, but I thought you might want to know why they both cost more than they did four years ago.
Any big change in the economy brings winners and losers, and it's been a long time since working- and middle-class Americans could count themselves among the former. Although The Great Recession was supposed to have ended two years ago (economists say), unemployment lingers at 9.1%, and shareholders and CEOs are raking in more moola than ever.
Surprised? You shouldn't be -- that's the way these folks have been gaming the system for most of our country's 235-year history. What's frustrating for many of us watching this is that history has shown that We the People can stop this, but sadly, "We" usually don't.
Here's a link to a story that goes into detail about the latest ripoff.
The problem is the people who took $700 billion in bailouts because they were too big to fail, then turned around and eliminated jobs upon jobs to make their bottom lines look better.
I offer some passages from the story:
"The spoils have really gone to capital, to the shareholders," said David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates in Toronto.
Corporate profits are up by almost 50 percent since the recession ended in June 2009. In the first two years after the recessions of 1991 and 2001, profits rose 11 percent and 28 percent, respectively.
But wait, there's more:
The jobs that are being created pay less than the ones that vanished in the recession. Higher-paying jobs in the private sector, the ones that pay roughly $19 to $31 an hour, made up 40 percent of the jobs lost from January 2008 to February 2010 but only 27 percent of the jobs created since then.
We seem to have a generation of people -- ironically, many of them baby boomers -- who have not only forgotten how to fight the fatcats, they don't even know which political party is at least marginally more on their side. Granted, the Democrats' performance over the past 35 years has been generally lame. But by either not voting or voting for Republicans, Americans have put government largely in the hands of people who want to end Medicare as we know it and have even proposed privatizing Social Security.
And even as the outsourcing has continued, and money has poured into Swiss bank accounts and shelters in the Cayman Islands, they would have you believe that any tax increase on them is going to be a job-killer. So you ultimately pay more tax, and you get laid off anyway.
I suppose none of this should be surprising nowadays. We live in a time in which two politicians being seriously considered for the presidency are so ignorant, one thinks Paul Revere was warning the British, and the other insists that John Quincy Adams was one of the Founding Fathers.
The times cry out for citizens with enough guts to fight the powers that be, at least through voting and organizing, if nothing else. You know -- sort of like they did on July 4, 1776. Unfortunately, I see little of that spirit on the horizon, other than Tea Partiers who are foolish enough to compare themselves with the likes of Jefferson.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.