Monday, July 4, 2011

On July 4, Thoughts About How Fatcats Ripped Us Off Again In The Great Recession

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.


Jack Jodell said...

We live in a very bad era in which corruption and ignorance are rampart and corporatism rules the day. This is the Great American Dark Ages.

Motivated In Ohio said...

This nation does seem to be bankrupt, but the bankruptcy seems to be a moral one.

People who work, are no longer valued. People who steal, are rewarded. And the people who brought the economy down, polluted the earth, and caused people to lose their homes, are practically Canonized.

Our seniors, are viewed as non productive parasites, and children in poverty are not worth feeding. The thing that really "burns my cookies", is that while they are doing such horrific things, they are invoking the name of Jesus. "When did I see you hungry, or naked, Lord?"

Evil many times wraps itself in a facade of goodness to avoid detection.
End Rant

Cletis L. Stump said...

Your term "marginally better" jumps off the page referencing the Dems. My deeper disappointment in the Obama Administration is the betrayal I feel. Not too many "fired up and ready to go's" left in a lot of people, Joe. He has, in my eyes, moved from Barack the Fiery to Barack the Less Than Bold and is on the verge of becoming irrelevant. I have a warrior's heart but even warriors need their leaders to stay true to their stated principles.

Manifesto Joe said...

Hi, everyone:

Despite widespread disappointment, the thing we need to remember about Obama is that he, basically, is what we have standing between us and the "Paul Ryan economic plan."

Scott Tammaro said...

I've a photographer friend from Greece who keeps asking me with grave bewilderment on how the vast majority of the American people remain so apathetic.

I told him it seems that most folks just don't have the appetite to digest the hardcore truths plaguing us.

Based on the social climate his country is experiencing, he replied that "One day you Americans will have no choice. Your diversions & distractions will no longer work and you'll be forced to protest the despots whose actions are destroying your country."

Hopefully yes, but if it ever happens, will it be too late?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the American Dark Age. When it will end, I don't know. The rich and powerful have all the money now, they don't need us peasants. Why do you think it was so easy of them to exploit markets like China, India, and Brazil? There's thrice to four times the consumers there than will ever be here, so the U.S. market was thrown under the bus. Explains why there's no incentive to do business here, everything's been slashed and burned, with the Earth salted to boot. Can't wait to see where the next 30 years of my life won't really be going...