A commenter in my previous post attempted to make the case that socialistic economic policies didn’t work very well, and thus their societies failed. I have no argument with that point on its face, but I do with his implication that our current economic system is working, even if the Dow is at record levels. Our economy is actually teetering, about to fall on it’s niggardly nether region, no matter what the spin provided by the American Enterprise Institute and their kind suggests.
What is one to think when a disgruntled 3Com shareholder in Iowa threatens to bomb investment firms if they didn’t act to raise the share price? Is he upset that he’s not making as much as AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre, who will retire on a mere $158.5 million of AT&T shareholder assets?
Join the club, bitch! It’s been happening to those of us who draw paychecks since 1980!
Campaign for America’s Future blogger Rick Perlstein uses the 50 state news page from the April 25, 2007 USA Today to demonstrate what greed is doing to our nation. South Carolina Gov. Sanford is promoting an upper-class income tax cut over a 1% reduction in grocery taxes. Let them eat asphalt!
Oh, wait! There isn’t enough to go around, or else Tennessee Department of Transportation officials wouldn’t be squeezing the amount of paving material used in road projects in order to squeeze out a few more tax savings. Who cares if America’s streets are almost past the point of repair? Let those who use them pay for them, say the wealthy.
That goes for water, also. Perlstein points out that bankrupt Los Osnos, CA (over $40 million in debt, or $5,000 for each of the 8000 water subscribers) will raise water prices 20% higher as of May 19, while The Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park outside of St. Louis, MO will wash away the profits expected from the coming summer tourist season. The dam which once created a reservoir for the area failed and requires the park remain closed to effect repairs. Prosperity washed away through maintenance budget cuts made in order to save the Havemores a couple more dinero.
But who with wealth would go there anyway? It would fall to the working class to go camping and fishing there, but it isn’t such a sure thing that hourly workers can take vacations anymore. With the princely sum of $12.28 an hour earned by “some” of the University of Vermont’s employees, the rest are just going to have to make do as best they can with earned wages less than that considered a livable wage in UVM’s home town of Burlington, VT.
It’s enough to make a poor man think about revolt, which the good law-and-order conservatives of Pennsylvania are aiding with their opposition to a bill aimed at requiring an annual $10 gun registration to pay for a gun sale database for the benefit of the Pennsylvania State police. That $10 just might cost a law-abiding gun owner his right to blow away those he perceives as seeking economic redress at his expense!
Speaking of armaments, George W. Bush can’t impose his will on the rest of the world without them. And yet, as Dean Baker points out over at AlterNet, the Gummint of the Yoo-knighted States can’t impose its will on the world much longer, because Bush now leads a nation deeply in debt through borrowing $800 billion a year to hide the fact that we’re broke.
We aren’t going to be able to spend our way out of this problem, because the domestic economic activity has slowed to a crawl. The economists are actually using the entire word “recession” to define the dilemma. The weakness in the housing markets will spread, causing increased unemployment among those whose pay is so exorbitant that the Havemores suffer apoplexy. They should just cut back on all that food they eat and make it easier to tighten the ol’ belt!
What the Havemores aren’t hip to is that we have been for a while now. The situation is getting to be so blatant that Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski is attempting to eat on the largess provided by the same amount that the state’s average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries – exactly $21. Kulongoski angrily rebutted charges that this was just a publicity stunt. “I don’t care what they call it, if this is what it takes to get the word out. This is an issue every citizen in this state should be aware of.”
American citizens aren’t the only ones affected by this loss of purchasing power. The families of our “guest” workers are also feeling the pinch, and economists say that this reduction in “remittances” bodes ill for efforts to curtail illegal immigration. Gray Newman, chief Latin America economist for Morgan Stanley, claimed that funds from American jobs helped cushion downturns in the Mexican economy, one of which is now underway. As Mexico’s economy slows due to oil revenues decreasing, Mexican unemployment is on the rise, a condition which is seen as propelling more to seek their fortunes north of our southern border.
The effects of American hostility toward workers is even reaching The Land Down Under, as reader STM commented, relating news of Australian employers taking advantage of “American-style IR laws” which result in workers being fired and then “re-employed as casuals” by consultancies which use the new worker-hostile legislation to keep labor in it’s “proper” low-wage place.
So all of you angry shareholders out there who think that your investments aren’t growing as they should be, just remember this sage conservative advice: it’s really those greedy workers who are costing you all your profits. Ignore that retiring AT&T exec standing over there behind that curtain! He got his the old fashioned way – by screwing everyone else! As will you, for you would rather believe that it’s really those greedy workers from all over the world who are costing you all your dividends, because you don’t want to face up to the fact that the greedy have finally come for your piece of that blue sky pie.