Article 43

 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Suffering And More Suffering

image: dying america

The first Gilded Age rested on industrialization; the second, on deindustrialization. In our time, a new system of disaccumulation looted American industry, liquidating its assets to reward speculation in “fictitious capital.” After all, the rate of investment in new plants, technology, and research and development all declined during the 1980s. For a quarter-century, the fastest-growing part of the economy has been the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector.
- Class Warfare 2

The unemployment rate is not always the best indicator of the economy’s health. In fact, it’s probably a much worse indicator right now… The labor force participation rate [is more accurate.]
- Labor Participation

People that really understand political economy have a saying: “capitalism implodes into fascism.” Thats because it produces mass poverty, not riches, decline, not upward mobility - and the new poor then turn on everyone, neighbours, friends, allies, values, morals.
- Third Worls USA Part 11

Whatever future developments may prove to be, my best guess is that the U.S. will continue to maintain a facade of constitutional government and drift along UNTIL FINANCIAL BANKRUPTCY overtakes it. Of course, bankruptcy will not mean the literal end of the U.S. any more than it did for Germany in 1923, China in 1948, or Argentina in 2001-2002. It might, in fact, open the way for an unexpected restoration of the American system, or for military rule, revolution, or simply some new development we cannot yet imagine.
- Empire vs Democracy, Tom Dispatch 2007

Within CORPORATE boardrooms and thinktanks, inside USA government sanctums: globalization describes a PRIVATIZATION of the world. It is about the global corporatization of PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING: from goods and services to water, air, health care and education; from ideas and histories to art, genes and body parts. It is about the “rule of law” and therefore the military power of the United States of America (and its so-called דallies in assorted multi-nation alliances like NATO, WTO, etc.) - doing the bidding of the propertied few and their giant corporations.
- Globalization Defined

Now, GLOBALISTS are not the only source of our social pain. WE BEAR SOME RESPONSIBILITY.  When we are NOT VIGILANT, when we IGNORE OUR OWN IGNORANCE and refuse to learn, when we lie to ourselves, when we cater to personal superficial desires rather than taking the future into account, we open the door for the devil, as it were. Evil, like conscience, resides in us all.
- True Evil

Abuse CAN ONLY take place if enough people are SILENT about it, which is to say that those who are silent about the abuse are complicit in it. EVIL can only PLAY ITSELF OUT without restraint when good people see what is happening and do nothing. Staying silent in the PRESENCE OF ABUSE, though seemingly a passive role, is to unwittingly play an active role enabling our own victimization.
- Breaking the Vow Of Silence

---

It’s hard to imagine how we can hide and ignore so much financial sorrow and suffering over the years:

OBAMA’S BIGGEST BLEMISH remains the ongoing tragedy of mass unemployment. Not only does this have a human element - the countless lives harmed or destroyed by poverty and desperation - but it is a huge drag on our economy. Mass unemployment reduces spending - the engine of our economy - which in turn, reduces growth. And without meaningful growth, there’s no way to reduce long-term debt without inflicting a large dose of harmful austerity. That, in my view, is unacceptable.

AFTER THE 2007-09 FINANCIAL CRISIS, the imbalances and risks pervading the global economy were exacerbated by policy mistakes. So, rather than address the structural problems that the financial collapse and ensuing recession revealed, governments mostly kicked the can down the road, creating major downside risks that made another crisis inevitable. And now that it has arrived, the risks are growing even more acute.

About 400,000 small business went under last year, and nine million more workers are unemployed now than a year ago:

WHITE HOUSE:

Since the beginning of this pandemic, 400,000 small businesses have closed - 400,000 - and millions more are hanging by a thread.

NEW YORK TIMES:

Roughly 8 million fewer Americans are working today than at this time last year, just before the coronavirus gripped the economy… The United States doesn’t have a proven strategy for minimizing long-term unemployment.

NEW YORK TIMES AGAIN:

The next six months could witness one of the biggest consolidations of corporate power in the United States in almost a century, yet a variety of legal and economic factors may leave the federal government unable to stop it.

The essence of the problem is that during the extended economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic, many large companies and especially their stock market values - have been growing rapidly while their small business competitors have faced something of an apocalypse. More than 400,000 small businesses have already closed and millions more are at risk.

CBS:

More than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years because of the financial harm inflicted by the viral pandemic, according to a study being released Wednesday by the philanthropy research group Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

MEANWHILE:

Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring… what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is what’s being taken - more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula… Those who are stealing to survive are not out there talking to the Washington Post about it… They’re ashamed to be in the position in which they have to steal.

AND:

In 2020, the National Diaper Bank Network distributed more than 100 million diapers to 220 diaper banks across the country, a 67 percent spike year-over-year. Most public aid programs dont cover diapers, which run about $80 a month per child.

Now watch this:

image: homeless in california

HOW can you not be moved?

There’s so much BAD STUFF and INDIFFERENCE to it going on for decades - that it just floors me how people DON’T KNOW - or DON’T WANT TO KNOW - what’s happening in our political, social and economic lives - while society turns into an expose of massive suffering and massive denial of everything.

I just posted an article about PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN STORM DRAINS in Las Vegas.  Add them to those in growing TENT CITIES - and maybe you’ll get an idea how horrible it is living in the United States with its brutal ruling class making sure more and more of us are forced into poverty.

The man in the White House - just SCREWED 17 MILLION OF OUR FELLOW SUFFERING AMERICANS from a lousy $1400 stimulus check:

During the campaign for the two Georgia Senate races, Joe Biden REPEATEDLY PROMISED to pass $2,000 stimulus checks if the Democrats won. After they did, the administration argued that $2,000 really meant $1,400 in addition to the $600 that had already gone out in the December rescue package.

But now singles making between $80,000-100,000 and couples making between $160,000-200,000 will get nothing. The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein REPORTS that roughly 17 million people who previously got checks now will not.

The supposed justification here is that moderates want the aid to be more “targeted.” In fact this formula is horribly inaccurate, because the income data the IRS uses is from the year before the pandemic (unless people have already filed their taxes and by the way, if your income decreased in 2020, you should do that immediately). This formula is therefore doubly wrong - there are no doubt millions of people who have lost jobs and should qualify but wont, and a smaller number that have gotten raises and shouldn’t qualify but will. And this change will only save a pitiful $12 BILLION.

Speaking of those stimulus checks what are people SPENDING THE MONEY ON?

Two-thirds of recipients say they use them for groceries, monthly bills

For all the talk of revenge spending and pent-up demand for travel… just 13 percent of stimulus check recipients plan to spend the money on discretionary activities or nonessential items,” said one analyst.

the majority of that money continues to be spent on groceries, rent and other monthly bills

More than 40 percent of households are earning less now than they were prior to the pandemic

“More than half of the jobs lost last year have been recovered,"McBride said. “But there are still nearly 9 million jobs that disappeared that haven’t yet come back. There are 18 million Americans still drawing some form of unemployment compensation.”

More than 6 in 10 Americans believe the $1,400 won’t last them longer than three months, while 34 percent say the extra funds wont even last them one month, the Bankrate survey found.

Remember the last recession?  And that new term - jobless recovery?  What the heck is a JOBLESS RECOVERY?

Businesses might also curb their spending. INSTEAD of responding to sales increases with hiring, they could invest in relatively cheaper technology to replace eliminated positions.

Economists don’t have to go back very far to find an example of a recovery that didn’t push unemployment back to its prior lows. The lowest unemployment fell after the 2001 recession was 4.4% in December 2006 (it hit that number again in March 2007). That was significantly lower than the 6.5% high in 2003. But it wasn’t close to the sub-4% rates seen in 2000.

That sort of recovery was what economists call a jobless recovery. We weren’t really growing wages and income for people in the bottom half of the economic distribution,” says Alan Berube, an economist with the Brookings Institution.

Along with the great recession of a decade ago another new term came into our awareness - and LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT - joined our vocabulary.

Those of us that survived, and haven’t disappeared into a black of hole of homelessness or SUICIDE - are still around to talk about it.

What we’re going through now is far worse - regardless how many QUESTIONABLE FACTS the people that claim to represent us spew out of their mouths.

FEDERAL RESERVE Chairman Jerome Powell seems like an honest guy and NOTES:

America has witnessed the sharpest drop in labor force participation in many decades

HERE’S WHAT we’re talking about:

image: population to employed ratio - great recession through  now

image: population to employed ratio - great recession through  now

The jaggedy blue lines explain what I mean when I say WE HAVEN’T RECOVERED FROM THE LAST RECESSION.

The folks at Wolfstreet UNDERSTAND:

The employment-population ratio, which is the broadest measure of employment and covers the working-age population (16 years or older), ticked up to 57.6%. It has gained a minuscule 0.2 percentage points since October (57.4%)

Long-term, the Employment Population Ratio is one of the most dismal two-decade trends out there. The ratio drops during each recession - that much is normal - but until 2000, the ratio more than recovered each time. In the three recessions since 2000, it never fully recovered before the next recession hit, a testimony to companies trying to bring their costs down by sending work overseas or automating it away

So many of us want a job - and can’t find one.

Not even a LOUSY TEMP or GIG JOB.

If President BIDEN doesn’t do something (like a NEW DEAL 2.0) to turn things around and grow back the middle-class - I’ll SUPPORT anyone - maybe even the devil himself - to help replace THE RULERS of our once great country with a system that represents people like you and I.

For those of us that got layed off from regular (W2) jobs early last year, and got EXTRA UNEMPLOYMENT - President Biden may be overlooking us this year. I know people who are denied EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS in 2021, and competing with the millions layed off the past year - for the few jobs out there.

The help for those longest-unemployed from this collapse is a tax refund for the FIRST $10,200 UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COLLECTED last year. Gee thanks, Mr President.

Like the last recession - when this latest financial crisis is over - the rich will be richer, poor will be poorer, and middle-class squeezed a little more out of existence.

And they’ll talk about another JOBLESS RECOVERY:

[L]abour’s share of income is going to continue its downward trend after the current crisis ends. Aside from the profit incentive that has always existed to motivate automation, this crisis has highlighted the pandemic risks associated with relying on labour availability. Industries that employed millions of people pre-pandemic, such as accommodation and food service, as well as retailers, will take advantage of the technological advances in the coming years, suggesting that the so-called “jobless recovery” we saw after the Great Financial Crisis might end up proving to have been an absolute.

Posted by Elvis on 04/19/21 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Today's Diversion

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor populaa r- but one must take it simply because it is right. - Martin Luther King Jr

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