Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Class is in Session

Professor Reich is your instructor. Pay attention or get transferred to that other school -- Hard Knocks.

The Future of American Jobs

”While consumers have been shedding their debts like mad—often simply by defaulting on loans—their remaining burdens are still heavy. At the end of last year, debt averaged $43,874 per American, or about 122% of annual disposable income. Most analysts believe a sustainable debt load is around 100% of disposable income, assuming a normal level of employment and normal access to credit—neither of which we are likely to have for some time.“

I know it has been a while but some of you might remember the L-curve. Click on the “Zoom in” button a couple of times and you will see that the “median family income” is (or was) $40,000 in America. As I said, it’s been a while since this was published -- like before the Great Recession. Regardless, it doesn’t take long to figure out that we owe more than we make and the experts -- the “analysts” -- had all this figured out before the rest of us even thought about it.

Back to the professor;

”The likelihood, therefore, is that as the economy struggles to recover and today’s jobless begin to find work, the median wage will continue to fall—as it did between 2001 and 2007, during the last so-called recovery.“

Follow along. We’ve gone from a country where a man could make enough money to let his wife stay home and raise the kids, to where both parents working can’t afford to raise half as many kids as families used to raise. This did not happen by accident.

Advertising -- propaganda by any other name -- is a weapon. Debt is a weapon. A legal, economic weapon. Yes, it can be a useful tool. But never forget it can be used as a weapon. You can be controlled by a man that can take away your car. Or your house. Or your job. Or your health care. Rich people are quick to call this kind of talk class warfare. As the increasingly-popular sentiment goes, the class war is over. Working Americans lost.

That brings me to another article that I think you should read. It’s by Matt Taibbi -- a young writer that is making quite a name for himself. I haven’t read enough of his work to be certain yet, but he seems to have The Flick. Here’s a taste. (Warning: Crude language)

Brooks: Let Them Eat Work

”I would give just about anything to sit David Brooks down in front of some single mother somewhere who’s pulling two shitty minimum-wage jobs just to be able to afford a pair of $19 Mossimo sneakers at Target for her kid, and have him tell her, with a straight face, that her main problem is that she doesn’t work as hard as Jamie Dimon.

Only a person who has never actually held a real job could say something like this. There is, of course, a huge difference between working 80 hours a week in a profession that you love and which promises you vast financial rewards, and working 80 hours a week digging ditches for a septic-tank company, or listening to impatient assholes scream at you at some airport ticket counter all day long, or even teaching disinterested, uncontrollable kids in some crappy school district with metal detectors on every door."

In case you didn’t see it on Fox News, sections of the Left are every bit as angry as the Tea Partiers.

The Great Depression began with the stock market crash in October 1929. The Great Recession started in September 2008. Germany -- one of the most civilized nations on Earth -- invaded Poland in September 1939. Do you know where you are in history?

Don Brown
April 13, 2010


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