middle class

Maps of Economic Disaster

America has a problem, a big one, the middle class has been wiped out.  It is economic genocide and the target is most of America.  The statistics just continue to pour in on how poorly America is doing.  Even as the great manufactured crisis is over in D.C., the political agenda once again has nothing to do with helping America's middle class.  Why jobs are not job #1 by this government we do not know.

Friday Movie Night - Income Inequality

The story which should be front page news but is not is income inequality.  U.C. Berkeley professor, Emmaneul Saez studies income inequality and has recently updated his research with 2012 figures and the results are astounding.  The top 1% breaking records for grabbing America's income gains should be what's blaring across the headlines.

The No Jobs Economy is the New Economy

One of my most popular columns was about escaping from the Matrix existence in which Americans live.  It is a world of disinformation and misinformation in which facts are fiction, and abstract theories are substituted for empirical reality.

Official government statistics are make-believe.  The government makes inflation and unemployment disappear by how it defines inflation and unemployment, and it makes the economy grow by how it defines Gross Domestic Product.  The definitional basis determines the statistical result.

Friday Movie Night - Frontline: Two American Families

We fill our lives with media.  Day in and day out the screens and voices spin a tall fictional tale of Americans with good jobs, houses, cars, educational opportunities and money.  Frontline brings home the real America, the one we don't want to face.  Gone is the American Dream, replaced with foreclosures, food stamps and work that doesn't pay enough to even make the most modest rent.  The new America is a wasteland of broken dreams, broken promises and broken people working themselves into the ground and still not even getting by.

The Only Ones Who Recovered from the Recession are the Top 1%

There is another round of bad news for most Americans.   A study shows the top 1% of America's rich captured 121% of the income gains for the two years after the 2007-2009 recession was declared over.  U.C. Berkeley Economist Emmanuel Saez released his study Striking it Richer:  The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States early this month to much press.   It truly is astounding.   Gone is America's strong middle class where work was rewarded.

Fired America

There is a complete disconnect in Washington from the quiet desperation of American lives.   While politicians chatter talking points and claim lobbyists' agendas are somehow sane economic and labor policy, a full 23% of Americans have been fired in the last four years. 

America is Great, Just Not for Most People Who Work for a Living

despairThe never ending stream of bad news for the U.S. work force cascades upon us like a tidal wave of despair. A host of studies have come out which put into numbers what most of us know, the American worker is being taken to the brink of financial ruin and even death.

Suicide has replaced motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death by injury and has increased 15% since 2000. While most people who commit suicide has psychiatric disorders, the fact is higher incidents of suicide do happen during bad economic times. Even more amusing is the government response, as if the best cure for feelings of despair, low self worth is not a damn job along with a healthy dose of respect for working people.

Homeless rates have actually not changed between 2009-2011, but that's only due to a large grant by the Federal government to keep more people sheltered. Now that funds have run dry and under attack by deficit hawks, expect homeless numbers to rise.

Despite the fact that the number of homeless people was essentially unchanged between 2009 and 2011, there is much reason for concern. As this report points out, economic and demographic indicators linked to homelessness continue to be troubling. Homelessness is a lagging indicator, and the effects of the poor economy on the problem are escalating and are expected to continue to do so over the next few years.

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