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follow jazz_music 2017 Nov 28, 6:44pm
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As of the end of 1999, wealthy conservatives could hardly believe their good fortune. It seemed too good to last. For the previous 20 years:§ The U.S. economy had been growing,§ Worker productivity had been going up,§ Corporate profits had been going up,§ The stock market had been skyrocketing,§ Unemployment had been going down, and§ To everyone’s feigned surprise—workers’ wages had been steadily losing pace with inflation.Conservatives had told the public that, under these conditions, this last development was never supposed to happen. Thus, the great debate: Is this good fortune for investors too good to last without workers’ incomes starting to rise?Despite the recent consensus that there is less need now to raise the prime to control wages, it’s instructive to review the debate as it has progressed over the years: Should the Fed raise the prime interest rate in order to slow the economy, drive unemployment up and, thus, stomp out even the remote possibility that workers’ may begin sharing in the prosperity of our country? Or are there other ways to destroy workers’ incomes without having to rely on manipulating the prime?In the next few pages, note how our cold-blooded Wall Street barbarians have been debating the economic fate of working Americans in the era of ClintoReaganonomics. In the view of today’s financial conservatives:§ Workers are in a category that is no different from machinery or raw materials, therefore,§ They are an expense to be minimized—or totally eliminated if possible.§ The growing income gap between rich investors and executives—and middle- and low-income workers—is irrelevant.§ Conservatives also consider it irrelevant that:§ Workers are human beings who are citizens of this country, with this country’s standard of living, and this country’s cost of living,§ Workers have families to support,§ Workers have medical bills, house payments and school ex-penses to pay, and§ Workers built the very corporations that are now abandoning or victimizing them.All that counts to America’s financial elite are corporate profits and their own incomes. Therefore, the only consideration in this debate has been: What is the best way to keep working Americans’ incomes from going up, and still continue the growing income and wealth disparity between the top 20% of Americans and everyone else?The Wall Street Journal gave us a brief introduction to the debate when it reported that “Business and Academia Clash Over a Concept: ‘Natural’ Jobless Rate”:Are too many Americans at work these days for the econ-omy’s own good? Absolutely says Martin Feldstein…. “We are…into the danger zone.” “Nonsense,” retorts Dana Mead…. “Economists who talk that way…don’t understand how American companies have tied wage increases to productivity gains, shifted work overseas and learned to produce more with fewer people.”1 Realize what these two modern conservatives are debating here. The “natural” jobless rate occurs when unemployment is high enough to keep wages of working Americans from going up, but not so high that corporations can’t make huge profits. Feldstein claimed that unemployment was getting into the danger zone (too low), and maybe the Fed should raise interest rates. Raising interest rates would slow down the economy, jobs would be scarcer, and wages would stagnate.
NAFTA, TPP ?
People need to insist on representation because our fortunes are being forked over to donors and representatives want is protection from living under the same rule we live under.
a statement that doesn’t even make sense
People need to insist on representation because our fortunes are being forked over to donors, and what representatives want is protection from living under the same rule we live under.