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This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture.  I am a Fellow with CAF.

The real deficit is jobs.  That is one more of those things that everyone can see in front of their faces, but we're told it isn't what it is.  There aren't enough jobs, and we're being told this is our fault because we wanted pensions and good wages and vacations and respect and dignity and please, sir, just a little slice of the pie.

In case you haven't noticed, the world's economy is suddenly undergoing a classic "Shock Doctrine"-style, coordinated propaganda attack.  The wealthy and powerful, having insisted that countries cut their taxes and run up debt, now insist that the middle class and poor must work harder, have their pensions reduced, sell off (to them) their publicly-held resources, and take other "austerity" steps to pay off the debt that these lazy, parasitic peasants dared to run up.

The excuse is that "the markets" will “lose confidence” in us.  Apparently we aren't working the salt mines hard enough.  "The markets" -- that's the crowd who got in trouble and insisted that the world would end unless we immediately handed over to them all the rest of the money in the world -- will "lose confidence" in our ability to work the mines hard enough, and will cut us off, unless we cut our pensions, sell off (to them) our resources, and promise never to be lazy and make demands for better wages, pensions, workplace safety, and do it now.

The real deficit is jobs.

History teaches that the way out of an economic slowdown is to invest in infrastructure, education and modernizing manufacturing.

Slactivist said it best the other day,

This calls to mind an old story:

But knowing their hypocrisy, he said unto them, "Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a dime and let me see it."

And they brought one. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this -- FDR's or Herbert Hoover's?"

They answered, "Roosevelt's."

And he said unto them, "Right. So shut up. Have you morons already forgotten the 20th Century? When the choice is between imitating what worked and what really, really didn't work, why are you pretending it's terribly complicated?"

And after that, no one dared to ask him any question.

I'm not an economist, but we've got five applicants for every single job opening. If you tell me that the best response to that situation is to lay off hundreds of thousands of teachers, I will not accept that this means that you're smarter and more expert than I am. I will instead conclude -- regardless of your prestige or position or years of study -- that you're a moral imbecile.

According to the Labor Department,

By the end of 2009, the jobless rate stood at 10.0 percent and the number of unemployed persons at 15.3 million. Among the unemployed, 4 in 10 (6.1 million) had been jobless for 27 weeks or more, by far the highest proportion of long-term unemployment on record, with data back to 1948.

That's right, it was the policies of austerity that created a depression, and the policies of job-creation, infrastructure investment and taxing the wealthy to pay for it that got us out.  But that was back when We, the People were still in charge.

In other news:

Number Of Millionaires Grew Amid Recession.

The rich grew richer last year, even as the world endured the worst recession in decades.

Top 1 Percent of Americans Reaped Two-Thirds of Income Gains in Last Economic Expansion, Income Concentration in 2007 Was at Highest Level Since 1928, New Analysis Shows,

Two-thirds of the nation’s total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to the top 1 percent of U.S. households, and that top 1 percent held a larger share of income in 2007 than at any time since 1928, according to an analysis of newly released IRS data by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

During those years, the Piketty-Saez data also show, the inflation-adjusted income of the top 1 percent of households grew more than ten times faster than the income of the bottom 90 percent of households.

Top 1% Increased Their Share of Wealth in Financial Crisis,

According to his analysis, the top 1% held 34.6% of all national wealth in 2007. By Dec. 31, 2009, they held 35.6%.

Meanwhile, share of national wealth held by the bottom 90% fell to 25% from 27%.

Corporate Wealth Share Rises for Top-Income Americans

In 2003 the top 1 percent of households owned 57.5 percent of corporate wealth, up from 53.4 percent the year before, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the latest income tax data.

. . . For every group below the top 1 percent, shares of corporate wealth have declined since 1991.

. . . Long-term capital gains were taxed at 28 percent until 1997, and at 20 percent until 2003, when rates were cut to 15 percent. The top rate on dividends was cut to 15 percent from 35 percent that year.

See if you can make the connection.  They want us to cut back our pensions, cut our wages, sell off our resources and work harder, to pay back the money that was borrowed and handed to them.

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Originally posted to davej on Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 11:18 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: @dcjohnson

    by davej on Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 11:18:32 AM PDT

  •  Confusing economic activity with wealth-building (5+ / 0-)

    ... is an all-too-common flaw of our policy makers, even among Democrats. We aren't going to turn the economy around by shuffling paper. We reward the parasites (e.g., "investment" bankers and insurance execs) lavishly for corrosive destructive activities, and sideline almost 20% of the productive population.

    My fear is that the current unemployment rates will turn into the new "normal", at which point there is no hope for economic recovery. There will only be the looting left to do.

    •  Wealth Building Is What Buys Their Access to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      voters so that they have a chance to get into their jobs.

      Now with Citizens' United there just about can't be a solution to that until 1st Amendment press freedom is completely revised for our era. I haven't got much clue what kind of structure should replace it, except generally the notion of granting almost unlimited freedom of anything to giant corporations is to murder democracy.

      And it's not corporate speech, it's press freedom, which is a business freedom.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 11:41:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So many great Diarys on one day all with the same (0+ / 0-)


    But not a Kongressmam or Woman to listen.

    They are all in committee.

  •  "America will run out of money" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here is an interesting poll that may explain a lot of the fear out there:

    Sizable pluralities of Americans are opposed to taxpayer-backed bailouts of the Big Three automakers, with 73% now worried the U.S. government will run out of money with all the demands being made on the federal treasury in the current economic crisis.
    Forty-one percent (41%) of adult Americans are Very worried the government will run out of money, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Only six percent (6%) are not worried at all.

    How in the hell does the Federal Government "run out of money?"  The Feds have unlimited amounts of money and can create money at will in infinite amounts instantaneously.

    How can it be that only 6% of Americans understand this situation?

  •  We the People (0+ / 0-)

    hold these truths to be self-evident, that the workingman and the farmer are equal to the banker, if not superior, because the workingman and the farmer produce real goods while the banker produces only illusory "goods".

    Because the banker need not sweat, need not suffer sunburn, need not repair his equipment, need not restock his seed, need not pay for the care and upkeep of his livestock, the banker has greater leisure to politic.

    Because he politics more he is more listened to by the politicians whose professional activities his gifts fund. Because they are beholden to the bankers, the politicians ignore the concerns of the people.

    Until sometime in the 1980s, we in America still believed that small businesses, family farms, and genuine labor -- often done by union hands -- were superior methods of making a living to banking / investing / financiering. Two generations had seen this firsthand, after the crashes of the 1927-1931 Wall Street debacle and the 1950s recession.

    But in the 1980s we became convinced that greed is good and shuffling paper outweighs real labor, that by cutting taxes and eliminating unions and refusing to enforce the regulations enacted to protect our land, our water, our air, our children, our pets, our working men and women, we could rise above some ... amorphous pit crafted of "conservative Christian" fearmongering and antipathy to work.

    Unless and until we turn that around, the ship of state will continue to grind Americans under for the benefit of behemoths like BP and Wal-Mart, and our fellow citizens will believe that the ship of state is well-guided in doing so, because they are fed a relentless swill of rightwing propaganda via Fox and its imitators.

    Texas is NO Bush League! LBJ, Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 11:50:29 AM PDT

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