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"All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it."

  ~ Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783

On Friday, June 8, President Obama addressed the press, and in the course of his comments, made the following statement:
"The truth of the matter is that, as i said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government"
Those who were paying attention—on both sides of the political spectrum—flew into a tizzy, calling it a "gaffe," and compared it to John McCain's ill-timed and utterly wrong statement—as the economy plunged precipitously into recession—that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Democratic strategist James Carville, along with the Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research Group, held some focus groups and concluded (pdf) that even though it's true that the Private Sector is "doing fine," most Americans don't feel that it's doing fine. And there's a very good reason for that. For most Americans who were affected by job loss during the recession, though they may have returned to work, they haven't returned to any level of prosperity.

The discussion always begins with discussion of their experience with job losses for themselves and their families -- and how that has left them struggling to pay for groceries.

Most have jobs now, but speak about their lower wages and benefits. Because wages are down, there has been a dramatic rise in discussion of very basic pocketbook issues. And this does not seem like some passing phase.

This has not been a pocketbook-level recovery for ordinary Americans. This is especially true for non-college-educated voters, who have been uniquely hit by this economy. They, their families, and people they know are on food stamps, on unemployment, and on disability.

It's heartbreaking to hear and read the stories of hard-working Americans who just want to work for a living, make a decent wage they can support their families on, start college funds for their kids with, have enough to set aside so they can enjoy their retirement, and perhaps have a little left over to spend a bit frivolously (who doesn't want a cool iPhone or Android, or the latest kicks on the market—and why shouldn't they?), but who are forced by economic circumstance to feel "lucky" to have any job at all.

Well there's a really good reason that the Private Sector is actually "doing fine," but most Americans—middle class, former middle class, and working class families all across this nation—aren't feeling the least bit "fine." And this is it ...

See the full infographic at The Winning Words Project »


 

Originally posted to jillwklausen on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

    by jillwklausen on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:35:17 AM PDT

  •  Jill, monster graphic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jillwklausen

    is fabulous.  It's axiomatically true.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:59:49 AM PDT

    •  Thank you so much! I hope you'll share it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap

      everywhere you go! The more who see this message, the more we'll be able to convince to support progressive policies and Progressive/Democratic candidates!

      A thousand thanks!

      Jill

      Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

      by jillwklausen on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:05:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only mistake made (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mashed potatoes

        when arguing the 'private sector is doing fine' is that it's probably more accurate to say that "large corporations are doing fine".  

        Whatever, though, it's water under the bridge, as far as the saying goes.

        I'll use your graphic, for sure.

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:17:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, there was another graphic I came upon AFTER (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17, mashed potatoes, Egalitare

          I'd finished this that would have better illustrated the entirety of the private sector doing fine (a graph showing the private sector job growth on an steady upward trajectory). But 1) like you said, water under the bridge, and 2) there's nothing inherently wrong with illustrating that part of the "fine-ness" that the private sector is experiencing is tied up in corporate coffers. If they would stop hoarding it and use it to pay their entire workforce in today's wages, we wouldn't even be talking about this because everyone really would be "doing fine"!

          Thanks again!

          Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

          by jillwklausen on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:23:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  +110% n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftOfYou, stormicats


    I kinda screwed up with a careless uprate so (for now?) I'm a No Rate leper. So when I give a comment "+110% n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround fix to participating in this community!)

    by The Angry Architect on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:09:34 AM PDT

  •  I don't get it. What's the info in this graphic? (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that we have more sales and service jobs than manufacturing? This just seems to support the RW assertion that the President's remark was "out of touch".

    PBO's point was that the private sector doesn't need anymore help from Congress, whereas the public sector does.

    Corporate profits have surpassed the record set in 2006, and business taxes are at an all-time low. Yet the "job creators" just sit on their mountains of cash, looking at each other, and saying "hire more workers? You go first".

    To create jobs, the economy needs more customers with money in their pockets. The President's proposal to re-hire more public workers is a good start. Funding a nationwide infrastructure upgrade would be better. Some "use it or lose it" tax rates on the corporations would be better still.

    Here's some graphics that better illustrate why the private sector "is doing fine": Profits vs Taxes and Profits vs Wages.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:59:34 AM PDT

  •  Parochialism is the underlying reason for it all. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jillwklausen, Lost and Found

    •    There is a large segment of the population who are mired down in parochial thought. They hate gays, they fear all Muslims, they abhor abortion rights, they are paranoid about gun control, etc. They react and lash out and are ready to zealously follow anyone who pays rhetorical lip service to their parochial world view.
    Knowing this, it is child's play for the fat cats to work this group in to such a frenzy of bigotry that they will enthusiastically vote (and even agitate) against their own best economic interest. They learned this strategy in the south in the years when the battle over "right to work" was raging. They learned that it was easy to get workers to vote against their own collective bargaining rights by implanting the notion that because unions were racially integrated, the blacks were poised to come in and take their jobs. This strategy of focusing on bigotry and divisiveness is very effective and one that is extremely difficult to combat. The South is now solidly in the grip of this anti-union legislation.

    If the 20th century has taught us anything it is that cultural hatred and religious paranoia are a contagion that spreads its infection until met with resistance.  It is a war of education and a war of propaganda and, let's not be in denial, the other side is winning.

    If there is any doubt just look to the Supreme Court and look to Louisiana. The Supreme Court put unprecedented propaganda power into the hands of corporations with Citizen's United and Louisiana just enacted a comprehensive voucher plan that will put the power of education into the hands of either right-wing religious schools espousing a Know Nothing, anti-science agenda or "corporate" schools whose main focus is on slick recruitment and profit at the expense of actual education.  This is a major step in the direction they want to lead the entire country, starting once again, with the South.

    I am 70 years old, I have lived most of my life in Louisiana, I have personally witnessed a lot of this history and I recognize that the agenda of the other side is to use this same strategy of division on the rest of the nation.  They understand that a cornerstone of their agenda is a poorly informed and mal-educated populace and they recognize how an ultra-conservative Supreme Court is a major ally in this quest.

    In all my 70 years I have never seen a presidential election where we were not informed that this is the most important one in the history of the nation, but in this case it may finally be true. We simply cannot allow the nominating power for the SC to fall into the   hands of a person who is beholding to the Tea Party right. It is hard to imagine a bigger political disaster befalling this country.

    We must present a dedicated and united front in this struggle and must put aside any factional temptations that may arise. We cannot forget the bitter lesson of the 2000 election where divisions on the left allowed Bush to usurp power, ultimately saddling us with an entrenched, ultra-conservative Supreme Court, a useless war in the Middle East, a massive deficit, and a recession of historic proportions.

    •  Pirogue, you may like another post I wrote ... (0+ / 0-)

      a long time ago (it feels) -- last summer, after the debt ceiling debacle -- on my personal blog. I reposted it here some time later, with some updates to bring it more current and it ... flopped.

      Perhaps you can help revive it because it is THE most important message of this entire election.

      Literally, the future of this nation for GENERATIONS is at stake in THIS ONE election.

      What you are describing is the terrifying result of 40 years of planning and embedding themselves in every recess of our society. I've been saying it for years and people thought I was some damn conspiracy theorist. We are FINALLY seeing them feel safe enough to pop their sleazy little heads out from the underground because they think they've finally gained enough of a foothold to make their long-term vision a reality.

      The ONLY way to stop them is to build a bigger, stronger, more vocal coalition of TRUTH-TELLERS and NOT SHUT UP when we're dismissed as loons.

      Expose these cretins for the despicable force on actual DEMOCRACY that they really and truly are.

      I hope you'll come visit and share The Winning Words Project.

      And here's that old diary here at Kos:

      The Supreme Court Is More Important Than Us

      Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

      by jillwklausen on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 01:41:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very nice Jill. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    I feel like I just read our life story. We're doing ok, but we're stretched very thin, lack confidence, and don't feel like we're doing fine. And you outlined almost every single reason.

    This needs to be sent virally across the intertubes.  I'll start..I have some of those socially mediay things I can use...
    :)

    Tipped and recd.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 11:57:23 PM PDT

  •  Teriffic! (0+ / 0-)

    This is a simply awesome infographic.  I will spread the link as far and wide as I can.  I can give my right-wing father in law an angina flare up too, so that's just a bonus.

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