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Easily, the best rant of the week, IMHO...

The Real State of the Union
Lambert Strether
Naked Capitalism
January 29th, 2014

By Hugh, who is a long-time commenter at Naked Capitalism. Originally posted at Corrente.

The state of the Union is crap. 20% of the country is doing OK. 1% is doing fantastically. 0.001% is doing so well it’s criminal, literally. They don’t own everything yet but they do own the politicians, judges, regulators, academics, and reporters. So they’re getting there. The other 80%, the rubes, the muppets, the serfs, are mired in an undeclared, ongoing depression.

50 years on I can safely state that the War on Poverty has been won. The poor have been defeated, the middle class conquered. They just don’t know it. Many sense that something is wrong, even drastically wrong, but few realize they have been totally and thoroughly betrayed by those they trusted with the governance of the country and themselves. They cannot admit –they have been admirably taught not to admit — even the possibility of the class war waged against them and which they have definitely and definitively lost. They continue to look to those who did this to them to fix things and make them better. They may grumble but there is no hint of real opposition or organized rebellion. Theirs is a Union of misery, lost hopes, lesser lives. The Union of the rich and elites is triumphant.

So we have two states of the Union because we have two Unions, one of the many and one of the few, the haves and have-nots, the winners and the losers. We have one Union based on reality and hard work and another which feeds off it.

For most Americans, their wages minus inflation have stayed flat every day of their working lives, that is for the last 35 years. College is no longer a passport to a better life but a trap of lifelong debt. Hard work avails nothing as millions of American jobs have been sent abroad in “free” trade agreements. These agreements are not free for those who lost their jobs. And they make all of us among the many poorer because it has all become not about how hard you work but how cheaply. The meltdown of 5 years ago destroyed much of the wealth of the middle class and virtually all the wealth of the lower classes. But those who drove the economy over the cliff in 2008, the rich, have come roaring back. They have made back the money they lost and more as the government and Fed have thrown trillions at them and encouraged them to blow new and bigger speculative bubbles. Stock markets are at or near historic highs. Statistics have been bent and twisted until they scream. As a consequence, GDP is up. Unemployment is down. Life is good. The numbers prove it. So suck it up, ignore reality, and stop complaining...

The truth hurts, doesn't it?


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