Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Most Profitable Recession Ever?

American businesses had their highest profits on record last quarter, earning at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion. It wasn’t just last quarter, either. Profits have grown for 7 consecutive quarters, with many of those quarters also breaking records. 

When politicians declare that times are tough and we “all” must tighten our belts, they clearly mean “all American workers” must tighten their belts (so that the bosses can get fatter.) They squandered trillions of taxpayer dollars to bail out Wall Street and Detroit, fueling these record profits, but provided nothing to bailout Americans who lost their homes. Worse, they are expecting the rest of us to pay for this bailout (now referred to as a deficit) with regressive sales taxes, gutted social security, whittled down unemployment benefits, and declining wages and benefits.

The record profits were also fueled by increased worker “productivity.” Fewer people are working, but they are producing greater profits for their bosses. The explanation for this is straight forward. With high unemployment, those who have jobs are scared shitless of losing them, and thus are easily pressured into working harder and faster for less pay and benefits. 

The employing class and the working class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.

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