Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Worse Than The Great Depression

Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons
According to CBS News, about 6.2 million Americans (45% of all the unemployed workers in the country) have been jobless for more than six months, a higher percentage than during the Great Depression. Yet the recession has been officially over for months. Corporate profits have reached record levels. The wealthy are wealthier than ever. And apparently they are the only one who really think the recession is over.

Not long after the latest unemployment figures were released (9.1% nationally), Obama’s top Economic Adviser, Austan Goolsbee, resigned (probably to get a less stressful and more lucrative job on Wall Street). There is no chance that Obama will use government spending to create jobs and certainly no chance that government policy will change to aid those who are struggling to stay in their homes, feed themselves or get medical care.

Obama said today that he is not worried about a “double dip” recession (probably because it would have no effect on his personal wealth and maybe because the first recession actually ended). Yet the policies being pushed by Congress are almost certain to exacerbate the current crisis. Axing Medicare, lowering taxes, continuing wars in at least four countries, decreasing government spending, ignoring those who are drowning in mortgage debt, allowing Wall Street to continue its shenanigans, are all certain to strain the economy further.

Meanwhile, wages have stagnated over the last 10 years more than any 10-year period since the great depression.

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