The Recession of 2008, planned and executed by the super-rich to defraud the U.S. public, never happened. The steady transfer of national wealth from the middle class back to the super-rich (who owned it once before – in 1929) has been going on steadily for a generation, and the Recession of 2008 changed nothing, except of course to establish the clear precedent for making the public write a welfare check to every billionaire who screws up.
Economic figures for the U.S. need to be given for the 99% and separately for super-rich individuals and corporations. Read this article in combination with Bob Reich’s 1/29 (“Non-Zero Sum”) discussion of recent income trends (up for the 1% and down for everyone else over last two years). National economic health no longer has much to do with GNP or average incomes. You and your favorite billionaire are, together, doing very well. So what. The point, for the future of the U.S. and for your security, is this: how are all the people you will ever see on the street doing? The answer, based on US government statistics, is “worse and worse.” We may be surprised that statistics now show the US economic edging toward recession again/still but to say that economic conditions for the bottom 99% are in recession is hardly news. That position has not changed since the criminal bailout, or do I mean “bailout of the criminals”???
It is critically important for Americans to remember that the Recession of 2008 did not “just happen.” It was not bad luck; it was not “one of those things;” it was not “a blip in the business cycle.” It was a major battle in the war against the middle class, planned, executed, and won by a small handful of super-rich CEOs with the faithful support of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Bob Reich spelled out the basic trends on January 29:
The top 1 percent of earners’ real wages grew 8.2 percent from 2009 to 2011, yet the real annual wages of Americans in the bottom 90 percent have continued to decline in the recovery, eroding by 1.2 percent between 2009 and 2011.
This endless flood of wealth pouring into the pockets of a tiny number of individuals is not coming from rising production, it is coming from your pockets. Along with now-infamous Federal bailouts of the super-banks and foreclosure robo-signing, a wide array of sometimes rather subtle tools for achieving this transfer of wealth are used, of which one of the most popular at the moment is the shifting of taxation at the state level from income tax (hitting the rich more) to sales tax (relatively more painful for the poor) [Off the Charts Blog provides the numbers]. The super-rich have won two enormous victories in the past decade. First, the invasion and occupation of Iraq transferred huge sums into the pockets of a broad range of CEOs even as it set the stage for a disastrous recession for everyone else and the slaughter of 100,000 Iraqis. Second, the super-rich profited from what everyone else knew as the Recession of 2008. There was no recession on Wall St., as you should know, since you, dear U.S. taxpayer, covered its losses.
Now, think about this:
Since the super-rich profited grandly from a war of aggression and a recession during the last decade, just what do you imagine they might have in mind for the next decade?
Criticism Is Easy; How About Solutions?
Step 1. When the U.S. declares war, all corporate officers of corporations accepting U.S. government contracts related to the war effort will have their salaries and benefits reduced to minimum wage until the government signs a peace treaty.
Step 2. When the U.S. bails out a corporation, that corporation must be legally transformed into a public institution, at which point all corporate officers will, unless convicted of a crime, be employed at a salary equivalent to a GS-13 for a minimum of one year and all employees will be employed at salaries of no more than GS-12 for a period of one year. All corporate records immediately become public, and their concealment will be considered criminal fraud.