As part of last week’s job report, the NY Times gave us a little insight into why corporations and the elite don’t really mind our current economy and why things aren’t going to drastically change (for the rest of us) any time soon:
Today the United States economy is producing even more goods and services than it did when the recession officially began in December 2007, but with about five million fewer workers.
Anyone who works knows what it’s like during “uncertainty” or “bad times”: folks get laid off and the rest of us have to pick up the slack. Why would businesses go back to a “bloated” workforce, when they can get pre-recession productivity out of a recession-era workforce? There’s only one answer to that question: a massive increase in demand.
Where is that demand going to come from?
Asia? Probably not.
Our government? Not now, with the massive state & local cuts or the federal “austerity now!” meme. In fact, the government sector shrank during the first 3 years of the Obama administration — for the first time in 40 years. Obama has to be the worst socialist ever, right?
(Just imagine where the economy and unemployment rate would be, if the government had maintained a historical level of growth during this time, much less the kind of growth normally seen during a recession. The Wall Street Journal makes an attempt: 7.1% unemployment. )
So that leaves us: your common, everyday American.
But how can we do that when only 1% of the growth in national income during the recovery went to wages and salaries. 88% ($464 billion, as of the end of 2010) went to corporate profits, which are at record levels. (Which they are hoarding at record levels too. To the tune of $850+ billion.)
And this isn’t even considering the stock market. Here are a few graphs to consider:
The Dow Jones is up 57.5% since Obama’s inauguration:
The NASDAQ is up 93.7% during same time:
p id=”yui_3_17_2_1_1407674114902_386140″>Boom for the 1% and stagnation for the rest of us. This is the new reality.