The middle class remains under siege as we continue the corporate pilfering of America. Yet the big news promoted by the mainstream media is the resignation of a pope, a disabled carnival cruise liner, the McCarthy-like behavior of Senators denying a qualified veteran timely confirmation, and other frivolities. None of these stories are of immediate material value to the middle class. Yet, they were the biggest stories of the week in an economy not working for the middle class – sans the President’s State of The Union address, which was followed by the ineptitude of a rebuttal speech; a speech that was nothing more than a rehash of rejected policies and values and a Twitter/Facebook deflecting moment.
Today America wakes up to a very depressing news story to 99% of Americans:
U.S. corporations’ after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Profits are more than twice as high as their peak during President Ronald Reagan’s administration and more than 50 percent greater than during the late-1990s Internet boom, measured by the size of the economy.
It is a mathematical fact that if the wealthy’s income and wealth is growing at a faster rate than the wealth and income of the middle class in a virtually closed world economy, then it is being done at the expense of the middle class. In other words, the middle class is being robbed. The middle class is being pilfered. It has nothing to do with the wealthy being bad people. It is that politicians have created bad policy that has allowed an economic system of selected “haves and have nots” based on who has access to capital.
Governmental policy has allowed the hoarding of capital after the New Deal since the inception Reagan’s supply side economics. No one needs to guess what has occurred. It is found readily in the charts. Now that the hoarding of capital has reached an unsustainable rate, many on the right would have citizens believe the country is broke and that even more sacrifices are required of the middle class. This is a false premise. America is not broke. It is being pilfered from within.
This week President Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage from the poverty wage of $7.25, a move that would be a very small measure to raise many out of poverty as well as begin a minute march out of income inequality. Many on the right insist on the fallacy that this would cost jobs when facts says otherwise. The media must be held accountable when they give plausibility to the verifiable lie stated by those on the right about the minimum wage causing job losses in the aggregate. In fact, the increase in the minimum wage is also stimulative to the economy.
Ezra Klein showed an important graph that is not seen much on the news. He delivered a powerful piece on wages and the minimum wage.
[flickr video=8479331463 secret=3322a5d2a1 w=400 h=225]
Ezra Klein: If the Republicans don’t like the minimum wage as a policy… They need an alternative… Because the market isn’t fixing this on its own. And this graph isn’t only about economics. This graph is about politics too. You can’t have that blue line go down for much longer before people decide it is time to go to the ballot box and do something big to stop it.
His final statement has two purposes. Firstly, it is the acknowledgement that America’s crony market will not fix the wage problem. Secondly, the masses will ultimately revolt if change does not occur through policy.