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Monday, August 28, 2006


It's class warfare in the U.S....and guess who's winning

You only get one answer, and I doubt it will be a guess:
Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s. UBS, the investment bank, recently described the current period as “the golden era of profitability.”
This being an article from the corporate press (the New York Times in this instance, but it hardly matters), the view of the economy is entirely from the boardroom. Here's the lead sentence of the article, for example:
With the economy beginning to slow, the current expansion has a chance to become the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers.
But from the point of view of workers, the economy isn't "beginning to slow," nor is there any "expansion" at all, as the article makes quite clear. "Economic growth"? Whose economic growth?

And of course the concern isn't about the people involved, but about what it might do for the political fortunes of the Republicans:

That situation is adding to fears among Republicans that the economy will hurt vulnerable incumbents in this year’s midterm elections even though overall growth has been healthy for much of the last five years.
You have to read that again and rub your eyes to believe what you read. The "fears" aren't that vulnerable workers are suffering, but that "vulnerable" incumbents might "suffer" (the slings and arrows of defeat, and having to go gently into the good night of a corporate sinecure).


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