Sunday, June 7, 2015

Quick, Nero, get out the fiddle!

Four Major Economic Concerns America is Currently Facing:

1) Student loans are exacting a major toll on the economy, keeping young professionals from making serious investments.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said: “The Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have all done reports showing that young people with student loan debt are not taking the economic steps they would ordinary take at this point in their lives. The student loan debt is becoming a drag on the whole economy. And yet the federal government is making billions in profits.”

2) Workers’ wages continue to stagnate while income inequality increases.

According to Paul Craig Roberts: “The release of the US Census Report and the Federal Reserve Consumer Finance Survey revealed an ongoing trend toward greater income and wealth inequality. We remain 8 million jobs below pre-crisis levels, adjusted for population growth. Real wages have stagnated or declined. Employers have no incentive to provide well-paying jobs amidst ample desperation in the ranks of the unemployed.”

3) Most of the jobs gains are deceptive. Sure our economy is gaining a lot of new jobs, but is that a good thing?

Robert Reich says it’s not: “The movement of low-wage workers for decent pay and working conditions is partly a reflection of America’s emerging low-wage economy. While low-wage industries such as retail and restaurant accounted for 22 percent of the jobs lost in the Great Recession, they’ve generated 44 percent of the jobs added since then, according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project.” [Not to mentor, the record number of people dropping out of the labor force because they can't find jobs.]

4) If the TPP passes, we can expect our already massive trade deficit to explode.

Lori Wallach explains: “There is a staggering U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico after 20 years of NAFTA. Just like today for TPP, in the past Congress and the public were sold on glorious projections of trade agreements’ benefits. But the actual data show the projections were at best wrong and perhaps simply cooked. The White House and the corporate lobby are trying to sell Congress the TPP and Fast Track with the same old promises about export growth and job creation, empirically that expanding the old trade model will only result in larger trade deficits, more job loss and downward pressure on U.S. wages.”

Paul Craig Roberts also explains: "The Transatlantic and Transpacific Trade and Investment Partnerships have nothing to do with free trade. 'Free trade' is used as a disguise to hide the power these agreements give to corporations to use law suits to overturn sovereign laws of nations that regulate pollution, food safety, GMOs, and minimum wages ... Yes, the great promiser of change is bringing change. He is turning the rule over Asia, Europe, and the US to the corporations."

If these conditions persist, our economy is headed into even worse conditions than we have been in in the last few decades.

The Great Fire of Rome destroyed half of the city before finally being brought under control. It is said that the Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned; but there were no fiddles in 1st-century Rome. But surely President Obama and members of Congress must have fiddles.

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