Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Plan

Hm. Seems to me that a handful of folks are catching on that the way things are, especially the grotesquely high unemployment rates and the ripple effect throughout society of so much unemployment, is just the way Our Rulers have planned it.

Years ago -- remember? -- the now Endless Recession got under way, and remarkably, as unemployment figures rose higher and higher, "month over month," there was no effort, whatsoever to put people back to work. The "stimulus" was hailed as this Big Jobs Program when it obviously was not; none of the shovel ready programs the stimulus would eventually fund (maybe in Year Two?) provided more than very, very modest employment anywhere in the country. A project might be hailed as providing 300 jobs in an area where 30,000 had been lost.

Here we are, years into this Endless Recession, and there are still no Jobs Programs, no serious effort to put people back to work whatsoever. This Hooverite disinterest in the plight of the unemployed should have been alarming years ago.

It is only now being noticed to a very limited extent because of a study done by Rutgers entitled "No End In Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment." (pdf link)

Yes. Well. Glad they noticed. Finally.

But will Our Rulers? Why should they? As far as they are concerned, the astronomical levels of unemployment in this country can essentially be permanent. The American Plutocracy simply doesn't need all those workers, and there is no way in hell they will re-employ them. Furthermore, there is no way in hell the Plutocracy will allow the Government to become the Employer of Last Resort.

But worst of all, there is no way in hell that Americans will rise up in protest against this appalling situation.


The White House economic team has been rigorous in maintaining its utter indifference to the fact that millions upon millions of Americans are annually being shoved into poverty. That millions upon millions have lost their jobs and will never be employed again. That millions upon millions of Americans continue to lose their homes to foreclosure, their savings to bankruptcy, their future to the Masters of the Universe.

Not even Hoover and his team were this indifferent. They couldn't afford to be because the People would and to some extent did rise up in protest.

Now? (Almost) Nothing.

As I said over at Digby's Place, Reagan must be chortling in his grave, Baroness Thatcher tickling his corpse. The idea of an uprising on behalf of one's own interests and those of his and her compatriots is almost alien to modern Americans. Instead, such uprising as there is is almost entirely confined to the right wing stooges of capitalists and their running dogs.


  1. Good comment, Ché.

    You're right. The jobs aren't coming back. Capitalists used to get the vast majority of their surplus value by stealing from workers. Now, with monopoly capitalism being financialized in ever more exotic ways, they don't need to exploit labor to get their massive salaries, bonuses and profits -- though they still do.

    They can get surplus value easier by pushing paper, cutting it like drug dealers, cutting it again and again, selling off shares, repackaging them again, securitizing the works, and then betting against the whole thing to collapse.

    They get paid regardless.

    It's sort of similar to the secret and not so secret hope of Hollywood studios. Making movies without any actors at all.

    Ripping off workers just isn't good enough these days to secure billions and billions. Ripping off consumers isn't even good enough for that anymore. Playing shell games with trillions is where we are now, and labor is shut out of that deal. Government was damn complicit by lowering taxes on capital gains far below the taxes on income, and they don't really check those trillions anyway.

    The Derivatives market is in the several hundred trillion range right now. There are no assets backing that, obviously. But those who make financial transactions still get paid.

    If we slapped even a 3% tax on their transactions, we could collect enough to end poverty and famine across the globe.

    Thing is, that would probably cause the tea party crowd to storm the castle. Massive unemployment and wage stagnation won't get them to protest. But even the idea of a new tax that could end poverty would send them into hysterics.

    Hope all is well --

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  3. Cu-hool,

    I continue to be really shocked at the languid indifference of Our Rulers to the increasingly dire plight of the masses of Americans.

    The White House continues to claim that "there is nothing to be done" about the unemployment rates; they will continue to be "high" indefinitely (at least through next year, the year after, forever, who knows?)

    Workers' household income is plummeting. You don't see those figures, because they are folded in with "averages" -- which include the highest earners -- and they've only declined 3% or something, but amid the working class, household income is down 15%, 30%, 50% and more.

    And of course, that's the Plan. Force down worker-wages and benefits to "global" levels, and then -- maybe -- think about employing the next generation of proles. Not this one. They already got the boot, and they're not going to be readmitted.

    Unemployment insurance covers less than half the unemployed. And for those it does cover, the benefit amount is usually less than half of previous earnings. There are millions of foreclosures every year, millions of bankruptcies, with no earthly end in sight, because, frankly, not enough Americans have been impoverished sufficiently yet. Our Rulers insist that "there's nothing to be done" about it -- even though the plight of the masses could be almost entirely relieved if a portion of the money devoted to propping up the top of the pyramid had been devoted to jobs and household debt relief.

    It was obvious years ago; it's still obvious.

    And yet... Americans who understand this very simple concept are becoming rarer by the moment...