Politicians strut and puff their chests out like Mussolini on a high balcony, while they announce the strength of the American economy and the magnificent low unemployment figures. Pointing to reducing federal taxes on billionaires and multi-millionaires as the reason for such a robust surge; they say it like every super wealthy person ran out and started small and medium sized businesses in April when their “windfall” was calculated.
If there was an up tick in employment it was for additional groundskeepers or household maids for the “big house.” The rest of the funds were funneled into Swiss bank accounts and investment portfolios, where fund managers insisted on even higher pretax profits. To get those higher profits more Americans were laid off.
Unemployment figures have had dozens of corrections as to who is actually counted as unemployed in the last few years. It’s down to only those people receiving checks for the first six months after being thrown on the street. Let’s take a look at who isn’t being counted:
1) Anyone granted a three month extension, having provided search logs to prove they’ve been looking actively for a job they’re qualified for.
2) Those who were lucky enough to get a second three months of checks because their state had funds enough to provide additional monies.
3) People who were “run off” by employers, you know, it’s where the employer makes it so tough for the employee, they quit. That way the employer avoids paying any higher taxes.
4) People whose jobs have been “mass shipped” to Mexico under NAFTA. You know, where the government has created a windfall profit bonanza, by allowing American companies to manufacture in Mexico and take their profits there where the tax rate is a fraction of that of the US.
5) People whose jobs where moved to China, Malaysia, Viet Nam, anywhere but here. The corporations are also allowed to change their headquarters to an off-shore country in the Caribbean and avoid all US taxes. Did I mention the management team still lives in the US, enjoys all the perks of mansions and servants of our country, but pays nothing towards the protection and well-being they so freely demand
6) Over 90% of all new job offers people received are well below their old wages. We call them the “underemployed”, the phrase not only has to do with the lower wages, but reflects the fact that they’re qualified to earn much more because of skills and knowledge picked up over decades of hard work. Most people have to settle for less than half of their old wages.
7) There’s another group, the “discouraged”. These are the people that have given up and are in the process of selling their household belongings, spending food stamps, down to basic phone service with no long distance, eating one or two meals a day to conserve on food, blowing through penalized 401 money to pay all the bills, and finally forced to sell their homes if they own one to extend living a while longer.
The real figures, that no politician has the inclination to investigate, are unemployment between 5-15%, if you add in the under-employed (those working for less than 2/3 of their old wages) the combined rate would be 25-35%. That folks is where the middle class went.
Every time a person, losing all they have worked for over a lifetime, hears government officials say 4.7 % or “If a person doesn’t have a job in this economy, they don’t want one” there’s a cringe and anger that builds up. There will come a day in the not too distant future when “traitors of the American people” will be hunted down like Nazi war criminals and made to stand trial for what they’ve done to this country and its brave people.