America’s New Normal: Vampiric Aristocracy & Explosion of Poverty, Free Fall Wages for Citizenry
Joseph Kishore reports that last week Forbes magazine released its annual inventory of the 400 richest Americans. Their combined wealth, points out Kishore, "soared" to $1.53 trillion this year, up 12% from last year. To clear the list, Kishore explains, you have to earn 10,000 times the median net worth of an American household.
96 of the “super rich” list are investors. Only 4 are from manufacturing.
Kishore pays particular attention to the 17th rung occupant, John Paulson, a hedge fund manager. He is worth $15.5 billion. Forbes attributes to Mr. Paulson something called the “Paulson paradox.” According to Kishore, Paulson’s hedge fund fell 30% last year, due primarily to poor speculation on Bank of America stock, while at the same time Paulson’s personal fortune increased a whopping 25%, amounting to $4.9 billion.
Kishore goes on to further frame the scope of Paulson’s vast fortune. His personal wealth of $15.5 billion is approximately equal to the total net income of the bottom 20 percent of the New York City Metropolitan area, or about 1.6 million people. The "Paulson paradox" making you sick, yet?
The increasing wealth of this layer is a direct product of the infusion of trillions of dollars into the financial system, orchestrated by the Obama administration. Three years after rampant speculation led to the greatest world economic crisis in generations, the speculators are doing better than ever.
Kishore takes a look at our national economic travesty from the non-rich side of the social inequation. He discloses that in Detroit, more than half of all children in the city—or 53.6 percent—live in poverty. For the state of Michigan the median income has fallen to 19.3 percent, nearly one-fifth since 2000. In California, 6 million people were living below the official poverty line in 2010—16.3 percent, up from 15.3 percent a year before. Similar figures are present in virtually every state.
“Soaring poverty is driven by an unprecedented jobs crisis” concludes Kishore, pointing out as one example, “... only 55 percent of young adults aged 16-29 were employed last year, down from 67.3 percent in 2000 and at its lowest level since World War II.”
Andre Damon focuses on the free fall of factory wages in America thanks to the monopolistic political leverage of corporate overlords.
Damon reports that production workers at a VW plant in Chattanooga, TN are pulling in $12 an hour. BMW has opened its assembly line in Spartanburg, SC that pays $15 an hour. These wages, Damon emphasizes, are among the “lowest for autoworkers anywhere in the developed world.” The standards of American workers have been under seige for three decades declares Damon and the seige accelerated by the financial crisis in 2008.
According to Damon the Obama administration along with US and foreign corporations are exploiting Great Depression levels of mass unemployment and poverty to transform the US into a “platform of cheap labor” to compete with Mexico, China and other low-wage countries.
According to Damon those wages for VW in Chattanooga are low enough for Germany to sell cars for $7,000 less than in Germany. Damon:
The lowering of wages is a key part of Obama administration’s goal of doubling US exports by 2015. While doing nothing to alleviate the jobs crisis, the administration spearheaded the drive to cut wages during the forced bankruptcies and restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009. [emphasis added]
Using the threat of liquidation, the White House demanded the expansion of near poverty wages throughout the industry, stripped workers of the right to strike and demanded labor costs be kept in line with the Asian and European manufacturers operating non-union factories in the South. This has resulted in booming profits for the US-based automakers, which have, in turn, refused to provide any wage increases to workers while shoveling out tens of millions in executive bonuses.
Obama, the UAW and foreign manufacturers are colluding to “screw” auto workers globally. Damon:
European workers are now being told they must accept American-style wage concessions and “labor flexibility” or their plants will be closed.”
The severe decline in living standards for the auto workers is particularly striking because they have historically been the highest paid industrial workers in the US, making so-called “middle class wages.” But the experience of plummeting pay and casual labor conditions is common to every section of the working class in what has become the “new normal” in America.
The "new normal" of Obama's heralded "new world order" has doomed us and the rest of the non-elite globe to profound economic feudalism.