Saturday, November 12, 2011

What This Country Needs

by Paul Craig Roberts

Everyday, every hour, every time I raise up my head to investigate just what the hell is going on in this country. I am met with an outrage, met with nonstop bullshit and parsimonious non-sense called government, and then, all that I can do to restrain and to comfort myself and to keep my head from exploding is to repeat this one little phrase. "What this country needs is a f*cking revolution."

Not content with a decade of pointless war in the Middle East, the Obama administration begins to ratchet up the war rhetoric against Iran. They don't think that, we the people, have enough common sense to understand that they have now removed enough troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to start some new conflict somewhere else for the sole purpose of hegemony. They think that, we the people are so stupid; that we will fall yet again for the same arguments of the big, bad, scary boogeyman who is going to get us if we don't get him first.

Oblivious to the fact that thousands of its citizens are living in public parks in protest across the land they behave as if nothing is going on and they continue along with their bloody escapades. We have over 14 million unemployed in this country; the official unemployment rate is 9 percent. However, that is the U-3 number, which is the happy land figure, so take off your shoes and socks and play for a while in this imaginary hamburger storefront playground. The actual number for unemployment for October is 16.2 percent down from 16.5 percent from September and up from 15.9 percent a year ago.

Now let's add in all of those people still not counted, if you are discharged from the military, you're not counted. If you graduate from college, trade school or high school and don't have a job, you're not counted either. The U-6 number includes those workers marginally attached to the economy but not those who are considered discouraged. The actual unemployment rate is not even calculated by the government because they don't want to know, so instead we get this from big media.

Bloomberg- "Job openings increased by 225,000 to 3.35 million, the most since August 2008, a month before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. intensified the financial crisis, Labor Department data showed today in Washington. Hiring advanced by 185,000 to 4.25 million, and firings also climbed."

Hooray! 3.35 million jobs or one job for every fourth officially unemployed American. Ben Bernanke strokes his whiskers and furrows his brow saying, job growth is "frustratingly slow." No, waiting inline to get inside a movie theater is frustratingly slow but not be able to find a job in two years to take care of your children is a f*cking catastrophe. The Republicans in Congress offer nothing in the way of job programs, they don't have to, if you want to see a Republican jobs program simply ask Barack Obama to show you his. Obama's plan offers tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts and fresh off the signing of a Korean Free Trade deal which is forecast to double our trade deficit with Korea. Even as the Free Trade deal is forecast to cost thousands of American jobs, Obama today has proposed a new nine nation Free Trade deal.

On average, over the past several years' inflation has been around 3 percent annually, while wage growth has been around 1 percent. So that means workers take a 10 percent wage cut every five years. Of course, that is, if we assume that all wage growth is created equal; its not! Average weekly earning for those working in retail are down on average four dollars per week. People working in Goods Production saw their wages rise on average twenty dollars per week. The average for all workers is only fourteen dollars a week, against rising gas prices, rising food prices and rising utilities prices.

Sixteen percent of the American population lives below the poverty line, forty five million Americans are on food assistance. One in five children in America lives in poverty, followed by one in six Americans over the age of 65. What is going on is blatantly obvious, it is an inverted bell curve of the very old and very young who are falling behind, they're not keeping up and they're not making it in our society. 1.93 percent of households reported annual incomes over $250,000. while the bottom 20 percent of wage earners averaged just $19,000. Try living on $365.00 a week in America and try raising a kid or kids on $365.00.

I want you to read what your government has to say for themselves, not what they tell you, but what they tell each other about what is going on.

From the CIA world fact book; "The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The war in March-April 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq, and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, required major shifts in national resources to the military. Soaring oil prices between 2005 and the first half of 2008 threatened inflation and unemployment, as higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets. Imported oil accounts for about 60% of US consumption. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of wages in lower-income families."

Yet is this what our, so called, leaders tell us we need? Do they talk about the two tier labor market? Do they tell us about the major shift in national resources for the wars? No, they tell us that what we need are more tax cuts and more Free Trade agreements. But do you know what this country really needs? It needs a f*cking revolution, because we can't continue on like this.

The top twenty percent of wage earners in this country had incomes above $91,000 and three quarters of those were in two income families. The middle percentile or what was once called the middle class had incomes in the range of $30.066 to $60.063 the majority of those were also two income families. The bottom third are made up of single income families, Widows and widowers, single parent families, women with kids, as Herman Cain tells the poor have no one to blame but themselves, Mitt Romney has stashed away a $100 million dollar endowment for his children.

If consumers in a consumer society cannot earn enough in wages to supply themselves with basic food and shelter it then ceases to be a consumer society and becomes a subsistence society. It is a non-functioning society which is no longer Capitalism but Neo-feudalism, which when coupled with wars and rumors of war and corporatism becomes our own brand of American Fascism.

"Necessitous men are not free men," -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

We have in this country, a media monstrosity which views news as entertainment and entertainment as news. They frame the issues while missing the point. They selectively choose which parts of a story to tell and which to ignore. The media frames Herman Cain's harassment problem as "allegations" yet Cain's employers paid out settlements. They settled the matter by writing checks on the condition the aggrieved parties would not talk about the matter publically. Is that an allegation? Is it alleged that the Saint Louis Cardinals won the World Series or is it a provable fact?

Herman Cain is touted by the media as the successful CEO of Godfather's Pizza, he was so successful during his tenure, that Godfather's closed stores while revenue flat lined. Mitt Romney made his millions through leveraged buy outs. He broke apart companies, put people out of work and robbed pension funds and yet he calls himself a Christian. He is the worst of the worst; he's a Wall Street warrior, a captain of crony and corrupt Capitalism. He has a pretty smile, smooth talk and nice manners but inside he is a black hearted bastard.

Barack Obama is no different, It doesn't matter what the public may want, what they will get is what the corporations want. The Obama administration announced yesterday that they would open more areas in the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling and opened up more environmentally sensitive areas in Alaska to oil drilling. Then Obama announced they would review the Tar Sands pipeline project for 12 to 18 months before making a decision. They are putting the decision off until after the election, if Obama is reelected he will green light the project, if a Republican is elected they will green light it. That's how the game is played, heads they win and tails you lose.

State governments across the nation including Ohio and Wisconsin are engaged in open warfare with their citizens. They demonize their workforce and blame their own citizens for the states failures.

"We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Federal State
and local government employees have taken the brunt of so called "austerity" budgets. Austerity budgets are the direct lineal descendants of Herbert Hoover budgets and they lead to where no good can come of it. They are government by excuse and government by scapegoat.

From the CIA world fact book; "The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression."

"Restoring the economy requires that we maintain the flow of credit to families and businesses. So I'm gratified that a majority of the U.S. Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, voted today to give me the authority to implement the rest of the financial rescue plan in a new and responsible way. I know this wasn't an easy vote because of the frustration so many of us share about how the first half of this plan was implemented." -- Barack Obama

"True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

It just goes on and on as October set another monthly record for home foreclosures. Los Angeles County reports that more and more citizens are living in their cars. The employment participation rate for October 2010 was 64.5 percent and the participation rate for October 2011, was 64.2 percent. More than five million Americans have been unemployed for over a year and the number has risen sharply, while 48 percent no longer collect unemployment benefits. This situation is untenable, our government is unresponsive, our courts are regressive and the police are becoming warlike and our media are nothing but f*cking liars.

During the darkest days of the Great Depression the highest reported level of national unemployment was 25.4 percent. We now have fourteen million officially unemployed in an economy which has added only 2.1 million jobs this year. As 2.9 million students graduated from high school and 1.5 million bachelor's degrees were awarded. The actual unemployment rate is over 20 percent maybe as high as 22 percent as the administration talks about the recovery.

It is unavoidable and it isn't about what I want or don't want, it is a process, like a fever in a body. We do not have a choice, this is not an issue of choice it is an issue of survival.

Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it. -- Vaclav Havel

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