By Betty Plummer | Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 at 11:46 am
The high unemployment problem is well known. Less apparent in raw figures is the loss of buying power by the employed. Writing for the Christian Science Monitor, Robert Reich reports:
Missing from almost all discussion of America’s dizzying rate of unemployment is the brute fact that hourly wages of people with jobs have been dropping, adjusted for inflation. …June’s decline in average hours pushed weekly paychecks down at an annualized rate of 4.5 percent. In other words, Americans are keeping their jobs or finding new ones only by accepting lower wages.
This is not partisan criticism of the Obama regime. Robert Reich was Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton.
One group is still thriving at the expense of the middle class, the monied interests. Reich notes:
Meanwhile, a much smaller group of Americans’ earnings are back in the stratosphere: Wall Street traders and executives, hedge-fund and private-equity fund managers, and top corporate executives….
We’re back to the same ominous trend as before the Great Recession: a larger and larger share of total income going to the very top while the vast middle class continues to lose ground.
And as long as this trend continues, we can’t get out of the shadow of the Great Recession. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don’t have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing.
Reich is not optimistic about Obama’s efforts to manage the problem. He describes the attempt at “financial reform” — The New Finance Bill: A Mountain of Legislative Paper, a Molehill of Reform.
Could his commentary be a harbinger of a Hillary Clinton challenge to Obama in 2012? Or a ploy to get Obama to forestall that by naming her as his vice-presidential running mate in 2012?
Send a link: Tell a friend about this.|
Link to this post: Permalink
Send us your link: Trackback link
Filed under: Economy, Politics|
Tags: Economy, Politics