Economic Recovery?

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    • #425843
      David the Gnome
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      • Total Posts: 3,230

      In recent weeks, the headlines have changed from the sycophantic “Oh, Biden fixed the economy!” to somewhat more pessimistic talk about “workers won’t work”.  One question to be asked is: Has the economy really recovered?  Are we back to the “normal” that we were at prior to the pandemic?  The short answer is no.  The long answer is nooooooo.

      Go to the grocery store.  Visit your local hardware store.  Try to rent an apartment or a house.  You will find that, in nearly every case, prices are up well beyond what they were.  Have wages, generally speaking, gone up to account for this?  The short answer is no.  The long answer is nooooooo.

      There is some bit of comfort, which is that the EBT (food stamp) program has been expanded and is a lot easier to qualify for than it was.  However, as the pandemic numbers go down, that is changing.  Numerous states have now cancelled the extended unemployment benefits – the eviction moratorium that was a damn poor shield to begin with, will be officially over on the first day of July.  Wood prices, steel prices, the price of damn near everything has gone up – and some of it has gone up a lot.  Yet wages and benefits are not really improving, certainly not significantly enough in the cases where they are improving, to offset the rise in costs.

      Lots of well heeled elites are buying up properties in rural areas to rent out.  Some of them own dozens, or even hundreds, between houses, apartments and complexes.  Much of the farm land that used to belong to… well… farmers, is sitting empty, owned by one rich prick or another who is doing nothing with it, regardless of the current issues with food insecurity.

      Workers are being called lazy, they are saying that there is “no incentive” to go back to work – republicans everywhere are demanding an end to the extended unemployment benefits.  In most (if not all?) Republican states they have succeeded in this.  Given rising costs, stagnant wages, you would think that, perhaps, if employers wanted to get people to work for them, they would offer more.  Are they doing this?  The short answer is no.  The long answer… you get it.

      So put all of these things together, mix them up.  In a few months, the freeze on student loans will be at an end, in about a month, the eviction moratorium will be at an end.  In a few months, the improved food stamp benefit is going away.  So how many individuals and families will this effect?  What about the millions who are months behind on rent – and will now have to pay late fees in addition to a few thousand dollars?  For the most part, they are going to either move voluntarily, or be evicted.  It is likely that this will be the case for millions of people – and some of them will have friends or family to move in with, some will share apartments or houses with room mates in order to manage rent.  Some will not.

      I believe the rough (estimated) average of homeless people in the U.S. is around 500K.  It is entirely possible that that will go up by millions.

      Of course, thank the Universe that we have our fair and balanced, trusty media to keep us informed of all of this… oh wait.

      So is the economy recovering?  I would say that it hasn’t recovered from the 2008 crash, or from the disaster of the Bush administration, or the Reagan administration.  The wealth of the wealthiest has grown by trillions – while the relative wealth of the middle, working and poor classes have remained mostly stagnant.  The federal minimum wage is laughable – yet some states still pay precisely (and only) that for a wide variety of jobs.  There is no single state in the union in which a full time, minimum wage worker, can afford rent.  Forty hours a week is no longer enough.  Sixty usually isn’t.  If you earn minimum wage, you are looking at 80-100 hour weeks just to cover the roof over your head.

      Meanwhile, the media reports about economic recovery, about the booming business of housing, or how great it is that we have new billionaires made by the pandemic.  The American dream – nevermind who you have to screw, or that you have to be a sociopath to live it.

      There is a massively growing shortage of childcare, of healthcare workers, of a wide variety of skills and professions.  Also of commercial drivers – and if you don’t think that’s a big deal, think for a minute about how our supply chain works.  Meanwhile, corporations like Amazon and AT&T (or whatever the current parent company is) are buying up other corporations and merging to further expand their monopolistic conglomerates.

      The average people, the “small people” (most of us) are pretty well screwed.  We will be expected to work for dirt wages and be grateful for it.  Just as we always have been.  One of the key differences is that now some people are pushing back, they are saying, “Fuck you”.  This is making the upper middle class and the rich quite nervous and angry.  How dare the peasants revolt?

      Socioeconomic revolution is coming, I think.  It is inevitable.  I think those of us who still believed we could do it tried the political route – and some poor suckers are still there.  A lot of us, though, who supported Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and others who are outside of mainstream politics, have come to realize the truth.  There is no representation for the majority of us.  Our government and its so called representatives are not on our side.  The media is so twisted up with spinning the truth and in some cases outright lying, that we cannot trust them either.  Congress has been cracking down on social media companies for daring to have different opinions – it isn’t just the outright liars and nutbags that get censored – those are just the ones that get the most press.

      Sooner or later, people will either react… or we will indeed be back to a system that is more or less feudalism.  Yes – they damn well can do it.  The rich in this Country could hire one half of the population to kill the other half.  They can accomplish pretty much anything they want to – as damn near everything has a price.  Case in point… the pandemic… and the criminal coverup that I would call the greatest (well, the most terrible) conspiracy in known history.

      The news is full of stories (that even I find deeply fascinating) about UFOs.  It is full of stories about the origins of the pandemic – which I think is indeed something to look into and do something about, perhaps.  Yet what most are ignoring is that there is a damned tidal wave of economic pain coming for tens of millions of Americans.  I’m pointing it out here, because I can.  Because I am fortunate in that I do not have work that does not permit me to share my thoughts and feelings.  I have the free time to read about, think about – and write about this shit.  Of course, that could change at any time, I’m just barely above water – and if I lose my disability payments or my fiance loses her job, we’ll either be living with my parents or in a tent.

      Time to fuck shit up.  Time to make some noise.  Before it is too late – before what freedoms we have left are dead and gone.  Perhaps it is already too late.

    • #425845
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      Why more people aren’t talking about this.  It has the potential to be even worse than the pandemic, in terms of hunger, homelessness, poverty, violence and so much else.

      Perhaps the politicians are looking for a scapegoat.  At the moment, that would appear to be China.  If we are focusing our energy and anger on them, a common enemy, perhaps the politicians and the wealthy believe we will not turn that focus towards them.

      Perhaps they are even right…. at least for now.  I am going to say that the next big crash will hit us in October if not sooner.  Not necessarily a stock market crash either.  No, with so many homes lost, we are likely looking at something much worse.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is the end of the world.  It will be, rather, a brave new world – contempt for the poor has given rise to this.  It will be ugly.

    • #425847
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,787

      @sffh We haven’t had one of those for awhile.

      I only have one quibble, David. I don’t think any coverup of how Covid originated will be the most terrible conspiracy in history by a long shot, simply because Covid wasn’t that deadly. Well, it wasn’t. It is just a cold on steroids. Maybe literally for all I know. Anyway, since I had it, I’m not afraid of it. And I get my second shot in about 2 hours.

      Everything else, though…yeah, you’re spot on.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #425848
      closeupready
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,596

      But you are correct that the pay is not keeping up with inflation.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #425849
      MizzGrizz
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,532

      @davidthegnome.

      But change doesn’t start from the place we’re now in.It happens when things begin to get just a little bit better,when there’s still some hope.

      What the country’s leaders have done since Reagan is to slowly take people’s hope away.Many people now can’t even imagine a better future,because they have been so ground down that they believe that this is all there is.

    • #425853
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,787

      Download Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis? (1975) - Rock ...

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #425874
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      @ohiobarbarian

      That whether or not it can be effectively classified as a super cold or some such thing – it has killed over three million people.  Possibly quite a lot more.  Wars, of course, have killed more.  Other pandemics throughout history have killed more.  The difference now (as far as I know) is that if covid19 was the result of a lab leak, it will be (I think) the first time in history such a thing has happened on such a massive scale.  There are plenty of conspiracy theories about other viruses – but not with nearly the amount of information to support them.  Right now, the lab leak theory is still somewhat in between conspiracy theory and actual conspiracy.  I think it will move into the category of actual conspiracy.  There are simply too many “coincidences”.

      So, in terms of those conspiracies that we are aware of, this will indeed be the most harmful – the biggest (most bigly?).  In terms of the number of dead, the economic devastation, the massive variety of social and economic issues it has either caused or worsened.  And it ain’t over yet, man.  What is happening in India should be a wake up call for the world – ESPECIALLY – for Countries like America that seem to be gaining the upper hand with this thing.  The reality though… is not that.

      Honestly, it is likely that if there is any such thing as actual universal karmic justice, we are all fucked already and just along for the ride.

    • #426012
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 9,978

      –we get rid of neoliberalism.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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