posted by: LibbyShaw
A recent article published in the Washington Post reveals that the American worker lost big time during the past decade.
This news should come as no surprise to any hard working middle class American. We have been living the pain for 10 long years.
The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation’s growth.
It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers. The decade began in a moment of triumphalism — there was a current of thought among economists in 1999 that recessions were a thing of the past. By the end, there were two, bookends to a debt-driven expansion that was neither robust nor sustainable.
The Washington Post also reveals that there has been zero net job creation since December 1999. Conditions have not been this grim for decades. Essentially, the American worker has not had a raise in a very long time.
As we well know, our home values have declined as have our retirement and savings accounts.
Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.
Economists attribute the decline to economic stagnation, an out of control housing bubble, too much risk and too much debt. Money was invested in mini mansions instead of business investments that would have created jobs and economic growth.
The housing bubble both caused, and was enabled by, a boom in indebtedness. Total household debt rose 117 percent from 1999 to its peak in early 2008, according to Federal Reserve data, as Americans borrowed to buy ever more expensive homes and to support consumption more generally.
An experiment called an unbridled free market economy ended very badly for we the people.
The first decade of the new century was an experiment in what happens when an economy comes to rely heavily on borrowed money.
“A big part of what happened this decade was that people engaged in excessively risky behavior without realizing the risks associated,” said Karen Dynan, co-director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “It’s true not just among consumers but among regulators, financial institutions, lenders, everyone.”
The experiment has ended badly. While the stock market bubble that popped in 2000 caused only a mild recession, the housing and credit bubble has had a much greater punch — driving the unemployment rate to a high, so far, of 10.2 percent, compared with a peak of 6.3 percent following the last such downturn.
In short, the big banks, enabled by Republican free market ideology, gambled with our money and they lost it. And they lost it big time. As we know we the taxpayer had to step up and bail out the banks so there would not be a complete and thoroughly devastating global economic melt down.
The G.W. Bush era was one in which the GOP rewarded every one of its fat cat sugar daddies, including Halliburton with its no bid contracts for a ginned up war called Iraq.
We the people are dearly paying the price for the Bush era’s unforgivable mistakes.
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I am with Dylan Ratigan on this one. The banks should pay the taxpayers back with interest. Why on earth did Hank Paulson give away our money with no strings attached? What was he thinking?
So next time we hear about the virtues of an unbridled free market economy we need to say no way in hell. Any politician who embraces this voodoo notion of economic devastation should be run out of office on a rail for they are unfit to serve the people.
Speaking of unfitness to serve, why is that Republicans have to blame their short comings on others? Why can’t Republicans ever step up and take responsibility for their mistakes?
Republicans are obviously inept at running the economy and they are also incompetent at keeping our nation safe whether from terrorist attacks or national disasters like Hurricane Katrina. It seems that the only thing Republicans are good at is playing the blame game.
A coordinated, successful attack, with sufficient warning, carried out by 19 terrorists, killing 2,973 people, on the 234th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the previous President… who happened to be a Democrat.
HOWEVER, an unsuccessful attack, attempted by 1 terrorist, killing absolutely no one on the 339th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the current President… who happens to be a Democrat.
SIMILARLY, a complete and total meltdown of the financial system, including a stock market collapse and levels of bankruptcy/foreclosure not seen since the Great Depression on, or around, the 2415th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the previous President (and Congress)… who created Acorn, and just happened to be Democrats.
BUT, 10% unemployment and lackluster job growth on the 215th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the current President (and Congress)… who want to institute socialism (in the form of Acorn) and happen to be Democrats.
NOW, making a statement from your “brush farm” 144 hours after a dude with bad facial hair is prevented from blowing up an airplane… that’s fighting some serious war on the baddies.
AND YET, making a statement from the beach 72 hours after a dude with bad genital burns is prevented from blowing up an airplane… that’s “pretending the war on terror doesn’t exist“.
If folks really have a desire to destroy what is left of their financial security, go ahead and continue to vote for Republicans. Hopefully most of us won’t have this death wish in November.