“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Tuesday, September 24, 2002


Trickle Up

The conventional wisdom -- which is only shorthand for, the chatter among the governing class -- is that the upcoming election is going to be a Republican fest. The focus, now, is firmly on Iraq, and Bush is the maestro who has put this all together.

Well, the governing classes do govern, so one would think that they would know about such things. Elections, after all, are to be manipulated in such a way that there is no disturbance in the well ordered diffusion of power among the people who already have it, and no doubt feel they deserve it.

But isn't it possible, LI would like to know -- speaking out of turn, in his best Oliver Twist wants some more gruel tones -- isn't it slightly possible that the populace will look at the events of the past year in terms of their deteriorating economic situation? A story in the WP about the latest data on income and poverty brings up this point. The census bureau reports that income inequality is again on the rise, that median household incomes are declining, and that more people have officially become poor.

"This report signals a significant reversal of what had been a very positive trend in terms of income and poverty," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the union-backed Economic Policy Institute in Washington. "It also underscores the point that the recession was deeper than many had thought."

Other data indicates that the decline in household income came largely as a result of falling employment and loss of overtime hours, offsetting continued gains in hourly wages.

In terms of class breakdown, only households with incomes above $150,000 were able to post gains, with the greatest losses in percentage terms occurring at the bottom of the income ladder, the report showed."

Perhaps the G.C., living as it does mostly on the East Coast, is more sheltered than usual from these figures. Apparently the income lost has been heaviest in the Midwest and the West.

"Geographically, incomes also fell the most in the Midwest (3.7 percent) and the West (2.3 percent), reflecting the recession's heavy impact on manufacturing in the high tech sectors. Household incomes actually increased 1.7 percent in the Northeast."

This is obviously a stealth recession, but as the market falls, and as it becomes apparent that the Bush economic plan, like Enron's bonuses, is oriented solely towards lavishing perks on those who have already obtained, by various obscene tricks, lavish perks, there will be a backlash. Republicans are reportedly sitting pretty right now, thinking that Iraq will be rubbed in the faces of the Dems. The Dems are nervous, and have adopted a robotic attitude of yes-sir to the odious commander in chief and his henchmen. But maybe they will gain a little spine from the November results.

LI has to have a little hope, after all.

No comments: