Today in the Economy section of the New York Times were two articles that highlight the paradox the U.S. economy continues to face.
The first is titled, Job Growth Suggests Resilience of U.S. Recovery. The Department of Labor reported that in March the work force gained 190,000 jobs. Many economists, while still wary that the economy will not continue to improve, still said this points out the resilience in the U.S. recovery. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy grew in 13 of the 16 sectors it tracks.
The second article, Many Low-Wage Jobs Seen as Failing to Meet Basic Needs, shows that many of the jobs being added are in retail, hospitality and home health care, jobs that are unlikely to cover basic expenses like housing, food, health care, and child care.
If more jobs are available, why are families continuing to find it difficult to survive? The answer lies in the dogma of the conservatives who believe in starving the middle class. Events over the past few weeks have given proof that the mantra of the 80’s, trickle down economy, is still true today. The Republicans have taken aim at the unions by legislating the end of collective bargaining. The rich do not care for unions because they cut into their profits and benefit the working person. So starving the unions can only be interpreted as a continued effort to legislate them out of business at the expense of the middle class and the poor.
The Republicans have mastered calling policy what it is not. Trickle down sounds offensive to working people, so the conservatives call it supply side economics. Supply side economics = trickle down economics. The problem is the rich do not let enough trickle down to the middle class thus the growing disparity between the haves and have not’s. Democrat William Jennings Bryan said this,
“There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them.”
The Republicans seem to believe Gordon Gekko’s mantra, greed is good. The problem is nobody from the right explains good for who. Certainly not the masses belonging to the middle class.
The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007. Does that sound like the rich are letting money trickle down, or are they just keeping it for themselves?
Many Low-Wage Jobs Seen as Failing to Meet Basic Needs
Job Growth Suggests Resilience of U.S. Recovery
Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show