You're currently reading an archived version of Jim Hightower's work.
The latest (and greatest?) observations from Jim Hightower are only now available at our Substack website. Join us there!
At last, economists have discovered that America is tumbling into a recession.
Of course, most Americans have known for months – if not years – that the economy is already in recession… or even depression. The disconnect is that economists live on a different planet than we do. Ours is Earth. Theirs seems to be Pluto, which might not even be a planet.
Enjoying Hightower's work? Join us over at our new home on Substack:
For economists, a “recession” is a clinical term defined as two or more consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP. For several years, America’s economy has been expanding, while the incomes of the majority of people have been falling, but economists haven’t cared. For them, the measure of a healthy economy is simple growth – not whether we all benefit from it.
Meanwhile, back here on Earth, most people’s definition of recession is personal, based on whether their in-come can keep up with their out-go. Income has not been keeping up, because real wages have been declining for more than five years. Thus, there’s been a spreading and deepening “people’s recession.”
This mass economic decline has not been an accident. Washington has worked with corporate chieftains to rig the rules on everything from labor law to trade deals to hold down the incomes of the workaday majority – so the rich have literally gotten richer at the expense of the rest of us.
When George W first ran for president, he was asked what his economic plan might be. “We ought to make the pie higher,” he answered. People laughed, thinking it was another of his verbal stumbles. Seven years later, we can see that he was serious. His plan was to put our national economic pie on the highest shelf, so only the elites can reach it. Now that the economy is falling into an “official” recession to go along with the unofficial recession that ordinary folks have long been experiencing, even the economists and politicians can see that Bush’s plan worked just as he wanted.
“Experts Warn of Recession – Duh, We’re Living in One Already,” www.alternet.org, January 10, 2008