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Economists and politicians keep their fingers on the pulse of the Dow Jones Average, feeling every tick in this narrow measure of Wall Street wealth.
But the truer indicator of America’s economic health is in the Doug Jones Average – how are workaday folks like Doug and Doreen doing? After all, the experts tell us that we’re now entering the third year of glorious economic recovery from the Great Recession, so surely the bluebirds of happiness are chirping again in Dougland. But, listen: silence.
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The same moneyed elites who caused America’s disastrous economic crash are now doing great. Since the recession ended in June 2009, CEO pay is back in the stratosphere, corporate profits have jumped up by nearly half, corporations are sitting on a record $2 trillion in cash, and that perky Dow Jones Average has soared by a delirious 90 percent, with nearly all of that gain being pocketed by the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans who own more that 80 percent of all stocks and bonds. The sounds you hear up there are cheers, delighted giggling, and the pop-pop-pop of champagne corks.
Yet, more that half of Americans say the recession is still raging in their zip codes, and nearly a third of them describe it as a full blown depression. What’s bugging these party poopers? Reality.
In this “recovery,” those at the top of corporate America are still practicing tinkle-down economics. They’re refusing to hire the Dougs and Doreens, while eliminating hundreds of thousands of other jobs, knocking down wages and benefits, and unleashing their lobbyists on Washington and state capitals to shred unemployment benefits, health care, education, job training, worker rights, and other basics that are necessary to sustain America’s middle class.
If a bluebird did show up in Doug and Doreen’s yard these days, it wouldn’t be chirping – it’d be dinner.
“Job growth feeble in June,” Austin American Statesman, July 9, 2011.
U.S. battles slowest rally since Great Depression, Austin American Statesman, July 2, 2011.
“Industry Set for Fight to Keep Corporate Jet Tax Breaks,” The New York Times, July 8, 2011.
“Corporate Cash Con,” The New York Times, July 4, 2011.
“Taxes And Billionaires,” The New York Times, July 7, 2011.
“GOP Tax Giveaway of the Day: The Hedge Fund Loophole,” www.thinkprogress.org, July 8, 2011.
“If the Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers Paid Taxes Like You and Me, We’d Cut 44 Billion of the National Deficit,” www.alternet.org, June 30, 2011.
“How Dracula Hedge Funds Are Sucking Us Dry,” www.alternet.org, July 9, 2011.
“U.S. Firms Build Up Record Cash Piles,” www.wsj.com, June 10, 2010.
Facts About Wealth That Every American Should Know, www.osjspm.org, 2011.
“What Obama Wants,” The New York Times, July 8, 2011.
“No, We Can’t ? Or Wont?” The New York Times, July 11, 2011.
“Democrats Oppose Talk Of Cuts to Social Security,” July 8, 2011.