- Albert Einstein
On August first a shocking article appeared on the New York Post. The article reveals some statistics about the US economy, which were ordered in 25 consecutive lines. The statistics shows how the gap between rich and poor is widening at a staggering rate in the US. It also reveals how the middle class – once the pride and symbol of American dream – is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.
Unfortunately the article’s author puts the blame mostly on the shoulders’ of American workers. He argues that the American workers’ wages are extremely expensive in comparison to that of other countries. Thus US corporations can not compete with other companies in the world scene, and this is the main cause of current economic crisis.
But shortly after, he is compelled to confess that: more than 40% of Americans who are employed now work in often low-paying service jobs (line 20).
According to line 5 of the article: the number of Americans with incomes below the official poverty line rose by about 15% between 2000 and 2006, and by 2008 over 30 million US workers were earning less than 10$ an hour.
On line 22 we read: what American workers compete with is that in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour, and in Cambodia 22 cents an hour.
The question is, what will happen if tomorrow a US worker gets one $ an hour to satisfy the article’s argument?
This would result in the collapse of the entire economy with such heavy weight over a shaky base. In the US the prices and costs of every goods and services are about 5 times and even 10 times more than what they are in China and Cambodia respectively.
Can the companies and the whole economy afford this? And how far will its domino effect be felt.
The problem is even more dramatic if we consider that the amount of fiat money is about ten times the amount of GDP in US. This bubble-economy has inflated the economy with factitious prices of goods and services never before seen. This problem is the main flaw of a highly advanced capitalist system, ruled by finance-capital, imperialism.
In line 6, we read: 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans (Harvard Magazine).
Who are these 1% of all Americans? We can find the answer in line 14, as we read: average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17% when compared with 2008.
Line 23: Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the US rose a whopping 16% to 7.8 million in 2009.
In contrast, about 21% of all the children (in US) are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years (line 24).
For the first time in US history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the US Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011 (line 21).
To be more specific, for the first time in US history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together (line 10).
Line 23: as of 2007, the bottom 80% of American households held about 7% of liquid financial assets.
As we can see, the workers are not to blamed. The blame is of course on the shoulders of the ruling economic system. A system that survives by its instinctive greed for ever more profits. This system always takes advantage of advancing technology and faster growing global communication to satisfy its insatiable appetite for more profit. It continuously creates more unemployed, more semi-employed and an army of jobless and poor people.
By implementation of the so-called liberal economy and by privatization of all assets and resources, this system destroyed nearly all of the workers’ achievements for a descent life. As finally we read in line 17: the average federal worker now earns about twice as much as the average worker in the private sector.
The main problem of the economy is rising unemployment. Unemployed and poor can not buy the fast producing goods and services. By this an economy which is based on the consumption of the products can not survive. This is the cause of recession and there is no cure for it in a capitalist system.