One in two Americans will experience poverty or near poverty during their working years. But you wouldn’t know that from watching the news.
There is a concerted influence by the 1% to pretend that the crisis of 2007-2008 is over and that the U.S. economy is improving.
But turn on You Tube to ANY independent economist or trends-follower and one realizes that essentially all over the world, the reductions in commodities prices is profoundly impacting workers' living standards. This is as true in Brazil as it is in Russia. Similar effects are hidden inside the U.S.
Just as the crisis of 2007-2008 was almost NEVER blamed on the facts of deregulation (taking down the wall that Glass-Steagall erected to prevent banks from speculating on Wall Street with OTHER PEOPLES' money) and instead, tied to low income home buyers; today's unemployment numbers are totally skewed to make things look FAR better than they are.
Paul Buchheit, Robert Reich, and others have mentioned that close to 2/3rds of American families are 2-3 paychecks away from homelessness.
Many no longer CAN save due to the increasing costs of everything other than gasoline with salaries virtually frozen for the vast majority.
This kind of smoke-screening reminds me of fancy cities either turning homelessness into a crime or busing the homeless to OTHER cities.
It's all about maintaining the veneer of progress.
Extreme poverty to the point where in spite of access to the British so-called 'welfare state' can mean trying to exist without enough money to fend off actual starvation. The current UK government has brought in so many 'reforms' that benefits can be arbitrarily cut, without warning and only very limited chances of a long-delayed appeal. Many schools now provide breakfasts, and are aware that substantial numbers of children in Britain simply don't get enough to eat, and are semi-starved.
The issue we all need to confront is that the capitalist - production for profit - system is one where, if we are employed, it is to help further enrich the powerful and rich minority class. But if they feel they cannot make enough profits,then their factories etc are closed down and workers laid off. And the employers - those magical 'creators of wealth' - can sail off on their super yachts, or sit tight in their offshore tax havens, waiting it out until the trade cycle turns, and they spot a new chance for more profit-making from the exploitation of the wage-slave class.
To them it is a matter of indifference if their former employees when laid off become homeless and destitute. And the media are forever portraying the unemployed as being to blame for having had the misfortune to get laid off! Rubbing salt into the wounds, deepening the scars of a tragic and traumatic situation...
But hey this is capitalism - which means we workers have a choice: get jobs or - get lost, the message of the employers and their media lackeys.
Or we could get up off the floor, stop arse-licking, and organize to end this crazy profit-driven system, with its class conflicts between the 1% and the 99%. Call me utopian if you like but I do think that the workers of this world who run this crazy system, those who design and invent and administer and manage things, could if, only they united, create a fairer society, one where the obscenity of poverty would be a thing of the past.
Deregulation has allowed banks to charge Loan Shark rates (and beyond) on Credit while offering virtually no interest on Savings.
(Astoria Bank now offers 0.05% on Savings Accounts. That's five Hundreths of a percent.)
That's a major banana peel under the average person.