The Great Contraction, the last recession, which happened to be the worse recession since the Great Depression, left a lot of damage in its wake. Jobs, for example.
Since the recession ended, people have had to create their own jobs. More than ever before, we see people earning extra cash via Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and starting their own coffee shops, or food carts, as their main means of income. Forty years ago, in my neighborhood in Portland Oregon, we didn’t have a single coffee shop within twenty blocks.
Now we have four within ten blocks, and that’s only to the East of me, and that doesn’t count the food carts that serve only coffee.
We didn’t have more than a few food carts operating in the area. Now we have quite a few. You need to do something for a living. These food cart folks, and most of the coffee shop owners, and the folks I know working as Uber drivers, aren’t making a lot of money.
That’s because these folks, along with the rest of us, are battling it out among themselves for fewer and fewer dollars. The 1 percent is now stealing 37 percent of all US income, compared to 8 percent back in 1980. That means the rest of us are battling it out to get a piece of that 63 percent of yearly income, compared to 92 percent back in 1980, back when the economy was producing way more jobs than nowadays, with rising real wages, and with an economy and population much smaller than today.
Where’d are jobs go? They’ve been exported to China, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Vietnam and elsewhere thanks to international income redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower overseas wages goes straight into the already fat wallets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.
And that folks is precisely why the rich are now stealing 37 percent of all the yearly income produced in the United States, and why more and more people are thrust into poverty, and why thousands upon thousands of US citizens are now working for peanuts at coffee shops and for Uber and Lyft and other made up jobs.