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Posts Tagged ‘growth’

According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the current economic expansion is the worst of all since and including the recovery of 1949. Robert Scott, the author of the report, blames government reduction of expenditures during this recovery for the weakness of it. You can see from the graph below that this recovery in Gross Domestic Product (GNP) is the lowest of the last 11 recoveries. No doubt government spending plays a role in how fast GNP grows, along with other variables, such as wage and job growth. This recovery is the worst on record for government expenditures. But there is another likely culprit that plays a role in making this the weakest of economic expansions.

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You will notice above that all of the economic recoveries since 1949 and through 1990 grew at rates of 4 percent and higher. The recovery under President Ronald Reagan was the last to top 4 percent GNP growth. Under President Bill Clinton GNP growth averaged 3.4 percent, under President George W. Bush it was 2.8 percent, and under President Obama GNP growth is 2.1 percent. Notice growth was less under Bush than under Clinton despite higher government spending. So what else could be going on? Look at the graph below.

Income inequality has grown since and during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and almost every year since has seen increasing income and wealth inequality. As inequality has grown, the demand for goods and services has been reduced by income stagnation or reduction.

income inequality

Since and including the 1980s, credit has been expanded in the form of credit cards, home equity credit lines, and home equity growth. In other words, much of the current expansion, weak as it is, is spurred on by credit for the 99 percent, with profits and other enrichment going to the 1 percent, who stole 99 percent of all income growth from 2009 to 2014, along with most of the income produced in the USA during 2016. The 1 percent has gone from stealing about 8 percent of all the income produced in the United States to roughly 37 percent, leaving us with less money to demand goods and services, along with historically slow job growth, wage stagnation, and lost opportunities.

Now the rich want more, and a weaker economy, weaker job growth, reduced real incomes, are the price we’ll have to pay for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), should it pass through congress. Wall Street President Obama has already signed it. Wall Street Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has voiced her support for and against it. No doubt Clintonis is really for it, since her vice presidential choice Tim Kaine is for it, as is her newly appointed head of her transition team Ken Salazar. See What the Corporate Propaganda Network Doesn’t Want You to Know: One of the Many Ways the Trans Pacific Partnership Will Destroy US Jobs and Redistribute Massive Income and Wealth From the 99 to the 1 Percent–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

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From the Economic Policy Institute:

“Wage trends greatly determine how fast incomes at the middle and bottom grow, as well as the overall path of income inequality, as we argued in Raising America’s Pay. This is for the simple reason that most households, including those with low incomes, rely on labor earnings for the vast majority of their income. That is why my initial look at the data from the newly released Census Bureau report on income and, poverty in 2013 will look at wages and the incomes of working age households.

The Census data show that from 2012 to 2013, median household income for non-elderly households (those with a head of household younger than 65 years old) increased 0.4 percent from $58,186 to $58,448. However, that modest growth barely begins to offset the losses incurred during the Great Recession or the losses that prevailed in the prior business cycle from 2000 to 2007. Between 2007 and 2013, median household income for non-elderly households dropped from $63,527 to $58,448, a decline of $5,079, or 8.0 percent. Furthermore, the disappointing trends of the Great Recession and its aftermath come on the heels of the weak labor market from 2000-2007, where the median income of non-elderly households fell significantly, from $65,785 to $63,527, the first time in the post-war period that incomes failed to grow over a business cycle. Altogether, from 2000 to 2013, median income for non-elderly households fell from $65,785 to $58,448, a decline of $7,337, or 11.2 percent.”

So the question is: why has average US family income dropped from $65,785 in 2000 to $63,527 in 2007 and then to $58,448 in 2013?

The answer is simple. The money has been redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, which is why the stock markets and corporate earnings are at record levels and family income has plummeted for fourteen years, and now remains static and historically low.

Free trade treaties, for example, have shipped jobs overseas, and the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower overseas wages and benefits has gone directly from the 99 percent and into the pockets of the 1 percent thanks to politicians such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. Nearly two million US jobs were exported from the US in 2013, according to the Federal Reserve. Around thirty million have been exported since 1990. Thank you Senator Wyden.

Corporations have also pushed the income of their employees down, except of course, for CEO’s and important members of the major Wall Street investment banks. Many of these Wall Street people earn millions of dollars by illegally ripping off the retirement accounts of working Americans. US politicians make certain they’re able to do it. See the book Flash Boys by Michael Lewis.

There are a myriad of other ways the government acts as a legislative conduit to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. This has been ongoing since 1981.

Essentially, this means that the current massive income and wealth inequality we experience today is a function of tax cuts for the rich, which were then used to corrupt government at all levels, as well as both political parties.

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The Federal Reserve can make or break the economy. Currently, the Fed is keeping interest rates low, which it easier for people to purchase things on credit, spurring demand for goods and services and creating jobs in the process. Republicans have wanted the Fed to raise interest rates for years, but only since President Obama was elected in 2008, in order to tank the economy and place the blame on President Obama.

Click the link below to check out a story by Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute on what other steps the Fed can take to make or break the economy.

How the Federal Reserve Can Help or Hurt the Economy: What’s at Stake | Economic Policy Institute.

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A new study by the Wall Street rating agency called Standard and Poor’s reveals what many already know. High income inequality suppresses the demand for goods and services, depressing GNP growth, and leading to more severe economic crashes than would otherwise be the case.

Here’s what the report won’t tell you. The rich invest their money in the political markets and in other investment areas such as stocks and bonds.

The money going into the political markets is used to convince politicians to pass legislation that redistributes income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as free trade treaties. In other words, government corruption is far greater during times of inequality, and also because of it.

The investment money that goes into corporate stocks push up the value of those assets. It’s just a bidding process. So when more people purchase shares of any corporations than those who are selling their shares, the value of those shares go up. The same thing is true of bonds. None of these purchases add to GNP growth, and all of these purchases can result in redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

When corporate shares head down in value, CEO’s typically cut jobs or employee compensation, or ship jobs overseas to lower wage nations, which pushes profits higher, resulting in rising share and bond prices. The result is nothing more than income redistribution.

And so when inequality rises, it snowballs via the methods above, until such time as somebody decides such inequality is a bad thing. That only happens during the most severe economic crisis’s, such as during the Great Depression when there’s less money to go around to corrupt government.

Check out the story by clicking on the link below.

Wall Street Analysts Research: High Inequality Makes US Vulnerable to Crashes–Billmoyers.com

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The Guardian of the UK, normally a straight forward and honest broker of news and commentary, has bought into the lying bull shit of the US corporate press. Some Guardian idiot named Larry Elliot wrote,

“America’s growth figures have come as a nasty shock to Wall Street. For nine months the stock market had been rising on hopes that the world’s biggest economy was on the mend. But the latest data suggests the US recovery is still very much work in progress.”

No, no, no, the stock market was rising because corporate profits are at record levels! Apparently, Elliot doesn’t seem to understand the connection (simple cause and effect) between stock prices and corporate earnings. He’s too dense to understand that the only way those earnings can grow in the face of worldwide declining demand is by redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Shipping jobs overseas is the easy way to push stock prices up because the difference between the old wages here and the new lower wages overseas increases corporate profits year after year. Studies by the Federal Reserve show that between 1.2 to 2.4 million jobs are shipped from the US to elsewhere every year.

It’s easy to predict slower growth in the US because the demand for goods and services has been redistributed into the fat wallets of the super wealthy. They’ve used their control of the US government to pass legislation that does this. They now take home over 31 percent of total income produced in the US, compared to about 8 percent thirty-three years ago. That leaves the rest of us with little or no money to buy goods and services to the point where economic growth can be vibrant, like it used to be. Meanwhile, the rich invest in things like politicians and derivatives, which does nothing to create demand, but does everything to destroy it. The redistribution process is growing. That means the economy will continuously weaken, although it is possible there might be occasional and abnormal historically weak growth spurts.

At least Elliot did get something right, although not completely:

“The even worse news is that the US economy may slow down in the second quarter. Not only will activity be impeded – perhaps severely – by cuts in federal programs, but consumers are unlikely to continue running down their savings to finance their spending in the way they did in the first three months of the year.”

What he doesn’t say is that consumers are unlikely to continue running down their savings” or use their credit cards when their income is continuously being redistributed to the 1 percent by their government. (more…)

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A robust jobs recovery remains out of reach. The March jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last showed job growth of 88,000 in March—far lower than the 2012 average increase of 183,000.

“This morning’s jobs report was a big, negative surprise and underscored that a robust jobs recovery, even now, has not yet solidified,” said EPI economist Heidi Shierholz. At 168,000 per month, the average growth rate of the first quarter is not even close to adequate; at that rate, we would not return to the prerecession unemployment rate until late 2019. Additionally, although the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.6 percent in March, the decline is due to people dropping out of the labor force. In fact, the labor force participation rate dropped to its lowest point of the downturn, 63.3 percent.

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