Monday, August 19, 2013

Thank You, Bill Clinton,

for your stupid, shortsighted triangulation bullshit that began the irreversible slide into extreme poverty faced by millions upon millions of people who have little recourse now.

It was more important to you, Mr. Clinton, to beat the GOP at their own game and use the poor as pawns in your welfare "reform" scheme rather than actually stand up for what was right. In your cynical calculation, the poor had nowhere else to go in terms of voting, so why not screw them over, even though many in the middle class would eventually wind up in the same boat?

Now since the economy has tanked and has NEVER recovered because Congress and Obama won't do shit about it, the misery index* (a term that was used a lot during the Carter years of high inflation but appropriate here) has now reached into the stratosphere.

The report also explores long-term unemployment and the increase in extreme poverty. There were 4.8 million workers in the US in 2012 unemployed for more than six months. That year, half the unemployed in Michigan were in this category.

The report’s authors note: “While the Great Recession era has ushered in a prolonged period of high unemployment, its real legacy may prove to be the unprecedented duration of unemployment spells: the average spell was 38.1 weeks as of December 2012.” This has increased the number of people in the US in extreme poverty, struggling to survive on practically nothing.

The researchers also point to the trend to shift already drastically inadequate government-funded income support from the unemployed to those working low-wage, part-time and temporary jobs—most of the new jobs being created in the US. The minimum wage is a poverty wage, still $7.40 an hour, about half what has been computed as a living wage.

The report mentioned in the article is here and will make your blood boil.

*--Since we really haven't had much in the way of high inflation over the past thirty years, a new definition of the "misery index" is in order. I would define it as human misery going way up when our elected officials do absolutely nothing to correct a worsening economy.

No comments: