Let's start with the election results yesterday in PA. No not the Romney win in five states that has corporate America rubbing their paws together with the glee of knowing that no matter who wins, they still get to sit with the adults while the rest of us are crowded around the kiddie table. No, I am talking about the primary results for Congressman Tim Holden and Jason Altmire, both blue dog democrats who incredibly and unwisely supported the Paul Ryan budget plan. Not only did this alienate members of their own party by being what can only be described as "pulling a Benedict Arnold," but it also seems to have pissed off their constituents who voted them out by a wide margin in favor of other candidates who supported limits in Wall St. excesses instead of raping the poor.
Both lost by a significant amount considering the odds. Altmire has redistricting in his favor and a ton of money and still lost by four points. More shocking was ten term Tim Holden who got creamed by 14 points against a far weaker opponent who slammed him for his support of Wall St., the Ryan Plan and fracking, an enivornmentally awful way of getting natural gas and oil. Support for these issues was cited by people who voted as the main reason they wanted these two out of office.
This is shockingly bad news, as many an analyst has likewise predicted, that the Ryan Plan is universally hated more then a Obamacare and the idiot GOP keeps showcasing it like a turd wrapped in gold leaf. We get that it's shiny and all but it still smells like shit. In the state of MA where Elizabeth Warren has been gaining steady ground for months now, this cannot be good news for incumbent Scott Brown who also supported the Ryan Plan. Voters may be telling anybody who supports this crap that they may be getting the heave ho. For Romney, his "Marvelous" comment about the Ryan Plan may be the one word that sinks his entire campaign. Good.
In another sign of some sort of intelligence in the universe, Richard Yamarone, a senior economist at Bloomberg Brief had this to say about the economy:
“I think people are just running out of money. We have contracting, real disposable incomes. Most of the job creation that we have is from minimum wage type jobs.”
“I’m fortunate enough to travel and speak to chambers of commerce with 300 to 500 people in the audience. They all tell me, ‘Hey, listen, I am letting go of workers. I’m hiring them back at a fraction of what I used to pay them.’
You hear from the other side, ‘Hey, I finally got a job after two years of being unemployed. I used to make $100,000 (each year), now I’m making $45,000 or now I’m working part time.’ Or (you hear), ‘I used to make $500,000 and now I’m making $200,000 or making $125,000.’....
This is why the economy is failing and finally there are some people out there who see this as well. Wages are plummeting and nobody is saying anything about it. How can you have a thriving economy if everyone's making slave labor wages? Here's more from Richard Yamarone:
“So you are actually seeing this collapse, contracting on a real basis, of real disposable personal incomes. If you don’t have the money, you can’t facilitate expenditures. So that’s the core of the problem. That’s what’s really going on in the US economy.
You don’t listen to what all of these bigger numbers coming across the screen tell you. You talk to the people who are running the country. 99.7% of all employer firms in this country are small businesses. So when they speak, you have to listen.
You have to listen to what the small businesses are telling you and right now they are telling you, ‘Hey, I’m the head of a 3rd or 4th generation, 75 or 100 year old business, and I’ve got to shut the doors’ or ‘I’ve got to let people go. And if I’m hiring anybody back, it’s only on a temporary basis.’
Sometimes they do this through a hiring firm so that they can sidestep paying unemployment benefit insurance. So that’s what’s really going on at the grassroots level of the economy. Very, very, grossly different from what you’re seeing in some of these numbers coming out in earnings releases.”
Not one person I know, myself included, has gotten laid off or fired from a job over the last five years and found another that paid even half of what they used to make. We are being told to make do with less so that those who have everything can have more and I, for one, am sick of it. We need a national union, like almost every civilized country on the planet, to help protect workers from these kind of abuses. The alternative is that, sooner or later, you too will lose your job and then you're in for a rude awakening when you try to find work that paid anything close to what you used to make. Richard Yamarone continues here:
“Monetary policy is very different from the days when we were an industrial behemoth. If you look at the first eight recessions after World War II, when we were a big manufacturer, back then, if the Fed saw a problem they cut rates and boom, manufacturers sparked up their idled plants and factories.
In fact, the first eight recessions after World War II, it took, on average, twenty months for us to respond and get all of the jobs that we lost during the recession back. So, in a little less than two years the Fed policy response would get all of the jobs back.
However, you look at the last two recessions, in ’90/’91 and the 2001 recession, they were jobless recoveries. We don’t respond to monetary policy the same way because we are no longer that manufacturing behemoth. So the Fed cuts rates at the first sign of trouble and it takes, during those recessions, forty months for us to get back all of the jobs we would lose.
In this current recession, we are not even close (to getting the jobs back) and that’s 50 months and counting.”
If more people like Richard Yamarone start convincing those in power that lower wages is killing this country maybe someone will finally do something about it. History shows this kind of thought won't last forever because either the country changes it's tune or it devolves into ruin. I am the pessimist that believes the latter but I have to hope that we can change the future as the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.