Featured Blog, I: Corpoprofits 101
Why People Think the Economy Sucks
Billmon/Whiskey Bar, April 12, 2006
Many conservatives profess to be puzzled by the fact that many Americans don't appreciate the wonderful economic boom we're enjoying, now that the Cheney administration has led us into the supply side utopia. And it's true, they don't:
Four in 10 – 40 percent – say Bush is doing a good job with the economy, down eight percentage points in a month.
The latest spike in sour feelings can probably be traced to the return, in many parts of the country, of $3-a-gallon gas. But economic sentiment has been unusually negative throughout this recovery – at least when compared to past relationships between consumer confidence and GDP growth, or confidence and the unemployment rate. Even now, with the unemployment rate below 5%, consumer confidence is still about where it was when the last recession officiially ended. Why? My explanation for our current era of bad feelings is pretty straightforward:
This is what used to be known as the class struggle. It was quite popular back in the day:
It could even make a come back if something isn't done to bring the trends shown above back into better balance. I have no quarrel with corporate profits, particularly if I get to keep some of them, but a situation in which all the benefits of productivity growth flow to capital, and none to labor, not only defies the standard economic textbooks, but probably isn't politically sustainable for long – at least, not without some help from guys like General Pinochet.
Why is this happening? New technologies, skill shortages, outsourcing, downsizing, the decline and fall of the union movement, changing social norms and expectations – or as John Snow might put it, learning to "trust the marketplace." Any of the above, all of the above. It's sobering to think that what we've seen so far may be just the beginning of our journey back to the good old days of the Robber Barons. The economic effects of integrating China and India into the global labor market – what Laura Tyson describes as the mother of all supply-side shocks – could take decades to play out. And by the time they're done, there's likely to be a host of other low-wage countries lined up outside the factory gates. What Marx called the reserve army of the unemployed has never looked so huge. Given the current power structure and the elite consensus that globalization can't be stopped, or even slowed, the solution isn't obvious, at least not to me. The New Deal is dead; the New New Deal hasn't been invented yet. But the political effects are easy enough to see. The immigration debate has been saturated by them. Read the rest at Whiskey Bar...
Featured Blog, II: Double-Edged
Angry Black Bitch / April 14, 2006
This bitch is fed up with the fuzzy headedness inspired by consuming
allergy meds in abundance. Shit, my car is covered in a thick coat of
sneeze creating pollen. Nasty!
Jumping in between sneezes and wheezes…
A certain Kusala sent this article to a bitch regarding Rep. McKinney’s run in with a police officer while trying to enter a federal building. The article deals with the issue of why the Representative was stopped, which resulted in the whole incident, and the fact that Rep. McKinney may not have been recognized because of her new hair style. It then expands to address some ignorant assed shit some asshole said about Rep. McKinney. It was a pretty good read.
This reminded a bitch that my ass hasn’t addressed the Rep. McKinney incident.
To be honest, a bitch thinks that others have deconstructed the incident to the bone and rather well. However, it did call to mind the broader issue of uppity behavior.
Uppity is one of my favorite words and this bitch uses it in many ways. Uppity can be used jokingly…for example; C-Money can be a wee bit uppity when it comes to which hotel she will book. Or to condemn…that’s what so and so gets for being an uppity asshole. And it can also be used fondly…Lawd, a bitch just loves that uppity motherfucker!
And there are other uses too. How about…that uppity negro needs to remember his place or look at that uppity black girl acting so high and mighty. Uppity, in those instances, refers to class and privilege…to a black person’s place…to a black woman knowing and embracing her station in life, which is assumed to be lower on the class scale.
Words like girl, boy and even kid are still used to establish dominance, class and those all so desperate and sad 'places'. This revolves around power and the absence of power.
It is that shit that a bitch sees swirling around more and more with uppity as the diagnosis and conformity is the cure.
A bitch sees some of this in the coverage of Barry Bonds and his alleged use of steroids. Now, a bitch is a St. Louis native and has no love for Mr. Bonds…but it is that loyalty to the Cardinals that has this bitch pondering why Barry Bonds is under the media gun while Mark McGuire has a freeway named after him. Granted, McGuire didn’t lie in his testimony before Congress…but, in not lying, he basically admitted that he shot up while playing baseball. So what gives? Read the rest at Angry Black Bitch...