What ‘they’ don’t want you to know about the American economy, and the average American’s place within it.
For over 50 years now, starting with the Reagan administration, corporate America has consciously and with cold-blooded premeditation, waged war against Americans. They doubled down in the 1990’s, by deciding the only way to respond to competition from overseas companies that profited by abusing workers and paying starvation wages, was to do the same here.
The steady erosion of the middle class is a direct result. Any time you hear a corporate CEO say something like, “It’s the only way we can stay in business,” what they really mean is, “It’s the only way we can maintain the level of profit demanded by our wealthiest investors.” The most effective way corporations have of ensuring profit levels that make people like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and their ultra wealthy investors happy, is to take an ever larger slice directly from the American worker.
Insane housing costs, and especially ridiculously out-of-reach apartment rental rates, work in exactly the same way. The next time some apartment manager or executive dares to use the phrase, “We’re just bringing rates up to market,”—or something similar—interpret that to actually mean, “We’re just taking every last possible penny out of your sorry ass in order to make our largest investors richer, and we’re doing it because we can.”
Never buy any lie about trying to benefit “all” investors, which implies they it’s for the “mom and pop” investors too. Small investors make up an infinitesimally small amount of overall investment. The stock market is about “the average American” in the same way as a war is about “the people in the fox holes.” When you read about the state of the “economy,” you are actually reading about what’s good for Wall Street, i.e. the wealthiest among us, the top 1-5%. It is as meaningless to the average American as those last few french fries you toss away are to you.
The truth about the American economy, and the well-being of its citizens lies in the earning power, things like the ability to live in a decent home, provide for their children, including sending them to college, have access to good, affordable health care, plan for retirement, etc. Every time you are told something about how many jobs were added to the economy, your response should not be “Oh, that’s good.” It should be, How much do those jobs pay? Are they full time? Are there health benefits? Can that person live comfortably with that pay and those benefits?
Simple fact: If wages had kept up with inflation and productivity since the 1970’s, the minimum wage paid American workers would be somewhere between $25 and $32 per hour (depending on which chart/source you get your information from). Why is it not?
Through the first three-fourths of the twentieth century, American workers could live in a decent house, provide for their children, including sending them to college, have access to affordable (not free) health care, take a vacation without having to indebt themselves to a credit card with a 20%+ interest rate.
That has changed, not as the result of a world-wide economy, but as the direct result of the response to a world-wide economy by the wealthiest 5% of Americans who are damned if they will make any adjustments to their own grand lifestyles. It is a response as cold-blooded as John Wick, to devalue the American worker across the spectrum.
Only we the people can decide what we intend to do about it.