Two Economies in America
This is a tale of two economies.
In one of these economies, employees on Wall Street are pulling in record salaries that average around $1 million.
In the other economy, workers’ wages are falling. “Pay cuts are occurring more frequently than at any time since the Great Depression,” writes Louis Uchitelle of The New York Times.
In the one economy, J.P. Morgan Chase is reporting a quarterly profit of $3.59 billion.
In the other economy, foreclosures are going through the roof.
In the one economy, the stock market flirts with the 10,000 mark.
In the other economy, 9.8 percent of Americans are officially out of work, and the actual number is almost twice that many, especially when you count the underemployed.
One economy is for the rich and the upper middle class.
The other economy is for everybody else.
And the people running the economy of the rich are the rich themselves. Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary, has surrounded himself with people who made a fortune on Wall Street. His predecessor, Hank Paulson, headed up Goldman Sachs.
Is it any wonder, then, that they fixed the economy of the rich, and let the other one go?
And still today, Congress has not passed a bill outlawing the crazy and crooked trading on Wall Street that got us into this mess.
Because Congress consists largely of the rich, or those on retainer for the rich.
One member of Congress who isn’t in either category is Senator Bernie Sanders.
In a speech at Fighting Bob Fest in Wisconsin last month, he said: “The great cause of this crisis is the incredible greed and selfishness that exists in the ruling elite of America.”
Despite all the wreckage which that elite has created over the last two years, we are no closer to curbing the greed and selfishness.
Until we do so, we will remain a country of two economies.