A new study by Yale researchers shows what Americans have been feeling and seeing in their daily lives. 11 million family supporting jobs were lost in the 2008-09 economic meltdown. Some two to three million of them have come back but millions remain unemployed. Corporate business is sitting on trillions of dollars of capital that could be used to expand and hire the available people in the workforce but they are not. It is too profitable to operate with fewer people so they have no plans to hire anybody back.
The Yale study tells us that over 20 percent of Americans experienced a monetary loss of 25 percent or more in 2009. That is up from 17 percent in the period of 2002-03. This narrowing and winnowing of the middle class has been going on for years. It has only intensified in the past couple of years. There is now a clear split or bifurcation between economic classes in America. Many Americans who were easily middle class no longer are and those at the bottom of the economic ladder remain there in worse condition then ever.
What is to be done? Nothing apparently. This is our new America. The stability and growth and health of our economy and the hopes offered by the old American Dream of hard work equals sucess is threatened and our leaders do nothing. At the very least, a program to induce corporate interests to hire some people back and expand with some family supporting jobs and a new WPA type program to put our people to work making this country what we always wanted it to be is needed along with the vision and will to make that happen.
The other day Michael Moore interviewed Harvard Law Professor and consumer watchdog Elizabeth Warren about this situation and her observations were bleak. The manipulation of other people’s money will continue on Wall Street she said, and a meltdown that will hurt everyday Americans will happen every ten years or so. Neither party nor the President has offered serious leadership on this question. The frustration of the Netroots people in Las Vegas is a symptom of the fact they know that the Obama Administration has proven both timid and visionless.
Let’s have a discussion about the redistributionist idea that conservatives are so afraid Obama is engaging in. Let’s give them something real to worry about. Let’s spend another trillion and get people to work and give people hope and something to live and work for. A New WPA!