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Till its Conventional Wisdom
The myth of the populist stock market | csmonitor.com:
"The scandals of recent years, most lately in the mutual-fund industry, have done little to debunk the notion that Wall Street is geared toward ordinary investors and that stocks offer a universal path to wealth creation. At the height of the boom, however, the bottom three-quarters of American households owned less than 15 percent of all stock. Barely a third of households hold more than $5,000 in stock. Most Americans have more debt on their credit cards than money in their mutual funds."(emphasis added)
Remember that "the economy" is Wall Street, and indications that "the economy" is doing well does not necessarily translate into better lives for most ordinary people. In fact, over the last few decades it has become increasingly true that the American economy has become more and more efficient at generating tremendous wealth for those with large stakes in the ownership of American corporations. So while it may make us feel all warm and fuzzy to think that as corporate profits grow we all get a little bit richer, its simply not true. In fact, for the majority of people that work at these corporate entities they have seen their wages and benefits stagnate or cut to boost those profits. The conventional wisdom leads us to think that if we wait, those profits will eventually trickle down to us. But this thinking ignores one simple fact: we are the source of those profits. Should the flow change direction we would enter another "recession" as Wall Street would call for layoffs, outsourcing, and cost cutting.
We call this the business cycle... we keep pedaling and they keep riding on the handlebars.
Don't believe me?
"The Labor Department is giving employers tips on how to avoid paying overtime to some of the 1.3 million low-income workers who would become eligible under new rules expected to be finalized early this year.
To be fair, there are a few ways to get "the economy" moving again. The Bush administration's policy can and have led to a boost in corporate profits that people can see as an improvement in "the economy". Wall Street has been made happy again by policies that have shifted millions of dollars from the federal treasury to corporate revenues. They are pleased with new policies that reduce responsibility for their workers and the environment. Its a simple plan to boost Wall Street and corporate profits, you don't have to look hard to see where that money comes from, check your paycheck and check the federal treasury. If you're not receiving dividend checks, executive salaries or income tax cuts then you're not seeing any relief during this "recovery". (Don't even think about bringing up the small potatoes payoff the working class got in tax cuts!!) There's a good reason why Bush hasn't cut spending... he can't, how would he pay for his "recovery"?
I'll outline later what I feel is the other (better) method of promoting economic vitality.
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