BullCrap Monday: American Economic Recovery?

Posted by & filed under An Independent Viewpoint, BullCrap Monday, The IVA Angle, WTF?

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Each Monday, Independent Voters of America will call out something or someone in American politics on their… bullcrap. This week’s column addresses coverage of our economic “recovery.” 

Have you been hearing about the American economic “recovery,” the one that the “sequester” was supposed to throw a wrench in when Congress and President Obama couldn’t come to an agreement last week? According to today’s New York Times, our wholesale “recovery” is kind of a bunch of…

Bull:

Unfortunately for average Americans and independent voters across the country, Washington D.C. continues to hold American corporations unaccountable for any sort of reasonable efforts towards distribution of wealth, impeding our nation’s economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. President Obama’s continuous talk (and the Congressional GOP’s continuous refusal) about closing corporate tax loopholes merely pays lip service to the myriad wealth inequality problems in our country that this excellent Times article describes:

“So far in this recovery, corporations have captured an unusually high share of the income gains,” said Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The U.S. corporate sector is in a lot better health than the overall economy. And until we get a full recovery in the labor market, this will persist…”

Other recent positive economic developments, like a healthier housing sector and growth in orders for machinery and some other durable goods, have also encouraged Wall Street but similarly failed to improve the employment picture. Unemployment, after steadily declining for three years, has been stuck at just below 8 percent since last September.

With $85 billion in automatic cuts taking effect between now and Sept. 30 as part of the so-called federal budget sequestration, some experts warn that economic growth will be reduced by at least half a percentage point. But although experts estimate that sequestration could cost the country about 700,000 jobs, Wall Street does not expect the cuts to substantially reduce corporate profits — or seriously threaten the recent rally in the stock markets.

Crap:

Well, are you one of the 54% of Americans who owns corporate stock? Congratulations to you! The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high of 14,164.53 today. Meanwhile, according to the The Atlantic, household incomes continue to fall, the housing market is still 25% below it’s 2007 peak, and labor (American workers’) share of the economy is at a 50 year low.

Talking heads can spew all the junk they want about the Dow Jones Industrial Average and its indication of American economic recovery and economic health, but until we address the real problems of income inequality and corporate excess and greed, the way in which our political and mainstream media covers our economy is just a bunch of crap.

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