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BUSINESS PAGES, POLLYANNA AND FANTASIES

March 21, 2014

BUSINESS PAGES, POLLYANNA AND FANTASIES

The business pages of newspapers these days have plainly been acquired by the paper shuffling parasites of Wall Street.  I can hardly bear to read their hacks’ claptrap, phony offerings that would have made Dr. Goebbels’s propaganda machine output look feeble by contrast. They daily spew out fantasies that make Pollyanna look like a pessimist, fantasies that are not based on real facts but rather skewed commentary on supposed facts as redone by Wall Street’s scriveners. The pretended erudition that goes with such published nonsense makes things worse. Pollyanna, move over.

Today’s report on jobless claims by Bloomberg News and an AP junk piece entitled “Dow springs upward on good economic news” finally did it for me. (Good news for whom? The Detroit pensioner who is facing big cuts in his or her pension via Chapter 11 games? The MacDonald’s worker whose wages –meager as they are – have been stolen? The millions whose jobs were outsourced offshore even though their businesses were profitable here?)  The Bloomberg hack quotes a “chief U.S. economist” as saying that new applications for unemployment benefits “remain extremely encouraging” though the Labor Department report actually said that  such jobless claims INCREASED by 5,000 to 320,00 in the week ended March 15. That’s encouraging? The Labor Department also reported that the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits INCREASED by 41,000 to 2.89 million in the week ended March 8. That’s encouraging? The hacks have clearly restated the facts on orders of their Wall Street overlords.

The truth is that there has been and is now a relentless outsourcing of jobs engineered by Wall Street and its multinational corporate hand-in-glove operation, jobs that used to be done here but are now done somewhere else. Is that so hard to understand? Capital that is involved in such outsourcing is exported to foreign countries to build factories, train workers and (we now know) bribe government officials. Is that so hard to understand? Writing the rules and protocols in our trade agreements with China and others by Wall Street and their multinational corporations that favor their profit (and our unemployment and increasing poverty levels) is a fact that neither hack nor Pollyanna can gloss over. Is that so hard to understand? Glowing reports of how our economy is doing as measured by the Dow have little meaning for us who live in the real economy since the Dow is a measure of international corporate performance in this age of globalization that may be significant to the investment class but not the economy in which most Americans live. I could go on and on with these exercises to make my point, which is this: We are not getting the truth in today’s business pages; we are rather getting versions of truth from interested parties, i.e., Wall Street – and their interests are not our interests.

Daily gyrations in the Dow bring out the usual array of excuses that would do Pollyanna proud. Lately retail sales are down BECAUSE of the weather, BECAUSE of Putin, BECAUSE of (fill in the blank with overregulation, the 47 percent, some Saudi has cancer, the Chinese economy is slowing, the Greek bond market has imploded, the euro will soon be history, interest rates are up etc. Pick your poison.)

Even if the Dow measured the performance of the American economy, day-to-day gyrations mean little for most Americans, many of whom now realize that our economic problems are systemic, not subject to the old to and fro of business cycles, and that wage inequality has destroyed buoyancy in aggregate demand, the sole arbiter of our economic recovery (if we are to have one). Without money in the hands of consumers, recovery is stalled. Evidence: Wal-Mart reports reduced sales while Dollar Stores are booming. With continuing wage inequality, such trends will persist – and that’s not fantasy.   GERALD  E

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