Monday, September 3, 2018

What's The Truth About The Economic State Of Workers In The US Of A?

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This Labor Day it is well to consider the disparate perspectives on workers - and work - in the U.S., especially since Trump got shoehorned into office by the Russkies.   As Exhibit A for codswallop we can refer to the WSJ editorial appearing several days ago ('Happy in their work' ) which attempted to show from recent polling  (Harris poll) that American workers (most) are as happy as well -fed hogs loose in a corn field.  According to the editorial:

"In time for Labor Day, in contrast to the supposed gloom of the proletariat, a bew survey reveals the blue collar workers may be the most optimistic folks in America".

According to this Harris poll (ibid.):

"Three fourths call their jobs a 'good career path'.  Four of five agree 'my job provides a good living to support my family.  Eighty-six percent say they are 'satisfied with their jobs'."

But could it be the WSJ editorial is just a chip off the FOX News propaganda block? Maybe.  Note in the same issue, indeed on the page opposite (p. A13) we read in a piece by Eric Brende:

"It seems like a paradox. The economic news is great, and unemployment has dipped below 4 percent, yet almost 51 million American households are struggling to make ends meet - according to a study by the United Way Alice Project".

This was bolstered by an ABC News report on Friday that "70 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.

Taken together, the "bliss" allegedly reported from the blue collar workers in the WSJ editorial sounds more like delusional  eruptions from MJ candy OR - it could be the WSJ editorial writers are merely yanking another page from the FOX News propaganda playbook.

Any more insights?  According to a recent Bloomberg report ('Despite Promises, Americans Making Less Money') by Toluse Olorunnipa and Shobhana Chandra,  "once the impact of inflation is included, ordinary Americans hourly earning are lower than they were a year ago.  Real wages have remained mostly stagnant despite an expanding economy."

This was despite the Trumpies' outlandish claim that as a result of their tax cuts "average wages would be boosted by $4,000 to $9,000" . But  "that hasn't happened".   More appalling:

"Inflation - adjusted hourly wages dropped 0.2 percent in July from a year earlier, their worst reading since 2012."

Hmmm......I seem to recall that was when Obama was in office.

According to Tom Malloy, assistant director of the (separate) Quinnipiac University poll, "a majority of voters believes their personal financial situation has remained the same or gotten worse over the past two years."

Assuming blue collar workers also vote,  someone is lying or misrepresenting  the issue and I have a hunch I know the source. The same lot that keeps spinning the outlandish, absurd conspiracy theories regarding the DOJ, Christopher Steele, the FBI and now....Bruce Ohr  They can't help themselves. They lie as easily as they breathe.  Just like their mental overseer, Dotard.

One more independent source check comes from an AP report in The Sunday Denver Post ('Many Americans Struggling To Get By ', Business. p.4K), citing an Urban Institute  survey of nearly 7,000 adults.  It revealed that "people from all walks of life were running into similar hardships" i.e. as lower income workers - related to "paying for food, health care, housing and utilities."

Let us also note the same WSJ editors who penned the balderdash noted above, have also been a steady voice to make the blue collar workers - as well as others - who may need Medicaid (say because of a long illness, disability or accident)  work for it.  In many cases, of course, those who need Medicaid are already working, but not earning enough to cover medical expenses - especially for children.

Take the case of  Matthew Fischer and his wife highlighted in the Denver Post's extended look at Medicaid recipients in Colorado  last July. As the Post noted, "both have health insurance and work full time".  Their insurance  "covers major medical issues and picks up substantial costs for their child's medical care" - though they inevitably hit their maximums in January each year.   But there is much the primary insurance doesn't provide and that's where Medicaid comes in. That includes: the wheelchair ($25,000), the formula their 11 -year old (Cecilia) which needs to be ingested through a feeding tube. ($500 a month), and the nurse who accompanies their daughter to school and attends to her needs.  As the Post explains:

"All of that is covered through a Medicaid waiver, making Cecilia among the 45 percent of the state's Medicaid recipients who are age 20 or younger."

But that's the key characteristic of these Philistines on the Right:  they don't care that people are already working.  If they're not earning enough money to cover ALL their medical needs it's all on them,  not the inequitable system,  which is geared more to Wall Street than Main Street.

This attitude can mostly be traced to the Repukes' fondness for Social Darwinism. While they reject scientific Darwinism and evolution, they have a boner for Herbert Spencer's specious form.  Indeed, Richard Hofstadter, in his Social Darwinism in American Thought, (American Historical Association, 1955) observes that Spencer rejected all services for the poor and disabled as encouraging a fundamental weakness in society which induces corruption, sloth and all the other vices. It was also Spencer, not Darwin, who coined the phrase "the survival of the fittest". 

Oh, another choice saying of Spencer's was the following:

"If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do live, and it is well that they should live. If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best that they should die."

This Labor Day real citizens - as opposed to the "MAGA" paper patriots of the Trump cult-  need to ask themselves if they want a compassionate nation or a dog-eat-dog mutation.  If the latter, then let them vote for Trump and the GOP.  Oh and just hope to hell they never get seriously ill, suffer a debilitating accident or lose 60 percent of their  their 401(k) in a stock market crash.

See also:


Here Are 10 Ways Workers Are Truly Screwed in the Trump Era

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