Washington is enmeshed in a partisan debate about gestures — with Republicans now boasting that Americans will reward them for saying no to just about everything. No to forestalling the layoff of teachers. No to jobs in the cities. No to infrastructure projects. No.
Democrats respond by offering up smaller and smaller, bite-sized pieces of legislation.
But what no one seems to get is how extensive the carnage of the Great Recession has been.
Look at this summary by Pew Research, published in the Economist (HT to nakedcapitlaism.com)
Cross-posted from The price of everything
By Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management, a London-based fund manager
“More than half of all workers have experienced a spell of unemployment, taken a cut in pay or hours or been forced to go part-time. The typical unemployed worker has been jobless for nearly six months. Collapsing share and house prices have destroyed a fifth of the wealth of the average household. Nearly six in ten Americans have cancelled or cut back on holidays. About a fifth say their mortgages are underwater. One in four of those between 18 and 29 have moved back in with their parents. Fewer than half of all adults expect their children to have a higher standard of living than theirs, and more than a quarter say it will be lower.. for many Americans the great recession has been the sharpest trauma since the second world war, wiping out jobs, wealth and hope itself.”
– From a Pew survey on the effects of the American recession, cited in the current issue of ‘The Economist’.
The carnage is deep and personal. Yet there has been nearly no accountability for those responsible. The big banks, bailed out at the cost of trillions, are back to paying million dollar bonuses. Yet business leaders rail at Obama for being anti-business. Few have been prosecuted for the systematic fraud that went into creating and inflating the housing bubble. Alan Greenspan, instead of in meditative exile, is still quoted as a sage on the economy.
The disconnect between an irresponsible and unaccountable finanical elite and the working lives of American families who have just lost a chunk of the savings they’ve been able to put together grows ever greater. Tea party uprising