Monday, November 07, 2011

That Road To Socialism

The October jobs report was released last week and reported that the unemployment rate fell from 9.1% to 9.0%. George F. Will was pleased because the economy took on a great many new private jobs and shed some, fewer, public sector jobs, as reflected by the following exchange, caught by Think Progress, between ABC's Christiane Amanpour and the longtime Washington Post syndicated columnist and author:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Let me turn to you George and ask you about the unemployment numbers. Is that something of a trend or is that scratching the surface? What difference is that going to make?

WILL: Not much. First of all, 80,000 isn’t nearly enough to accomodate even the natural growth month by month of the workforce. There are two bits of good news in there. The 80,000 is a net number. The private sector created 104,000 jobs. The public sector happily shrank by 24,000 jobs. Both of that’s good.

And there has been more good news for Will and his fellow compassionate conservatives. Over the past two years, the private sector has gained 1.4 million jobs while budget cuts have eliminated 572,000 government jobs.

Large companies have especially prospered. The Washington Post reported

The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data.

Wall Street firms — independent companies and the securities-trading arms of banks — are doing even better. They earned more in the first 21 / 2 years of the Obama administration than they did during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, industry data show.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (as reported by McClatchy), "Corporate profits grew 36.8 percent in 2010, the biggest gain since 1950."

Citizens for Tax Justice recently examined 280 companies on the Fortune 500 and found that 30 corporations, which made $160 billion in profits, paid no income tax over the period 2008-2010. Analyzing data from the Social Security Administration, David Cay Johnston last month observed "The median paycheck — half made more, half less — fell again in 2010, down 1.2 percent to $26,364. That works out to $507 a week, the lowest level, after adjusting for inflation, since 1999."

Private sector employment up (though not enough to keep pace with population growth), public sector employment down; profits on Wall Street far higher than during the Bush 43 administration; corporate profits at a 60-year high; median paychecks down.

And most of that has come under the watch of our 44th president, the ideologically driven, European socialist.

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