So it’s International Worker’s Day…to paraphrase D. Boon from the video above, I’ll put it in simple words why working men (and women) are (or should be) pissed…
1. Banks got bailed out by workers while banks continue to prey upon workers. This predation takes a number of forms, with one of the most egregious being the rampant foreclosure fraud.
2. Banks get free money while workers have to actually perform labor for theirs. This works in a number of ways, with two of the most galling being: a) the fact that banks can create money out of thin air–without having to perform any labor or take any risk at all and b) quantitative easing (QE), which is a gift of money (i.e., bailout) from the central bank to commercial banks. Of course this money is also created out of thin air with no labor involved and no risk being taken, and that lays the groundwork for the ultimate form of moral hazard. Don’t believe that this is money created from nothing? If you won’t believe me, you might believe The Economist magazine, which explains QE thusly:
“To carry out QE central banks create money by buying securities, such as government bonds, from banks, with electronic cash that did not exist before. The new money swells the size of bank reserves in the economy by the quantity of assets purchased—hence “quantitative” easing.”
3. Wages are stagnating while inflation continues to explode. Here’s how the Washington Post put it:
“Wages for millions of American workers, particularly those without college degrees, have flat-lined. Census figures show the median household income in 2012 was no higher than it was 25 years ago. Men’s median wages were lower than in the early 1970s.
Meanwhile, many of the expenses associated with a middle-class life have increased beyond inflation. This includes college tuition, whose skyrocketing cost has laid siege to a bedrock principle of the American Dream: that your children will do better than you did.”
4. Workers pay taxes while giant corporations and banks do not. From a story entitled “26 top American corporations paid no federal income tax from ’08-’12-report“:
“Twenty-six of the most powerful American corporations – such as Boeing, General Electric, and Verizon – paid no federal income tax from 2008 to 2012, according to a new report detailing how Fortune 500 companies exploit tax breaks and loopholes.”
5. Having a job does not mean you can afford to live. This is referred to as being “working poor.” Salon sums up the situation pretty well here:
“So we’re not sure how to handle the fact that a quarter of people who have jobs today make so little money that they also receive some form of public assistance, or welfare – a proportion that’s much higher in some of the fastest-growing sectors of the workforce. Or that 60 percent of able-bodied adult food-stamp recipients are employed.”
Finally, Keiser and Herbert sum it up very well here in a Keiser Report episode entitled “Wealth and Wage Extinction”:
These are just a few of the reasons working people are pissed. Feel free to list more in the comments below.