Monday, May 2, 2016

Our standard of living continues to decline in spite of President Obama’s words

There is a photo of President Barrack Obama on the front page of the May 1, 20016 issue of the New York Times Magazine.  The following article about Obama’s economic policies contained this quotation from the President: “Anybody who says we are not absolutely better off today than we were just seven years ago, they’re not leveling with you.  They’re not telling the truth.”  Normally I don’t like what government officials have to say.  However, this statement was so dishonest that it made me angry.

The author of this article, Andrew Ross Sorkin made the following statement that begins to question what Obama is saying.  "A large swath of the nation has dropped out of the labor force completely, and the reality for the average American family is that its household income is $4,000 less than it was when Bill Clinton left office."     

The Department of Agriculture gives the figures on how one out of every six people in this country doesn’t have enough food to eat.  Obama's answer to this problem was to cut the Food Stamps program $8.7 billion.  President Obama might ask one of the millions of working people who don’t have enough food, how they are doing better now?  President Obama might ask the Verizon workers who are on strike, how they are doing better now?

The 2014 attached article from The Militant newspaper by Brian Williams exposes the myth that unemployment has gone down while Obama has been President.  It starts by looking at the percentage of people who are employed.  There are millions of unemployed workers the government doesn’t feel are unemployed because they ran out of unemployment benefits.  The percentage of employed workers decreased after the 2007-2008 stock market crash.  That percentage has remained constant since then.  Real unemployment has not gone down in the past eight years.

Currently I’m reading John Smith’s book Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century.  Smith reported on the growing inequality in the United States.  He argued that: “In 1948 the bottom 90 percent of employees earned 75 percent of payroll compensation.  By 2010 this had declined to 54 percent.”  When we exclude the highest paid one percent of the population, the bottom 90 percent of the population earned a mere 28 percent of the income of this country.  This trend has continued with Obama.

Smith also quoted an official from Goldman Sachs who argued: “Several factors have contributed to the rise in profit margins.  The most important is a decline in labor’s share of national income.”    

Are we better off now?  We also need to consider all the wars President Obama has presided over.  We need to ask the thousands from all over the world who lost family members because of these wars if they are better off now?   When considering all these facts, I believe the answer to that question is a clear and unequivocal, No!!!          

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