Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University reported the US Census Bureau’s latest poverty numbers on Twitter.
The data is encouraging. America is taking sides: to be rich, a choice, or to be poor, a Hobson’s Choice. 1 in 2 Americans are low income, no matter their education or socio-economic class.
The vulnerability of Americans can be measured by four factors: partisanship, dependence on a job for income, savings, and debt. I am, for example, well below the poverty line, pushed out of career civil service from the Federal Reserve and my family by the United States Secret Service, now a part of Department of Homeland Security, in brazen abuse of bureaucratic and political power against a citizen because I am an unaffiliated critic of the status quo, as a registered lobbyist, for change.
On a systemic level, the data implies a targeted policy effort to lower wages and, hence, prices by 2022 when full employment (about 4 per cent, the current unemployment level in China) is expected.
The most likely manner in which wages and prices can be lowered is by stagnating wages and slowing the economy, cycling it barely above recession levels for the foreseeable future to keep wage demands low and price pressures down. It explains the current situation in the G7, as the emerging market wages and prices catch up together with their consumption levels to bring the world together while alleviating resource pressures to avoid conflict.
If those whose homes were foreclosed since 2007 also lost their jobs, they change their lifestyles – move to a smaller home or rent and take a pay cut or live with family, praying and waiting for those who choose to improve the lives of the rest.
They can also engage in these actions in anticipation to lower debt/income ratios and keep their jobs, dropping wage demands, before beginning to put money away to start saving again in the United States rather than depending on the savings of other peoples elsewhere in the world in Asia.
Past habits have been to balance household debt with savings and restructure debt and expenses in the event of income loss while keeping savings in cash, stocks, bonds and homes.
The problem with national grassroots efforts to improve the situation is for the activists to lose money or go unpaid in our current culture of Obama on the left and evangelical volunteerism on the right, besides of course the overzealotry of US intelligence to spy on Americans and steer useful information and ideas to those in Washington without respect for work which is payment: “advise the [highly paid] advisers”, “citizen diplomacy” and other fancy names to feed the fund raising speeches of the Washington revolving door, where the raised funds, just as tax receipts are, are largely unaccountable even though accounted for. Citizen participation must pay.
Clintons’ and Greenspan’s book advances totaled $24 million when barely out office. It is unclear how much Robert Rubin earned for his book (he was wealthy before entering public service). Bill Clinton earns at least $100,000 per speech on “borrowed” ideas, commandeered without their owner’s permission, which are transmitted to him by his “friends” in government and in the private sector, a cultural transformation of Washington he engendered to secure the economic security of his coterie and cabal. George W. feels socially entitled. Members of Congress are likewise.
Obama’s White House is similar in its disregard for other people’s intelligence by arrogating it to the Nobel-winning White House for self-aggrandizement while in office and in preparation for leaving office.
Obama earned at least $3 million for his books written as an unknown on a small advance, paid off his house and then entered politics.
Wall Street gets money for nothing from the Fed to feed their habits for free. The quid pro quo is the free speech of the Obama large campaign contributions to placate the gagged small Obama contributors’ angst for reinforcing their middle class lives (up to $300,000 of gross annual income to sustain suburban and exurban lives). The president’s future forebodes wealth and so does that of his cabinet and other appointees.
Stringing along to be hung out to dry unless you comply with the abusive entitlement sensibilities of the powerful and wealthy at risk of personal injury has become the way of Washington, New York and Boston since 1993. Fame without fortune is the mirage projected in the desert of aspiration by the global noveau riche for the American noveau commoner. Including the news media, they will come after your life and job if you don’t feed the trough for the pigs once you are tagged as being useful to the republic.
Those who choose, reframing Milton Friedman, are free, no matter the political system, China or America, for freedom is not free but has been commoditized for sale by the irresponsible.
In the American republic which has forgotten how to keep it, the connected elites bred for power and wealth have turned the Jeffersonian farmers into the Marxian masses and Roman mobs.
There are ways out of this moral decline if only people such as Bernanke and Obama (and the Republicans) learn to listen.