Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
America: Home of Wage Slavery
By Tony Blizzard
President Clinton and Rush Lim baugh have at least one thing in common. Both claim the "robust economy" is the result of policies they favor. The economic facts are the opposite, and, if generally known, will bring down both of their political houses in favor of Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader and similar truth tellers come election day.
Thinking people everywhere wonder how the economy can be so great when millions of jobs have left the country for slave-labor states, leaving an ever growing segment of people with no job or a much reduced "service" job. According to house-pet pundits of the media, resulting cheap foreign goods are the Lord's blessing on America.
But U.S. wealth statistics that are ignored -- because they can't be made to lie -- prove otherwise. Social Justice, Father Coughlin's pre-war newspaper that was dedicated to collecting such figures, has used the establishment's own numbers to expose it.
For instance, the Federal Reserve Board reports that, in 1983, 54 percent of total net financial assets were held by two percent of U.S. families whose annual income exceeded $125,000. Worse, the top 10 percent of families held 86 percent of those assets. Of America's net wealth (includes homes and real estate), that same 2 percent held 28 percent, while the top 10 together held 57 percent.
From the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development we learn that the United States has "the most inequitable distribution of income in all the industrialized nations and the middle class is in a serious decline."
Real U.S. wages began declining in 1973. From 1977 through 1989, the top 660,000 families took 75 percent of increases, middle income families got a four percent increase and the bottom 40 percent of Americans had real income declines. The average annual income of the top dogs increased from $315,000 to $560,000, while our median income gained about $1,000 in constant dollars rising to $30,943.
The Economist reports that "since the 1970s, [U.S.] economic inequities have mushroomed." The Luxembourg Income Study found in a study of 26 industrialized nations that "the gap between the wealthiest 10 percent and the poorest 10 percent is greater in the United States than any other country except Russia." In 1970 the lowest U.S. fifth received 5.5 percent of the national income but that was reduced to 3.7 percent by 1990, a 33-percent decline in 20 years.
In the meantime, our gross national product rose 33 percent in constant dollars. According to Federal Reserve data, between 1982 and 1994, manufacturing productivity rose 37 percent as non-farm labor productivity increased three times the rate of hourly compensation; wages and benefits remained flat.
There is no mention of prison industries in the data. However, one can envision U.S.-based businesses struggling to compete with foreign-made goods by forcing more performance for the same wages.
As one result of these conditions, the pay ratio of chief executive officers (CEOs) to wage workers jumped from 35:1 in 1974 to 150:1 today. The Council of Economic Advisors reported that "real income of men with high school educations dropped 21 percent between 1979 and 1990 while the top 1 percent of households net worth increased from 34 percent to 42 percent and the bottom 80 percent of net worth dropped from 18 percent to 15 percent" during roughly the same time.
In the nation's history, the only comparable disparity between rich and poor existed from 1922 through 1929, the "roaring twenties," culminating in the great depression of the 1930s.
Not only is real wealth for the masses at an all-time low, real expenditures for life's necessities are at an all-time high. While food and clothing are somewhat cheaper today (largely by inserting cheap filler products into them), transportation costs have doubled in constant dollars, as has medical care. Day care, which hardly existed before women were forced into the work place, now averages $6,000 per year as an extra expense.
Education costs and household needs consume a higher percentage of income now even though most of the home items are the vaunted cheap imports that are supposed to be everyone's desire.
Our "welfare/warfare state," as Social Justice so aptly puts it, squanders money wholesale on wars, welfare (for the rich, mostly), interest on the debt etc. But it cannot help spending wildly as long as our present illicit debt money system remains in place because such a system requires an ever-expanding economy of new loans to keep the Ponzi interest scam from collapsing.
When Nader blasts corporations, his words reach socialists and anarchists in growing numbers. When Buchanan at tacks the established economic control and its criminal acts against the American people, it reverberates throughout the populist mainstream of the people, regardless of their station in life or political leanings.
And why not, when true statistics show that he is in tune with the real economic condition of the nation and his offered solutions to the critical mess the criminal "experts," financiers, bankers, corporations and other assorted thieves have created are practical and promising for the future of the common man?