Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A better class of gangster

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track pay cuts but they do maintain an index of weekly pay for production workers and this accounts for 80 percent of the work force. That index has fallen for nine consecutive months, an unprecedented string over the 44 years the bureau has calculated weekly pay. This includes people working fewer hours and those whose wages have been cut. The old record was a two-month decline, during the 1981-1982 recession.

Some companies like Hewlett Packard are making no secret of their policy of driving down wages. Even union jobs that still exist are cutting pay and more insidious is the practice allowing new hires to be paid a fraction of union scale. The "I’ve got mine" attitude of the Reagan Democrats is alive and well. Those same workers that have now found that their pensions pay only pennies on the dollar deserve little sympathy from the new generation of workers that are getting minimum wage for the same job on the two tier union contract.

Cuts in benefits are much harder to calculate but the average increase in the employee share of health insurance for next year will be 10%. In dollar amounts this will be biggest increase ever, despite inflation being officially at zero.
The DOW crossed 10,000 today to wild cheering on the trading floor. It first did that ten and a half years ago. What are they cheering about? The traders are cheering because they didn’t put their 401k(s) in the stock market.

Wall Street bankers are really cheering, they were nearing extinction a year ago and needing trillions of taxpayer dollars to stay in business, they are now reportedly lining up to receive 140 billion in executive bonuses this year. To justify these outrageous amounts, they point to Wall Street, the average American is making money too. They say this with a straight face. The average American lost a third of his wealth in the past year, tens of the millions are completely broke and nobody is even talking about that changing. In reality we could simply pay these parasites this money and not miss it; if in return they would keep their paws off of our economy, an old-fashioned protection racket. But no, we pay them and still they smash the front windows of the store. We need a better class of gangster in our neighborhood.

This just in, Goldman Sachs is "forecasting" that oil will top $85 by the end of the year. How do they "know"? They own a lot of oil and if you don’t want to sit in the cold this winter, you will pay. If youse don’t like it, those gotta be some nice windows youse gots out fronts.