The trade deficit jumped up more than expected in May increasing by a full 5% and this signals a lack of real recovery in the US economy. The trade deficit should have eased with the drop in the price of oil and the opposite trend dovetails with the lack of job creation to indicate that economy is headed for the double dip at full speed.
Corporations are flush with cash having a cool trillion laying around with nothing to spend it on but they have little incentive to invest. “See, Obama is keeping jobs from being created because he is anti-business”. While it’s true the multi-national companies can pump unlimited pollution into the air and water in third world countries and pay slave wages, (you know Libertarian paradise), these countries don‘t have much market for goods either so the goods come to the US and create a trade deficit. Europe’s standards for pollution are much stricter than in US and the pay and benefits for workers are much better and yet their manufacturing hasn’t disappeared.
Contrary to the propaganda coming from the right neither the Obama Administration nor the US in general is hostile to business, nor is it true they are being taxed to death (remember they aren‘t short of cash and CEO pay isn‘t suffering either). The right likes to claim there is a “high” corporate tax rate in the US but of the forty industrialized countries, the United States collects the least corporate taxes and in fact 2/3 of corporations operating in the US pay zero taxes. The corporations share of Federal tax collections have gone from 45% in the fifties to down around 6% today.
Many corporations also gain windfalls from various levels of government for “creating” jobs (government doesn’t create jobs you know) or they get money for things like oil “depletion” (where we pay them for having used up our resources) and that makes corporations negative tax payers, but don’t call this “welfare”, that’s what poor people get.
That would be the people who work for these corporations but still need Medicaid, all sorts of other government aid and strain the food banks. Homeless shelters are seeing wintertime numbers in July this year and more than half of the homeless are families. Many of them are working but cannot make ends meet. Plus you have forty people per minute (yes, per minute) that are running out of unemployment benefits and could be looking for a cot in an already full shelter in the very near future.
The corporate wage slaves lucky enough to still have a job pay plenty of taxes though with Reagan having doubled the payroll tax and all Federal excise taxes (many of which are not disclosed but are concealed by law when you buy something). Sales taxes have doubled or even tripled since Reagan began his war on America. So have user fees and fines as cities seek to balance their budgets with red light cameras and reduced public services.
Then you have the looting of the commons as all manner of public works are being sold off for pennies on the dollar to balance local budgets (you can‘t tax the rich or they‘ll leave and take all the jobs with them). Formally public property is then leased back at ever increasing rates so the public pays to use the government infrastructure they have already paid for and they keep paying for it over and over again. The geniuses in charge of Arizona have sold the state office buildings including the capitol and then rent them from a trans-national corporation and this is going on everywhere (conservatives call this the efficiency of privatization, it makes money efficiently for the rich).
The wealth of the middle-class is evaporating too, and their children will not be better off than their parents were for the first time in American history. This is not a natural occurrence or the even the failure of the capitalist system. It is the result of the capture of the entire economic and political system by a relative handful of very rich people. The average American has fallen for the lie that capitalism is a natural system that doesn’t need rules or that the very rich should run things because they have our interests at heart. Americans are a flock of sheep who have turned their pasture over to a pack of wolves in pin stripe suits sporting flag pins. www.prairie2.com