Initial unemployment claims were down by 5000 applicants again this week while economists had again predicted a substantial rise in claims. We’ll have a better idea about what’s going on when we see the March jobs creation numbers the end of next week.
The final revision of the 4th quarter GDP number is out and pegs growth at 3% with durable goods showing a 16% growth rate. This means manufacturing is making a substantial comeback. If this 3% rate were to continue for any length of time, it would the kind of growth we haven’t seen since before Reagan.
But, I’m not suggesting that this is happening, we still don’t have any of the national policies on trade, energy, finance, higher top margin tax rates, and the other things we need for real protracted growth. Policies created by Alexander Hamilton in 1790. Growth like we had from then on, with brief stop offs for the Gilded Age and assorted bank Depressions. We had 50 good years from the time of FDR until Reagan and his fellow travelers tore it all down.
The thing about this growth is that it represents potential that could start us down the right path (I mean correct path, really the left path). An economic system always self reinforces, growth tends to beget growth, and a downturn tends to turn into an avalanche. It’s where you get the saying “grow or die”, but things don’t have to be that way.
You need to have people in charge that will do the right things, and not people in charge that loot and pillage. As much as 80% of what Wall Street and the major corporations do to “make” money today are things that used to be criminal, or at least heavily restricted by regulation and taxed sufficiently to keep them from doing them. When we had a top marginal tax rate of at least 74% we didn’t have CEOs taking companies apart to pay themselves billions. Our industries were the world standard, and we are well on the way to having no industry.
People like Mitt Romney and Bain Capital have loaded companies up with incredible debt as they “re-structured” them, that is take all the assets and pension funds for themselves, and leave junk bonds behind. Any downturn at this point will create an avalanche of bankruptcies, and even more looting opportunities for Bain as these companies need “re-structuring“ again.
If Mitt gets the chance, he’ll restructure the whole country. The wholesale corporatizing of all public functions, as well as the sale of public assets to the corporations will make this country unrecognizable. You only need to look at the Red States to see this process is already well underway. Red is the appropriate color as the country will more resemble the old Soviet Union with no private property to speak of, but a step further than that, with no public property either.
Instead of a Hammer & Sickle, there will be corporate logos on everything, and everyone will work for the corporate state. As in the USSR, the real power will be with a tiny managerial class, and the elections will mean nothing. As Stalin said, “It doesn’t matter who votes, only who counts the ballots.” We already have corporate machines doing most of the counting, so we’re almost there.
As people forget that their grandparents owned property, a business, their own car, could afford to live the American Dream, and begin to see success only as getting a job with corporation that keeps them out of the street; they will ease into being Comrade Corporate Workers. With digitalized history, the memory hole of 1984 becomes a computer algorithm. Things have always been this way Comrade, just read Wikipeda. www.prairie2.com