Saturday, January 30, 2016

Marginalizing the Ones You Impoverish


Hillary Clinton’s website says all the right things when it comes to boosting incomes and job creation—just enough information so one can enter a voting booth and with a hazy rationale pull the lever against your own interests. Candidates like Clinton may wax empathetic talking about the poor, but the reality that Democrats and their Republican colleagues have created over the last four decades is deeply different from the fuzzy optimism of their websites. Bernie Sanders is the outlier. He has consistently punctuated the “rigged” system that benefits the one percent at the expense of everyone else. He seems the only candidate willing to launch a real jobs program, rather than tinkering with small business taxes or new lending regimes that will theoretically produce job growth but in the end deliver just the sliver of sound-byte ‘progress’ needed for the re-election campaign.

Aside from Sanders, though, Democrats aren’t interested enough to acknowledge the depth of the American malaise. For instance, that most Americans haven’t got a $1000 in savings. That household wealth is cratering. 

That workers haven’t seen a raise this century. That one in four children lives in poverty. That 640,000 individuals exited the labor market last month, though these people aren’t counted in the widely reported unemployment rate. This last point reflects the Bill Clinton’s innovative formula for disguising the poor: to be uncounted is to be unseen, and to be unseen is to be non-existent. Clinton also found that the formula worked nicely for welfare reform.

Instead, as we’ll see in Philadelphia this summer at the Democratic National Convention, Clintonites will arrive touting the millions of jobs produced on Obama’s watch. No one will mention what kind of jobs these are, or that they represent our glide path into third-world economic status. If the created jobs are so desirable, why are half of the 24 million citizens that rely on food banks already employed?


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