FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Violence of the Broken Economy

As reporters spread out to talk to accused shooter Jared Loughner’s friends and neighbors, a picture has begun to emerge of a reality that rarely makes the front page. The Washington Post notes that fallout from the recession is visible on Loughner’s own block, where jobs have gone and the construction bubble’s burst. The New York Times describes the withdrawal of Loughner’s dad, who, they write, was “once more of a presence… as he went off to work as a carpet-layer and pool-deck installer.”

The latest jobs report reminds us that one person’s recovery is another’s hollowed American Dream. Unemployment’s only going up for those who lost work recently. The ranks of the long-term unemployed are still rising. Especially for people in their fifties or early sixties, hope of ever finding a job again, let alone one that pays close to what they were making, has disappeared.

This isn’t bad for everyone, notes the Wall Street Journal. They quote Rick Hayduk, managing director of a resort, who calls it an “employer’s market,” noting the toll the recession has taken on people’s hopes. “We have been able to reevaluate some of our starting wages,” he said.

When the option is working at a reduced wage, working at Starbucks, or giving up, many will accept the cut, it’s true. Workers are being squeezed from all angles, with union-busting governors, wage-slashing employers, and a tax-hiking Congress combining to put the pressure on.

And the tax deal squeezed through Congress recently holds another bombshell for lower-wage workers: the Center for Economic & Policy Research notes that 51 million of them will see their taxes rise. Is it any wonder that our political climate is so combustible?

In part thanks to all those interviews with neighbors, Jared Loughner’s being described as a nihilist. We’re no doubt in for loads of discussion of the destructive effects of believing in nothing. What we really need to start talking about in this country are the destructive effects of having nothing.

LAURA FLANDERS is the host of GRITtv, which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. More…9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, public television and online at GRITv.org.

 

More articles by:

Laura Flanders is the host of GRITtv now seen on the new, news channel TeleSUR English – for a new perspective. 

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail