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Saturday, October 22, 2016

“It’s a sign,” exclaims a February Associated Press story — a sign that our economy is “healing.” “It signals that things are getting back to normal,” added a delighted market analyst. And a March 4 New York Times report heralded it as “a golden age.”

The “it” they’re hailing is the Dow, that mystical force believed by faithful Dowists to be “The Way” — the provider of good fortune, often bestowing its magical beneficence by magical means. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is the holy measure of corporate stock prices, and it is now smiling warmly on its acolytes.

Last week, the Dow reached a new high, having regained every dime of the $11 trillion that Wall Street investors had lost in the 2007 crash. “Hallelujah,” shout the devout. “All praise the Dow!”

Unless, of course, your wealth is dependent not on stock prices, but on wages. In that case, you’re among the majority of Americans who’re more concerned about the Doug Jones Average. Forget the buzz about “a golden age” — Doug, Darcy, Diego, Deewanna and all the other Joneses can’t even afford to enter the Golden Arches, for they’re still mired in the Great Job Depression that Wall Street’s crash caused.

Washington rushed to the rescue of the financial elites, but the Joneses are still getting double-stiffed by Washington policymakers and by the very elites Washington continues to coddle. The GOP House refuses to talk about a minimal tax hike on the super-rich, but members had no qualms about jacking up the payroll taxes on millions of workaday people.

Meanwhile, even as corporate profits have rocketed up by 20 percent a year since the end of 2008, the chieftains are still refusing to increase hiring and are holding down wages. As a result, the share of America’s total income that goes to workers has now tumbled to the lowest level in nearly half a century.

United Technologies (one of the 30 corporations whose financial performances are measured to calculate the Dow Jones Averages) is a force in that knockdown. This industrial giant, fed a regular diet of fat government contracts, has enjoyed annual revenue increases of some $2 billion a year since 2005, yet rather than increasing its workforce, CEO Louis Chenevert is shedding workers. Last month, only four days after announcing that United Tech’s stock price had leaped to a record high, the corporation revealed that it will fire 3,000 employees this year, on top of the 4,000 dumped in 2012.

That is the harsh math behind such recent smiley-face headlines as this one: “Household wealth back at pre-recession levels.” Oh, joy — we’re all rich again!

  • nobsartist

    Obama did a great job of “healing” the jackass’s that robbed the bank.

    That should guarantee him a seat on the board of directors.

    We Americans get what we deserve. We have a half assed President that replaced a criminally insane President.

    Who is really behind picking these losers?

    • Still stuck on the “board of directors” I see! Seems you have a one track mind.

      • No, he has a no track mind. He can’t see the real problem, the President has no backing from congress to make the changes “nobsartist” wants. I will agree those changes are needed but close to 50% of the voters believe that justice for all will hurt the 1%. To the neocons, justice for all, is socialiam and they will lie, cheat and steal before they let that happen.

  • S-3

    Violent Revolt and Anarchy in the US! It’s the only cure for this. THE ONLY CURE. I say this to myself everyday and will not stop until it happens!!! LEt’s get off our asses and kill us some politicians/corporatists already! That will get things done.

  • Ed

    Nobs-And who would that be?

  • elw

    What I wonder is how honest that raise in the DOW really is? Where is the money in that increase coming from? The economy is better, but not 20% better. Most of the working people I know have still got their belts tightened. Are we building up to the next big fall?