Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Looks like Mark Foley is going to be brought up on Federal charges -- and that the House pages had been warning each other about him since 1995, pretty much from the time he first set foot on Capitol Hill. (By the way: Anyone think he'll actually name the priest he claims abused him when he was a teen? If there was such a priest, you'd think that one of the many child-advocacy groups would be interested in hearing about his existence.) What's happening with the people involved in covering for Foley? Well, one of them, House Majority Leader John Boehner, seems to be changing his stories about every ten hours or so (as Josh Marshall says, if six months is a "Friedman", then ten hours is a "Boehner"), apparently depending upon whether he thinks Dennis Hastert will survive as House Speaker long enough to be able to exact revenge on those who ratted him out.
If one corrects the market for inflation, it's down.
If one corrects it for the value of the dollar, it's way down.
If one corrects it for the time value of money, it's a disaster.
And the big question on everyone's mind is what is causing this market move. My guess is that the prime mover is that Saudi money is flowing into the market to create the illusion of prosperity.
But please feel free to propagandize for The Glorious Helmsman rather than confront the spreading stain of pedophilia that is dragging down the Party.
Is it a "boom" if your salary's taken a nosedive during Bush's tenure?
I love Republicans. Only they would think it smart politics to remind people that their wages have dropped even as the rich folk who control the markets have made killings. Keep it up, please!
And I suspect most people will pay a lot more attention to the news that the Republican leaders in Congress allowed one of theirs to molest teenaged boys than to stock market gains that don't make it any easier for them to pay their bills.
There, that isn't so bad, is it?
Oh, I see: You're confusing the recent capital infusion into the stock market with the false idea that our economy is providing a better standard of living for most people than it did six years ago.
But of course, you don't want to admit what poll after poll shows that millions of Americans already know -- that the benefits of the "Bush boom" haven't made it down to the level of Joe and Jane Average:
With the economy beginning to slow, the current expansion has a chance to become the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers.
The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation. The drop has been especially notable, economists say, because productivity — the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation’s living standards — has risen steadily over the same period.
As a result, wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s. UBS, the investment bank, recently described the current period as “the golden era of profitability.”
Until the last year, stagnating wages were somewhat offset by the rising value of benefits, especially health insurance, which caused overall compensation for most Americans to continue increasing. Since last summer, however, the value of workers’ benefits has also failed to keep pace with inflation, according to government data.
So if Joe and Jane Average have been losing ground, who's been gaining?
Why, the very richest -- Bush's buddies:
At the very top of the income spectrum, many workers have continued to receive raises that outpace inflation, and the gains have been large enough to keep average income and consumer spending rising.
Translation: The gains of the very rich have been huge enough to skew the curve, thus making it look like we're all doing better when most of us are actually doing worse.
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