Tuesday August 21, 2018
Will we see trouble coming before it arrives?
A recent New York Times headline said, "Economy hits a high note, Trump takes a bow." OK, but consider the rest of the story.
The Census Bureau says more than 40 million Americans live in poverty. The Labor Department shows annual wages grew 2.7 percent while inflation grew 2.9 percent. The average U.S. "real wage," considering inflation, dropped to $10.76 per hour. CNBC says only 0.1 percent of minimum wage workers can afford a one-bedroom apartment.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia says the wealth gap between the top 10 percent and the middle class is more than 1,000 percent. Corporations spent $457 billion on stock buybacks in six months, boosting stock prices and enriching stockholders rather than increasing wages. CEO paychecks are soaring. Hourly wages are sagging.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said tax cuts would pay down national debt. The Congressional Budget Office shows a 20 percent jump in the national deficit already, with it expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2020. Forbes says, "Corporations, business owners and the 1 percent are the big winners. Employees and the nation's fiscal health are the big losers."
World Inequality Database says our wealth gap is bigger now than during the Roaring '20s. That gap, plus unregulated banks and the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, triggered the Great Depression. Now President Donald Trump is cutting financial regulations and slapping tariffs around willy-nilly. Former Treasury Secretary Ben Bernanke says we're in a Wile E Coyote economy. Will we see the cliff coming?
American economy is headed for a cliff