14 January 2011

Wall Street Shines While Americans Hurt

An excellent commentary by Ted McLaughlin @ Jobsanger

While many millions of Americans are out of a job, foreclosure of homes is at record levels, and 14% of the total population has to get food stamps to feed their families, the rich in this country are doing great. We've already heard about record-breaking profits for many American corporations and larger than ever bonuses for management of the Wall Street financial giants. Now the Wall Street stock market is announcing they are up double-digits for the year.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average finished the year with a gain of 11%. The S&P 500 did even better, finishing the year up by 13%. And the NASDAQ topped that with a 17% gain for the year. And the financial pundits expect the stock markets to do just as well in 2011.

If there was any doubt remaining, this should convince us that the stack markets are not indicators of how well the United States economy is doing -- but only how the richest Americans are doing. Instead of an indicator of long-term growth where investment is sunk into expansion and the creation of new jobs, as it used to be, the stock markets have just become the preferred gambling casino for the rich -- where rich investors and corporations think only of short-term profits from driving stock prices up (whether deserved or not). Little to no real investment in company and job growth is done anymore.

But this is what happens in a country ruled by corporate interests. The rich get richer and everyone else is left out. They tell us that some of that money will trickle down to everyone else, but it never does. The only thing trickling down right now is a few minimum-wage jobs to help the rich get even richer (and that's only the few jobs that can't be outsourced).

We might as well get used to it because this is the new economic reality. And the American voters are too stupid to do anything about it. After all, it would be "socialistic" to make the rich and the corporations pay their fair share or give back to this country by creating good jobs here.

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