January 10, 2011

The Socialists see the "wealthy" as enemies. They may want to rethink this.

"It is no surprise that America’s armed dissident movement has resurfaced. For a glimpse into this sub-culture, read Time Magazine’s “Locked and Loaded: The Secret World of Extreme Militias”. Time’s reporters went underground with the 300-strong `Ohio Defence Force’, an eclectic posse of citizens who spend weekends with M16 assault rifles and an M60 machine gun training to defend their constitutional rights by guerrilla warfare. As it happens, I spent some time with militia groups across the US at the tail end of the recession in the early 1990s. While the rallying cry then was gun control and encroachments on freedom, the movement was at root a primordial scream by blue-collar Americans left behind in the new global dispensation. That grievance is surely worse today."
Deepening crisis traps America's have-nots

(The Daily Telegraph) -

The US is drifting from a financial crisis to a deeper and more insidious social crisis. Self-congratulation by the US authorities that they have this time avoided a repeat of the 1930s is premature.

There is a telling detail in the US retail chain store data for December. Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities points out that luxury outlets saw an 8.1pc rise from a year ago, but discount stores catering to America’s poorer half rose just 1.2pc. Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue are booming. Sales of Cadillac cars have jumped 35pc, while Porsche’s US sales are up 29pc.Cartier and Louis Vuitton have helped boost the luxury goods stock index by almost 50pc since October. Yet Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have languished.

Such is the blighted fruit of Federal Reserve policy. The Fed no longer even denies that the purpose of its latest blast of bond purchases, or QE2, is to drive up Wall Street, perhaps because it has so signally failed to achieve its other purpose of driving down borrowing costs. Yet surely Ben Bernanke’s `trickle down’ strategy risks corroding America’s ethic of solidarity long before it does much to help America’s poor.

The retail data can be quirky but it fits in with everything else we know. The numbers of people on food stamps have reached 43.2m, an all time-high of 14pc of the population. Recipients receive debit cards – not stamps -- currently worth about $140 a month under President Obama’s stimulus package.

The US Conference of Mayors said visits to soup kitchens are up 24pc this year. There are 643,000 people needing shelter each night. Jobs data released on Friday was again shocking. The only the reason that headline unemployment fell from 9.7pc to 9.4pc was that so many people dropped out of the system altogether. The actual number of jobs contracted by 260,000 to 153,690,000. The “labour participation rate” for working-age men over 20 dropped to 73.6pc, the lowest the since the data series began in 1948. My guess is that this figure exceeds the average for the Great Depression (minus the cruellest year of 1932).

“Corporate America is in a V-shaped recovery,” said Robert Reich, a former labour secretary. “That’s great news for investors whose savings are mainly in stocks and bonds, and for executives and Wall Street traders. But most American workers are trapped in an L-shaped recovery.”

(More at The Telegraph...)


Wetzy said...

"L-shaped recovery" says it better than anything.

Rhod said...

While I've come to conservatism from the dark side, I still can't buy the whole conservative argument that income inequality is a meaningless measure of our national health.

If there's general national income mobility, then a wide disparity between top and bottom probably doesn't matter overall.

But broad local disparities, such as in CT and other northeastern states seems too ghettoize the income classes and make some areas inaccessible to anyone but the wealthy, with widening rings of descending prosperity until you hit bottom in places like Bridgeport (which is within spitting distance of Greenwich).

Entire regions, like the coastal littorals and river towns will gentrify in half a generation from working towns to wealthy
enclaves, where no plumber or other tradesmen can afford to live and send his kids to school.

Or you get a ridiculous theme park like Vermont, where the comfortable leftist cuckoos who migrated there over the past 30 years,killed the state for anything other than ice cream and Teddy Bear production and Green extinctionism.

Classism is the result, and it justifies the leftist need for class warfare. I'd like to hear a rebuttal

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

I'm taking my V's and L's and going home.

Anonymous said...

Wetzy... The majority of the folks on my street are unemployed. An L would be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

"Classism is the result, and it justifies the leftist need for class warfare. I'd like to hear a rebuttal."

Rhod... Income inequality and unemployment are yet two more crises that Obama will not let go to waste.

Anonymous said...

Woody... the V can stay, but please get the L out of here.

WomanHonorThyself said...

oish mayhem drummed up by leftists...

Anonymous said...

Woman... That drum never seems to wear out.

Anonymous said...

Rhod, interestingly I think we see more inequality where conservative economic policies are lacking.

My own view is that where there is more freedom, you will see some disparity but less where there is regulation of outcomes.

Teresa said...

Trickle down poverty seems to be working and hitting people hard. This is a sad state of affairs.

We need to vote Obama out in 2012 in order to have a real economic recovery.

banned said...

2% unemployment round these parts, dunno why, it's not a wealthy area.

"citizens who spend weekends with M16 assault rifles and an M60 machine gun training... ". That would get you arrested in England. Asians who go for extended walks in National Parks wearing fake combat fatigues have been done for "preparing for an act of terrorism" on such 'evidence'.

The_Kid said...

Demonizing the 'rich' has been their strategy for a good while now. The reason is that once people are trained to hate the rich, where do they turn ? The government is the only thing left in sight.