Wall Street pundits have been declaring that the recession is "over" and that it's "safe" to buy stocks again.
Corporate CEOs are claiming that their revenues are growing and their bonds are as good as gold.
Moody's, S&P and Fitch, who failed miserably to lower their ratings on Freddie and Fannie, AIG, Lehman, Bear Stearns or any of the other companies that subsequently crashed and burned . . would have you believe that NOW their sugar-coated ratings, still bought and paid for by the companies they rate, are "for real."
Unfortunately the facts paint a very different, and much darker, picture:
* Unemployment is still sky-high: Nearly one in five American workers is still struggling to get by with a much-reduced paycheck -- or without any income at all! Worse, nearly half of the unemployed are out of work for more than six months -- twice as long as in any previous downturn.
As long as we as a nation continue to allow the outsourcing of our jobs to low-wage, low-cost countries, without imposing some kind of penalty for these kinds of corporate decisions, we will NEVER get back on the road to a true economic recovery -" not for anybody except the financial and economic elite (who have already more than recovered). By allowing our corporations to export ever more of our jobs overseas, we of course lose our ability to produce our own goods and continue to relegate our domestic economy to that of a servicing class. Yes, SOME of the services we provide are high-end and high-tech and even something we can sell overseas, but the vast majority are not.
Specifically, without real protections for American workers, through properly sized tariffs and proper immigrant-worker management, we will remain on a never ending economic death spiral, in which ever more of the world's work will be done in those remaining parts of the world where wages, working conditions, and environmental standards are well below those in the US.
This is an extremely important point which Thom Hartmann, MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, Ralph Nader and Senator Bernie Sanders mention all the time, but that you will read or hear nowhere (except for Hartmann and Ratigan) in the corporate-owned mainstream media. And why won't you read or hear about it elsewhere? The answer is that US-based corporations (who own the mainstream media) are making way too much money off of the existing rock-bottom, low-tariff policy that allows them to manufacture dirt-cheap goods elsewhere, ship them to the US, virtually tariff free, and then sell them here, with a huge price mark-up, thereby completely sidetracking and bypassing millions of American workers.