How bad, how disenfranchised, how weird will the New Normal America be?The future New Normal is not so difficult to divine. I believe it will be the same as now, and both worse and different.
Normal" is code for the continuing race to bottom that will
marginalize what was the American middle class to a lower caste
promotion of the New Normal concept can be seen the current
socioeconomic situation and the matter-of-fact statements about
coming social trends.
The New Normal Robber Barons by realityzone.blogspot.com
haven't heard these platitudes, meant to condition you to your "New
Normal" life, you haven't been paying attention. Since you
probably have, I beg you to take just a moment to reflect on them and
are experiencing our second jobless recovery...
is succeeding now due to wage concessions made by their workers...
a disconnect between economic recovery and job creation...
recovery from this recession will be very slow with many ups and
new normal may include higher levels of unemployment than in the
"America needs to learn how to produce and export more...
are cash rich but are afraid to hire as they are unsure about the
rules of the game...
"Unemployment benefits stop workers from looking for a job...
"Workers may not see low unemployment and wage gains for ten to twenty
will not be able to replace the 8 million jobs we lost overnight.
It's going to take some time.
are less likely to hire someone who is unemployed...
find these messages irritating? You should. They're telling you to
lower your expectations. You will be hearing more and more of them,
until you relent, become numb and tune them out.
point you are finished. You have accepted the New Normal. Less hope
for your future. Less opportunity for your children.
Lots of good work perfecting the scenery to come.
started in the 1980's but it's picking up steam now. From 1947 to
1979, top earners' share of income was stable. But from 1979 to 2006
it doubled, from 7.3% to 13.6%. It doesn't sound like much but by
2004 the top 1% wealthiest households controlled more wealth that all
the wealth in the hands of the bottom 90%.
1962 and 2004, wealth held by the bottom 80% of Americans slipped
from 19% to nearly 15%. In 2008, 30% of American households had a
net worth of under $10,000, and 17% had a zero or negative net worth.
During the same period studies showed upward class/financial mobility
in America was nothing but a myth. You were more likely to get ahead
in any of a number of more rigid societies including Germany and
Denmark. (The State of Working America 2008/09 -Economic Policy Institute).
the days of the magic wand, the days of what would you do if you had
your druthers; follow your dreams and the money will come; get a good
education, work hard and you'll be alright have ended for nine out of
us are all ready there
percent of Americans now say they are living in poverty. That
realization is backed up by private studies that question the
official definition of poverty. Just a decade earlier only 8% would
admit to a pollster that they were poor.Nearly
40 million Americans still do not have health insurance.
unemployment is at 16 to 25%, depending on what source you believe
and how you count the discouraged and under-employed.
keep up with population growth, high school and college graduates
entering the work force, we need to create 150,000 new jobs per
month. So, even though we are now creating jobs instead of losing
them, unemployment will continue to raise.
how disenfranchised, how weird will the New Normal America be?
Greece, large numbers of those twenty to thirty years old remain
unemployed and living at home. They are not lazy know nothings.
Many have not one, but two or three advanced degrees, including
multiple PhDs. With sharp minds, and no jobs, they live in a
purgatory of higher education. No jobs to be had they repeatedly return to college for yet another degree.
say it couldn't happen here
anyone who works in Information Technology (IT) how many times they
have retrained, learned a new computer language, raced to get up to
speed for a different industry, and where all that effort has gotten
workers remain unemployed as jobs have been shipped offshore. Others
grab at 1099 contractor work with no benefits. They become second
class freelancers fixing the problems found in the re-imported products
they formerly developed here.
future New Normal is not so difficult to divine. I believe it will
be the same as now, and both worse and different. Here how:
will need to show progress putting people back to work. So,
unemployment will decease slowly over the next five years down to
about 6%. I base this on the fact that it took an unprecedented four
years to recovery the job loses of the 2001 recession.
this relatively low unemployment, compared to where we are now, will
continue to depress wages for the bottom 90% and drive up income for
the top 10%.
income and wealth disparity we have today, nearly what it was in the
1920's, will grow larger as the top tier of income and wealth
consolidate and protect their assets, while the middle class slides into marginal
or unfortunately, you will not need to be a sustenance farmer if you
don't choose to.
likely our children will lower their sights and work in some of the
most dangerous jobs in the world: retail sales clerk (think armed
robbery) and construction (falling is the major hazard here), and
one not so dangerous: police and security work.
wrong with any of the jobs that will be abundant. Honest work is
just that, but the wages they pay will not reflect their worth only
their lowly status. The median pay for these jobs now is between:
$29,150 to $44,500. Expect these number to fall and fall fast as
people accept any job as better than no job. (Money.CNN.com).
fooled when the top economic story is "a increase in real hourly
wages." These statistics include all the money that's levitating
to the top 10%. The average wages of the bottom 90% may well be
Normal will put America back to work and that work will be doing lots
of things that the top 10% of our new two caste society wants...
Three P's: Pampering, Perfecting and Protecting
upper 10% will want to be well cared for. Think a house full of
servants at Second World prices, labor deeply discounted to the point
where everything can be had 24/7 without a thought as to the cost for
the top dogs.
Pampering: Lots of personal services. Put personal in front of each of
these: assistants, shoppers, physicians, coiffures, chefs, nannies,
teachers, coaches, therapists, trainers, gardeners nay master
gardeners and a full staff, et cetera.
wealthy the world should be a reflection of themselves, therefore,
they shall be surrounded with as much perfection as possible with,
again, decreased wages making it feasible.
Perfecting: Lots of maintenance and sprucing up. Manicured boulevards and
golf courses, utilities moved underground, picture perfect towns and
villages; ultra chic hotels, restaurants, night clubs, cafes,
resorts, county clubs, etc.
and security will, of course be necessary.
Beijing's Olympic Forces Drive Segways - New Normal Security
Protecting: Lots of men and women with guns. Put gated in front of each of these and then add guards:
communities, properties, resorts. Private and mercenary police
forces to put down any unrest. Intelligence gathering to head off
any unrest. Laws to keep the "have nots" at bay. People to bust
unions or prevent organizing.
what you're thinking, all this has already happened. Yes, now
think more of it, much more, and bigger and stronger.
We Can Fight this Battle in the Marketplace Everyday
sucking sound you hear is your money, your hard work being vacuumed
up to those who are in power, the uber-wealthy, Big Greed.
have convinced you that their corporate way is the better, cheaper,
faster, and the only way to live. You have been lulled into
semi-consciousness and made unaware of how they can and do suck every
last penny out of you and your life.
the short list: Equity investments (stocks, mutual funds, et cetera
through fees, programmed trading, market manipulation, out right
fraud); banking and credit cards (interest, fees, charges, expensive
and worthless rewards, et cetera), imported goods (decimation of the
American economy made possible by subsidize oil), corporate influence
(tax structures, barriers to business entry/less competition, job
exporting, job importing H1B visas, government subsidies, et
cetera), category killer big box stores (predatory pricing
eliminating smaller competition, impulse buying, unnecessary volume
packaging, cost of driving vs. local purchase, et cetera).
Abundant 3 P's Jobs: Pampering, Perfecting, Protecting
all the supposed "convenience" and illusory "low prices" the
Big Greed corporations dangle are just a ruse. You pay for it all,
sooner or later, and the price will eventually be bigger and bigger
loses in opportunity and wages.
Considering all this, the high-priced alternatives, the mom and pops, are cheap, fair
and a real value.
farmers' market prices, probably higher than warehouse clubs, are a
steal. Using cash isn't so difficult when you think of the billions
of dollars credit and debit cards generate for the banks that are
hanging you out to dry. The local hardware store is not gauging you,
it's convenient and life saving. Saving accounts paying next to
nothing are better than a 9% return that turns into a 25% loss due to
an unforeseen "market turn." Shunning a corporation's products
and services because they are "dabbling" in election politics is
voting with your feet and your money. Things won't be getting any
better unless you do. We can do this.
Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is: www.WordsWillNever.com