The reference study above, demonstrates how millions have faded into a silent depression. The official
unemployment measures do not include "discouraged workers", that is people who have given up looking for work. If discouraged
workers are included in the unemployment statistics, the unemployment rate would be closer to 10 to 11 percent. (We believe
it is even higher than this if you consider the Seniors, Disabled and the part-time workers who really want to work full time.
In the past, unemployment was based primarily on full time jobs with benefits. Today, even someone who is only making a $100
a month is considered employed. ) Furthermore, only about 40% of all workers now qualify for unemployment insurance. They
either do not work sufficient hours or make enough money to qualify. There is really no way to compare unemployment with the
past with the current situations. Unemployment was once based on those reporting to the unemployment offices. Now the Bureau
of Labor statistics say that is impossible for the above reasons.
The Getting American Working forum reports that
80 million have full-time jobs with
53 million having only part-time and only
14.6 million averaged twenty hours a week or more. An additional 44 million adults were free to work, but were
not doing so. These
44 to 50 million people are not included in the Labor Department's "work force" or "unemployed" categories. They
are officially invisible. The question remains how many would choose to work if decent jobs were available. "Mickey
Mouse" jobs sometimes cost more than they are worth. The U.S. Conference of Mayors report (01/04) that 39% of adults requesting
emergency food were employed.) (40% of the homeless have jobs.)
In 1774, the top 1% owned 15% of all wealth. By 1973, the top 1% owned 32.6 percent of all the wealth and
by 1989, the top one percent owned nearly 40% of all wealth.
Extreme economic inequalities lead to inequalities of power. "Control of the central government is the key to
having a major voice in determining the distribution of income and wealth." Conditions are hidden from the public this
way too. Millions have drifted into a silent depression without any one noting it officially. The living standards
for most people increased in the post WW2 period. However, in about 1973, the rising tide that lifted all boats, suddenly
left the vast majority of boats go gradually sink with the receding tide. Four-fifths of the U.S. population has experienced
either stagmant or falling real wages since 1973. The average worker in 1991 earned the same as the average worker in 1962.
The only thing that saved many families was Mom going to work instead of staying home raising her family.
Statistics show that economic inequalities have been growing and growing since 1973. Wallace Peterson has
described this pattern as a "Silent Depression" leading to two decades or more of deteriation in the economic well being
of at least eighty, if not ninety, percent of the population. The American Dream has been reversed. The
major symptom of the Silent Depression is the disappearance of jobs in general, but good paying jobs in particular. The official
unemployment statistics do a poor job of capturing how many people are actually out of work as noted before.
Of the 3 million workers laid off between July 1990 and th end of 1992, only 15% expected
to return to the same job. In past recessions, 44 percent of workers expected to be recalled. Since 1980, over two million
middle-management jobs have been permanently eliminated. One top employment consultant in Cleveland Ohio,
says the white collar Republican suburbanites who lost their jobs can be compared to the "Oakies" of the Great
Depression. Their jobs were gone forever. And those downsized workers who eventually found a job, found
downsized wages. One third over 55 who lost their jobs never found another job again.
Nearly twelve million new jobs created between 1979 and 1987 , one half paid an annual wage below the poverty
level ($11,611 for a family of four).
College financial aid also shriveled up. Help drop from 80% of tutition to 60 per cent.
Income levels significantly became linked to achievement in all levels of education with the poverty stricken children
having the worst grades.
Food stamps benefits dropped 27%.
During the same period, the number of children living in single parent families increased 86.2 percent.
Millions are running harder and harder to stay in place while millions more have fallen off the tread mill entirely.
The middle class had shrunk by 11% Bt 1990, the income of the top families was 15.1 times larger while the under classes faded
67% now pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. Payroll taxes now act as a flat tax on the working
poor but have not been included in any tax cuts even though the Payroll taxes are used in the general fund the same way income
taxes are used. Payroll taxes now amount to about one half of all government revenues.
Military spending is close to what was spent during the Cold War. If the USA was able to cut back to around 73%
of the Cold War, we would have about a $100 billions dollars a year to rebuild our inner cities, bridges, structures, highways,
airports, rail and more. Just think of the jobs that this would bring.
The only real exports, that Free Trade has brought is the export of jobs and not products per se. Workers
are the real commodities involved in Free Trade. Workers never had much a voice in their destiny but now they are outside
looking in at a new world economy that is controlled by government with the President acting as the CEO of world trade.
World organizations like the WTO control the flow of wealth outside any real democratic process and certainly without the
consent of the workers who are the principle agents in any economic pursuit.
President Clinton used wars and enjoyed the billions poured into correcting the Y2k crisis. This acted
as an artificial economic stimulus but companies spent dollars that they could not afford to spend. The
Y2k spending also hid the conditions of the Dot Coms which later were exposed for what they really were and the stock market
President Bush again uses wars to cover our economic woes and he also was had an artificial stimulus automatically
after 9/11 when foreign entitites paid out billions in insurance for the 9/11 crisis. Also, President Bush pumped in money
to save the airlines which artificially hid the real problems of our economy.
The Silent Depression will continue and as of 12/03, the requests for emergency food has broken records again.