There seems to be many contradictions and untold stories about the human conditions of our times.
Here are some questions we should ask as we wonder why things are so different on the street compared to what is reported.
A statistical prosperity has been reported for years while the streets of American indicate something very
different. Hurricane Katrina exposed a Silent Depression which could be duplicated easily in almost every major city across
The President and Publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote about all the success stories in the region.
Most of the examples he gave were related directly or indirectly to government jobs and taxes. The Federal Government is the
largest employer in the region followed by State, Local, schools, hospitals and tax supported research jobs. Next
followed banks and other financial institutions that depend on all the above too. It is a House of Cards economy
without any foundation. Nothing is said about a missing local added value economy to regenerate and recycle the economy
from raw product up through several levels to the retail or end user stage.
Here are some questions we should ask and hopefully someone somewhere in the media or government will respond.
1. The unemployment rate - How is this data collected compared to the past? What is the real unemployment
rate compared to the 1970s when full-time jobs were primarily the basis of all unemployment reporting? When were temporary
and part-time jobs start being a part of the reporting? Today someone making only a $100 a month is considered employed. This
would be laughable in the 1970s.
2. How many people are in the workforce compared to how many there are who want to work? How many are working
full time? How many part-time or temporary workers want a full-time job? Reportedly 70% do. Is this true? Only about 38% of
all workers now qualify for unemployment insurance nationwide. How does this play in gathering the unemployed data?
What happened to the term "underemployment" ? It was used as a sort of disclaimer in the past when the results of unemployment
was reported. How many workers are missing in action from any kind of reporting who gave up trying to find a job?
Why are some people reported as employed while they are working for nothing in some endeavor while they are seeking a paying
3. The U.S.A. has gone through the most massive dislocation of jobs in its history perhaps even including
the Great Depression. What is the history of all those millions who have lost their jobs? Where are they now? How many have
more than one part-time job at a time and how are these jobs reported? Is it reported as one job = one worker ? Or,
are they reported as one to three part-time jobs = one worker?
4. When did the connotation of international trade change to include the exporting of jobs and factories?
When jobs and factories are moved outside the U.S.A, do they stay put or are they portable and mobile ready to be moved again
and again based on the least line of resistance of the local labor force. In the past, trade was primarily based on
trading products. When did it start including workers as the main commodity being traded.
5. When did Ross Perot statement relating to the "giant sucking sound" apply? Was it way before Perot
ever spoke the words? How many factories were moved outside the U.S.A. prior to the passing of NAFTA and GATT trade agreements?
6. Here is something all should ask their poltical leaders and the media to report: Was the U.S. government
involved in moving production outside the U.S.? Did the U.S. government fund programs to move factories outside the
U.S.? Reportedly, the U.S. government start funding the moving of factories outside the U.S.A. in 1956. Is
this true and how long did these programs last? Did the U.S. government support and fund the Maquiladora factories in
Mexico during the 1980s? Who was directly responsible for this? The elder President Bush was the first leader
in modern times to announce the New World Order. Did he know then that this term was connected to many conspiracy theories
that claimed elite groupings were trying to control the flow of wealth?
7. Was there a first wave of job losses due to Free Trade prior to the passing of NAFTA and GATT trade
agreements? 400,000 auto workers has already lost their jobs due to foreign supported competiton in the 1980s. 700,000
workers related to the steel industry also lost their jobs. Few mention the fact that over 1,000,000 workers lost their
jobs in the computer industry too. 250,000 lost their jobs in the computer industry just after President Clinton took
office just counting IBM, AT&T and NCR Computers alone. Did NAFTA and GATT trade agreements just confirmed what
was going on for a long time and were these agreements put into place to speed up the process?
8. How is productivity measured? Does it include the deflation of wages? Does it include the lower values
due to foreign competition on how much one worker produces especially in value related to wages? Did the stock market thrive
on workers getting fired rather than getting hired?
9. Has deflation rule the workday? Four-fifths of the U.S. population has experienced failing wages
since 1973. In 1970, a first class postage stamp cost 8 cents. A good mid size new automobile was about $3,500. A nice home
cost only about $25,000. At the same time there were plenty of $10,000 to $12,000 jobs across our country. This means
there should be plenty of $50,000 to $60,000 jobs today in comparison. Where are they? Today we have a generation of
latch key children home alone because both parents have to work to make the same amount of money that only one parent
earned in the past. How is this reported in out statistical prosperity?
10. In 1774, 1% owned 15% of the wealth. In 1992, 1% owned 42% of the wealth. Is this distribution
of wealth transferred into political power controlling the overall distribution of incomes and wealth?
11. Did artificial events play a part in the false reporting by President Clinton? President Clinton enjoyed
the flow of billions of dollars into the economy due to the Y2K problems. Was it an artficial economy based
on this happening. Later 9/11 brought in billions for President Bush's economy in payments from foreign insurance companies.
Later President Bush used the wars to hide economic woes. President Clinton did too and even admitted he used the Social Security
Trust Fund to support the Balkan wars. So in essence Social Security revenues are used to just as if they are revenues
for the general fund.
12. Pensions - How many actually have pensions other than Social Security? Our church had this note in its
bulletin for weeks- Success is reaching Social Security age before having to declare bankruptcy.
In 1981, 37% of all workers were covered by some kind of pension plan. This was a small number back
then but now it is even smaller.
Today that number is less than 20%. How many of that number are in government services and how many are
in the private sector?
Today, the Federal Pension Guarantee Corporation is now paying the pensions for millions who lost
their pensions due to company bankruptcies. The number continues to grow and the Pension Guarantee Corporation is going broke
too. Will the Wal-Mart working poor workers end up paying the taxes to support others who have pensions while having
One third of all workers who lost their jobs at 55 or more , never found another job. Many who are
working after age 62 and are collecting Social Security too find that they have to give some back if they make just over $10,000
a year while payroll taxes are still deducted from their pay checks. At the same time those with interest income and other
investment incomes pay no payroll taxes.
Most over 65, have very little to live on other than Social Security.
13. Taxes- Have tariffs been taken off products and put on workers in the U.S. Income Tax cuts increase
consumer spending and are supposed to regenerate the economy. However, the money spent at retail goes where the products
are made in places like China to generate their economy not ours. In the end, tax cuts increase the Trade Deficit which now
totals in the trillions of dollars. Reportedly, the amount lost due to the deficits could have been used to buy every
family in the U.S. a new $50,000 home.
At the same time 70% of all workers pay more in payroll taxes than they do in all other taxes. In the end,
this is a flat tax on the working poor with the payroll tax revenues used a any other tax in the general fund. President Clinton
even admitted that he used the Social Security revenues to finance the Balkan wars. This way he was able to show a surplus
Have tariffs been taken off products and put on workers? The faces of the suffering expressed
the silent depression after Hurricane Katrina. It exposed how thousands did not have the money to escape the storms. This
could happen in most of our cities and towns.