Monday, April 08, 2013

Federal Government Forgets I am a man

This week reminds me of why Martin Luther King, Jr. was in my home town when he met his untimely murder. It was because of the garbage strike, I suspect many folk don’t know about it to even care, or even understand its corollary with today’s US economic crisis.

Ask any Black person, and they will say the economy is growing. They will also say that it is all because of the policies of President Barack Obama. Ask the same folk how the dollar is doing in the world and the present US economic picture for employment prospects, and they will say he is doing his best and that it will take time, or that he is not just the President for Black Americans. But you never hear such pronouncements with respect to Jewish people, Gay or Lesbians or even Hollywood. They get mentioned and African Americans are conveniently left out of the conversation.

Now I am writing about the economic situation America finds itself in but I want to make this lucidly terse - I was objectively as critical about former commanders in chief starting with Regan and I will continue to be until my dying years as long as I can both read and write. But never have I been attacked prior (and I expected to be attacked) by my own folks for pointing out mathematical facts. For I know some uppity progressive, quasi-liberal, libertarian hating black political pundit will take aim and me and ridicule my suppositions, even if they don’t have facts on their side, all to protect the current Teflon President.

Again, proponents blinded by party affiliation will say the economy is growing and will give the President Props and if it is doing bad will blame it on the GOP. I think both are equally responsible but if it is so good, then tell that to the average African American or college student who is under employed or unemployed.

Fact is many recent college graduates are working at coffee shops and tend to be very skilled workers with higher degrees. In addition, each day they are increasingly ending up in lower-skilled jobs that don't really require a degree. This means they are making it even harder for unskilled workers who usually get such jobs out of the work force and yet, the present administration has offered no policy response to deal with this phenomenon. And by the way, the unskilled can be a synonym for the African American worker.

The US Labor Department reports that approximately 280,000 Americans with bachelor’s degrees and 37,000 with advanced degrees were working minimum-wage jobs in 2012 and that the number of college-educated Americans working such jobs has risen 70 percent in the past 10 years ( a figure double the number who worked minimum-wage jobs before the Great Recession).

The reality is that the high-wage, middle-skilled job — the thing that sustained the middle class in the past no longer exist. Although the mantra of the economy is getting better is batted around like a whiffle ball, the math shows us that the U.S. economy is in a bubble inflated by money created out of thin air by the federal reserve, and all of this money, instead of creating jobs, is going into the stock market by already well-off and wealthy folks. And this cannot and will not last. Obama’s approach is just as Regan’s economic approach - “trickle down.” When the Federal Reserve prints new money, it is basically reducing or stealing the value of the dollar (all the money you have in your bank accounts and wallet).

The math shows us that the Federal Reserve Bank is buying approximately $85 billion in assets every month, while at the same time keeping its key interest rate near zero. This does nothing to reduce unemployment or create jobs but rather only serves investors and big wig traders in the various stock and bond markets. This is why corporate profits and Stock prices are up. The question remains, why isn’t anyone hiring?

Fifteen percent of Americans are on food stamps according to the latest USDA report for November 2012. To put it plainly, in America, there are two economies - one for the rich, and the other for everyone else. The number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of "Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming." If one is lucky to have a job, it goes on deaf ears that the average worker’s hourly wages, after accounting for inflation, were nearly 2 percent lower this year than last year, and in total is taking home less than $800 a week.

As it stands one in four of every US citizens that is employed has a job that pays $10 an hour or less and for the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. To top it all off, the U.S Dollar is losing its status as the world reserve currency. Just last week, five of the top ten economies in the world, decided to no longer use the dollar as an intermediary currency for trade. Last week the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) agreed to set up a development bank to compete with the IMF, indicating it's gearing up to compete in a post-dollar world. In addition, Australia (the world's 12th-ranked economy), China (2nd behind the U.S.), Japan (3rd), Brazil (6th), India (9th), and Russia (10th), have agreed to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade with China.

President Obama and Geithner’s toxic asset plan has enabled one of the biggest transfer of wealth in history allowing for big banks to transfer their toxic debts from fraudulent activities to the American People. All the banks are doing is redistributing the nation’s wealth to shareholders and their top executives. This what President Obama has done, even with all his flossy rhetoric is assist the wealthy in get richer at everyone else’s expense. All of the monetary and economic policy of the last 3 years has helped the wealthiest and penalized everyone else. Wall Street is good but Main Street isn’t. How can it be when the richest 10% own 98.5% of all financial securities like stocks and bonds?

But for some reason or another, our economic prowess is always, or in most cases obviated by the inability to be critical of the current administration. For it seems as for most black folk, politics involved talking about President Obama and even his policies in the affirmative only, Trayvon Martin or the GOP. I don’t hear any of the TV propagandists of the African American community dare mention the president’s name in the same sentence with growing equity disparities, employment and poverty as a function of race. And you shole wont here nothing asserting that under the Obama administration, crony capitalism has gotten worse. As President, Obama is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than Bush, or his father, Clinton or even Ronald Reagan.

I recall of this as I said, on the week in which one of the greatest men to ever live was killed. King was in Memphis, marching with sanitation workers on strike for a living wage when he was killed. No one remembers the words he stated while delivering a speech a Stanford University a year before his death: “In this America people are poor by the millions. They find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” And no one remembers how he frequently spoke about poverty and how that during his time, America had about 40 million people living in poverty. Obama seems to ignore that in America, the richest nation in the world today, there are almost 100 million people who are in poverty.

The sanitation strike in Memphis started because two sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker died when they were crushed to death with the garbage and nobody noticed – crushed in the back of a garbage truck because during a sever rain storm, they were not allowed by the city to seek shelter from storms. Why because white folks in Memphis at the time didn’t like or want any of the all black sanitation workers to stop in their neighborhoods. Cole and Walker couldn’t fit inside of the truck, so they crawled in the back where the garbage was placed and a broom fell on the lever which resulted in them being crushed to death with the garbage.

I would wish that folks knew this and would never forget this, for this is where the slogan “I am a man. I am a man, not a piece of garbage" originated. It seems that the Federal Government in all of its aspects seems to forget that African Americans are people and that we are men, not the refuse and waste or cheap labor for the rich.


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