We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, March 9, 2018

Make-Believe America: Why the US Unemployment Rate Doesn’t Indicate Economic Recovery

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from Foreign Policy Journal

The former Assistant Secretary of Treasury under the Reagan administration points to another lie spread by the current capitalist ruling class.

Today the labor force participation rate is the lowest since February 1978, reversing all the gains of the Reagan years, and the Federal Reserve has used an increase in consumer debt to fill in for the missing growth in consumer income for so long that consumers have no more room to take on more debt. [my emphasis]
Roberts might be forgiven for indulging in a bit of braggadocio. As you can see, the participation rate under the Reagan administration was not much higher than it is now, and it increased under subsequent administrations. In addition, one must not forget that the government under each administration provides little employment for workers except in the military. The Reagan administration brought in the neoconservatives and the neoliberals who promoted an aggressive foreign policy and the elimination of borders that were impediments to their profits. It just took them about 15 years to implement their policies. 

This change was brought about by the ruling capitalist class, not by administrations who are the servants of the ruling class. However, Roberts does reveal another lie of this ruling class to hide their attack on American workers in pursuit of cheap labor elsewhere in the world. And he makes another good point: the fact that ordinary Americans are maxed-out in debt is a growing threat to (the capitalist organization of) the economy.