What's it gonna be?
By Mike Whitney
December 22, 2008 " Information Clearinghouse " -- - -Wages, wages, wages. It all gets down to wages.
A strong economy must be built on a solid foundation of steadily rising wages. If wages don't keep pace with production, the only way the economy can grow is through the expansion of debt, which leads to disaster.
Consider this: the US economy is 72 percent consumer spending. That means the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) cannot grow if salaries don't keep up with the price of living. Low Income Families (LOF)--that is, any couple making less than $80,000--represent 50 percent of all consumer spending. These LOF's spend everything they earn just to maintain their present standard of living. So, how can these families help to grow the economy if they're already spending every last farthing they earn?
They can't! Which is why wages have to go up. The cost to short-term profits is miniscule compared to the turmoil of a deep recession which is what the world is facing right now. The present crisis could have been avoided if there was a better balance between management and labor. But the unions are weak, so salaries have languished while Wall Street has grown more powerful, stretching its tentacles into the government and spreading its anti-labor dogma wherever it goes.
The investor class has rejiggered the system to meet their particular needs. Financial wizardry has replaced factories, capital formation and hard assets while re