Re: CNN dying2 weeks ago
In the modern world, mainstream economic journalists have just two roles to perform – to convince the public that they have some clue about what is going on; and to maintain public confidence at all costs. So it was, for example, that even as Lehman Brothers was collapsing a decade ago, mainstream economics coverage was still telling investors that their money was safe and that a new age of prosperity was dawning.
Ten years on, little has changed. Despite the decimation of the retail sector on both sides of the Atlantic and the worst collapse in real wages since the 1890s, mainstream media continue to point to supposedly full-employment and artificially propped-up stock markets as evidence that all is well. The trouble is that for millions of households, things are far from well. In the course of the decade since the Great Financial Accident, foodbanks have mushroomed across every town and city in the country. Official employment figures are high, but only because of part-time and zero-hours jobs. As the Resolution Foundation recently reported:
“The Foundation cautions that while employment has provided a major living standards boost since the crisis, widespread insecurity has been a big setback with around 800,000 workers currently on zero hours contracts. It adds that Britain’s impressive jobs record contrasts with its dire performance on pay, with real average earnings still £13 a week lower than they were a decade ago.”
A key reason for this, in the UK at least, is that we have been creating the wrong kind of jobs. The employment growth areas in Britain are in low-paid, labour intensive sectors – social care, retail and hospitality. In the years prior to the Sex Discrimination Act, when official unemployment rates were last this low, these would have been regarded as “women’s work” in the sense that they were never expected to provide the main income for a household, but were regarded as an additional income to supplement the wage or salary of the main (usually male) breadwinner in the household. Indeed, even in the more enlightened 1990s and early 2000s, many of these jobs would have been seen as “student jobs” – allowing the first generation obliged to pay for its education to add a small additional income to their maintenance loans. The problem today is that millions of households are obliged to live entirely on the low wages paid by these supplemental jobs. The result, for a growing army of people, is that they have to take on more than one such job and/or claim in-work benefits in order to get by.
In other words, the fact of full-employment is only “good news” insofar as things could be a lot worse. As it is, the collapse in real earnings for the majority is conveniently hidden in media coverage by the use of average wage figures that are increasingly meaningless in a grossly unequal society. As Sean Farrell at the Guardian reported earlier this month:
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CLUELESS LIE-beral TWIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WE have all these economic problems to begin with simply because LIE-berals THINK they can manage the economy at a DISTANCE better than the people actually working in the business!!!!!!!
And it does not help that LIE-berals consider that they are ENTITLED to rake off a PILE OF GRAVY in exhcange for their "help" in managing our now debt riddled and debauched economy!!!!!!!!!!!