America's Dysfunctional Economy
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
The US ruling class bears full responsibility for the economy's unprecedented dysfunctional state.
What was unimaginable long ago is reality today, redefining what house of cards economic conditions are all about.
It's an unsustainable situation certain to implode ahead with longterm devastating consequences for ordinary Americans — paying the price so privileged ones can benefit.
Since March, unprecedented numbers of US workers applied for unemployment benefits, around 46 million so far, according to Labor Department data.
It's an undercount as applications of many filers haven't been processed, more coming as layoff announcements continue.
According to Bloomberg News, about one-third of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits received nothing so far.
A Bloomberg analysis showed that unemployed US workers should have received $214 billion in benefits through May.
As of early June, they've only gotten $146 billion — benefits for recipients to expire at end of July if not renewed, what's likely because of GOP leadership opposition to continue them.
An earlier McKinsey research analysis said up to one-third of US workers could be unemployed by 2030 because robots are replacing humans, adding:
Around "60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent work activities that could be automated."
Who'll buy what industry produces if mass unemployment as the new normal greatly reduces personal income overall?
The extraordinary disconnect between equity prices and economic reality in the US is unprecedented.
According to economist David Rosenberg, "(w)hat we have now is nothing short of market manipulation."
"Reducing the cost of overnight funds is one thing."
"Extending the intervention to Treasuries or high-quality securities is something we became accustomed to in the aftermath of the last Great Recession."
"That's when the (Wall Street owned) Fed became a duration bond manager."
"But the central bank is now becoming a hedge fund."
"Adding low-quality corporate credits to its balance sheet is a whole different game."
Fed market manipulation is "keeping zombie companies alive, rendering fundamental analysis and price discovery obsolete, and leading to a complete misallocation of resources."
"Capitalism has taken a semi-permanent vacation. AWOL."
"And what it means for the future of society, to be running such reckless and feckless fiscal and monetary policies, is troublesome to say the least."
"There is zero chance this ends well…The market is rigged pure and simple."
"(R)emember that (earlier) bubble(s) came crashing down, and there was nothing the Fed could do about it."
"Societies that run their policies on such guilt truly are doomed, and that is what historians will be writing about in the future."
By going all out to benefit corporate favorites and investors through unprecedented and reckless casino capitalism, US policymakers and the Fed sacrificed the economy and ordinary Americans.
A Thursday Wall Street Journal article reflected a key aspect of the US economy's dismal state, saying:
"Americans have skipped payments on more than 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt since the coronavirus hit the US, the latest sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on people's finances," adding:
"The surge in missed payments suggests that the flood of layoffs related to the coronavirus has left many Americans without the means to keep up with their debts."
"Many people have used up their stimulus checks, and unemployment benefits in high-cost areas aren't enough to replace paychecks or to help debt-laden borrowers pay down their bills."
An unfolding situation in Kentucky is happening elsewhere nationwide.
Numbers filing for unemployment benefits are so large and backed up that state police said individuals at the end of a Frankfort queue will wait up to eight hours to speak to a representative to get their claim processed.
A queue at the Kentucky Career Center had people waiting 10 hours for unemployment claim help.
All of the above is on top of growing US food insecurity, hunger, and homelessness in the world's richest nation.
Its ruling class under both right wings of the one-party state proved it's dismissive of public health and welfare even during unprecedented hard times, likely to be protracted.
There's no economic recovery in prospect, only the illusion of improvement at a time of unprecedented widespread deprivation and continuing layoffs.
Increasing numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks in many US states are part of the first wave.
A second, potentially much larger, one may come this fall and winter, making economic collapse worse if happens.
It's why self-protection caution is essential to maintain, what's likely to be the case for some time.
Economic collapse caused far greater harm to millions of Americans than coronavirus outbreaks.
Manufactured main street Depression begun in 2008 was deepened this year by its ruling class.
It's all about the greatest ever wealth transfer from ordinary people to privileged US interests, along with enabling corporate favorites to reduce competition.
Ordinary Americans are paying the price, exploited so privileged ones can benefit.
That's the disturbing reality of today's new normal.
Manufactured current conditions made the US more unsafe and unfit to live in than at any previous time in modern memory — with no end of harder than ever hard times for ordinary Americans in prospect.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
"How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War"
"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"