And of course, Dubya. You know that decade we just left? The one we never could decide unanimously on a name for? “The Aughts,” for lack of a better word?
Yeah…turns out – for the first time in American history since the Great Depression – job creation was totally flat for the entire decade:
There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.
Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.
And the net worth of American households — the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets minus debts — has also declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s.
Of course, I’m sure the wingnuts will find some way to make the early part of this Clinton’s fault, and the last year Obama’s fault…but the truth is that (as the article says) an unsustainable, debt-driven expansion is always bound to fail, eventually. This, despite what were not insignificant productivity gains and of course, the advantages from the ever-onward march of technology. But none of that was enough to counteract the credit-card mentality of the GOP-controlled congress and the Bush White House. They kept piling unfunded “supplemental” appropriation on top of unfunded “supplemental” appropriation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and followed it up with a trillion-dollar Medicare Part D giveaway to the pharmaceutical companies — also unfunded (to say nothing of “deficit-neutral,” the perennial watchword of Republicans…as long as there’s a Democrat in office).
So, if there were productivity gains in the Aughts, but the plight of the overall economy and the vast majority of workers went measurably down, where’d all the extra money go? Two words: rich people:
This disparity’s only been getting bigger, thanks largely to the Bush tax cuts and continued deregulatory pushes by the GOP. It’s literally a case of trickle-down class warfare: against the non-rich. And it’s waaay past time for the non-rich among us (which is nearly all of us) to wake up and realize that we’re already engaged in class warfare, whether we like it (or even realize it) or not — and high time for us to start turning it around a little bit.