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Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day is a day to be pissed off

It's Labor Day.

All day long I heard on the radio about how there aren't enough jobs and that people can't find them and that Barack Obama needs to do something to save our economy.

Obama gave a speech to factory workers in Detroit with Jimmy Jr. on the podium with him and, after the President spoke, Mr. Hoffa told the crowd that they had to "take the sons of bitches out [of office]" so that the working people would be able to survive. The Teabaggers demanded an apology from the President for condoning Hoffa's "hate speech." Bastards.


There's really only one thing to fucking do. Economics isn't rocket science. It's hardly science at all. It's a shit-mix of common sense, hindsight, mathematics and self-interest. The basics of it aren't hard to understand at all and, frankly, most of the advanced stuff is just crap anyway since they create their models based on the premise that people will always act rationally and in their own self-interest which anybody who's ever known another human would tell you is a pretty ridiculous premise for anything.

So we'll stick to the basics and the basics are basic:

Supply and Demand.

Demand is when a consumer wants something and asks for it to be provided while having the resources to offer something in return. . When people want things, they will infuse their demand into the marketplace. If the value of the demand is high enough (ie. a lot of people willing to pay a little, or a few people willing to pay a lot), then somebody will step in to supply it.

Demand = Desire + Capital + Access

Supply is what happens when a demand is recognized by an individual or corporation and they decide that it is in their interest to meet it.

Demand creates supply

Supply does not create demand

Demand can be encouraged through advertising and marketing (just ask the deodorant companies), but demand still must come before the supply.

In order to place a demand on the marketplace, People need to want something, have money to spend on it, and an ability to get thieir money into the hands of the supplier. So... why isn't there enough demand right now?

People still want things.
People can transfer capital to anybody, anywhere in the world, at any time these days.
So the problem is: People don't have the money.

So the real question we should be asking right now is why the fuck is there so much talk about job creators and tax breaks for corporations?! They can't make a single fucking job unless people have enough money to buy their goddamned products!?

If the average consumer had more money in their pockets, they would spend more money and then the demand curve would rise and the supply curve would rise to meet it necessitating the employment of many more members of the demanding class, in turn creating more demand and the economy would expand.

It is a bit of a ponzi scheme, really, but in lieu of actual structural change to our political economy it's pretty much the only solution we have.

But instead of hearing a massive call for getting more money into the hands of the average consumer, through huge government spending (because government is the only entity that can spend right now -- and if you start talking to me about deficits, I'm gonna send you right back to Economics class because you obviously weren't paying attention the first time) the loudest voices in politics are all calling for putting more money at the top. It's fucking ridiculous. Stop it.

Here's why:

There are two things that are frustrating and embarrassing about this chart. The first is that it's accurate. The second is that the general populace doesn't have a clue about the actual situation, which explains why they're sheeping along with the idea that deficits and high corporate tax rates are the real problem. As far as why our president is also sheeping on this issue is somewhat less obvious, though I think I'm going to chalk it up to... ... something. I don't know.

But don't worry, y'all. We've been here before. This is eerily similar to where we were 100 years ago. The distribution of wealth at the time was almost exactly what it is today. In fact, since the dawn of industrialization, the only period in this country when the wealth distribution was close to what people actually want it to be was in the 1940's through the 1970's. Why? Because that's when people who worked were organized. That was the heyday of unions and when people were organized. They were within a generation or two of suffering through the same bullshit we are suffering through now, they understood how money, left unwatched, tended to float upwards and out of their pockets unless they fought to protect it.

But then their children and their grandchildren stopped understanding and they began to think that the quality of life that they grew up enjoying was due to their own efforts and so they voted for people who told them that, if unions weren't so powerful, if corporations were given more freedom, if tax rates were lower, then they could get rich. And they bought it. And they're still buying it.

So, all we can really hope for on this labor day is that their children won't be so fucking ignorant and that their children will have the energy and the will to do it all over again. If they don't, then all those dire predictions about the end of the American Dream will come true -- and it'll be our own damn fault.

And if you want to see how fucking hard our grands and great-grands fought to make things right, here's some good Labor Day reading and watching.


  1. Check out the song "Too Big To Fail" - sums it all up...

  2. Fabulous - and the movie and the book are perfect recommendations - as is "Too Big to Fail" noted above.

  3. Would that this could make it into the mainstream media. Language and all. Because sometimes people just have to be told the straight poop, and have their fucking ignorant asses rocked a little to wake them the fuck up!

  4. Jobs will create demand - a bit of the chicken and egg since no jobs = no demand

    Answer is create real jobs and put people to work