Unpacking the US's "low unemployment": stagnant wages, bad jobs, high incarceration, discouraged workers back in school

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/17/starvation-wages.html


Saw a Trump apologist on Rachel (or Chris Hayes, not sure now) last night bragging about the increase in average wages, but when it is pointed out that it barely kept pace with inflation goes with “If we hadn’t had the Trump policies it would have been worse.” Pressed, he just goes with the mindless repetition of “increased wages” and not engaging with the fact that wages keeping pace with inflation is not making it better, and not unique to Trump. Every president since Nixon can say that. Hence why real wages have been stagnant since the '70s!


And the change in how unemployment is calculated makes comparison difficult at best.



I’ve been unemployed for almost five months now. I live in one of the wealthiest areas in the world (the SF Bay Area). I already have a (mostly useless) graduate degree. I am sad.


I was last laid off more than 6 years ago. The moment my unemployment benefits were prematurely ended by the Republican congress, I was no longer counted in the unemployment totals.
And yet I don’t FEEL any more employed…


“universities,” including outright scams like Trump University…

It’s okay. Betsy DeVos says that totally counts as real college, and your student loans are non-dischargable in bankruptcy. And she totally sympathizes with your plight - really.


This is a very old observation:

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
But turns the bigger robber loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own,
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break.
This must be so, but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

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