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The bluebird isn't singing

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Mon., 8/1/11
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Economists and politicians keep their fingers on the pulse of the Dow Jones Average, feeling every tick in this narrow measure of Wall Street wealth.

But the truer indicator of America's economic health is in the Doug and Doreen Jones Average--how are workaday folks like Doug and Doreen doing? The experts say we're in the third year of recovery from the Great Recession, so surely the bluebirds of happiness are chirping again in Jonesland. But, listen: silence.

The moneyed elites who caused America's disastrous economic crash are doing great. Since the recession ended in June 2009, CEO pay is back in the stratosphere, corporate profits have jumped up by nearly half, corporations are sitting on a record $2 trillion in cash, and the Dow Jones Average has soared by 90 percent, with nearly all of that gain being pocketed by the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans who own more than 80 percent of all stocks and bonds. The sounds you hear on Wall Street are cheers and the pop-pop- pop of champagne corks.

Yet, more than half of Americans say the recession is still raging in their zip codes, and nearly a third of them describe it as a full blown depression.

In this 'recovery,' those at the top of corporate America are eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs, knocking down wages and benefits, and unleashing their lobbyists on Washington and state capitals to shred unemployment benefits, health care, education, job training, worker rights, and other underpinnings of America's middle class.

If a bluebird did show up in Doug and Doreen's yard these days, it wouldn't be chirping--it'd be dinner.



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