Yesterday it was security, today’s it’s recovery: another nifty, ubiquitous word that means a whole lot of different things to different people.
When President Obama in his state of the union talks about economic recovery, just whose is he talking about? What has (for the moment at least) recovered, are stock market returns and Wall Street bonuses. What hasn’t recovered are personal incomes or discretionary spending on things other than debts.
What hasn’t recovered are small shops and small business and people who produce stuff. Productivity’s up, but sales are falling, shops are closing and the country continues to lose jobs.
As economists say, there are two economies: the producing one, and the extracting one. And I’m not just talking about mines.
As Michael Hudson describes it: "The wealthiest 10 percent lend out their savings to become debts owed by the bottom 90 percent. A rising share of gains are made in extractive ways, by charging rent and interest, by financial speculation, and by shifting taxes off itself onto the productive economy."
Have you noticed that subtle shift in action?
Obama appealed to producers to get elected: all those small donors you hear so much about.
Now who’s he appealing to?
Two Americas, one recovery: it seems he’s made his choice.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.