Middle class staggers while Wall Street swaggers

Party like it’s 1929
Posted November 27th, 2010 by Prometheus 6 in

Winning the Class War
By BOB HERBERT

The class war that no one wants to talk about continues unabated.

Even as millions of out-of-work and otherwise struggling Americans are tightening their belts for the holidays, the nation’s elite are lacing up their dancing shoes and partying like royalty as the millions and billions keep rolling in.

Recessions are for the little people, not for the corporate chiefs and the titans of Wall Street who are at the heart of the American aristocracy. They have waged economic warfare against everybody else and are winning big time.

The ranks of the poor may be swelling and families forced out of their foreclosed homes may be enduring a nightmarish holiday season, but American companies have just experienced their most profitable quarter ever. As The Times reported this week, U.S. firms earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter — the highest total since the government began keeping track more than six decades ago.

The corporate fat cats are becoming alarmingly rotund. Their profits have surged over the past seven quarters at a pace that is among the fastest ever seen, and they can barely contain their glee. On the same day that The Times ran its article about the third-quarter surge in profits, it ran a piece on the front page that carried the headline: “With a Swagger, Wallets Out, Wall Street Dares to Celebrate.”

  1 comment for “Middle class staggers while Wall Street swaggers

  1. Gregory Iwan
    November 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Think of Leona helmsley, too. She of “taxes are for (the) little people (to pay).” When I see a shiny new Lexus or something even more stratospheric on wheels, what comes to mind at once is this: I wonder how many had to be laid off to afford that? EVERYONE simply MUST read Lester Thurow’s “Zero-Sum Game.” It’s dated, but it’s still very apropos now. His nobel in economics is still valid, too, as is Paul Krugman’s. But not so many listen to such as these; they’d rather swign and sway to the likes of Milton Friedman, who thought that government had no function except maybe as a policeman. He must have spent some time in Texas. And just think of the poor, duped American voter — especially those over 55 (as a group, don’t count me in!) — continues to pull the voting booth lever for the cretins from the GOP?!?!?!? I would think at least a saliva test should be required to vote. Sort of the anti-(southern) “citizenship” exam required as a “literacy” screen for blacks only. This went on unabated in various versions in the deep South for decades. I took one of those, from Alabama, I think. I barely “passed” it, and I’m pretty knowledgeable about civics, the Constitution, etc. Which is why I wish, as did Dick Gregory, that more of these right-wing clowns were behind the Constitution and not in front of it.

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