Protracted main street depression conditions have existed in the US since 2008 with no relief for ordinary Americans in prospect.
Before economic collapse this year, unemployment exceeded 20%, Labor Department numbers rigged to pretend otherwise.
The so-called U-3 BLS number omits working-age Americans without jobs who want them, including many longterm unemployed individuals not looking after months of failure to find employment.
Monthly BLS jobs report conceal what should be headline news, including that most US jobs created are poverty-wage, poor-or-no benefit temporary or part-time service industry ones.
Most households need two or more to survive. Living on the edge, they’re one or a few missed paydays from homelessness, hunger, despair and overall deprivation.
Record numbers of Americans are food insecure, the specter of hunger haunting the world’s richest country because its ruling class serves privileged interests exclusively at the expense of the public welfare.
It’s what the scourge of neoliberal harshness is all about, supported by both right wings of the one-party state.
It’s not a pretty picture. “America the beautiful” is a mirage in a nation where poverty is the leading growth industry — disturbing reality concealed by establishment media.
Michal Harrington explained the problem in 1962, things far worse today than what he described in his book titled “The Other America,” saying:
“In morality and in justice, every citizen should be committed to abolishing the other America, for it is intolerable that the richest nation in human history should allow such needless suffering.”
“But more than that, if we solve the problem of the other America, we will have learned how to solve the problems of all of America.”
Food insecurity, hunger, and unemployment haunted America at higher levels than at any time since the Great Depression before 2020 economic collapse began.
Now they’re off the charts with no near-or-longer-term plan for turning things around — just continued governance of, by, and for the privileged few alone at a time of a growing permanent underclass.
During the Great Depression, FDR explained that “one-third of (the US was) ill-housed, ill-clad (and) ill-nourished” — the problem far greater today than then.
It’s because unemployment is far greater now than in the 1930s, the highest in US history by far.
FDR’s “New Deal for the American people” was polar opposite today’s bipartisan conspiracy against public health and welfare.
He called “vast unemployment (of his time) the greatest menace to our social order,” calling for “social justice” that’s fast eroding today at a time when boosting it greatly is needed.
Friday’s jobs report concealed reality. Economist John Williams said BLS numbers are “not particularly credible.”
“Prior period downside revisions” weren’t explained, nor “revised methodologies and seasonal adjustments” that distorted reality.
Nearly 5 million unemployed Americans were counted as “employed, the third (consecutive) month of acknowledged misreporting.”
Last month’s reporting period was at a time of US lockdown nationwide.
Yet the BLS claimed 2.5 million new jobs were created — when millions of new weekly unemployment claims continue to be filed.
The report noted that hundreds of thousands more workers were permanently laid off because lost business isn’t coming back soon.
Hundreds of thousands of public workers continue to be let go, mostly at the state and local levels because of severe budget constraints, revenues falling way short of the ability to maintain public services at pre-economic crisis levels.
Through May into early June, data show the US economy contracting, far from expanding.
Key economic metrics contracted to record-low levels. Q II GDP is estimated to show around a 50% contraction, a number far exceeding anything during the Great Depression or any previous time in US history.
Based on how US unemployment was calculated pre-1990, Williams now puts it at 35%, over one-third of US workers without jobs.
Along with the vast majority of others underemployed, the US is a nation of paupers while its privileged class never had things better.
Notably the wealth of super-rich Americans is increasing during hard times while food banks are hard-pressed to feed millions of hungry Americans.
The USA is a nation in decline, a surging stock market concealing reality.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) said nationwide “economic pain” continues, stressing it’ll “be longstanding without” considerable federal aid — that’s not forthcoming.
California, the state with the nation’s largest economy, teeters on bankruptcy, needing $54 billion in federal aid to provide basic services.
Many are being slashed, including for health, education, and other vital programs.
New York, Illinois and other US states are face similar hard choices.
Instead of federal aid to states in need and to stimulate economic growth and jobs creation, trillions of federal dollars went to Wall Street and other corporate America favorites.
Crumbs alone have gone to the unemployed, the impoverished underemployed, the “ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-nourished.”
While most US states ended lockdowns, others likely to end them in short order, mass unemployment remains at a record high.
Over 40 million Americans employed in January were fired, laid off, or furloughed, record numbers over a short period.
Small and medium-sized businesses were most affected, the backbone of the nation.
Around half of lost jobs are permanent because countless numbers of shut down companies face bankruptcy.
The Wall Street Journal reported that 722 US firms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May alone, a near-50% year-over-year increase, much more of the same ahead.
Many reopening won’t operate at previous levels, notably restaurants, hotels, airlines, shopping malls, retail stores, commercial real estate, enterprises related to tourism, and others relying on large gatherings like sports.
According to US bankruptcy attorney James Conlan, “we’re going to see an extraordinary number of large corporate bankruptcies, not just in the US but across the globe.”
The effects of unprecedented US economic collapse won’t magically turn around any time soon — especially with no federal economic stimulus and jobs creation programs planned.
Trump’s phony Friday claim about the US economy ready to take off like a “rocket ship” belies the dismal state of main street America — his regime and Congress doing nothing to turn things around.
What happens when millions of unemployed Americans can’t pay mortgage, car loans, or credit card bills.
Are mass evictions coming, numbers of homeless to increase exponentially, along with growing hunger?
The notion that Friday’s jobs report showed the beginning of economic recovery is belied by reality in US cities and towns nationwide.
Ongoing protests against institutionalized racism, inequality and injustice met by police violence reflect America’s dismal state.
It’s not about to change by the nation’s ruling class without sustained public activism in the streets for redress of longstanding grievances.
It’s the only way change ever comes. There’s no other way.
Power yields nothing without a demand. It never did and never will.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Charleston’s The Digitel | CC BY 2.0