No deep thoughts while walking this morning. It was 26 degrees and all I could do to keep from freezing up solid. But when I got home, I surfed the web idly and came on this by Joseph Stiglitz, one of the Nobel Economics Committee's few defensible choices. I leave it to you to read the entire column. For me, the most depressing statistic [among many] was the fact that "census data reveals that [American] men with high-school diplomas but without college degrees earn about 40 percent less today (in real terms) than they did in the 1970s." Note: this is an enormous absolute loss of real income, not a relatively smaller share of a steadily growing pie.
Perhaps it is the fact that this is Christmas Day, always a down time for me; perhaps it is the fact that I am forty-eight hours away from my eightieth birthday. Somehow, Stiglitz's column just made me feel terribly disheartened. Not angry, not mobilized to act, just disheartened. Forty percent LESS than almost half a century ago. As Stiglitz makes clear, a significant portion of the blame for this disastrous savaging of the American working class falls on the deliberate policies adopted by Democratic and Republican administrations alike. Obama is no better than Clinton, who was not better than Bush or his son, and a Hillary Clinton administration will be no different.