Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Rising Incomes is Good News
And one can only hope it will last. But that is always the real issue, isn't it.
On the one hand it can be hard to really feel a difference with fractional increases, one time period to the next. There might be X amount more every paycheck, or at the end of the month, but it's so easy to miss when a host of things can come up to surprise you. Maybe it's a broken part in the car; something in the house or apartment. Maybe it's an ailment that will be a significant out of pocket expense not expected. And all the while, there are still myriad loans to service. Clothes for the kids to buy, not to mention school supplies or, if they're not old enough yet, daycare to pay for that never seems to stop increasing. One could go on with this certainly.
On the other hand, though, you might see that increase, and even if you don't, they certainly always keep the heat on for wanting, across the full gamut of human fears and desires. And getting, even if it hardly ever fills the real void, can certainly provide for fascinating distraction.
They put these figures out, of course, so that you will feel more confident in making those durable goods purchases that usually mean taking on more debt. They do this not only because it may be self serving, but also, truth be told, to bring about a self perpetuating spiral of positive growth consumption. Such an outcome is possible, but the probability of sustaining this, or any other kind of growth, is questionable at best because there are so many other factors that cause instability and uncertainty. One need only contemplate any of the many interconnected problems facing public policy, national security, and the global environment, to understand this.
The fact of the matter is, no matter how much you spend to keep the economy growing, or how much debt you take on for servicing, there is always the possibility that the job you have now will be replaced by a more cost effective skill source. And even if it isn't, so much of the money you spend won't necessarily recycle into new investments here. Why should it when it can flow so easily to wherever the regulations are the least demanding, taxes are the most favorable, and wages are at, or below the current lowest common denominator. Which, of course, only feeds back into why so many critical issues go begging for the resources to address them.
Just remember, as you may, or may not be emboldened to take on more debt, that wages saw an uptick (look at the graph below) just before the great recession. What is really the killer here, and what has always been the problem, is that so much is going on that Big Money doesn't want you to know about (some of which they occasionally get punished for, even though few ever go to jail). Things even many in government don't know about yet, or, if they do have some inkling, don't fully understand, or have been paid to keep their mouth shut about.
The game itself, under continuous mind bending technological change, has become untenable. It is now absurdity piled upon endless contradictions, and the greed of those who can afford not to care. Just as it is not sustainable as far as the planet is concerned, it is also unsustainable because it has become counter to any sense of our being connected to each other, let alone any sense of intrinsic value, or a structurally maintained sense that we all matter, and are needed. Add to that the unfettered saturation of mindless marketing 24/7, and the making of bull shit as the nominal reality, is there any wonder that sanity itself is an endangered species?