Why are there not enough good paying jobs today?
It's because companies are not hiring.
Are companies out of cash?
No, they are flush with cash - about 2 Trillion by the last count.
Then why are these companies not hiring more employees?
It's because there is not much demand for their products.
Why has demand dropped?
It's because the middle class has lost its earning power and has become mired in debt.
When did the middle class start losing its earning power?
Around 1970.That is when the wages of the average middle class citizen stopped rising.
Was there a recession going on then?
No, that is the time when the employer class felt they should start rolling back the New Deal put in place by FDR.
How long did middle class wages stay frozen?
Today, in 2012, the median pay is the still the same as what it was back in 1978.
But we are told that productivity (the stuff that the employees produced) kept rising all through the 1970's. Did that not benefit the employees?
No, it did not. The difference between the ever flat wages and the rising productivity amounts to the profits that have accumulated with corporations (and accrued to the 1% since they comprise the majority shareholders) over the course of the last few decades.
But why did the middle class get into debt?
Well, because they chose to maintain their current standard of living. To meet this need Wall Street took the profits from the wage/productivity differential and simply lent it back to the middle class in several different ways - credit cards, education loans, payday loans, sub-prime mortgages to name a few.
But that's a lot of money. What else did the 1% do to accumulate so much wealth?
Well, when banks take the wealth of the working class and lend it right back to them with interest, the profits start piling up. Take, for instance, the 30 year mortgage. If you bought a house for $50,000 and agree to pay it back over 30 years, you end up paying $150,000. In other words you agreed to pay the bank $100,000 or 2/3rd of the total cost of a loan in the form of interest. Profits are good, excessive profits create imbalances.
What is the net effect of all this?
It's quite simple, the Finance Industry, which is supposed to be an ancillary industry - something that facilitates other industries that produce the real goods and services required by society - has grown too big and out of proportion with the rest of society. This is at the heart of many of the problems we are experiencing today. This industry is so flush with cash that it is spilling over and tainting our electoral process, and threatening the very foundations of our democracy.
If we were to downsize the Finance Industry will that solve all of the problems we are facing today?
It would certainly diminish the role of money in politics, and then perhaps we could turn our attention to some of the other root causes of imbalances in our society. For example it is now becoming clear that, whether it be in the boardroom or in the halls of Congress, all too often, significant decisions are being made by a few without adequate representation by the many, the ones who are most affected by these decisions. If the Reverend Jonathan Mayhew were present today he would have preached "No transaction without Representation". Indeed, addressing these types of deficiencies will require cultural changes that will help us move from "making a killing" to "making a living", and shared prosperity and economic justice will take a second seat only to social and political equality among our citizens.