When the rhetoric doesn’t meet the reality

AlterNet has a great except up of a new book, The Fifteen Biggest Lies by Joshua Holland, that details much of what we’ve been saying for years about the economy. The reality, as most of you know, is that wage growth has been stagnant for almost 40 years (with the notable exception of several years during the Clinton Administration) which is why despite relatively good economic growth in the overall economy, people in the US have felt constantly growing anxiety over their personal financial situation.

In other words, you can’t eat GDP.

The article details the American reaction to the financial crisis of 2008 and why Americans were so accepting of right wing messaging on economic issues, messaging that has the tendency to make people believe they are in the same boat economically as millionaires and billionaires. He absolutely nails the problems that are created, psychologically, by 30 years of uninterrupted right wing rhetoric…

The economic perception that emerges from all of this simply doesn’t depict the economy in which most Americans live and work. Before the crash of 2008, most Americans saw news of a relatively robust economy, with solid growth and rising stock prices. But their own incomes had essentially stagnated for a generation. I’ve long thought that the disconnect may help explain why Americans suffer from depression at higher rates than do the citizens of most other advanced countries—if you think the economy’s solid, everyone else is prospering, and yet you still just can’t get ahead, isn’t it natural to conclude it must be the result of some fundamental flaw in yourself?

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