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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Camden, New Jersey- Poster child of American ruin



Finance and economic news can be complicated and at times as dry as burnt toast.  It also tends to be quite abstract and detached from daily realities most people have. Then when you add the psychological equation of corporate media and government telling you we've been in 'recovery' since June 2009 and that the banks and financials are to be saved at all cost while you can go eat cake, there tends to grow a mindset it people that its their fault for the economic crisis.

Some people honestly believe its their fault they are out of work or still can't find work... their fault they can't pay their mortgages or credit cards.. their fault that economically things are so bad when the rest of the nation is recovered...  Of course this is all BS..

Its not everyday people's fault that companies refuse to hire unless its temp work and at wages 15-35% below pre-2008 levels, while collectively sitting on close to 2 trillion in cash reserves.  Or that the government has pumped over $14trillion dollars since Sept 2008 to the global banking system in the US, Europe and Asia, in order to artificially pump the stock market up while completely ignoring mainstream America.  Or that through NAFTA and other trade treaties, manufacturing jobs have been shipped to all far points of the globe, turning the US into a service based economy. Or that to get a decent paying job, you have to acquire tens upon tens of thousands of dollars in student debt (potentially hundreds of thousands in debt if acquiring Masters degrees or Doctorates) which you can not get rid of even in bankruptcy.

A theme that A&G continually tries to convey is that there are Two Americas.  One could argue that this has always been the case, but the gap between the two has widened considerably in the past two years.  The above video shows Camden, NJ- a city gripped with poverty and despair, drugs and crime yet where half its police force and one-third its firefighters will be unemployed by mid January.  While government focuses on helping make the rich even richer via tax cuts and phony Dow Jones, others are made suffer..

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