Guess What? Despite What Republicans Say, the U.S. Isn't Actually Broke

I would imagine that the conservatives and corporatists in both parties would prefer that this message not get out lest the people start demanding a more equitable sharing of the wealth in this country:

We’re not broke nor will we be, Lawrence Mishel, May 19, 2011

Policy choices will determine whether rising national income leads to a prosperous middle class

Read Briefing Paper

Many policymakers and pundits claim “we’re broke”1 and “can’t afford”2 public investments and policies that support workers. These claims are meant to justify efforts to scale back government programs and public sector workers’ wages and benefits. The “we’re broke” theme also implies that America’s working families should be satisfied with the status quo in terms of wages that have been stagnant for 30 years.

Despite the rhetoric, it is clear that “we” as a nation are not broke. While the recession has led to job loss and shrinking incomes in recent years, the economy has produced substantial gains in average incomes and wealth over the last three decades, and economists agree that we can expect comparable growth over the next three decades as well. Between 1980 and 2010, income per capita grew 66.4%, and wealth per capita grew 73.2%. Over the next 30 years, per capita income is projected to grow by a comparable 60.6%. In other words, “we” are much richer as a nation than we used to be and can expect those riches to rise substantially in the future.

Oh my goodness. If we aren't really consigning our children to a life of garbage picking if we don't end "entitlements" right now, whatever will the political class do with themselves?

I know why the message of "we're broke" sells. When most of the wealth is going directly to the very top while everyone else is stagnating or falling backwards, it's easy to get that impression. But the fact is that the US will be able to deal with its financial obligations in the future. Our real problem is income inequality. But those who get the best end of that deal can hardly be expected to take up that cause can they?

Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at May 20, 2011, 2:48am

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