The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Why Economists Are Wrong About How Good The Economy Is, And Regular People Are Right

Practically every day I read an economist like Paul Krugman or Brad DeLong talking about how the economy is the best ever, but ordinary people just don’t get it, and must be idiots influenced by propaganda.

Someone’s an idiot on this subject, but it’s not ordinary people.

Mish Shedlock had a good article on medical inflation. Here’s two charts from his article. First, costs:

Second, CPI for medical:

You might be noticing a—slight disconnect. The cost of medical care services (which is what you care about as a patient) are dropping, according to the Bureau Of Labor Services (BLS).

Mish has the extended explanation, and you should read his whole post.

Now, back in 2010 I wrote an article on how inflation statistics are bullshit. One example was automobile costs. Here’s the chart from that.

Yeah. right.

The inflation statistics, at the this point, are complete bullshit. Absolutely worthless in entire categories.

When it comes to how good people feel two things matter: how many people have a job, and how much money they’re making. When economists look at wages, they look at “inflation adjusted wages.”

How much your money buys. So, since the inflation numbers are garbage, the inflation adjusted wages are garbage.

A long time ago Stirling Newberry gave me a rule of thumb, which is that people are fooled in generalities but not in specifics. Which is to say, people know what hurts or feels good in their own lives, though may be completely clueless about the generalities. But when you take a survey asking people how the economy is doing, what you’re really asking is “how does it feel for you and people you know.” The answer is “shitty.”

I’ve personally seen, in Toronto, Canada, foodprices increase at least two-thirds. If I buy the shopping basket I bought for $30 in 2020, it now costs me about $50. A lot of things have doubled in price. Rent is way up for most people.

And when I talk to other people, no matter where in the US or Canada they’re from, I hear the same thing. So I’ve never believed the BS talk about the “best economy ever.”

Back in the 90s, there was a rather good book titled, “Economists are bad for your health.” Economists are clueless. North of 99% of them missed the 2000’s housing and financial bubble, for example. The advice they give on how to run economies is almost always not just bad, but terrible, at least for 96% or so of the population.

The most important requirement to understanding the world is accurate perception. Truth, if you will. If you don’t know the truth, you’re going to draw the wrong conclusions. Economists believe BLS stats, so they’re full of it. Add to that the fact that Economics as a discipline is mostly wrong about almost everything macro, and economists are out to lunch in a very dangerous way.

(Note that I predicted the financial crisis, publicly, in advance and spent years before that writing about the bubbles. All the necessary information was available, if you didn’t think nonsense like markets being self-regulating and housing prices always going up. A correspondent once did a search to find out how many people predicted the crash in advance. He found 39. Where were all the economists, who are supposed to understand the, well, economy?)

Anyway, ordinary people are right. Their wages haven’t increased enough to make up for the increases in key prices. You can skip on a lot of things, but not food and shelter, and skipping on medical services is bad too. As for autos, well, most people need them or they can’t get to work or go shopping.

We have late imperial disconnect: the elites live in a world where everything is great, while ordinary people live in the real world, and it sucks.

Donors and subscribers make it possible for me to write, so if you value my writing, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 29, 2023


Notes On The Structure Of American Imperial Collapse (State of the World 2023, #1)


  1. Willy

    I knew that things were turning to shit when a small business owner told me that I was figuring things wrong. Instead of striving to be the best that I could be in whatever field to try and outcompete the competition with my value, I instead needed to first determine how much I wanted to make and then go get that money.

    There was no mention of actually deserving that money. Instead, that philosophy implies that success does whatever it takes to get rich. One markets, one games the system, bullshits customers, lies, cheats, steals… so that one can then be seen as “successful”.

    I’m running into a lot of that shit lately. Undocumented painters making $100/hr because they cut every corner and ignore most prep and best practices. Institutionalized medical billing which borders on fraud. Big name building suppliers delivering damaged materials which cannot be returned. Incompetent auto mechanics.
    Businesses rectifying shitty public reviews by using spin doctoring “techniques”.

    It seems like a culturewide capitalistic collapse may be imminent.

    Yes, the official numbers from Biden’s economy are better than Trump’s economy and there’s no conspiracy behind that (outside of the rampant greedflation which Biden has at least addressed and Trump dismissed). But I’m wondering how many of these economists actually know that their jig is up. They’ve gotta know that we’re in a late-stage capitalism, how that all works and what the causal variables behind it are, and that they fucked up badly by going full neoliberal retard. Maybe they’re spin doctoring their reputations with “techniques”?

  2. different clue


    I can think of a way to know which of these Establishment Spokesmouth Economists know the jig is up and which ones have drunk the koolaid, eaten the dog food and gotten high on their own supply. It would take long and persistent investigative observation . . . perhaps the kind that a lot of widely dispersed Private Eyes could do over a lot of dispersed economists over a wide dispersion field.

    And here it is. Study all the mainstream economists who say this stuff and see which ones are spending most of the money they make on high-priced aspirational lifestyle living. They are the ones who believe it, or at least accept it enough to believe that the music will never stop for them and their punchbowls will never run dry.

    And see which ones are privately investing all the money they can out of what they make into a super-safe super-subsistence-ready Survival Doomstead somewhere out of the way . . . . either out in the country or in a deeply unfashionable suburb or somewhere like that. They are the ones who know “something” is coming even if they don’t know what it is specifically.

    By the way, I can think of one economist known to some who predicted the housing crash several years in advance. Dean Baker. And I can think of another who suspected ” something bad” was going to happen. And that was Fed Chairman Bernanke. Why do I think he thought so? I used to watch C-SPAN. I was watching some Bernanke testimony to the relevant part of Congress. I heard his voice seem to crack and almost break with fear for a few seconds before he got it back under control.
    What would he be so afraid of. Not Congress. Economists like him are confident that they know more than any hundred congressmen. So what then? I felt like he saw something very big and very bad approaching from over below the distant horizon, and wanted to keep everybody happy and relaxed in hopes that he and his technicians could do something about it without alarming anybody. I had no idea what that very big and very bad something would be. How could I with my little knowledge. But the few-seconds flash of fear he revealed signaled that it would be something very big and very bad.

  3. anon y'mouse

    i used to work for landlords (maintenance and office clerk, so general dogsbody level). their “plan” was to increase rents on everyone staying 10% a year, and everyone not staying “up to market level” which involved a lot of calling around finding out what everyone else was charging for a similar place on my part (price fixing, anyone?).

    their other -make money- scheme was basically organizing it so that no one ever got any of their deposit back. they would claim any scratch, scuff, cleaning fees and all of their other costs of turnaround back on the last tenant.

    and their philosophy about screwing over renters in this way? “fuck em” essentially. there were way more people in that metro area with 5 universities and a research hospital and so forth than there were properties to rent to them, and their places would not be empty for long, and the turnover paid for itself with their various fee schemes.

    i am sure that landlords all over the world have a similar philosophy. it is only the rare, old school slumlord type who will charge less than the going rate year after year just to keep tenants in his crappy, undermaintained places (yes, i grew up in those kinds of places so i know what that MO looks like too. ever live 8 people in a 2bd/1ba crapshack in a ghetto where the bathroom tiles fell in you every time you tried to take a bath? cause i have). the slumlord is a smart one. he knows the people he rents to are too poor to move but also too poor to make him do any maintenance and won’t complain year after year.

    but those sorts are a dying breed.

    this is how people end up paying hundreds of dollars to live in a pod in SF, btw.

    economists are simply a priesthood. instead of reading entrails, they conjure some models with some “real” (read-constructed) data and a million false assumptions and say et viola! rubes in power, whom the priesthood is usually always smart enough to back until the next more powerful guy comes along, always fall for these justifications for the wisdom of continuing their horrid policies.

  4. Joe R

    Though he was referring to financial markets Peter Lynch (Fidelity Magellan fund manager when it was a top fund for many years) wrote in his first book, “If you’ve spent 10 minutes on economics, you’ve wasted 10 minutes.” I always took that to mean economists are pretty much useless in everything. I’m still blown away by how much credence most still get. Almost all are way too ivory tower and wouldn’t know what’s going on in the real world if their tenure and sinecures depended on it. Another quote about economists; upon recognition that something is working well for people the economist says “Well I see it works in real life, but does it work in theory?”

  5. GrimJim

    Most economists that get any attention these days are Austrian, which means that reality literally has no place in their models. Everyone else is considered to be, at best, some sort of Marxist, and is given attention only such that they provide opportunity to engage in pleasurable derision.

    The Austrians are smart enough to shoehorn whatever their corporate oligarch masters want to hear into their current dogmatic models, after all, it is just unprovable smoke and mirrors that can’t be checked against evidence, as evidence has no place in Austrian economics.

    Take that away and the rest of the oligarchical propaganda and you’ve got two groups…

    Those who are still doing well enough, and have never suffered from the Great Recession and what has followed, and so they happily gobble down the BS; and those who have been, remain, and/or are screwed, know the emperor wears no clothes, and know the real score.

    Barring other sociopolitical considerations, those who are still doing well enough will follow whoever promises to keep things going well for them, parties and other politics be damned. Their continued success is all that matters. If the economy cools down for them around the time of the election, they will vote for Trump; if they are still doing well, they will vote for Biden. It’s that simple.

    Those who know the score fall into two groups, those who will try the other guy, and thus vote for Trump, and those who have learned better, and just won’t vote, knowing they are screwed no matter who they vote for. Again, absent other political concerns.

    I live in a swing state (a state highly gerrymandered by Republicans), and so will vote Dems all the way down, as I am well aware that though they view me and mine as sheep for shearing, at least they have no plans to put my friends in concentration camps and reduce my wife to chattel.

  6. Eric Anderson

    For crying out loud, gang. You act is if economists don’t know they belong to a cushy well-tenured racket. They know. And they don’t care b/c they’re well paid and feted by the elite. It’s 7th ring of hell stuff.

  7. c1ue

    Re: economists
    You are correct that mainstream economists are junk, but the same can be said for mainstream politicians, mainstream reporters, mainstream analysts, etc etc.
    Economics in particular has been pressured by nearly a century of counter-reformation type elite spending to counteract the outcomes of the 19th century progressive economists like Marx. This is well documented by Dr. Michael Hudson in decades of writing.
    Unfortunately, given the “popular immiseration” and “elite overproduction” a la Turchin, I can see no alternative except to wait for collapse into revolution and the subsequent reformation of society.

  8. StewartM


    I agree with your overall assessment, but I’m not sure your example of the Ford Taurus 1996 price versus the Ford Taurus 2019 proves your point. I looked up both cars and confirmed their prices, and plugged the 1996 Taurus price into two inflation calculators to determine what $17,995 would cost in 2019 dollars. The answer? The 1996 car would cost $29,321.53 in 2019, which is slightly less than the $27,900 of the 2019 Taurus.

    What I do note is how shoddy things have become. My first desktop computer I bought in 1996, and it lasted until 2007 before giving up the ghost. My second one, bought in 2017, lasted until 2021! (Running Linux means at least you’re not obsoleted by OS upgrades).

    The new one I bought in 2021 had a power supply die early on (replaced under warranty) but recently has had random restart issues (every week or two weeks or so if left on). I’ve done a memory test (pass) and I’ve installed a temperature sensing program to see if it’s anything overheating (not seen anything yet; however, my temperature sensor doesn’t be default write a log file so I don’t know if it had overheated at the time of the crash if I am not looking. The power supply I put in is still under warranty and that’s the next thing to try replacing. But the whole point is that this is only a two year old computer.

    In a similar vein, my cable company which hosts my internet did an “upgrade” under which I’ll get like 8 new channels but will lose 40! I’m not paying any more, but this is in essence a price increase.

    But the point is–the heuristics that are used to calculate inflation are all positive. Many items should be actually negative, as the new products have fewer features, or break more quickly, or both. If we’re going to use heuristics, then quality problems should add to the inflation rate.

    The other thing is that factors into the cost of living is mandatory add-ons. One used not to need cable or dish TV—TV was free after you purchased it, and you suffered through commercials but that was the price of free service. Now people have to spend $100 or more dollars a month for TV, and yet we still have commercials?—WTF!!!?? Having a mobile phone was not a necessity, but now you can’t do many simple tasks without encountering a “scan this in…” barcode. You can’t get a job at MacDonald’s without applying online.

    A similar ‘negative heuristics’ applies to service. For example, my recent TV/internet upgrade went something like this:

    a) They send me equipment with a cryptic email (“Your order is coming”–to which I think “WTF? I didn’t ‘order’ anything).

    b) The equipment tells me I should download a phone app and use it to install and verify my equipment, and scan in a barcode). Once again, making people phone-dependent and phone-service dependent.

    c) The service technician shows up to look at my exterior equipment the next day anyway, and installs the cable boxes and internet. He says my old modem is fine despite the instructions; I don’t need an upgrade. My old TV doesn’t have MDI connections so he leaves the old cable box there but tells me I’m fine. I ask him why I’ve not been upgraded to faster internet which the email said I’d get, and he says “Go to the local store, they’ll do it”.

    d) I take the old equipment back to the local store and tell them what happened. They said “all will be ok”. They also tell me they can’t upgrade my speed, but I should call the 800 number to activate the faster internet.

    e) I call the 800 number. The phone help tells me that I can’t get faster internet without a new modem–contrary to what the first technician and store told me. So he has one sent to me. He also tells me that he’s upgraded me to the faster internet and when I get the new modem, it should work. He also tells me my cable box would be fine but says the techs are supposed to have MDI converters for making connections to old TVs and is puzzled why that wasn’t done. He’s also puzzled why the store couldn’t have upgraded my speed.

    f) The cable box on the old TV stops working and it flashes a message “Call Service”. I do.

    g) The 800 number person takes my call, and tells me that the first technician (who told me ‘everything would be good with the old box’) had actually deactivated it when he was here. They schedule a second technician to come out.

    h) The new modem arrives the day before the second technician comes. I hook it up and check my internet speed. It’s still not changed.

    i) The second technician comes by and replaces my deactivated cable box. I asked him about MDI connections for old TVs, and he replies “Huh?”. He then takes a look at my internet, and tells me “You shouldn’t have the faster speed”. I show him the letter I got telling me I should. He looks puzzled and calls his helpline. He finds there is a block on my speed and gets it removed.

    So, an upgrade that should have been done in less than an hour took over a week to complete.

    Why the confusion wakes among all these service people? Why was nearly all the help wrong about something? My strong suspicion is that the company once did have competent people, but eventually pushed them out the door or laid them off to hire in cheaper replacements (both in terms of wages and benefits). Once against Milton Friedman’s “shareholder value” strikes! Screw everyone, save the stockholders!

  9. Willy

    @ anon y’mouse

    My “lifeboat” after losing my planned career was a startup rental management company. I fell for their enthusiastic “You’re our savior/contractor/potential 3rd partner!” schtick. I was their first ‘construction, maintenance, problem solving and upgrade’ guy. Since the owners didn’t know shit about such, they trusted me to deal with the property owners directly about increasing values for higher rents. After a few years of keeping me very busy, their calls tapered off. I assumed they’d deemed me not loyal enough (unwilling to work 24/7 which they themselves were exempt from) and preferring the desperate inexperienced kids and illegals to replace me with. In hindsight, their plan was to have all work done using their own construction company by low wage slaves. As if the property owners would want that.

    I never got fired since I never screwed up, so they’d instead subtly implied that I was too smart and capable for them, plus maybe a bit too old, and they’d drop little hints like screwing up on their end of supporting important projects I was doing for them.

    A hint for the young’uns: If your once-enthusiastic and reliable boss suddenly turns ‘too busy’ for you, start seeking another job. Double that if the new people he’s surrounding himself with aren’t treating you well.

    After I was ghosted, their online reviews took a steep tumble, from 4.3 stars to 1.6. I then got an email from some “reputation,com” company telling me to please submit a 5-star review for them under my actual name. Or if I couldn’t do that, to please call the company in question and discuss why I didn’t consider them top-notch, to help them achieve that 5-star. The phone number they provided me was the public straight-to-voicemail, screen-the-calls number which their lowly front desk assistant managed.
    Previously, I’d only ever communicated with the owners directly. So I submitted both a 4-star review with subtle hints plus I called that number requesting the callback which they’d requested. When I never saw or heard anything back I knew I was done. That whole thing had been a bullshit game-the-system strategy.

    Apparently in this new economy, even dedicated top performers doing their best are expendable. If all else fails, owners are preferring ‘bullshit the consumer’ strategies instead of just hiring well and providing quality products. I remember the old bumper sticker: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit”. Since most shit trickles down, this is obviously the current state of the ‘science of economics’ today.

  10. McKittrick's WOPR AI


    Sounds like an excellent opportunity to get rid of the idiot box once and for all. The “plug-in” drug doesn’t even get a person high, let alone allow for broader, non-linear insights.

  11. neutrino23

    I guess I’m an outlier because I don’t see things as bad as others do. I shop for some groceries and I haven’t noticed much of a price increase.

    As for TV, we don’t have cable, just use an antenna. There are dozens of channels in this area. Mostly schlock I don’t watch, but that is another issue.

    Computers and other electronics are great, if you buy quality equipment. I’ve been in industry for decades. If you buy the cheapest stuff it tends not to last. Electrolytic capacitors dry out and you start seeing weird faults and unexplained crashes. We have ten year old Macs and iPads that work just fine. Our iPhones get handed down from one person to the next. My 12 year old Sony TV works fine. I have other non-consumer equipment that lasts for decades.

    Intel based PCs tend to be junk because there is so little profit in them. I’m sure there must be a really qood, quality made Intel PC, I just don’t know those brands.

  12. Willy

    @ StewartM,

    I can remember the days when cable was my smallest household billing expense. Today it doubles my #2 expense, which is the power bill (both electricity and gas). I remember no commercials. I remember techies fixing issues the first time. What amazes me most, is big cable still conning consumers into trusting them with some new business venture while their core business tanks, because of the ways they’ve been doing business. Seems like insanity doing the same thing over and over again.

    I had a neighborhood friend who hailed from smalltown Kansas. He graduated from a local MBA program with his high school football buddy. As the smarter and more ambitious one, he went into the then (1980’s) exciting and promising field of rentals, since consumers and businesses were going do-it-yourself, rent-to-own, and startup risk-mitigation back then. His buddy went into the boring and stagnant field of medical management.

    Today he works as a rental chain regional manager doing 6/10s every week, with half the time spent in some city far from home. He’s had to relocate his family cross-country every few years to advance or just to stay employed. He said his buddy ‘works’ 4.5 days a week, managing a single mid-sized hospital 5 minutes from his longtime home in KC.

    He also said his buddy now makes five times as much money as he does.

    Based on the medical clinic reviews I’m seeing, I think everybody knows that big medical/pharma/insurance has corroded into a full-blown money extraction racket. I wonder if Uncle Milton was around today, would he proclaim that these businesses aren’t operating “within the rules of the game, engaging in open and free competition without deception or fraud”? Would he admit that capitalism and freedom are at best, a sketchy mix?

  13. Ian Welsh

    Interesting, Neutrino. Where abouts do you live?

    I had an intel based computer that lasted (with some video card upgrades) from 2009 to 2020. It was still working fine, but couldn’t upgrade the OS and expect it to keep doing so. (Plus it had a hard drive, not an SSD, although I could have added one.)

  14. officer artie grossman

    Thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from. But you didn’t really get 13, because channel 6 or 8 never came in in my area. But then there were some bizarre fuzzy UHF channels that would come in from time to time.

    Early 80’s was the cable rollout. In northern NJ where I lived at the time, the company was Sammons cable. And the slider box was actually wired to the TV, not remote:

    There were actually remote TV’s then, though we didn’t have one. Remember getting up to change the channel?

    I will continue to reiterate that the biggest change has been the always-on nature of everything. The do-everything cell phones and the regression of the internet from its much less controlled early 2000’s heyday to the stupidly flashy, mentally distracting, privacy nightmare it is now.

  15. StewartM


    As for TV, we don’t have cable, just use an antenna. There are dozens of channels in this area.

    Here in Appalachia, I’d only pick up TV ONE channel well using an antenna. Maybe another 1-3 with fuzzy reception.

    The reason I go with the cable mostly is for the internet (fastest available) and it’s got the cheapest mobile phone plan available.

  16. StewartM


    Computers and other electronics are great, if you buy quality equipment.

    That’s what I’ve done. I don’t buy the cheapest ones, I go for quality parts, and buy far more computing power I think I’ll need so I can continue using it and upgrading the OS for many years. I agree, if you go with the dirt-cheap systems, you’ll replace them every 4-5 years.

  17. anon y'mouse


    if you were doing maintenance and upgrades, they don’t really want that.

    well, what they really want is that someone comes and paints stuff to make it look shiny and new, and does nothing else.

    or they have cheap laminate floors installed everywhere, which scuff and can’t take a spilled cup of water. but it looks nice for the brochure.

    one place i lived in actually on renoved the “model” apartment they would show prospective renters, then slam them into an old unit with none of the upgrades.

    and of course, the tenants wouldn’t complain because they were poor and needed that crappy apartment in a crappy community where they didn’t even keep the stairwell lights on, shootings would be happening, riots of loose teens in the summer, the gate broken, the garbage constantly overflowing, people jacking your tires in the parking lot, and the maintenance workers spraying actual bug poison loosely into your heat/aircon closet. thankfully, i didn’t work for these idiots this time around because the “free apartment, but you are chained to this property like a slave and can’t ever shut off your phone and all the tenants know where you live” thing got too old and i needed actual cash in hand.

    you were thinking they wanted upscale tenants. they just want tenants that won’t complain. they will do the minimum required to get those kinds.

    the place i last helped “manage” had this thing where if a tenant complained their refrigerator wasn’t working, the maintenance guys would come out and “replace” it. except it became very obvious that they were just wheeling these things back and forth, never buying new ones. they would often replace it with one that functioned even worse, or not at all. i guess they were hoping for the ideal match between quirky mechanical operation and tenant willingness to endure.

    at any rate, this tangent i was on was really about PRICES. the landlord and every business wants to raise their prices by a certain percentage each and every year if they can possibly get away with it, and they honestly believe they can because often it is a “must have” and not a discretionary purchase. in the landlord’s case, it is 10% at least. you can bet your total pay package did not go up an equivalent amount to even the rental increase, much less all of the other things that the CEOs have decided people can pay more for because they have all become “necessary” to live.

    this is one of the reasons all of that cheap imported crap that falls apart has been a godsend. because something has to give but you still have to have clothes, shoes and other necessities of life. even if it ends up like that calculation in Terry Pratchett’s book, Guards! Guards!

    on the next post, y’all are talking about collapse. well, for a lot of people like myself, we’ve been seeing it our entire lives. things have never gotten better and the expectations from us have only increased. including useless degrees on top.

    a lot of the complaints upthread are not about the employees. we’re barely trained, and badly at that, and shoved out there to do whatever we can to belay customer dissatisfaction. to that end, we will lie, give mistaken info, and pray it doesn’t come back to bite us because there isn’t much choice. you can only spend a certain amount of time trying to deal with past problems. your job is predicated on what ELSE you can sell the punters, and how you can con them into not complaining. if half of you shrug and give up and simply say we are incompetent, that’s fine as long as you keep paying the people who employ us for all of this BS that we sold you that you now can’t really go without.

    and China wants a consumer society?

  18. Quite Likely

    “A long time ago Stirling Newberry gave me a rule of thumb, which is that people are fooled in generalities but not in specifics. Which is to say, people know what hurts or feels good in their own lives, though may be completely clueless about the generalities. But when you take a survey asking people how the economy is doing, what you’re really asking is “how does it feel for you and people you know.” The answer is “shitty.””

    But the consistent survey results are that people mostly say they themselves are doing well, it’s just the larger abstract economy they think is doing badly. Seems like the rule of thumb points instead to saying people aren’t fooled about their own improved conditions, but are fooled by the negative vibes projected about the economy as a whole through the media.

  19. anon y'mouse

    people in this country will say they are doing “ok” even when they aren’t because to admit you are struggling in any way means you are a “loser”. about the only thing left in this culture is constantly being grateful for eating shit, and doing so promptly with a smile on your face or else you suddenly are considered “not a team player”.

    also, people’s expectations have lowered. if you have a roof and food, you are doing OK considering more and more people don’t have those things. and you might be legitmately grateful that you aren’t yet in the streets and that your crappy job does give you some few hours so you can buy groceries, and your car is making a weird noise that wakes the entire neighborhood up, and you can’t afford to hit the mechanic’s place, and you probably won’t because at least the car starts when you need to go to your shift work at whatever hour.

    who are the people who answer polls? the dwindling middle class, that is totally subsumed with this “gratitude” BS and haven’t yet disappeared off the ladder entirely or given up? people with some meager pensions, surviving into retirement, who don’t foresee those pensions are going to be cut off (the rest of us don’t have those pensions. we only have SSI that is likely to not pay out if we live long enough to collect).

    regardless of nominal pay rises and newly won union contracts, wages are still flat and probably down after recent inflation.

    after a new apartment least turns over in the coming year with another 10% (or whatever local laws allow), people will still keep paying it if they can but they will be even more behind. much less all of the other costs that have gone up and NOT fallen.

    my bet is that the people suffering are never answering those polls. in fact, i really don’t believe any polls and no one else should either. having taken the very college courses that likely would have allowed me to scrounge a job in that exact sector, everyone knows you can make people give the answer you want them to give with careful wording and priming and so forth. not to mention the selection issues already mentioned plus a million more.

    the people who have time to sit around answering dumb canned questions are probably not hurting and suffering all that much. but take comfort that they are giving you the answers you seek, even if you can interpret them to polarized positions (odd how that always seems to be the case, doesn’t it?) so that each side in the “debate” can flog their own customized version of the reality they’d like to have happening around them.

  20. Soredemos


    Small businesses are shit, and their owners are scum. This is an almost universal rule; the exceptions are few and very much prove the rule. It’s easy to bag on huge corporations (and we should; they absolutely deserve it), but on balance I would rather work for them, horrible HR departments and all, than some skinflint mom-and-pop. One of the many defects of the US (and other capitalist countries, Germany especially also has this fetish) is worshiping at the alter of small businesses.

  21. Jorge


    Having run a small business, I can assure you that it is the greatest ego trip ever, like being on cocaine for years. It promotes psychosis.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén