You wouldn't know it by looking at your bank account, but our GDP growth rate was 2.8% in the third quarter of 2013. That's much higher than the long-term rate of 2%, but average Americans won't see any benefit from better growth. The latest figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that our nation is recovering from the 2008 recession, but all of that growth is going straight into the pockets of the corporate elite. Executive salaries and bonuses have exploded in recent years, and corporate profits are higher than they've ever been. But, average wages remain stagnant, and median incomes are actually lower than they were in 2007.
The Right claims that our national debt is stifling economic growth, but that's nothing more than a talking point meant to hide the fact that corporate greed is the reason paychecks haven't gotten any higher. Growth is not the problem in our nation, and it's not the reason that Americans haven't gotten a real raise since Reagan. The real problems are income inequality, and the Right perpetuating economic myths. Over the past 32 years, the rich have convinced us that the purpose of our economy is to generate corporate profits, rather than serve the people who depend on it.
As it stands now, our economy is working great for those at the top, and it's preventing the rest of us from benefiting in any growth. All around our nation, people are starting to wake up to the fact that we need to change this. From WalMart strikers to fast-food workers to transit employees, people are speaking out against corporate greed. By standing together, Americans are realizing that we have the power to change things, and we have the power to create an economy that works for us.
The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.