“Booming” Economy Leaves Millions Behind: Part Five

Ceaseless money printing by central banks, price-fixing in major sectors of the economy (“greedflation”), never-ending supply-chain disruptions and delays, endless pay-the-rich schemes (e.g., public-private “partnerships”), constantly-growing debt at all levels, more inequality, intensifying stock market turbulence, out-of-control inflation, widespread poverty, and lower working and living standards for millions are signs of an economy that lost historical and social relevance long ago. It is an economy in dire need of a new aim and direction under the control of the workers who actually produce the wealth in society.

The economic and social fallout from an obsolete economic and political system continues at home and abroad. This is especially significant given the interconnected nature of everything and the fact that the rich and their political and media representatives are incapable of analyzing and theorizing the economy objectively and offer only more confusion and incoherence.

Below are additional statistics on the state of working and living conditions nationally and internationally. Links to the first four parts can be found at the end of this article.


International Conditions

“The IMF sees growth in 2022 and 2023 lower than it did in January [2022].”

“Poor countries face a mounting catastrophe fueled by inflation and debt.”

“Global leaders warn of economic dangers as crises multiply. At the G-7 conference in Germany, finance ministers wrestle with stagflation, energy shocks, food shortages and debt crises.”

“Age of scarcity begins with $1.6 trillion hit to world economy. New fault-lines are likely to outlast war and plague — leaving the global economy smaller and prices higher.”

“World’s largest fertilizer company warns crop nutrient disruptions through 2023.”

“Producer prices in South Korea rose 9.2 percent year-on-year in April of 2022, accelerating from a 9 percent advance in the previous month.”

Japan: “Producer inflation in April rose by double digits for the first time since 1980.”

People queue ‘more than 10 hours’ for fuel in crisis-stricken Sri Lanka.”

“The Reserve Bank of Australia expects inflation to reach 5.5 per cent by June [2022] – compared to the government’s 4.25 per cent forecast – and six per cent by the end of 2022.”

“Turkish reserves lost ‘shocking’ $4.8 billion in just one week.”

“The Tunisian economy has gone from bad to worse in recent years, battered by a series of challenges from heavy indebtedness to diminished output.”

“Inflation hits 7% in April as Ireland’s cost of living soars. Households warned to brace for sharpest squeeze since early 1980s.”

“UK consumer confidence falls to its lowest level since 1970s.”

“Spain expected to produce the lowest volume of fruit in 40 years.”

“Iceland ramps up tightening in biggest rate hike since 2008. Inflation may now exceed 8% in third quarter, officials say.”

“Swedish economy contracts as price hikes start to bite.”

Rising prices put pressure on Swiss consumers and industry.”

“Albanian president says public debt at “very worrying” 84% of GDP.”

“Bulgaria’s inflation jumps to 14.4% y/y in April.”

U.S. Conditions

“I’ve been in the markets for 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Danielle DiMartino Booth, CEO and chief strategist for Quill Intelligence, a Wall Street and Federal Reserve research firm. “It’s violent not just volatile.”

“Federal Reserve data shows that the middle 60 percent of households ownership of the national wealth has fallen to just only 26 percent. Their ownership of real estate has fallen from 44 percent, a generation ago, to 38 percent today. Since 1971, wage growth has nearly stagnated while GDP and productivity have increased significantly.”

“Existing home sales in the US declined by 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in April of 2022, the lowest since June of 2020 and slightly below forecasts of 5.65 million.”

“Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell eight points to 69 in May, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the fifth straight month that builder sentiment has declined and the lowest reading since June 2020.”

“Applications for mortgages to purchase a home dropped 12% from the prior week [early May 2022] and were down 15% from a year ago.”

“More subprime borrowers are missing loan payments. Borrowers with limited or troubled credit histories are defaulting on credit cards, car loans and personal loans.”

Foreclosure wave sweeping US crests in Chicago.”

“Millions of Americans are worrying about how to deal with high prices, or are going without. Predictions of a looming recession make everyone concerned about their jobs. And any pay increases that come with a new job are quickly gobbled up by inflation.”

A third of Americans report financial stress in census survey.”

“In the fourth quarter of 2021, credit card debt rose $52 billion, the largest quarterly increase on record. After the Fed’s quarter-point increase in March, interest rates increased across 75 percent of the 200 credit cards LendingTree credit expert Matt Schulz monitors every month, he told CBS News.”

1 in 6 US kids are in families below the poverty line.”

“Why inflation is hitting Gen Z particularly hard. Rising prices, plunging stocks and surging rents are making it a difficult time to enter adulthood.” Gen Z, also known as “zoomers,” consists of people born between 1997 and 2012.

“With infant formula in very short supply, many Americans have been getting a crash course in market concentration. Just four companies make 90% of the formula sold in this country, which means that a recall and a plant closure at just one of those companies is having some pretty serious ripple effects. A similar lack of competition can be found in many sectors of the American economy.”

“Data analysis demonstrated that baby formula stock was relatively stable for the first half of 2021. Out-of-stock rate (OOS) fluctuation was between 2-8%. The OOS detail shows that in January 2022, baby formula shortages have hit 23%. Hyperlocal data indicates they will continue to worsen, showing OOS levels now at 31% as of April 2022.”

“Bird flu outbreak nears worst ever in U.S. with 37 million animals dead.”

“[T]hrough consolidation, the number of hospitals in the United States declined by 16% in the last quarter of the 20th century, but with no evidence of improved quality.”

Half of America faces power blackouts this summer, regulator warns.”

Soaring diesel prices spells bad news for America.”


Taken together, these and many other facts show that the economic system remains chaotic, fragmented, anarchic, obsolete, and incapable of ensuring prosperity, peace, security, and stability for all. Uncertainty and turmoil plague everything. More and more people around the world are experiencing greater economic hardship and more social and psychological problems. The situation is serious and bad. It cannot be otherwise when an economy is not directed by workers themselves. Leaving control of the economy in the hands of the financial oligarchy leads only to more tragedies.

No real solutions are being offered by the rich and their cheerleaders at every level of society and government. We are just supposed to watch everything slowly crumble while hoping for some spontaneous magical solution that saves the day and makes the nightmare quickly go away.

In its inability to solve any problems, government is revealing itself to be more irrelevant with each passing day. Government incompetence and irresponsibility are very high. Why do people have to beg for decades for the most simple basic things? Why are there trillions of dollars for banks, war, Wall Street, “security,” and the rich but hardly anything for the rest of humanity? Why is this basic question still being posed today?

While deep meaningful change that favors the people does not happen overnight, it cannot happen without constant, organized, patient, collective study, analysis, discussion, and action. Serious and focused attention must be given to the conditions confronting people, and then this information and analysis has to be used to arrive at warranted conclusions about how to collectively build the alternative on a step-wise basis. There are a million steps. Great discipline is required. And the more broadly this discussion is taken the better it will serve workers, students, youth, women, the elderly, and the disabled. Everyone should boldly speak up and discuss. Much is at stake and silence usually makes things worse. Put the disturbing facts on the table and open up the discussion on systemic fundamental problems and the need for a fresh alternative and new direction that ensures security, prosperity, peace, and stability for all. In the absence of organized discussion, analysis, and action people are left to fend for themselves in a world saturated with disinformation, propaganda, and brain-washing of all sorts. People wake up every day and confront a world full of endless distractions, diversions, and mysteries causing much cognition to be discombobulated, erratic, and incoherent. It is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to opening the path of progress to society by unleashing the human factor and social consciousness. Working people are more than capable of sorting things out and moving society in a pro-social direction.

Part one of this series appeared on April 10, 2022, part two appeared on April 25, 2022, part three appeared on May 10, 2022 and part four appeared on May 16, 2022.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at stell5@naz.edu.. Read other articles by Shawgi.