[Marxism] The absence of real forces [was: The low point]

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Aug 3 17:41:33 MDT 2007

What does "the poorest fifth of Americans" actually mean?  American
households?  American wage earners?  American individuals generally?  Who's
included and who's not included?  On the face of it, it includes kids...

At the risk of sounding like a real crank, my experience looking at
statistics compiled by people who have a stake in the result of the
compilation is that they usually don't say what they're alleged to say.

There are interesting statistics on urban poverty and it's surprisingly
constant in "good times" or bad.  An astonishingly large number of people
live, as I say, hand-to-mouth, payday to payday, without much of a margin at
all.  Starting with the "boom" of the 1980s, I noticed that the claims of
the media, the think tanks and the government often don't jibe with the
experience of my neighbors, coworkers and students.  And that, when that
happens, I frankly regard vague citations of statistics as a kind of
political numerology....

If there's something of substance, I'd be glad to hear it, but ever since I
learned that "full employment" wasn't full employment, I've been a skeptic.


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