The top-down assault on living and working standards continues unabated worldwide. This is coupled with the growing pressure on everyone to fend-for-themselves like animals, which is engendering greater insecurity and instability with each passing month. Even worse, no meaningful and lasting relief is on the way, only more suffering. Major corporations, however, are having a field day.
To add insult to injury, the ruling elite are becoming more irrational and putting forward the destruction of the economy as the way out of the crisis, while also openly admitting that they have no idea what to do. They publicly say things like “we are doing a controlled demolition of the economy” and that “we will likely have a hard landing,” referring to the 50 bubbles deflating in the stock market, which has already lost trillions in real and paper wealth in recent months. Who thinks destroying a massive complex economy that millions built, operate, and rely on is the way forward? Why is more devastation and waste the only option?
Below are 50 facts, some new and some updated, that continue to paint a grim picture of the past, present, and future. New disturbing records continue to be set. Links to all previous nine parts in this series can be found at the end of this article. Together they provide hundreds of facts from numerous sources.
“Nearly half of all Maine tenants cannot afford rent, new study says.”
“The average transaction price (ATP) of new vehicles sold by dealers to retail customers in June  hit a new breath-taking record high of $45,844, up by 14.5% from a year ago, and beating the prior record set in May, according to estimates by J.D. Power.”
“US consumer sentiment hit a new record low in June  amid growing concerns about inflation.”
“Interest costs on national debt are up 30% this fiscal year and could increase more.”
“US oil reserves running low – Bloomberg.”
“The price of diesel went above $5.50 a gallon in the beginning of May , and has stayed there ever since, a 70% increase from just a year ago.”
“The U.S. could soon experience a severe shortage of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), impacting U.S. drivers already hit with soaring fuel prices. DEF is a solution made up of urea and de-ionized water that is needed for almost everything that runs on diesel.”
“The retail industry is facing a potential wave of bankruptcies.”
“Stock market’s fall has wiped out $3 trillion in retirement savings this year.”
“Well over half of people surveyed expect their standard of living to decline in retirement.”
“44% of workers are worried about a layoff or job loss, CNBC’s All-America Workforce Survey found. Some 84% are concerned about a recession.”
“Netflix cuts 300 employees in new round of layoffs.”
“Tesla is laying off workers who only just started and withdrawing employment offers as Elon Musk’s job cuts begin.”
“United Airlines will cut 12% of Newark flights in effort to tame delays.”
“Starbucks used ‘array of illegal tactics’ against unionizing workers, labor regulators say.”
“Roughly 1 in 4 American expatriates is ‘seriously considering’ or ‘planning’ to renounce their U.S. citizenship, according to a survey from Greenback Expat Tax Services.”
“Elon Musk says Tesla’s car factories are ‘gigantic money furnaces’.”
“Minnesota State colleges, universities raise tuition 3.5% for nearly all students.”
“27 of America’s top 30 universities are raising tuition and fees for the next academic year.”
“Why health-care costs are rising in the U.S. more than anywhere else.”
“For Native Americans, justice is still far out of reach.”
“Since 2010, at least 15 big U.S. cities registered more than 1,000 killings of homeless, official statistics reveal.”
“Almost half of the people serving life without parole are 50 years old or more and one in four is at least 60 years old.”
“We face a global economic crisis. And no one knows what to do about it.”
“Fight against inflation raises spectre of global recession.”
“Food insecurity and hunger have doubled since 2019, according to experts. The threat of famine is faced by nearly fifty million people around the world. Levels of less severe hunger have doubled since 2019.”
“The world’s bubbliest housing markets are flashing warning signs.”
“Metal prices are headed for the worst quarter since the financial crisis.”
“Airports around the world battle long lines, canceled flights.”
“Europe’s travel woes deepen as strikes add to scrapped flights.”
“Sri Lankan prime minister: Island’s economy ‘has collapsed’.”
“According to ACORN Canada nearly one in two Canadians are living paycheck-to-paycheck making them vulnerable to predatory banking practices.”
“Majority of C-Suite Execs thinking of quitting, 40% overwhelmed at work: Deloitte Survey.”
“Cazoo to cut 750 jobs in UK and across Europe amid recession fears.”
“UK economy ‘running on empty’ as recession signals mount – PMI.”
“UK retail sales fall in May .”
“UK pushed 100,000 people into poverty by lifting pension age.”
“7 out of 10 people in the UK want government action on soaring executive pay.”
“French energy giants urge consumers to cut energy use.”
“France sees nuclear energy output plummet at the worst possible moment.”
“Belgian workers march against cost-of-living crisis.”
“Food basket [in Iceland] increased nearly 17% in last seven months.”
“Australian central bank aims at real wage cuts for years.”
“German business climate drops more than expected.”
“Germany looks at potential rationing of natural gas after Russia cuts supply.”
“New poll reveals 51% of Dutch consider Israel an apartheid state.”
“Residents across Israel move into tents to protest steep housing costs.”
“Cost of food in Kenya increased 12.40 percent in May of 2022 over the same month in the previous year.”
“Inflation inducing extreme poverty [in Zimbabwe].”
“More poverty and misery ahead for most Argentines as food prices soar.”
While people want a human-centered alternative to the misery and anarchy that has been worsening for many years, they do not trust the politicians in the cartel parties of the rich (democrats and republicans) to bring about such an alternative. People have been dissatisfied with the political representatives of the rich for decades. A new report (June 2022) from the Pew Research Center (PRC), “Americans’ Views of Government: Decades of Distrust, Enduring Support for Its Role,” shows that “65% say most political candidates run for office ‘to serve their own personal interests’.” The report stresses that:
Americans remain deeply distrustful of and dissatisfied with their government. Just 20% say they trust the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time – a sentiment that has changed very little since former President George W. Bush’s second term in office. (emphasis added)
This inevitable distrust and dissatisfaction has grown more over the past 30 months and will increase in the coming years. Imperialists are not interested in sharing power and wealth. They are not interested in the dignity and humanity of all. On the contrary, all their actions and policies further degrade the social and natural environment. It cannot be otherwise in the final and highest stage of capitalism. Parasitism, reaction, and decay increase in this retrogressive period and take a heavy toll on the social and natural environment.
The majority clearly have little to be satisfied about when it comes to the direction of the economy and society. They want to know how and why we are in the abysmal mess we are in today and why it is so impossible for the rich and their political representatives to solve even small problems. Why is there no stability and security centuries after the scientific and technical revolution empowered humankind to easily meet the needs of all many times over?
Experience has also taught people that constantly begging politicians to do the most basic simple things has left millions exhausted, disillusioned, and humiliated. People do not want to fight for years just to secure minor changes that favor them. It is clear that voting once every four years for the lesser of two evils has not stopped economic, social, cultural, political, and educational decline. It has not empowered people to become the decision-makers in society. It has not given people a real voice. It is no surprise that about 100 million eligible voters boycott the presidential election every four years because they feel so disillusioned, ignored, devalued, and marginalized by an obsolete political set-up that has long served a privileged minority. The situation is not much better in the rest of the Anglo-American world.
The fact that the financial oligarchy is a historically superfluous force that is a huge drag on society means that only working people and their allies can usher in a new human-centered alternative. Relying on old structures, frameworks, and arrangements stopped working long ago. Those things do not work anymore because they are not taking people where they need to go. The necessity for new thinking, a new outlook, a new politics, new leadership, and new arrangements is sharper than ever.
Concrete, sustained, collective action with analysis is needed to move forward. A government that upholds a public authority worthy of the name must come into being so as to affirm the public interest. Such a government will provide human rights with a guarantee in practice. It will not privilege narrow private interests or use disinformation to deprive people of an outlook and politics that advances their interests.
There is an alternative to the barbarism of the current conditions engendered by the rich and their outmoded system. New forms of ownership, new social relations, and a new human personality are necessary and possible. History is forcing such ideas, thinking, and topics on human consciousness.
Part one (April 10, 2022); Part two (April 25, 2022); Part three (May 10, 2022); Part four (May 16, 2022); Part five (May 22, 2022); Part six (May 30, 2022); Part seven (June 6, 2022); Part eight (June 13, 2022); Part nine (June 17, 2022).“Booming” Economy Leaves Millions Behind: Part Ten first appeared on Dissident Voice.