* I recall reading articles about a year ago when there was some semblance of national debate over stagnant and/or declining wages. The authoritative discovery was that it didn't matter that 80% of the population had declining wages, because the new prosperity of business came from exports. Those exports were apparently going to create the surplus in overseas manufacturing that now exists. And now the new authoritative discovery is that the American consumer is all that remains to stop a worldwide economic apocalypse. How will this be possible?
My employer, a major multinational, tells its employees that despite several successive years of record profits, it cannot give its employees a raise because all profits have to go to increase shareholder value. Perhaps the first thing that should be done to help the world economy is to give the bottom 80% in this country a raise.