Oljan och inflationen i USA

Los Angeles Times har en viktig artikel om hur den oljedrivna inflationen i USA nu slår hårt mot medelklassen:

For the first time in 14 years, the American workforce has in effect gotten an across-the-board pay cut.

The growth in wages in 2004 and the first two months of this year trailed inflation, compounding the squeeze from higher housing, energy and other costs.

The result is that people like Victor Romero are finding themselves falling behind.

The 49-year-old film-set laborer had to ditch his $1,100-a-month Hollywood apartment because his rent kept rising while his pay of $24.50 an hour stayed flat.

“There’s no such thing as raises anymore,” Romero said.

This is the first time that salaries have increased more slowly than prices since the 1990-91 recession. Though salary growth has been relatively sluggish since the 2001 downturn, inflation also had stayed relatively subdued until last year, when the consumer price index rose 2.7%. But wages rose only 2.5%.

The effective 0.2-percentage-point erosion in workers’ living standards occurred while the economy expanded at a healthy 4%, better than the 3% historical average.

Meanwhile, corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay increases down.

Om man till det här lägger utlokaliseringen av ett stort antal jobb och det gigantiska priset på Irakkriget så får man alla ingridienser till början av en ekonomisk kris.

ågot problem med att hålla folket bakom sig med sin politik av God, Guns and Gays. Men den ekonomiska situationen håller på att förvärras, inte minst eftersom bensinpriserna kommer fortsätta att gå upp.

Tyvärr har demokraterna visat sig oförmögna att formulera en alternativ politik. Krisen måte förvärras mycket mer än hittils för att folket skall överge republikanernas bankrutta politik.