While it remains a myth that, in the United States, the period from 1945 to 1980 was marked by increasing egalitarianism, neither was it a time of sharply increasing class exploitation. Then came the Great Restoration, as the overclass decided to get tougher and to step up its political salesmanship. Making more war, jailing more criminals, privatizing everything in sight were the secondary policies. At the core, of course, was “supply-side economics,” or the assertion that providing the rich with more and more money is the key to a permanent economic boom and the best of all possible societies. The rich invest, so the richer they are, the more they’ll invest, right?
Although the corporate media are incapable of asking the question, we might do so: How is this set of claims proving out? What grade should we, the citizens, award for the ongoing experiment in letting corporate capital dictate everything to a human society?
Well, as TCT readers know, the conditions for assessment could hardly be better. The overclass has been raking in cash right throughout the past several years. And the latest results? The Associated Press reports them:
NEW YORK — So much for fears that U.S. companies might stall out in the economy’s soft patch.
Corporate profits are coming in better than expected so far in second-quarter earnings season despite concerns about the potential for trouble ahead.
“The corporate sector’s in great shape,” says Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank.
All told, 148 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index have reported earnings and 73 percent have beaten the expectations of Wall Street. That’s somewhat ahead of the typical pace of two-thirds that surpass estimates.
Companies that had reported as of Friday had $24.52 per share in operating earnings — profits before subtracting interest and tax expenses — according to S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt. The record of $24.06 per share was set in the second quarter of 2007.
Coming out of the recession, corporations first reported explosive earnings growth early last year. The pace has slowed, but it’s still going. At the current rate, second-quarter earnings would be 17 percent better than a year ago.
So, on supply-side/Great Restoration theory, we are now experiencing an investment boom and full employment.
Can you say epic fail?