How The Deep State Squeezed America's Wealth

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Bill Bonner via,

Salvator Mundi, said to be by Leonardo da Vinci, is the world’s most expensive painting.

Last Wednesday, at auction, each square inch was valued at nearly $1 million – including the bummed-up, restored, and damaged parts.

The painting may not be da Vinci’s work. Or perhaps, since it has been so heavily doctored up, little remains of his work. And whoever’s work it was must have been having a bad day.

And yet, it sold for over $450 million (including auction-house charges) – a lot of money for such a depressing work of art.

Donald Trump as da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

The question on the table: Why?

But since we don’t know the answer to that question, we’ll answer another one: How come so many people have so much money?

Made in the Middle

The latest GOP “tax reform” proposals raise questions, too.

Though billed as a “middle-class tax cut,” the middle class gets almost nothing from the proposed plan.

Instead, almost all the benefits go to: (1) business owners, and (2) the rich.

And since the feds are unwilling to cut spending, the middle class ends up with about $2.2 trillion of extra debt, which it will have to reckon with eventually.

We bring up the tax cut because we think it helps explain the painting. Not for nothing are Republicans and the modern Salvator Himself, Donald J. Trump, setting up the middle class for a huge bamboozle.

A train ride we took on Monday – the Acela Express from Baltimore to New York – was subsidized by taxpayers from all over the country.

The train runs from one end of today’s modern economy to the other. It goes from Washington, D.C. – the center of politics – to New York – the center of money.

In between is nothing but poverty and dereliction. There are factories that last made a product in the ’50s. There are workers’ houses almost unchanged in half a century. There are abandoned warehouses… wrecked cars… junk steel… and burly men in orange vests working with machines.

The middle is where real work was done and real things were made, shipped, and distributed; it shows few signs of growth or prosperity.

It is as though a sausage had been squeezed in the middle, driving the rich meat to the ends. In between is lean… and greasy.

How come?

Deep State’s Fingerprints

Every crime scene has many fingerprints on it.

Most are of the innocent.

An aging population, for example, is not exactly something you can do anything about. Technological innovations, too, are largely beyond public policy control.

But there’s one set of fingerprints on the tax cut flimflam… the relative poverty along the Northeast Corridor… and the $450 million painting: the Deep State’s.

The insiders use fake money – the post-1971 dollar – to transfer wealth and power from the people who earn it to themselves.

It is as though they loaded up the train in Newark and Trenton… and shipped everything to Washington.

You earn real money by making real things and providing real services. But fake money is different. You don’t earn it by adding to the world’s wealth.

You get it by subtracting from it… that is, by borrowing from future output.

Real money is not controlled by anyone.

It is earned – freely – in win-win exchanges. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, it ended up in places like East Baltimore and Trenton because they used to make things people wanted.

But fake money takes a different route. It is created by the insiders… and controlled by them. It goes where they want it to go.

No Stimulus

Money always bows to politics; often, it is completely beholden to it.

In Russia, the oligarchs took government-owned property and used it to build their fortunes. In China, state-owned enterprises and favored entrepreneurs get government-backed credit to build their apartments, factories, and shopping malls.

And in America, the fake money is directed to favored sectors by 73,000 pages of the Internal Revenue Code… and 81,000 pages of the Federal Register.

So, it is hardly a surprise that the latest tax proposals favor the Deep State at the expense of the middle class.

Readers may argue that the money “stimulates” the economy… and that it “trickles down” to the common people. If so, there is little evidence of it.

As a percentage of the working-age population, fewer people have jobs today than at any time since the 1970s. Back then, the typical man had to work 900 hours to earn enough to buy a new pickup truck. Today, he has to work 1,500 hours.

Central banks have increased the world’s monetary base (and their own balance sheets) by $20 trillion so far this century.

This money didn’t go to the fellow in the orange vest. Instead, it went to Russian tycoons… Chinese billionaires… art collectors… hedge fund managers… and rich people on both ends of the track.

*  *  *

The Trump team reached out to Bill’s network for advice on the economy. Recently, Bill’s team sent them a field memo on a coming crisis… They’re now releasing it to the general public… (It’s not what you expect.) Click here to read more.

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That damm Deep State always at it, bastard's!

MonetaryApostate's picture

They printed over 20 quadrillion USDollars, created hundreds of thousands of fake investments, created more quadrillions known as debt out of thin air, & bought everything in sight, including everything your children will work for but never own.


Fixed your crummy article for ya.

bobcatz's picture

"But fake money takes a different route. It is created by the insiders... and controlled by them."

Meet THEM.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Cry me a river about the unioinized northeast corrIidor voters. It was a Republic, but you preferred a democracy. You fucked up. You trusted them.

cheka's picture

judeo-bolshevism with unlimited spending power


Escrava Isaura's picture

Will conservatives ever learn the function of money?

Conservatives believe that reserves are needed to make loans. To create wealth. But the exact opposite is true. Growth can’t be reserve constrained.  So this causation moves in the exact opposite of their believe.  

Below is the article essential point:

Real money is not controlled by anyone.

It is earned – freely – in win-win exchanges. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, it ended up in places like East Baltimore and Trenton because they used to make things people wanted.

But fake money takes a different route. It is created by the insiders… and controlled by them. It goes where they want it to go.

What the writer forgot to tell you is that, back in the 50’s and 60’s, it was fake money as well. Of course, not to the level it is now.

What the writer, again, forgot to tell you is that all money is fake. It has too.

Say that you or your town discovered an oil field. You need to build a road, a bridge, and acquire the equipment to explore this oil field. And you need 3 years before you see the first oil barrel. Then, you’ll be able to pay the loan back in 5 years thereabout.

The current money in your town is barely enough to survive.

So, the government offers to lend you the necessary money to your town. The only thing your town needs to do is go to the window-guidance at the Central Bank. That money doesn’t come with interest rate. The only thing required from your town is to pay the full amount borrowed plus a fee, say 2%, to cover expenses.

But, 3 years later your town suffered an earthquake. The Bridge and the oil field are gone.

Now if your town had own the ‘fake’ money you borrowed to a private sector, say a bank, your town would be foreclosed on and you probable loose the land. You would have to pay rent to remain in your land.

However, because your town acquired the ‘fake’ money through the window-guidance at the Central bank, they will just write it off, because Central Banks don’t need to collect the principal and even less interest ‘usury’ from its citizens.

Private and states governments do.


MEFOBILLS: A money supply should have different types of money, and they should be non-usurious. A government can issue money to the benefit of the people, this has been demonstrated many times. Usually when it is private money, the government and the people become usurped.



shitshitshit's picture

This is a false fag operation:

Leonardo was a fag.

I know that because I'm a lesbian, but nobody knows it.


Paul Kersey's picture

Great article, but, like most of these articles, it doesn't name names (other than Donald Trump, who is only the latest agent of the ultra rich).

The article begins with the 1971 destruction of money, when Nixon took us off of what was left of the gold standard. Before that happened, the average CEO earned fifty times more per hour than his average worker. Today, The average S&P 500 CEO in the United States earned 335 times more per hour than the average worker. Can we blame Nixon? Nope, had Nixon not nixed the gold backed dollar, the U.S. would have defaulted to it's creditors. By 1985, the U.S. had gone from the world's greatest creditor nation to a debtor nation. Today, America is the world's greatest debtor nation.

So who can we blame? LBJ, with his false flag Vietnam War and his Great Society program ran up the U.S. debt that couldn't be paid by the next President. President Ronald Reagan, however, who believed that deficits didn't matter. ran the U.S. debt up an unprecedented 186 percent. So by 1985, America became a debtor nation, twelve years after the wages of the average American worker had already stagnated.

Flash forward to the worst destroyers of the the U.S. Economy, Clinton, his Rubinite Treasury and Alan Greenspan. Clinton signed Rubin's Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass Steagall Act (that protected depositors from reckless investment banks), and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated derivatives. This allowed banks to become more reckless than ever, and was the root cause of the crash of 2008. Rubin, of course was the former President of Goldman Sachs.

After the crash of 2008, another former President of Goldman Sach, Hank Paulson, engineered the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 aka the Too Big To Fail bank bailout with taxpayer money. That opened to door to the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and FRBNY President, and Goldman Sachs partner, William C. Dudley's bail out the the international banking cartel to the tune of over $29 trillion. The banksters have almost completely run the table of their rigged casino, which has been masquerading as the U.S. economy.

Today, another Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn, and Goldman Sachs/George Soros partner, Steve Mnuchin, have written a tax "reform" bill that will further accelerate the transfer of wealth from what's left of the middle class to the wealthiest money changing wealth extracting corporatist plutocrats. Americans, who have allowed themselves to be tricked into fighting with one another, in some kind of engineered Red/Blue ideological divide, will do nothing about the gonifs who are picking their pockets and commandeering their banks accounts. Trump is today's foremost gonif agent, for his fellow gonifs.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Paul Kersey: Great article..... The article begins with the 1971 destruction of money.

It’s not that great article because all said is well predictable.

The reason that you said great, it’s because you place a value on money.

However, money has no value but, physiologically because we have been brainwashing believing it.

Say a Burmese came to America to buy your goods with Burmese money. You would laugh at them. If they brought you say oil, meat, gold you could trade with these Burmese because those commodities have value. Commodities transcend boarders.

The reason that these Burmese have oil, meat, and gold it’s because their government issue them currency and they went after those.

Or, better, they had those already, and the government just issued some money to facilitate commerce.

Money is just the intermediary; the value is within the goods and services provided.



Paul Kersey's picture

"However, money has no value but, physiologically because we have been brainwashing believing it"

If you really believe that, I'll give you a PO box address, and you can send me all your valueless money.

Escrava Isaura, your posts indicate that you have an overwhelming need for attention, even if it comes in the form of negative attention, which it usually does. You might consider, instead, going out and buying a puppy and then smearing your face with chicken fat.

Escrava Isaura's picture

No, I can’t, because that would be ‘fake’ socialism—welfare.

I am a liberal. Liberals don’t like socialism because it’s localized and mediocre.  

Conservatives don’t like socialism because their work is performed by different races. They want see their kids doing those jobs, which I can’t blame them.


TeethVillage88s's picture

You mean Liberal Like US Founding Fathers?

Surely you don't mean world wide communism, or world wide globalism, or world wide Anarchy, or ?

Liberal Platform like this:

- Simple Rules & Laws that apply to all men, limited tax types, simple tax rules, equality, fraternity, brotherhood
- Public Utility Type Structures to limit the profit taking, gouging, perks & benefits of all Executives either in Govt or in Private Sectors... including Banking, Health Care, Universities, Housing
- Liberty & Freedom to not have foreigners taking our jobs, doing work we need to keep skills & independence in our Nation
- Liberty & Freedom from Wealth Extraction, Capital Fleeing off shore, Capital Hoarding, Capital & Currency being used as a Global Currency putting our Dollar in Jeopardy from Poor Stewardship, Freedom from Capital Flight from our Local, State, and national Regions...

or What?

Escrava Isaura's picture

TeethVillage88s ,

Founding fathers left and right leanings views aside for now, liberals favor some kind of structure. Socialism favors some capitalist ‘top-down’ structures but still localized, limited.

Anarchism doesn’t favor any top-down structure. The workers run their factories and whatever. There are no investors. Capital is all local. Socialism and especially anarchism are not looking out to be profitable, efficient, and the best in what they do. They could care less about these.   

So, these two types of structures don’t appeal to liberals, and that’s what I meant in my previous post but, the liberals would not mind to have these as long as it is in a small scale.

So why are the liberal class failing these people?

Basically, because of capitalism. What happened, in my view, is that the liberals moved way to the right and became capitalists’ pigs. The liberals moved so far to the right, economically speaking, that wouldn’t surprise me seeing an evangelic Christian running for Senator and President as a Republican soon.

The liberal class running the media, corporations, government, and so on, basically, became moderate Republicans, economically speaking and not socially speaking.

For some reason the liberal class abandon the working class. The only thing I can think is that they are being well compensated to turn a blind eye. Or, maybe the working class is not helping, and the liberal classes just said screw them.

I know that you raised lots of questions in your post but I am getting ready for my bicycle ride so I have limited time now, but I will take on one issue that you brought up: Healthcare, meaning Obamacare.

Obamacare is not profitable as many here believe, because it reduces payments for services. Insurances, hospitals, and doctors don’t like that.

The high cost ‘profit’ comes from insurance and Medicare Advantage.

Here’s how it works:

Health insurers made oodles of money in 2016, despite losing millions of dollars on Obamacare.

The industry's net income rose to $13.1 billion, up 46% from a year earlier, according to a report from rating company A.M. Best.

Companies saw improvements in most of their business lines, but much of the earnings boost came from higher profitability in their Medicare Advantage divisions and smaller losses in their Obamacare exchange products.

"They did lose millions and millions" in Obamacare, said Doniella Pliss, associate director at A.M. Best.

Insurers reported an underwriting loss -- when claims paid exceed premiums collected -- of $893 million in 2016, down from $2.1 billion a year earlier, in their commercial business lines, which includes Obamacare policies.

Insurers were able to stem the bleeding by increasing rates, restricting provider networks and changing benefits packages. For instance, some insurers are reining in costs by restricting out-of-network access and monitoring patients more closely.

Obamacare "is not eating into profits to the degree that it did in the prior year," Pliss said.  

Where insurers did well was Medicare Advantage, where underwriting profitability soared 279%. Under Medicare Advantage, the federal government pays companies a fixed amount each month to cover Medicare-eligible Americans. Insurers are benefiting from an influx of younger, healthier retirees, better management of enrollees' health and more favorable contracts with providers.

Medicaid, however, has been a more challenging area for carriers. Their underwriting earnings declined in this segment, mainly because new Medicaid expansion enrollees have been sicker. However, this business line should improve over time as consumers have better and more consistent access to care.



TeethVillage88s's picture

I just got back.

I agree that Liberal Class is dead, that it embraced Corporations under Bill Clinton. Lobby Dollars are tremendus for them.

"The only thing I can think is that they are being well compensated to turn a blind eye. Or, maybe the working class is not helping, and the liberal classes just said screw them."

On Health Care, I see Executives willing to take losses in Segments or Business Center Units SINCE they get perks, benefits, options, bonuses, and Compensation increases. It comes off the Top, right? Revenue minus perks, benefits, status symbols, executive measuring sticks, offices, fleets,..

But if Health Care declines in Profitability will Investors, Banks, Bondholders, still like the business, and will they still be able to attract so called best executives?

Health Care is a Sacred Cow that must be slain. Executive Compensation is another.

DrBrown's picture

Well Kersey you have this wrong right from the start. If Nixon had not closed the gold window the U.S. would have never been able to become the world's greatest debtor nation. It simply could not happen. So yes, we can blame Nixon and before that the creation of the fed in 1913. You simply do not understand how money works. Nice try.

Paul Kersey's picture

Brown, you simply do not understand that the creation of the Fed was the codification of the "Money Trust", and that Nixon and Connally took the U.S. off of what was left of the gold standard, because the U.S. Government didn't have the gold to cover its debts. In other words, America was in default. Nixon and Connally took the only way out they could. When the European creditors complained, Connally stated: the dollar "is our currency, but your problem."

The U.S. Government had the same problem during the Panic of 1893. It didn't have the gold to cover the country's debts. JP Morgan and Baron Rothschild collaborated with European financiers to lend gold to the U.S. and covered the gold debt with bonds, in order to bail the U.S. out.

Now if you've got another version of history, feel free to bring it on.

Escrava Isaura's picture


First, did gold hold back the Romans? No, because it can’t.

Second, gold backed currency makes that labor uncompetitive, meaning high unemployment.

Third, how about the Petrodollar? It has been a better deal for America than gold could ever be.


America has always living beyond its means: In September 1789, Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury, negotiated terms with the Bank of New York and the Bank of North America to borrow $19,608.81 to address shortfalls within the U.S. budget.


It’s not that simple when the most powerful nation decides to live beyond its means. There’s no other nation to stop it.



ThirteenthFloor's picture

Start at 1913 Federal Reserve Act. Ask most people on the street, you’ll find most think the FRB is the government, ya know just like Federal Express. Who owns the FRB ?

Does the ignorant populace deserve to be slaves and impoverished ?

9/11 Truth - 16 years and counting
JFK Truth - 54 years and counting
FRB Truth and Audit - 103 years and counting

detached.amusement's picture

civil war and legal shenanigans that enabled all of the above, 150+ years and running

Paul Kersey's picture

"Ask most people on the street, you’ll find most think the FRB is the government,"

Most people on the street know more about the Kardashians than they know about the Federal Reserve. Most Americans are clueless about the power of the FRBNY's Primary Dealers. Most Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck. Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Most Americans buy stuff they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like. Most Americans, at least those who pay taxes, don't know that they are supporting United States active duty military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries, with the taxes they pay. ZH commenters could probably fill page after page of things that "most people on the street" don't know.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Nice back and forth with the Brazil guy Escurva.

Maybe I am examine the situation in a similar way with you.

Globalism, Creation of EU, Progressive Dream to end European Wars without examination of where the USA & Corporations & our Congressmen benefit from the Lobbying and profiteering of war.

- USA is losing it's Identity & History to Globalism & Trans-Nationals, Progressives like George Soros... the result is Wealth Extraction, Resources Extraction, Credit Extraction, Destruction of US Treasuries & US Dollar while the people become even more stupid, more enslaved, more in debt, face more inflation of everything, face 1/3 of all jobs or even 1/2 of jobs being Health Care, Universities, Government contractors or Federal, State, Local Govt

Corporations go global and have no responsibility to any one country, banks in USA have long been agents to foreign Wealthy Interests.

I guess President Donald Trump will help the Wealthy Interests, Corporate Interests... and likely the Idea of USA is already history.

Trade Deals & Treaties won't bring back Jobs. US Congress will not bring a mechanism to bring back jobs. Seems to be off the table for President Trump ... Nothing Ever Gets Fixed in this Country ... and the Fixes from 1960-1970 were made to fail ... Corporations will go after whole countries when they try to fix things ... that is why Independence Movements don't change anything.

1776 American Revolution Failed, History lies to us.

csmith's picture

"Conservatives believe that reserves are needed to make loans. To create wealth. But the exact opposite is true.

Lending is NOT creating wealth. Production is creating wealth. Production can be used both as SECURITY for a loan and to REPAY a loan. If a loan is not repaid in full, the security is then seized. Governments make UNsecured loans all the time, with no threat of seizure of security. These loans, along with money printing, are more gifts than loans. Money printing and unsecured loans avoid REALITY in that they make no allowance for economic failure - i.e.; the inability of the borrower to be PRODUCTIVE enough to service a loan. If an unsecured loan fails, government simply refinances the debt or prints more currency to "service" it. This process obfuscates economic inefficency and waste in the name of broader social "stability" - i.e.; incomes for the least productive amongst us.

Dincap's picture

This Bill's rant and complaining just as the likes of many others sound tragically comic for revealing a totally ignorance of capitalism. Grounded on superstitions they act as Don Quixote being in fact the real supporters of the evil system they pretend to criticise. 

Buck Johnson's picture

Yep, and we are going to pay for it also.


ItsOver's picture

Every time I read about a family with multiple multimillion dollar homes in Architectural Digest, it's somebody in "finance".
Nice work if you can get it.

MusicIsYou's picture

I know how they did it. I don't need to read about it. They oh say brought in a company to Ohio but that new company only hired people who applied from Kansas so that way millions of people have to travel to visit family thus buying cars and buying airline tickets.

dasein211's picture

Deep State=politicians+military+corporations

You are all being played

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Even if you have great innovation, like the computer advances of the last few decades, when everything is [made] in China and other countries with low-cost labor, little trickles down to the middle. You get the high-end jobs that, due to women in the workforce, are concentrated in fewer households, and you get the low-end retail jobs, with wages so low that rent takes more than half of the pay.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Exactly. The problem is that money has value thus inflating everything unnecessarily.

Say you bought a $300 thousand dollars home with $60 thousand dollars as down payment.

Say that you got a 3.78 percent interest rate on that $240 thousand dollars mortgage.  

So, on the end of that 30 years loan, you would have paid $161,603.00 in interest for a total of $401,603.00 dollars.

That’s the flaw of capitalism, the money has value.


serotonindumptruck's picture

Salvator Mundi appears to be the world's first known transvestite.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Someone who is not a Trumpian has good Photoshop skills.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Maybe Tyler is just trolling everyone, and you just spoiled his party.

any_mouse's picture

The original looks like a dude in dress.

The Trump version looks like a grumpy old woman.

Eyes Opened's picture

Soooo... theres more touch-up & repair than original left ?? 

Reminds me of this little skit... funny cos its true...

junction's picture

To me, Salvator Mundi looks like it originally was a version of Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait of 1434.  Only in this "Da Vinci" scam painting, the wife in the double portrait got cut out, a crystal ball was expertly painted in and the background was covered up.  For a $50 million dollar auction fee, someone laundered $400 million.  And who knows if, in the end, Sotheby's gets to keep the entire auction fee.

evokanivo's picture

A nice article and reminder of what we all know.  Although, I would place greater emphasis on the central banks' creation of money than on government spending and tax policy.

lester1's picture

Massive trade deficits drain the USA of wealth. Literally everything is in decline because of it.

Nexus789's picture

That's because the US ceased being 'competitive' ages ago. This has been accelerated via cost arbitrage (offshoring, in sourcing and outsourcing) instead of generating value via technology and creating products/services the people outside the US want to buy. 

Cloud9.5's picture

Eschatology in theology is the study of the end of one era and beginning of a new one.  Bankruptcy is such a process.  Anyone who has actually been through it knows how this ends.  Whatever you had becomes the property of someone else, usually for pennies on the dollar.  You either walk out back and shoot yourself or you reconcile yourself with your losses.  Then you look around and see who is still standing with you.  Whether it is one or none, and just yourself, those are the people you can count on.  Even if you are alone you have learned one very basic lesson.  There is life after the loss of stuff.  Once you come to terms with that, then, you can begin again.

True Blue's picture

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

EmeraldWI's picture

What if employees got together and organized better working conditions, wages and benefits? Nah, that never worked plus it's illiegal.

Seasmoke's picture

Public Union sure should be illegal.

EmeraldWI's picture

That's all that's left. They had cola's and kept up with inflation, good for them. Wages aren't responsible for $20 trillion in debt.

Xena fobe's picture

They did this in the 1920s.   Thugs beat their heads in.   But they gained some concessions.  5 day work week.  No child labor

IMO, it would only work in a homogenous society.  Recent attempts at strikes have failed.   Scabs line up for miles to take the jobs. 


EmeraldWI's picture

They've succeeded in changing the public's attitude. Every hillbilly has a cousin who knows somebody that clocks in for a union worker that spends their day in a bar. 

NoPension's picture

My dad's best friend, Ed...was a longshoreman on Baltimore's docks. They are both gone now. Dad hustled for himself. Ed spent what seemed liked every day with Dad. Dad did some interesting shit to earn a buck. Scrap, demo, construction, fireworks hustling, shoot pool...the list goes on. Anything but punch a clock. And we lived pretty well. I asked come Mr Ed is always with you, doesn't he have a job? Dad explained..Mr Ed works on the docks...he is part of a " gang ". They punch him in and out. He takes care of his buddies. Me... he doesn't get in trouble? Nah...he's in the union. 13 yo me...WTF?!
That imprinted me at an early age. I heard numerous news accounts over the years of how the union jobs were going away...Beth Steel, GM assembly, Shipyard repair, Koppers, FMC, and about a dozen other places that gave the average Baltimorean a place to earn a living. My first thought...fucking unions. I know's more complicated. It was both sides.
This I know for fact...all those big industries are GONE. Even the buildings are gone. 100,000 high pay jobs a day....gone. Replaced by NSA at ft Meade ( 30,000), Amazon, fed ex, and fucking hack Under Armour.
The author described it beautifully though...a train ride from D.C. To New York goes from a sea of tower cranes...though desolate, run down another Giant sea of Tower cranes and Uber wealth. Yup, the middle has been squeezed...and there is plenty of blame to go around. My job...survival. My not play THEIR game. If you are not THEM...and play according to THEIR are getting fucked. Hard...with no lube.

EmeraldWI's picture

Having never been a union member, I'll support any attempt to organize. The raw materials were mined, factories were built, products were made and shipped by union labor. For decades as the service sector grew and manufacturing shrank, productivity stagnated in the service sector while it grew in manufacturing. We all know somebody in the nonunion private service sector that shouldn't be employed but is. Your dad's best friend could have been a "casual" longshorman. They make a living but work few hours.