Supposedly, based on a barrage of reports this last  week  or  so
from  bought-and-paid-for  "news"  sources,  this  year's college
graduating class are lords of the  job market, waited on by eager
employers.  The reports were tailored, with graduates from select
disciplines, like electrical engineering  and  computer  science,
telling  the  camera about several job offers they have to choose
from.  Not seen on-camera were  liberal  arts majors, but we were
told the jobs bonanza was "trickling down"  to  them  also.   And
probably  the  prospects  *are*  a  little  better  this year for
college graduates --  but  does  that  justify  the massive "news
orgasm" last week on the subject?
What the real  story  is,  is  that  after  years of corporations
having downsized away their aging  workforce,  they  are  at  the
moment hiring  back  *a*  workforce  (but  not  the  same one now
rusting into old age.)  The new hires are younger and  presumably
being paid generally less, on  average  and in real dollars, than
the old-fashioned model of worker  they  replace.   It  would  be
interesting  to compare figures:  number of workers downsized vs.
current, momentary, new  hires.   Also  worth  comparing would be
average salary in real dollars of former, discarded  workers  vs.
their replacements.
Thankfully, the alternative press  has  facts  out that tweak the
corporate press's recent  self-congratulatory  outburst and throw
cold water on detested virtual-reality newsfaces like Dan Rather,
Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings.
The June 1997 issue of *The  Progressive*  magazine  has  remarks
made  by  Rep.  Bernie  Sanders  of  Vermont,  to Federal Reserve
Chairman Alan Greenspan,  during  a  recent  (March  1997)  House
Banking Subcommittee hearing.  Here are excerpts:
  SANDERS: Welcome, Mr. Greenspan.
    This January, you told the Senate Budget  Committee  that
  "the  appropriate  capital-gains  tax is zero."  Currently,
  many Senate Republicans are calling for a capital-gains tax
    According to the Center  on Budget and Policy priorities,
  70 percent of the benefits of  that  tax  cut  will  go  to
  households earning over $100,000 a year.
    Mr.  Greenspan,  I  will  grant  you  consistency in your
  support for trickle-down economics.   In  your career up to
  today, it is clear that you have advocated tax and monetary
  policies which have benefited the  very  richest  Americans
  while at the  same  time  your  views reflect policies that
  come down very heavily on the  middle  class,  the  working
  class, and low-income people.
    In 1983, you were appointed to chair, as I understand it,
  the Social Security Commission.  Under your leadership, the
  highly  regressive  payroll  taxes  increased by about $200
  billion.  You chose to solve  the Social Security crisis by
  raising the payroll tax on working Americans while  at  the
  same  time,  as an economic adviser, you advocated huge tax
  decreases for the richest people in America.
    Now  currently,  you  are  a  proponent  of  reducing the
  Consumer Price Index.  I have  neighbors  and  friends  and
  elderly  people  who  are  trying  to  survive on $7,000 or
  $8,000 a year.
    And I regard it  as  horrendous  and  vulgar, to be frank
  with you, that there are people in government who  want  to
  balance  the  budget  on  the  weakest  and most vulnerable
  people in this society,  and  then advocate huge tax breaks
  for the richest people in this country, as you continuously
    Mr.  Greenspan, the United States of America today -- not
  all through your work  but  through  the  help  of a lot of
  other  people,  both  parties  --  has  the   most   unfair
  distribution  of  wealth  and  income in the industrialized
    The richest 1 percent  of  the population owns 42 percent
  of the wealth, more than the bottom 90 percent.   In  1976,
  the  wealthiest  1  percent owned 19 percent of the wealth.
  So we've seen  the  upper  1  percent  more than double the
  percentage of the wealth in this country that they own.
    You talk about economic growth.  Between 1983  and  1989,
  62  percent of the increased wealth in this country went to
  the richest 1 percent.   You  can  have all the growth that
  you want, but the middle class continues to shrink.
    I'd love to take you to the state of Vermont,  where  you
  can  talk to working families where workers are working two
  or three jobs trying  to  pay  their bills, where women who
  would prefer to stay home  with  the  kids  are  now  being
  forced to work, where jobs in our economy which used to pay
  $15  an hour in manufacturing are now paying $5 an hour for
    But more importantly,  during  the  past twenty years, we
  have seen a decline in wages or stagnation for  80  percent
  of  all  American  families,  while  the people on top have
  never had it so  good.   Twenty years ago, American workers
  were the best compensated in the  world.   Today,  we  rank
  thirteenth in the world.
    You come to the state of Vermont with me, and I will take
  you  around  our  state.   And  I  would  love  to hear the
  response when you tell  the  working  families of our state
  that the economy is doing very well.