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Posts Tagged ‘Middle class

The Rise of American Cannibals

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The Economist  Nov 6th 2014

A NEW paper by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics suggests that, in America at least, inequality in wealth is approaching record levels. The authors examine the share of total wealth held by the bottom 90% of families relative to those at the very top. In the late 1920s the bottom 90% held just 16% of America’s wealth—considerably less than that held by the top 0.1%, which controlled a quarter of total wealth just before the crash of 1929. From the beginning of the Depression until well after the end of the second world war, the middle class’s share of total wealth rose steadily, thanks to collapsing wealth among richer households, broader equity ownership, middle-class income growth and rising rates of home-ownership. From the early 1980s, however, these trends have reversed. The top 0.1% (consisting of 160,000 families worth $73m on average) hold 22% of America’s wealth, just shy of the 1929 peak—and almost the same share as the bottom 90% of the population.

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What “Free Trade” Has Cost The World- globalization makes peons of us all

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March 14, 2011      OurFuture.org By Dave Johnson

If you take a job away from someone who is paid a reasonable wage because they enjoy the protections and prosperity of democratic government, move it across a border, and give it to someone living under a thugocracy, forced to work for pennies with no protections whatsoever, it should be just plain obvious that the worker on our side of the border and the worker on the other side of the border are not going to be better off. And when you do this on a massive scale it just stands to reason that most people on both sides of the border are going to be worse off.

But propaganda being what it is we were somehow convinced to try a worldwide experiment in taking good jobs from democracies and turning them into bad jobs in thugocracies. Now, of course, the experiment has run its course and we can see the results.

Worker Against Worker

Setting worker against worker enabled a few people to get really, really really wealthy and powerful and use that wealth to become even more wealthy and powerful. Our country is in decline, burdened by massive trade deficits because the ones with vested interests in cheap labor won’t let us won’t take on the mercantilists, burdened by budget deficits because those vested interests have bought low taxes and government subsidies, our infrastructure crumbles because multinational business leaders refuse to invest here, with no more need of us as workers, and the resulting hollowed-out middle class can’t consume anymore. Other countries also suffer from similar stresses.

Out of this situation a new global elite has emerged, contemptuous of democracy and government and any power but the power of their own money. In country after country, these top few won’t share the proceeds with their own, either, while they keep the world from approaching solutions.

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27 Signs That The Standard Of Living For America’s Middle Class Is Dropping Like a Rock

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61% of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck. That was up substantially from 49% in 2008 and 43% in 2007

Michael Snyder,   Business Insider Oct 16, 2010

If you still have a job and you can put food on the table and you still have a warm house to come home to, then you should consider yourself to be very fortunate.  The truth is that every single month hundreds of thousands more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty.  The statistics that you are about to read are incredibly sobering.  Household incomes are down from coast to coast.

Check out the signs here >

Enrollment in government anti-poverty programs sets new records month after month after month.  Home ownership is down, personal bankruptcies are way up and there are not nearly enough jobs to go around.  Meanwhile, the price of basics such as food and health care continue to skyrocket. Don’t be fooled by a rising stock market or by record bonuses on Wall Street.  The U.S. economy is not getting better.  After World War II, the great American economic machine built the largest and most vigorous middle class in the history of the world, but now America’s middle class is disintegrating at a blinding pace.

Most of those who write about the plight of the American middle class believe that things can be turned around and that the middle class will eventually be stronger than it ever has been.  But unfortunately, that is just not the case.  As a society, we have lived far, far beyond our means for decades.  Now the bills are coming due and none of our leaders seem to know what to do.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is being rapidly assimilated into the emerging one world economy.  Middle class American workers now find themselves in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the other side of the globe.  Of course many multinational corporations have taken advantage of this by moving factories and jobs to countries like China where blue collar workers make about a dollar an hour.  This has helped raise the standard of living for workers in those nations by a nominal amount, but it has been absolutely devastating for the standard of living of America’s middle class.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that the U.S. economy is headed for collapse and middle class Americans are in for some really, really hard times.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/standard-of-living-middle-class-2010-10#ixzz12eCVJGpL

Income Gap More Like an Abyss

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Evidently most Americans- including the quite wealthy and the working poor-  consider themselves “middle class”

Income Gap More Like an Abyss    www.ourfuture.org

Income gap widest on record. AP: “The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.”

Off The Charts’ Chuck Marr puts the income gap in even starker terms: “This great income shift means the average middle-income American family had about $9,000 less after-tax income in 2007, and an average household in the top 1 percent had $741,000 more, than they would have had if the 1979 income distribution had remained … Each year the average millionaire gets about $125,000 from the Bush tax cuts, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Now seems to be a good time to say enough is enough.”

Slate’s Timothy Noah explains why the public is not more upset about the income gap: “Why aren’t the bottom 99 percent marching in the street? One possible answer is sheer ignorance … Americans’ ignorance about wealth (and, probably, income) distribution is encouraging in the sense that it offers hope that most voters might opt for government policies more conducive to equality if only they knew how unequal things were … the United States may possess a shrinking middle class, but the number of its citizens who consider themselves middle class (because they can’t face that they’re rich) may actually be growing.”

Written by laudyms

September 28, 2010 at 9:29 am

Pain and Suffering- today’s middle class ready for rebellion?

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How long will Americans passively endure repeated betrayals and double-teaming from the Corporate parties that play the political system against us?

Thom Hartmann gives a clear warning in the video above. Below is a response from a middle-class woman:

It’s time to send a message. Make a video, write a letter, put a “None of the Above” sign on your lawn….but do something!  There are alot more of us than there are of them.

Tea-party Paradox

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plutocracy

While “we the people” are encouraged to be ever more partisan and fuss with each other, the less-than-one-percent continue to drain us all dry.

Glenn Greenwald    Salon   09/14/09

Who are the undeserving “others” benefiting from expanded government actions?

“…..This is the paradox of the tea-party movement and other right-wing protests fueled by genuine citizen anger and fear.  It is true that the federal government embraces redistributive policies and that middle-class income is seized in order that “someone else benefits.”  But so obviously, that “someone else” who is benefiting is not the poor and lower classes — who continue to get poorer as the numbers living below the poverty line expand and the rich-poor gap grows in the U.S. to unprecedented proportions.  The “someone else” that is benefiting from Washington policies are — as usual  — the super-rich, the tiny number of huge corporations which literally own and control the Government.  “

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