28 November 2013
8 November 2013
I have written enough about Syria, Cruz, scandals, NSA, and shootings…..so let me change subjects for awhile…..change to economics. Okay this is where I turn my back on the class and some give me the finger, others act out choking and still others just roll their eyes and drift off…….yeah, economics is not a subject that many willing write about or talk about……and that is why I am here!
Let us begin with a look at some economic data…….
As Congress prepares for yet another fiscal showdown, new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau should be a wake-up call that it is time to move away from a wrong-headed austerity agenda and pivot to a focus on creating jobs, boosting wages, and investing in family economic security.
The new data on poverty and income show that despite economic growth, there was no statistically significant improvement in the poverty rate or median household income in 2012.
Behind these topline numbers are data that contain real warning signs for American families and the overall economy if Congress continues down its current path.
Here are three things you need to know about the new data and how they affect the budget and policy choices before us:
- Income inequality has widened since the end of the Great Recession.
- Our safety net is working overtime to compensate for rising income inequality and the proliferation of low-wage work.
- High poverty rates among young children of color have long-term implications for our economic competitiveness.
And all that data is pointing to the Middle Class slowly disappearing….even if one does not want to admit it…..just look at any income data you like…..you can chart what is happening to the Middle Class.
The Middle Class? We could make a case that the Middle Class was an accident….that it was never intended to be a characteristic of capitalism……….
It’s a sign of Edward McClelland’s age that he remembers the middle class. He grew up in an automaking town in the 1970s, where even high school dropouts could get jobs that would support a family and a mortgage payment. Everyone assumed this was capitalism’s triumphant endpoint, that it “had produced the worker’s paradise to which Communism unsuccessfully aspired,” McClelland writes at Salon. Now, that prosperity looks like a “historical fluke,” a brief denial of normal economic trends made possible because the US emerged from World War II with its manufacturing base unharmed. “For the majority of human history … there have been two classes; aristocracy and peasantry,” McClelland observes. Left unfettered, capitalism will tend to reinforce that trend, “concentrating wealth in the ownership class.” This drift “can only be arrested by an activist government that chooses to step in as a referee.” But the US has been on a 40-year deregulation kick, running through Democratic and Republican administrations alike. The result: “The greatest disparity between the top earners and the middle earners in nearly a century.” Click for McClelland’s full column.
The US is starting to look a lot like the UK…….that is if you start in a certain strata of the economy you and your will never leave that strata…….in other words there will be two classes……the aristocracy and the peasantry……….once you are in one you will forever remain there with little chance of mobility…….
9 August 2013
2 August 2013
Or is it?
We seem to have great news ever month and every quarter that the unemployment is down, jobs are created and the GDP is slow but looking good……right?
The media leaps onto the news with both feet…..they have to keep high end investors happy and optimistic….they need to help them make the decision on where to put their billions that they are holding…..all in all the macro sector is looking good….the micro sector sucks and sucks big time!
Explain to me how you can say that the economy is doing well when this is happening…..
Temp jobs made up about 10 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, and because of high turnover (the average length of temp employment is 3 months before a worker moves on to a permanent job), one in 10 non-farm workers were employed by a US staffing firm at some point during the past year, according to ASA. In fact, nearly one-fifth of all jobs gained since the recession ended have been temporary.
Many workers now have to periodically revalidate their status via systems of “continuous professional development”; almost all work, no matter how menial, involves self-surveillance systems in which the worker is required to assess their own performance. Pay is increasingly correlated to output, albeit an output that is no longer easily measurable in material terms. For most workers, there is no such thing as the long term.
Part time work and low wages these are what some are calling a recovery…..to me there is NO recovery as long as Americans are being hampered from making an adequate living…..the only way for the economy to truly heal is to grow the Middle Class…..and how can we do that since corporations will not?
From the CAP Action War Room….and it is a good plan…..
- Investments in growing the middle class: Investing in education, infrastructure, energy, and innovation boosts the economy today and helps create the job creators and strong middle class that will fuel economic growth tomorrow.
- Everyone paying their fair share: Tax cuts for the wealthy and huge corporations don’t grow the economy. If the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share, we simply cannot afford to make the investments in the middle we need to in order to grow the economy.
- Minimum wage: Nobody who works full time in America should have to live in poverty. Raising the minimum wage will lift people out of poverty and create more consumers to help fuel the economy.
- Health security: Millions of Americans will soon have access to quality, affordable health care for the first time and the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance are seeing new benefits and better coverage as a result of Obamacare.
- Retirement security: We need to strengthen both Social Security and our private retirement system so middle-class Americans can afford to retire and live with dignity, a promise beyond the reach of too many.
- Affordable housing: The housing market is recovering, but we need to implement additional policies and reforms to help those who are still underwater and the millions who can’t get a loan to buy a home today.
The sad part is that there is not a elected official at any level, federal, state or local, that is willing to show courage and work for a plan to strengthen the Middle Class……..
25 July 2013
The American Dream is a myth, at least these days, this is a piece written by an anthropologist..,…..an excellent article….needs to be read!
30 May 2013
The markets have hits new highs almost daily….good news for hedge funds….but what does it mean for us mere mortals?
There is little good news for Main Street….Wall Street gets all the breaks….this has got to change or there will be little left of the middle class…
22 Facts That Prove That The Bottom 90 Percent Of America Is Systematically Getting Poorer – BlackListedNews.com
14 May 2013
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer….is not just a saying anymore!
5 March 2013
This is where the GOP can start winning in national elections……but will they actually start showing concern for the disappearing middle class?
14 May 2012
From the VOMITORIUM
Both party loyal have a position on poverty and how we can pull ourselves up and finally live the American Dream….one thinks tax cuts will eliminate the poor and the other thinks that throwing money away will do it……both are delusional. First, we have had a generation of some sort of tax cuts and the poor are just as poor as they were when it started……second, we have had a wealth of programs and government give aways to put the poor on the right trajectory out of poverty, and the poor are still as poor as they were…..none of these short sighted short term plans is going to eliminate the poor.
But we can point to all the months of economic growth, as small as it is, but it is still growth and that is traveling in the right direction, right? Put all this Democratic good news and campaign fodder and the gloom and doom of the GOP into a sort of perspective……how are the ‘real’ American people really doing?
This year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be too broke to file for bankruptcy.
The average cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy, is more than $1,500, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
As a result, anywhere between 200,000 and one million consumers are estimated to be unable to afford that steep cost this year.
So many Americans cannot afford to even file for bankruptcy…..what sort of sign is that? If lower and middle class are having a problem, what about the poor (this assumes that there are those worse off than the middle class)?
From an article by Alexander Eichler writing in the HufPo…….
It’s getting harder for poor Americans to lift themselves up.
Don’t believe it? The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has some pretty compelling evidence.
Between 1996 and 2006, most Americans in the bottom 20 percent of earners never moved up the income ladder, according to a recent research brief by Katharine Bradbury, an economist at the Boston Fed.
Moreover, she writes, it was harder for people to lift themselves up off the bottom in those Clinton-Bush years than it was in the decade from 1976 to 1986, or the decade from 1986 to 1996.
In other words, the data suggests, America’s not the land of opportunity anymore. Instead, it’s become the land of stasis.
Bradbury’s not the first to suggest that the U.S. is increasingly a country where the poor stay poor. Income inequality is at its highest level in decades, and repeated studies have shown that it’s harder to achieve economic mobility in America than in other wealthy, industrialized countries.
A record number of Americans are living in poverty, according to the most recent census, and nearly half of households are believed to have almost nothing in the way of meaningful savings. The problems don’t look to be abating any time soon; wages have more or less frozen in place for many Americans.
With all these facts and stats (which I will assume will be challenged) what conclusion can we draw about the path the two parties are traveling……..will Americans, especially poor Americans, ever find that American Dream?
19 October 2011
We long haired hippie leftists have been telling the American people that their acquiescence on the political side of life was going to bring them nothing but pain and poverty…..and for the longest time we long haired hippies have been told that we were alarmists……I have one question…….can you hear us now?
I know my readers are getting tired of all gloom and doom about the economy and especially the Middle Class…..but I will not apologize…..I see the chance of the Middle Class disappearing completely and the possibility that it could never return….I have given lots of links and such to inform my reader and I will continue to do so……like today….I found more info on the economy and the Middle Class that is under attack……this time from Braden Goyette of ProPublica…….I know it is a lot of info, but the more you have the better your writings…….
Americans below the poverty line in 2010: 46.2 million
Official U.S. poverty rate in 2007, before the recession: 12.5 percent
Poverty rate in 2009: 14.3 percent
Poverty rate in 2010: 15.1 percent
Poverty line in 2010: $22,314 for a family of four, or $11,139 for an individual
Rough amount the poor are living on per week: $200 or less
Percentage of the population making less than half the poverty line in 2010: 6.7 percent
Percentage of the population making less than half the poverty line in 2007, before the recession: 5.2 percent
Poverty rate for white Americans in 2010: 13 percent
Poverty rate for African-Americans in 2010: 27.4 percent
Real median household income in 2010: $49,445
Decline in median household income since 2009: 2.3 percent
Decline in median household income since before the recession: 6.4 percent
The last time median household incomes have been this low: 1996
Real median household income in 1999, in 2010 dollars: $53,252
Median income for full-time male workers in 2010: $47,715
Median income for full-time male workers in 1973, in 2010 dollars: $49,065
Official unemployment rate in August 2011: 9.1 percent
Total unemployed people in August: 14 million
People who were employed part-time for economic reasons in August 2011: 8.8 million
People not counted in the labor force who wanted work: 2.6 million
Long-term unemployed people as of August 2011: 6 million
Uninsured Americans in 2010: 49.9 million
Percentage of Americans without health insurance in 2010: 16.3 percent
Percentage of Americans without health insurance in 2007, before the recession: 15.3 percent
Percentage of children who were uninsured in 2010: 9.8 percent
Percentage of children in poverty who were uninsured in 2010: 15.4 percent
Percentage of American households that had enough to eat throughout the year in 2007: 88.9 percent
Percentage of American households that had enough to eat throughout the year in 2010: 85.5 percent
It is time for the American people to get INVOLVED! Are you proud of the direction that your elected officials are taking our country? If not, then get to writing, phoning, texting, tweeting, whatever……get INVOLVED or lose your country…FOR GOOD!