What Has This Nation Become?

It is NO secret that since the election of Trump as the leader of the Free World I feel that the US is going backward not forward…..as a Progressive (read Leftist not Democrat) I see trouble ahead economically….yeah I know things are just ducky right now but that is right now……what about the future…..remember that time when we say we are doing all this idiotic stuff for……

I have been writing about the disappearance of the Middle Class that NO one wants to admit……but now aMIT economist has also seen this slide and written about it (maybe the world will listen to him)……

America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation, an MIT economist has warned. 

Peter Temin says the world’s’ largest economy has roads and bridges that look more like those in Thailand and Venezuela than those in parts of Europe. 

In his new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class”, reviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Mr Temin says the fracture of US society is leading the middle class to disappear.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-developing-nation-regressing-economy-poverty-donald-trump-mit-economist-peter-temin-a7694726.html

I wish I could lay all the blame on Trump but that would be disingenuous….the truth is every president since Ronald Reagan has made the slide worse with policies that favor the uber-rich and ignored the plight of the working stiff.

The long the problem is ignored the more that our beloved nation looks more and more like some developing Third World nation……

Is that what you want?

Time to learn some basic economics before you vote…..

Modern Monetary Theory is having a moment.

The theory, in brief, argues that countries that issue their own currencies can never “run out of money” the way people or businesses can. But what was once an obscure “heterodox” branch of economics has now become a major topic of debate among Democrats and economists with astonishing speed.

For that, we can thank Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who told Business Insider in January that MMT “absolutely” needs to be “a larger part of our conversation.” That was the most vocal mainstream support MMT had gotten, which for years had been championed by economists like Stephanie Kelton (a former adviser to Bernie Sanders), L. Randall Wray, Bill Mitchell (who coined the name Modern Monetary Theory), and Warren Mosler — as well as a growing number of economists at Wall Street institutions

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/16/18251646/modern-monetary-theory-new-moment-explained

This will be for those too damn lazy to read……

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Are You Middle Class?

Remember when that was something to strive for in your job search? Remember when that was the American Dream? Remember when you could work 40 hours a week and still have enough to live on and even save a little for retirement?

If you remember that then you are an old fart and are remembering something from the “good old days”.

The American Conservative has looked into the Middle Class……

Can we define the middle class in practical terms? To be sure, there are probably as many sociological definitions of the middle class as there are commentators seeking definitions. So let’s set aside the socio-swamp of beliefs, values, and taxonomies of class in favor of a definition with measurable thresholds.

Many commentators attempt to define the middle class by income, and people tend to self-report that they belong to the middle class based on income. The self-evident way to define the middle class by income is to set aside the top 10 percent (households earning $145,000 or more) and those defined as poor by the U.S. Census Bureau (households making less than $25,000), roughly 25 percent of all households.

Somewhere between the two is the middle class, though trying to narrow it down forces us into an impassable statistical thicket. For example, government agencies report income in different ways. The IRS reports individual tax returns (147 million) while other agencies report household income (117 million households).

Are You Really Middle Class?

If you are asking yourself….”what the Hell happened”? Then this can help explain it as simply as possible…..

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

We need to assign guilt to the best person….Ronald Reagan….his policies started this decline and it has never let up……

The Middle Class is quickly disappearing and as it does it is taking the American Dream with it.

And the GOP wants you to be happy with your decline…..

Listening to Republicans, it’s apparent they don’t have much respect for the intelligence of the American people.

Over 70 percent of Americans want a national health care system like every other developed country in the world has, but the GOP tells us that we just aren’t smart enough to make it work. It’ll be too confusing and complex for average Americans, they say, and, besides that, if the government “takes over” our health care system, we’re on our way to tyranny.

About two-thirds of Americans think that we should have free college education for anybody intellectually capable of attending, and free trade schools as well—like pretty much every other developed country in the world (and quite a few of the developing countries). Republicans tell us that we can’t use government funds to pay off our nation’s $1.5 trillion in student debt because we just borrowed that exact amount last year to give tax rebates to billionaires, so there’s nothing left. We’re just not smart enough to fix the problem.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/04/republicans-have-put-our-country-path-warp-speed-decline-and-they-want-you-think

As the article says….”as long as the GOP gets some of the people to believe their bullshit all the time”…..the rest of us are screwed!

On a side note……the Pentagon is also in the Middle Class screwing game……

According to SAIS Professor Hal Brands, progressives and Americans should embrace the social benefits military spending offers to the middle class. Not only does American military strength support the liberal world order that makes the world “safe for democracy,” Brands claimed, but military spending undergirds millions of middle-class jobs for service members, civilian employees, and contractors for the Pentagon.

In reality, the opposite is true: American military adventurism and massive spending undermines middle-class prosperity and makes the world less free and secure. A militarized approach to American foreign policy harms global freedom and security far more than it helps.

How the Pentagon Budget is a Threat to the Middle Class

You can stop this…….VOTE!

Vote for the candidate that has the best plan to stop this slide.

Vote for the candidate that best has the best interests of the country at heart.

VOTE!

Closing Thought–29Mar19

I recall my first job as a teenager…..65 cents an hour at McDonalds….and after a month or so it went up to 75 cents…..

I walk down that memory lane because of something I read the other day…..

It seems that if minimum wage had kept pace with Wall Street bonuses then the minimum would be over $30 an hour…..read the story and listen to the video……

Wall Street employees saw their typical annual bonus slip by 17 percent last year to $153,700, according to new data from the New York State Comptroller. But don’t feel sorry for the banking set just yet — even including down years like 2018, bankers’ bonuses have jumped by 1,000 percent since 1985.

By comparison, the federal minimum wage has increased about 116 percent during the same period, according to an analysis from the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning research center that used the comptroller’s latest data. If the minimum wage had grown at the same pace as Wall Street bonuses, fast-food workers and other low-wage workers would earn a baseline wage of $33.51 an hour, the group said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minimum-wage-would-be-33-today-if-it-grew-like-wall-street-bonuses-have/

If it had kept pace with the bonuses then the Middle Class would be in better shape than they are today.

Where’s That Middle Class?

I would post on that diabolical “caravan” but it seems to have vanished off the news…..go figure……

Now that the Midterms are over and we have a new Democratic House…..there is one question I want to ask them……”whatcha ya gonna do” for the Middle Class?

How many times have you heard a reference to the “Middle Class” by your politicians?

The Middle Class use to be the poster child for capitalism and for the US.  The Middle Class expands and the economic society is healthy and progressing….

Sad to say that the Middle Class nowadays is nothing but a slogan in the same vane as “patriotism, veterans, etc”….a campaign slogan that few believe any longer…..

Like or not the “bourgeois is getting recast as the proletariat”…..interesting concept right?

The American Conservative has a view on the Middle Class that every American should read……

Everyone loves the middle class. Everyone claims to be middle-class—some to put a gloss on their sketchy escutcheons, others to dodge chastisement for their awkward riches. But in fact both the socioeconomic reality and the concept of the middle class have been turned on their heads and, at the same time, trivialized into a mere lifestyle choice.

Economically, the middle classes were once proprietors, self-employed owners of property and their own labor. Morally, they were the equivalent of “solid citizens”: decent, hard-working, law-abiding, temperate, proper, staid, virtuous, and—well, moral. The qualifications for being middle class have gotten a whole lot looser, to say the least.

The European term “middle classes” originally served to describe merchants, tradesmen, investors, and skilled craftsmen. The habitat of these classes was the walled city—the burg, bourg, or borough—hence their appellation, les bourgeois. The bourgeoisie occupied a middle ground between the nobility and the lower classes of peasants and servants.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-middle-class/

Wages flat….not what Trump wants the “Middle Class” to believe…..we are now divided into two distinct classes…..wealthy and worker…..as long as the corruption continues the chances of a reset are looking better and better…..

Things are changing……

“Out of the frying pan, into the fire” is an apt description of our current place in history. No matter what you think of globalization, I believe we’ll soon discover that capitalism without it is much, much worse.

No one needs to convince establishment economists, politicians and pundits that the absence of globalization and growth spells trouble. They’ve pushed globalization as the Viagra of economic growth for years. But globalization has never been popular with everyone. Capitalism’s critics recognize that it generates tremendous wealth and power for a tiny fraction of the Earth’s seven billion people, makes room for some in the middle class, but keeps most of humanity destitute and desperate, while trashing the planet and jeopardizing human survival for generations to come.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/01/catabolism-capitalisms-frightening-future/

The Middle Class is disappearing……what will the new “House” do to change that?

What Happened After 2008?

A decade on…..and counting.

Remember those days….the economic crash caused by banks playing loose and fast with accounts and trickery…..it all came back to bite them in the ass and we all then decided that banks need to be watched and regulated for the protection of our cash held by them.

For awhile it look good…it looked like we would do what needed doing to make goddamn sure that this could never happen again……and then the big banks started their assault on the people that would control their thievery and then we elected a tool of big capital and most of the regs are being pushed back….and history will be repeated…but while we wait for the next “market correction”…….

A few years ago, one of Karen Petrou’s banking clients gave her an unusual assignment: It wanted her to write a paper laying out “the unintended consequences of the post-financial-crisis capital framework.” Petrou is the co-founder of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., a financial services consulting firm in Washington that focuses on public policy and regulatory issues. She is also, as the American Banker once described her, “the sharpest mind analyzing banking policy today — maybe ever.” Whenever I’m writing about banking issues, she’s the first person I call.

Writing that paper caused Petrou to ask a question she’d never really considered before: Did the bank regulations enacted after the 2008 crisis — along with the Federal Reserve’s post-crisis monetary policy — exacerbate income inequality? Her answer, which she laid out in a series of blog posts, as well as a lecture at the New York Federal Reserve in March, was yes. “Post-crisis monetary and regulatory policy had an unintended but nonetheless dramatic impact on the income and wealth divides,” she wrote recently.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-06/inequality-why-bank-rules-and-fed-rates-hurt-middle-class

While the nation is focused on Russia and whether they are bad players on the world stage….the inequality in this country grows with every economic report and NO ONE cares….instead they will slobber over slogans and BS and a promise of better days and yet those days are getting further and further away for most in the middle class.

This recovery has not been great for workers. They have seen modest real wage gains over the last five years, but these gains have not come close to making up the ground lost in the recession and the first years of the recovery.

Nonetheless, real wages have been growing for most of the last five years. The last month has been an exception to this pattern, not because nominal wages have grown less, but because we had a large jump in energy prices, which has depressed real wage growth. Here’s picture for the last five years.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/07/the-story-of-stagnant-wage-growth/

It’s Tax Cuts Time Again!

Trump has been on a losing streak now for 9 months….he tells us all about his accomplishments in the last 9 months….oh good.,…what are they?

NO fucked up health care.  Close enough to a shooting war with N. Korea.  Pissed off most of our allies (which we will need when he succeeds in a shooting war).  Our State Department is run like Sesame Street.  He has fucked the environment for a generation.

And now after 30 years Trump gets to screw the Middle Class with this lame trickle down bullshit that has not worked since forever.

Ever noticed when you are gonna get screwed it is always to help the Middle Class?

Well sports fans as usual a good screwing is coming…..even The American Conservative sees it…why cannot you?

Can we define the middle class in practical terms? To be sure, there are probably as many sociological definitions of the middle class as there are commentators seeking definitions. So let’s set aside the socio-swamp of beliefs, values, and taxonomies of class in favor of a definition with measurable thresholds.

Many commentators attempt to define the middle class by income, and people tend to self-report that they belong to the middle class based on income. The self-evident way to define the middle class by income is to set aside the top 10 percent (households earning $145,000 or more) and those defined as poor by the U.S. Census Bureau (households making less than $25,000), roughly 25 percent of all households.

Source: Are You Really Middle Class? | The American Conservative

Nothing your president and Congress is about to do will do anything to change this downward slide.

But that’s okay….he, Trump, will finally have a win that he can thump his chest about and you can continue your drive to the poor house.

Ain’t American politics grand?

Who Or What Killed The Middle Class?

The Middle Class has been disappearing for decades but what or who is to blame?

Easy answer….Reagan or better yet Reaganomics…..

It death spiral began with Reagan’s dash to slice taxes on the rich and it has continued ever since……

There’s nothing “normal” about having a middle class. Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it’s a choice we need to make again in this generation, if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation’s middle class.

Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens’ novels.

At the top there is a very small class of superrich. Below them, there is a slightly larger, but still very small, “middle” class of professionals and mercantilists – doctor, lawyers, shop-owners – who help keep things running for the superrich and supply the working poor with their needs. And at the very bottom there is the great mass of people – typically over 90 percent of the population – who make up the working poor. They have no wealth – in fact they’re typically in debt most of their lives – and can barely survive on what little money they make.

Source: Reaganomics killed America’s middle class – Salon.com

The Dems have taken up the mantle of the Middle Class and so far they have failed miserably……but yet they keep trying the same failed policies that they have come to champion…..and there is NO end in sight…..

The Democrats don’t have a “white working-class problem.” They have a “working-class problem,” which progressives have been reluctant to address honestly or boldly. The fact is that Democrats have lost support with all working-class voters across the electorate, including the Rising American Electorate of minorities, unmarried women, and millennials. This decline contributed mightily to the Democrats’ losses in the states and Congress and to the election of Donald Trump.

Source: The Democrats’ ‘Working-Class Problem’ Is Worse Than We Think | Alternet

There is a slight chance that this situation can be reversed…..but the Dems are playing the same cards as they always play…..and they lose.

Sadly we are seeing the final days of the Middle Class….and few seem to care.