Does The Middle Class Really Exist?

It did once but it no longer has the same meaning as in the past.

When I was young there was always the meme that if you work hard and do the right thing you will find yourself living the American dream…..living in the Middle Class.

Sadly that seldom came true after about 1970…..the American people found greed and all its evils….and they liked it.

I have been telling my readers the loss of the Middle Class for years.(sadly few would listen)…..

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/09/wheres-that-middle-class/

https://lobotero.com/2017/06/14/who-or-what-killed-the-middle-class/

https://lobotero.com/2009/12/05/where-has-the-middle-class-gone/

There are many others but you need to look around IST on your own…..

That mythical place called the Middle Class…..sorry but it NO linger exists….

Delia did everything right. She went to college, she got a teaching degree, she found a reliable job, and she got married. She and her husband had two kids. “We followed the traditional path to middle class and economic security,” she told me. “Or so I thought.”

As a teacher in New Jersey, Delia, age 41, makes around $115,000 a year; her husband, who works as a carpenter, makes $45,000. Their $160,000 combined family salary places them firmly in the American middle class, the boundaries of which are considered to be two-thirds of the US median household income on the lowest end and double that same median on the highest, and adjusted for location. (According to the Pew Middle Class Calculator, Delia’s household income places her family in the “middle tier” along with 49 percent of households in the greater tri-state area.)

To most people, $160,000 sounds like a lot of money. “Middle tier” sounds pretty solid. So why does Delia feel so desperate? She’s able to put $150 a month into a retirement account, but the family’s emergency savings account hovers at just $400. Going on vacation has meant juggling costs on several credit cards. “I don’t feel like I’ll ever have a day that I won’t be worried about money,” she said. “I’m resentful of my partner for not making more money, but more resentful of his crappy employer for not paying him more.”

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22166381/hollow-middle-class-american-dream

And yet the GOP and Centrist Dems keep trying to sll the antiquated idea of a Middle Class.

Do Not Believe It!

Look around and tell me what you see.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

This Is America Now!

I know there is lots of blame being spread around for the recent violence and destruction that occurred in DC….but for me the blame lands squarely on the shoulders of Donald the Orange…..President Trump’s words on his supporters that day, including, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength.” Supporters began moving toward the Capitol before he had even finished.
 
Words of sedition!
 
Then all Hell broke loose.
 
WE all know about the breach of the Capitol building by slobbering protesters…..the WV rep that was part of the breach…..or the rhetoric from Trump and his congressional sycophants…..
 
The FBI is starting to identify and arrest some of the traitors that tried and failed to stop the certification of Biden as the winner in 2020.

The FBI and Washington, DC, police are trying to identify members of the mob that stormed the Capitol Wednesday—and they have plenty of photos, some of them taken by the rioters themselves, to help them in that effort. DC police released 26 photos of suspects Thursday and offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests, CBS reports. Most of the “persons of interest” are wanted for unlawful entry. One woman seen outside the Capitol holding what appears to be part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sign is wanted for receiving stolen property. Prosecutors say that since almost all the rioters left the Capitol without being arrested, they now have to identify hundreds of suspects from all over the country. More:

  • First federal cases filed. The first federal cases were filed against suspects Thursday, and more than 40 more were filed in a non-federal court, NBC Washington reports. Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin, the top federal prosecutor in DC, said seditious conspiracy, rioting, and insurrection charges are “on the table” in connection with the riot.
  • FBI asks for tips. The FBI has asked for “tips and digital media” depicting the rioting. The agency “is working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity during the events of January 6,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “Make no mistake: With our partners, we will hold accountable those who participated in yesterday’s siege of the Capitol.”
  • Suspect gloats. One of the most high-profile suspects, Jake Angeli, gloated about the riot before leaving the capital for Arizona Thursday. “The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win,” he told NBC. Angeli, known as “Q Shaman,” was seen inside the Senate chamber shirtless, wearing a fur headdress with horns.
  • Man who wore company badge fired. Maryland company Navistar Direct Marketing says it has fired an employee who was seen inside the Capitol wearing his employee badge, the AP reports.
  • More firings. Other people fired over social media posts include Rick Saccone, an adjunct professor from Pennsylvania who lost his job at Saint Vincent College after they reviewed his Facebook video from the scene, reports Reuters. In Texas, Goosehead Insurance canned lawyer Paul Davis over an Instagram post in which he said getting tear-gassed at the Capitol was “quite the experience.”
  • Suspects posted evidence on social media. Law enforcement investigators and independent online sleuths have been using social media to identify rioters. Many of those who stormed the Capitol gleefully shared their photos from the scene—or, like West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans—livestreamed their entry to the building. “Those who stormed the Capitol didn’t leave social media breadcrumbs for law enforcement to follow to their front doors—they left entire loaves of bread,” writes Sara Morrison at Vox.
  • At least 6 GOP lawmakers were present. The Hill reports that besides Evans, at least five other Republican lawmakers were present at the Capitol rioting. They denied entering the building or participating in violence. Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver denied that violence had even occurred. “Just a whole heck of a lot of patriots here,” Weaver told the Tennessean Wednesday. Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill marched to the Capitol with fellow Trump supporters after skipping his own swearing-in.

Thanx to the idiots that post their crimes proudly on line….the arrests have begun.

Richard Barnett, the man who allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, posed for pictures and stole mail from her desk, was arrested Friday morning in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has been charged with three federal counts.

Barnett allegedly entered the restricted office area and took photographs with his feet propped up on furniture, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Barnett, who goes by the name “Bigo,” was captured in news media photographs and took an envelope off of Pelosi’s desk addressed to Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., the complaint says.

 
All these people are seditious pigs in my book…..but there are some that are so low that they need to be publicly dragged over the coals.
 
People like the Oregon GOP rep that allowed the protesters to enter into the building…..
 
 
This person should be barred from ever entering the Capitol building again and should be barred from ever holding public office again for his treason and violated his oath of office.
 
Then there are those police that allow the protesters to enter and start the carnage.
 
Below are the names of the Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate who voted in favor of rejecting electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania, battleground states that Biden carried.
 
 
Is your Representative and/or Senator on the list?
 
Does that make you proud or disgusted?
 
For me it is pathetic and they are traitors to the Constitution and should never be allowed in government again.
I agree with AOC on this front….

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday vehemently rejected a call by Sen. Ted Cruz for lawmakers and Americans to put the current “anger and division behind us,” 24 hours after the senator himself baselessly contested the presidential election results—an action which helped incite a mob of thousands to storm the Capitol building in what has been characterized as an insurrection.

Cruz and other lawmakers who challenged the results “must resign,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion.”

MAKE IT SO!

I must share this with you…..

This guy during the breach tasered himself in the balls and died of a heart attack…..

Image

Be Smart!
 
Learn Stuff!
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”
 

A Return To Normal?

Now the drama of the Biden certification of the win in 2020 is all but over….there is something that most are praying will occur.

The question now is with the defeat of Donald the Orange in the general election…..and the best answer is …NO DAMN WAY!

The few days after it was obvious that Biden had defeated Trump….many pundits started trying to sell the idea that the US had found its better angles and that we could slowly return to some form of normalcy.

With the pundits predictions….all I could do was chuckle….there will be NO return to normal for this nation.

This week Biden proclaimed that, as a president who wants to “avoid inflaming a closely divided Congress,” he plans to “tread lightly when it comes to using his executive power.” Biden seems very confident that his passivity won’t “inflame” any of the remaining progressives in a “closely divided Congress.” Biden’s been on or around Capitol Hill for 45 years and he hasn’t witnessed any uprising from the Congressional left yet.

Biden gave me the biggest laugh when he said he would not embarrass the Repubs in the Senate….

President-elect Joe Biden expressed optimism that he will be able to work with Republicans because of his years working alongside them, despite a sharply divided Congress. 

“My leverage is, every senior Republican knows I’ve never once, ever, misled them,” Biden said on a telephone call Wednesday with several columnists, according to The New York Times. “I’ll never publicly embarrass them.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/531661-biden-on-working-with-senate-republicans-ill-never-publicly-embarrass-them

Seriously?

You truly think you can work with sycophants of Trump?

I say “screw ’em”…..give them the taste of what Trump did to a once proud institution.

Joe Biden is by no means a smooth politician, but over the course of five decades in office he has mastered the art of the political bait-and-switch, a sleight of hand which has come to define the operating profile of so many Democratic bosses in the age of neoliberalism.

We are looking at least 4 years of “not much happening”….foreign policy will suck…..domestic programs will suck…..

Revisit (I know you will not) after 4 years and see just how much Biden accomplished in his run up to mediocrity…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Good News For Some Americans

The pandemic has caused many pains but the most painful is the loss of income…..

The legacy of 2020 will endure in America’s collective memory for many reasons: a deadly pandemic, a vicious presidential election.

It also brought the most severe recession in almost a century, which hurtled millions into poverty and joblessness and created burgeoning inequality.

That financial pain has been concentrated among certain groups, like racial minorities, women, low earners, those without college degrees and workers in the service economy, like restaurant and retail jobs that require face-to-face contact. (These categories often overlap.)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/01/the-covid-recession-brought-extreme-inequality-in-2020.html

But there is some good news…..at least for some……

A New Year starts and I wish the good news was that the pandemic was slowly winding down but since that is not the case…..irregardless there is some good news for some of our fellow citizens…..wage increases…..

2020 was a devastating year for underpaid frontline workers.

But even in the face of public health and economic crises triggered by Covid-19, the Fight for $15 movement persisted, and now 24 states and 50 municipalities throughout the U.S. are set to raise minimum wages in 2021.

On New Year’s Day, 20 states and 32 cities will increase their minimum wage, with the wage floor in 27 of those jurisdictions reaching or exceeding $15 per hour. The January 1 raises will be followed by another round of wage floor hikes later in 2021, when four additional states and 18 localities will increase their minimum wage, 13 of them to at least $15 per hour.

That’s according to a new report, Raises From Coast to Coast in 2021 (pdf), released Thursday by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), which monitors worker remuneration and advocates for higher minimum wages nationwide.

“Despite the pandemic, the Fight for $15 movement continues to gain strength, with more cities and states than ever before raising their wage floors, including dozens of local jurisdictions raising wages to $15 or more,” said Yannet Lathrop, senior researcher and policy analyst with NELP and author of the report.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/31/raises-coast-coast-2021-new-year-higher-minimum-wages-24-states-and-50

Too bad it is not ALL American wage earners…hopefully that will be future benefit…..

I hope this helps some of you to make a better life for your family….as they say…”every little bit helps”….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Cessation Of Home Evictions

The raging pandemic and the loss of employment had caused a surge in the number of home evictions because of the inability to pay ones mortgage….

Something had to be done…..

The government, the CDC to be exact, had issued an order for the cessation of home evictions during the pandemic.

This action, although needed, leaves gaping holes in the Trump administration’s response to the pre-existing and current pandemic-impacted housing crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic was expected to trigger the severest housing crisis in U.S. history. By one estimate, as many as 40 million Americans were at risk of eviction.

Then in September, the CDC made an unprecedented announcement: Most evictions had to be halted through the end of the year. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the CDC, signed a declaration that said evictions could get in the way of the nation’s attempts at curbing the coronavirus.

But the moratorium is failing to keep many families in their homes during the crisis, according to eviction records, housing advocates and legal aid attorneys. Tens of thousands of people have been evicted since September because the CDC’s policy has been applied inconsistently across states and some landlords have ignored or challenged their tenants’ attempts at using the protection, experts say.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/05/why-home-evictions-are-still-happening-despite-cdc-ban.html

AS one might expect….the inconsistency of the Trump admin made this attempt to help the American people little more than just another idle promise.

The Eviction Lab at Princeton University has identified around 80,000 evictions in just the 27 cities that it tracks, including Cleveland, Houston, Tampa and New York, during September, October and November.

Jim Baker, executive director of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, has counted more than 20,000 new eviction cases filed since September by corporate landlords in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas alone.

Once again the people of this country are secondary…..the Congress made sure to protect corporations in this time of hardship and yet did very little for the people that pay the bills for this failing experiment that is our government.

And yet we vote the same type of gutless spineless politicians time after time……the fault is ours not the system.

At least the Congressional Progressives tried to do the right thing…..

A group of progressive lawmakers including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders sent letters to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and private landlord associations on Wednesday demanding an immediate nationwide moratorium on evictions as individuals and families struggle with the massive financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Evicting families from their homes in the middle of a pandemic is cruel and dangerous,” reads the letter (pdf) to Housing Secretary Ben Carson. “HUD must avoid the risk of exacerbating a public health emergency and protect the safety of renters.”

Joining Warren and Sanders in signing the letter were Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.).

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/18/progressive-lawmakers-demand-nationwide-moratorium-cruel-and-dangerous-evictions

Sadly this went nowhere…..because the cowardly centrists were not on-board….their owners and donors made sure this went nowhere.

Finally….Please STOP calling Pelosi a Progressive!  It shows your ignorance when you do.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Failure Of Social Balances

AS the election of 2020 neared and we would expect all those traditional countervailing forces that help keep the American presidents on a balanced path have failed the nation in the time of Trumpian corruption….

Forces like…..the Congress, the courts even the Democratic Party are all failing the American people.

Ralph Nader has written an article….while I do not agree with everything Nader has said or written in the past….I do see what he is saying with his latest article.

Let’s give dangerous, dictatorial, corporatist, lawless, unstable, Donald Trump his due. He has shown us just how weak our various countervailing institutions and constitutional standards are in checking the excesses of the most impeachable President in American history.

After three and a half years of corruption, cronyism, chaos, illegal wars, and destruction of law enforcement protecting people from corporate ravages, Trump a bigoted, racist, serial fabricator, and boastful savage serial predator has not only gotten away with everything but has doubled down on everything. He has intimidated almost everyone with any power or influence into submission or silence.

This unprecedented feat rests on many abdicators:

Expected Countervailing Forces to Trumpism are Failing

Has hate made this wide divide possible?

Tribalism is gonna to be the death of this republic….

To anyone following American politics, it’s not exactly news that Democrats and Republicans don’t like each other. Take what happened in the presidential debate last week. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden did little to conceal their disdain of one another. And although the debate marked a low point in our national discourse, it was a crystallization of a long-developing trend: loathing the opposing party.

This is hardly a new trend; in fact, it’s increasingly common among American voters. However, this level of hatred — which political scientists call “negative partisanship” — has reached levels that are not just bad for democracy, but are potentially destructive. And extreme partisan animosity is a prelude to democratic collapse.

It wasn’t always this bad, though. Forty years ago, when asked to rate how “favorable and warm” their opinion of each party was, the average Democrat and Republican said they felt OK-ish about the opposite party. But for four decades now, partisans have increasingly turned against each other in an escalating cycle of dislike and distrust — views of the other party are currently at an all-time low.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-hatred-negative-partisanship-came-to-dominate-american-politics/amp/

Because of this political hatred and the failing stop gaps in our governmental style…..now is the perfect time to try and change the silly and destructive slide that began with Reagan and came to a festering head with Trump.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Killings By Police

I have written many times about the deaths caused by the police mostly against people of color and how that can be eliminated….for one stop equipping the police with military weapons……that could go s long way at solving this murder problem of people of color.

Why would I say that?

There is a body of proof that illustrates the PDsm that get military equipment have a higher kill ratio of the public than those that do not get the equipment from the DoD.

Americans have seen it time and again in recent months on the nightly news: Protesters in the streets confronted by local police officers carrying assault rifles, some atop armored vehicles, looking more like soldiers than public servants.

Much of that equipment has trickled down to police departments from a controversial Defense Department initiative known as the 1033 program, a 30-year-old federal initiative that provides a way for the military to dispose of surplus equipment by sending it to local police.

The results paint a troubling picture: The more equipment a department receives, the more people are shot and killed, even after accounting for violent crime, race, income, drug use and population.

Only 7% of Georgia’s law enforcement agencies received surplus military gear at any time over the 10 years, but those agencies accounted for 17% of the 261 people shot and killed by police.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/10/09/police-killings-more-likely-agencies-get-military-gear-data-shows.html

Instead of basically giving this equipment away why cannot the DoD sell it to Third World countries that could use it for their own defense and the US could recoup a bit of the cash it spent funding the development of this equipment?

Just A Though!

For those inquiring minds……further reading will fill any gaps….

https://lobotero.com/2018/09/07/closing-thought-07sep18/

https://lobotero.com/2020/07/21/is-it-police-reform-or-defund-or-abolition/

https://lobotero.com/2020/06/24/de-fund-the-police/

There is more….but it will take some interest if you would like to search IST…..

Time for the Police to return to their motto of “protect and serve” and leave the fascistic BS of “punish and enslave” to the garbage heap of history.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Devolve Or Dissolve

The partisanship these days is worse as it ever was and getting worse as the years go by.

I have written to help and try to explain why this is happening…..https://lobotero.com/2018/05/11/tribes/

There is some great observations about American society…..

There is not “a single important cultural, religious, political, or social force that is pulling Americans together more than it is pushing us apart.” That was written before the Black Lives Matter protests and riots. It’s gotten worse since then. A lot worse.

There’s not much left of a common American culture. We watch different networks, read different websites, and have a different set of Facebook friends. Politics has come to shape our identities, for both left and right. Tell me who you vote for and I’ll tell you what sports you like, what music you listen to, what blogs you read, and even where you buy your groceries.

America’s Choice: Devolve or Dissolve?

But what do the American people think?

I wrote about a study back in 2012…..https://lobotero.com/2012/10/10/we-are-sick-of-the-partisanship/

https://lobotero.com/2010/11/19/do-americans-really-want-a-divided-government/

Another pressing question is…..should the US be broken into two?  (This article deserves to be read!)

Many in blue states have gone through a Kubler-Ross range of emotional reactions to the Trump/Republican administration. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. When you get to the acceptance part, a psychologist told me, “You need to figure out a plan of action that changes things in the real world. Acceptance is not the same as resignation. Being bummed out is not the end of the road but should be a beginning.” We are probably at that political point now. I know I am. 

After all we have been through, after the last four years of Trump’s antics, he still has the support of a little over 40 percent of the electorate. His base fervently foresees that life post-Trump will resemble a Stalinist gulag of socialist regulation, late-term baby killing, and political correctness equal to China’s cultural revolution. Right-wing media, in all its hydra-headed broadcast and internet forms, has provided this vision. As QAnon has shown, when it comes to irrationality, there are no limits. 

Should America Voluntarily Split In Two? Election Day May Force Us To Ask

With the vote just days away…maybe now would be a good time to decide what kind of country you want before you mark the ballot.

Once again I think about the cartoon that Ben Franklin came up with in the early days….

How Ben Franklin's Viral Political Cartoon United the 13 Colonies - HISTORY

Interesting thoughts and the Old Professor would like to have yours as well…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Oct20

Do You Make $400,000 a year?

If so then according to the chairman of the RNC you are the same as 82% of the American people.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, on Sunday faced backlash after suggesting that “82% of Americans” make more than $400,000 per year.

In a tweet on Sunday, McDaniel pointed to a video clip from a conservative media group, which asserted that “middle income earners” will see a tax increase under a Joe Biden presidency. However, Biden has said that he will not raise taxes on individuals making less than $400,0000 per year.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/twitter-buries-gop-scumbag-liar-ronna-mcdaniel-for-claiming-82-of-americans-make-over-400000-year/

Is this broad that out of touch?  Maybe she is just a long toad like her fearless leaders.

Are you in that false 82%?

I’m not.

This is just one example of why I have a hard time voting GOP at any time….they are just so damn out of touch with the society that they cannot possible do anything for the whole country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

What Cost Racism?

This country is once again trying to have that much needed conversation on racism and as usual we are failing miserably.

For instance did you realize that the US could have been $16 trillion (yes, that is trillion with a “T”) but systematic racism deprived the nation of the money.

A report issued by Citigroup, a bastion of capitalism and not some phony Left wing think tank…..

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes.

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

  • Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn’t get a college degree.
  • The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn’t get home loans.
  • About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn’t access bank loans.

What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated.

“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Citigroup Banking Chair Raymond McGuire said in a statement.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-gdp-growth-missed-16-trillion-systemic-racism-inequality-report/

If you cannot understand the cost of racism from the point of social issues then maybe you can put your small head around the monetary cost of hatred.

Does this change anything?

Of course not.

This subject will never be settled until until people learn to talk to each instead of at each other.

Or until the country moves past the silly tribalism that is griping our society by the nuts.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”