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Can the middle class be saved?

Drifterwood

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The purpose of the Middle Class is to look after themselves. If they can't, then I can't be bothered about them.
 

rob_just_rob

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Sorry, I should have been more clear.

The idea of the thread was to discuss the points raised in the article linked to. "Yes" and "No" answers are not really what I was looking for.
 

rawbone8

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The only class that matters anymore is to be part of the courtier class of services that further the concentration of wealth among the super rich, and they're being remunerated handsomely (or in proportion to expertise) for those services.

Financial advice, legal protection, political lobbying/legislative control, media control, private security, procurement services etc. fill most of those ranks.

The security and importance of the rest of us outside the upper echelons of those services is diminishing with dismaying speed.
 

D_Percy_Prettywillie

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Can the middle class be saved? I think it can. I think anything can happen when there is a dedicated effort toward any given end. We explored and colonized this entire continent, we managed to create a unified nation after over coming the most powerful Empire in the World, we put a man on the face of the Moon, and we're responsible for Arrested Development. We can do anything we set our minds to doing.

Now all we need are politicians who are actually interested in doing so rather than just saying they will during campaigns as effort to shill for votes.




JSZ
 

Pierced1953

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probably not. were so far gone and owned by the rich and gov that it would take a miracle. actually the first thing is to stop wall st running the economy who are rich and corrupt and close down DC....now figure on how to do that and we have a chance.

the only good thing is that the american people are not used to this lifestyle and i'm pretty sure by obama's next term that people will finally go to the streets and demand his removal. then we need to start at your local level and take it to the state.
of course you have to understand that the gov wants to keep getting bigger so those people who are employeed with fed jobs will go against the people to keep their jobs, benifits and pension. this was all planned to wipe out all the people who were ready to retire and now the gov, corps, unions, wall st. don't have to pay out.

they have destroyed this country only for greed, now it's a game to see who's the next trillionaire. these people have to be destroyed and recover our money back that's spread all around the world. beleive it or not obama was planted here by the muslims who invented the word ''greed'', though it's also human nature to be greedy.

i can't beleive that people bought the whole thing about this ''it's time for a change'' bullshit and elected this nasty man as our pres....i hope people are ready to give up their personal causes, but i doubt it will happen.
 

tbrguy

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Thatcher destroyed manufacturing and their unions in the UK and now call me Dave is going to do the same to the public sector and their unions.

The gulf between the haves and the have nots has been widening inexorably for a couple of decades.

It may or may not go some way to explaining the unrest we've had in the last week or two.
 

Mensch1351

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Thanks for the link --- WOW -- thought provoking! And personally.....I believe that anything that CAUSED a problem may also be UNCAUSED through creative solutions! It all really depends how those who have benefited are willing to get "unbenefited" for the sake of the rest! I fully believe there are those who are hell bent on destroying the Middle Class in order to solidify more power to serve their interests. Will the real terrorists please stand up!:rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

Bbucko

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It all really depends how those who have benefited are willing to get "unbenefited" for the sake of the rest!

That will never happen, I fear. We're just a stone's throw away from being Russia in the US right now, and it'll get much worse before it gets better.

Where are the progressive politicians who'd actively legislate such a thing? Currently they don't exist or else have been eclipsed by the small but exceptionally loud Tea Party, who think that any redistribution schemes reek of communism.

Bernie Sanders please pick up the blue courtesy phone in aisle twelve.
 

earllogjam

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We will be Mexico in 20 years, if not by the invasion across the border, then by Republican brainwashing of all the fucking redneck stupid bubbas in this country.
 
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We will be Mexico in 20 years, if not by the invasion across the border, then by Republican brainwashing of all the fucking redneck stupid bubbas in this country.

Lest you forget, it was the Democrats in Congress, and President Bush together that called for the legalization of the illegal immigrants from Mexico. There are now so many illegals in this nation they number over 16 million. The politicians want their votes. They dont care about what is best for the nation. Quit worshipping political parties, and open your eyes.

Also, the largest monoply in the nation is the most frequently visited store in the nation. If you want jobs to come back here, start boycotting the purveyors of imports. People used to buy quality goods made in USA for a fair price, you just owned less of them. Many of the things like what waldo sales are produced in this nation but you have to pay a fair price for them. Look online, youll find them there. A worker in a developed nation cannot compete on the wage level of people in sweat shops.

It is greed that has caused this mess but not greed of the rich alone. They simply fed the greedy appetites of the public, and the public went wild. You arent susposed to be shopping for a hobby. You are not a trust fund baby. Quit blaming anybody other than yourself. You did it. Nobody held a gun to you, and made you spend money irresponsibly.

While we are on the subject of the rich, protected trusts should be abolished. Congress wont do it because they are the rich. They have major protected assets in trusts. Pay the taxes you owe now. Warren Buffet said tax me but he knows good and well his money is protected in a trust. He knows Congress is not about to put themselves in the line of higher taxes. Before you start blaming Republicans for all of it, there are more wealthy dems in the senate than their are Republicans. They are all rotten, greedy, sacks of crap.

Vote their butts out of office.
 

Drifterwood

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Maybe you need to just study a little more HOW we came to have a middle class in this country!!

Being British, I do understand a thing or two about classification systems.

The old, and now irrelevant definition of Middle Class actually meant wealthy, without being a major holder of capital and assets. Wealth meant that you could live in a nice big house, maybe have staff, educate your kids privately and go to university. The costs of these things have more than doubled in the UK in real terms in the last generation.

Thirty years ago you could be middle class on household earnings of $150,000 in today's values, now I would say you need $400K +.

Lots of people like to think of themselves as middle class, but in terms of earning and spending power, they are not. Their attitudes though may still be; it is generally more a means of distinction between them and people they consider somewhat unsavoury.

The rich are richer and the not quite so rich, are just not quite so rich anymore. Is this a problem? Probably, simply because they want to be richer. But my original point was just that if they want this, they should achieve it, not consider it a right because that is what their parents had. Wasn't the former the American way?
 
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dandelion

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If you want jobs to come back here, start boycotting the purveyors of imports. People used to buy quality goods made in USA for a fair price, you just owned less of them.
Well perhaps, but what is 'fair'. The US became a great economic force because it used innovation together with competitive labour rates to make better and cheaper goods than anyone else. The US is no longer able to make cheaper goods than anyone else, and this is getting worse. A technological edge allowed more expensive labour to remain viable, but increasingly this technology edge no longer exists.The only way to go from world pre-eminence is down.

The article starts by saying 1% of the US population has as much income as the bottom 60% put together and as much wealth as 90%. So clearly, if the state needs to raise revenue there is only one possible group to go after. On the other hand, if you belong to the 1% there is only one political objective worth having, and that would be to oppose any measures to tax the people who have the money. There is nothing extraordinary about this situation historically speaking, it is just that the US has not yet realised what has happened. since the US is a democracy, it can only be a matter of time before the majority understands this truth and votes accordingly. The rich are on borrowed time while the gulf gets worse. Eventually there will be a backlash and the situation will reverse.

I heard a program yesterday about German industry. It said the key was small companies. The article says the US is dominated by big companies. It also says they are failing dismally in creating any new jobs. Germany would seem to have found a niche market in high quality goods, and also has a certain protectionist spirit where German goods are valued. The US persists in chasing big business, which has only one interest, which is chasing cheap labour. The US persists in supporting those companies which inevitably will abandon the US.

I havnt read the artcle well enough to be clear whether it advocated the idea that the rich are the ones who invest in industry. It explained the theory that since they are the ones with money, they must be the ones investing. Shame there wasnt any actual reason to believ this was true. The rich are merely those efficient at amassing a cut of income and it doesnt really matter whether industry is growing or shrinking, their talent is simply in preserving their share.
 

dandelion

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Another statistic from the Uk. In the Uk there is drive to send more people to university, as indeed in the US and mentioned in the article. But the UK still predicts skill shortages in key areas, engineering and science. More people educated, but fewer with usefull skills? 50 years ago there was a push to increase education, but it very specifically concentrated on excellence. The UK has had a considerable recovery in the last 20 or 30 years from its spiralling manufacturing collapse post ww2. Maybe that policy paid off. Shame we no longer have it.
 
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Imports put small companies in the USA out of business. The nations with cheap labor had neither the technology nor the manufacturing capability of producing those goods. US businesses gave it to them. The imports are neither produced by the same safety standards nor for wages that sustain a reasonable lifestyle. Look at all the contaminated goods that came from China that had to be recalled. Toys were intentionally made with lead based paints. Baby formula had melamine in it. They are not producing the same quality of goods.
People who live in developed nations with highly developed socialism cannot work for extremely low wages. The nations social programs depend on taxation. If the workers are not making large enough salaries, there will not be sufficient funds. They can tax the rich all they want but it is not an eternal flame of money that will not burn out.
A lot of it is the result of government leaders foolishly believing that a global economy will result in world peace. Leading members of the Pentagon have predicted the next large scale war will be over food. With the droughts in the farming regions, it could come faster than you think.
 

Drifterwood

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The imports are neither produced by the same safety standards nor for wages that sustain a reasonable lifestyle. Look at all the contaminated goods that came from China that had to be recalled. Toys were intentionally made with lead based paints. Baby formula had melamine in it.

They are produced by ISO companies and to UL and most other standards if you are buying from a reputable US retailer or Brand.

You couldn't live on the wages in your country but then they don't live in your country. I would guess that you are having a better standard of living on 10% of what is considered a low wage in developed countries.

Mattel were responsible for specing the dangerous toys - they finally admitted that.

The Baby Milk company was owned by a New Zealand corporation and several of the local managers were sentenced to death in China. I don't recall anyone from Ford being snetenced to death for allowing death trap vehicles to continue to be sold.

Let's face it, corporate abuse is not the sole province of one country.
 
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I was not discussing corporate abuse. I was comparing the quality of the goods being manufactured. They do not abide by the same regulations that the EPA and Dept. Of Labor impose upon US industries. OSHA would have a field day in those foreign plants.
It wasn't just Mattel that brought in tainted goods. Fisher Price had to recall many childrens toys because of paint.

Basically, the worlds largest retailer put the screws to corporations, and said sale it to us at this price or we'll bring it in from outside. To stay in business, they had to go offshore. The public being the greedy individuals that they are snapped up the cheap goods thinking the material goods would make them somebody. Well, it did make them somebody. They became somebody with a broke nation, and massive unemployment.

That same retailer is a monoply that the government should have long ago forced to abide by federal laws. Now, they are telling the major canned food companies you must provide us with a good quality low cost line for ourselves or we'll stop carrying your goods. The monopoly is no longer considered a growth company. It has drained the USA dry, and is now expanding overseas.

The court system did resolve the issue of Ford's killer vehicles. Every time someone is killed in a mustang or pinto, Ford gets sued. BTW Lee Iacocca was the father of both of those vehicles. They have a drop in gas tank with no fire wall.

They are produced by ISO companies and to UL and most other standards if you are buying from a reputable US retailer or Brand.

You couldn't live on the wages in your country but then they don't live in your country. I would guess that you are having a better standard of living on 10% of what is considered a low wage in developed countries.

Mattel were responsible for specing the dangerous toys - they finally admitted that.

The Baby Milk company was owned by a New Zealand corporation and several of the local managers were sentenced to death in China. I don't recall anyone from Ford being snetenced to death for allowing death trap vehicles to continue to be sold.

Being that you live in a nation other than the USA, you will always take a contrary stance even when faced with the facts. Also, all you have is the limited information you read from other sources. You are not here where it's happening, and seeing first hand.



Let's face it, corporate abuse is not the sole province of one country.
 

Drifterwood

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Hootie - I manufacture in China. I know exactly what I am talking about. Same regulations, just cheaper to abide by them, until some greedy western fucks try to cut corners in products for their own markets.

Of course, some markets can not afford these standads at the moment, so they don't get them. But that isn't your or my home country.
 
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So what you are saying is you are exploiting the poor of China to make yourself very wealthy?
 

Drifterwood

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So what you are saying is you are exploiting the poor of China to make yourself very wealthy?

I said in a previous post that you can live better on 10% of western wages in China than you can in the West.

China single handedly met the UN global target for the reduction of poverty in the last ten years. No other country met any targets, including yours.
 

dandelion

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Imports put small companies in the USA out of business.
Yet apparently Germany still has small business. Small but up market, niche market, high tech.

The nations with cheap labor had neither the technology nor the manufacturing capability of producing those goods. US businesses gave it to them.
Like US car companies going to Japan to study advanced assembly techniques? One of the biggest things we sell is knowledge, from the trade in foreign students coming to learn. If you want a primer in whatever it is, go read wikipedia or some other technical website. Buy a book. People abroad are just as clever and capable of adopting technology.They have. We now see the result. We no longer deal with ignorant natives.

People who live in developed nations with highly developed socialism cannot work for extremely low wages. The nations social programs depend on taxation. If the workers are not making large enough salaries, there will not be sufficient funds. They can tax the rich all they want but it is not an eternal flame of money that will not burn out.
Since the rich are apparently receiving the bulk of the nations income and hold the bulk of its wealth, clearly they must pay the bulk of the taxes. Money can only come from where it exists. The two sides are arguing over what is a fair division, but all the indicators say the rich minority are getting richer and the poor majority are getting poorer. This can only mean the balance is currently wrong and the rich must be taxed more.
 

Mensch1351

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We have a new resident in our building who worked on Wall Street. She tells me she has a lot of rich friends -- one of whom calls himself, "A middle class billionaire!"

It seems to me the REAL issue between the really really rich and the shrinking middle class is: How much becomes enough? The Chinese don't come from a capitalist culture. I'm sure whatever wealth they are accumulating in a country that still has reasonably cheap living expenses will go to food, a nice house, a car and better clothes & entertainment. But whether they become "obsessed" with accumulating may take a few more generations.

For those of you who may have "millions" --- just how MUCH becomes enough? When the CEO of Goldman Sachs was awarded a $60 million Christmas bonus (quite frankly I think that's a little ironic!!) how does the guy making minimum wage perceive this? That he "deserves it"?? In my humble estimation -- NO sports figure is worth a $25 million contract. NO Hollywood/TV actor/singer is worth $2 million per "episode"! A person making $50,000 per year would have to work 40 years to accumulate that kind of wealth! Our nation is still trying to figure out who our really valuable contributing members to society are and how much "they" should be "worth." And to round out this post -- I've discovered in my work environment that MONEY certainly doesn't buy "class," OR being a quality human being. There are a lot of really wealthy assholes out there!
 

Drifterwood

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Plenty of poor assholes too.

In the UK the people would receive more in tax from the CEO getting the bonus than if the company kept the profit. Actually double the amount.

I think these numbers are somewhat difficult for most people to grasp. It is a great question as to how much is enough (haven't we discussed this before?), but regarding high profile bonuses etc, you should remember the context of what percentage of the profits created is given. Are they getting a higher percentage than the Mom and Pop store owners?
 

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What I've noticed is the middle class is only important when it is time for a political race of some sort. The rest of the year, the middle class is just ignored. There are a hand full in the house and senate that focus on the middle class, but the majority of politicans only care about their party lines. If the middle class is to be protected, that has to change.
 

BiItalianBro

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Yes...it can...but it will not happen overnight, it will be painful and the power elite will not like it. IMHO it starts with education and our approach to education. In the US..we have droves of young people going into universities...but the skills they are taught are not relevant to the job market. Why? Because the majority of kids coming out of high school are totally unprepared with basic math skills to take on programs like engineering.

The second component is this US mantra that a 4 year BA/BS is the one and only ticket to a comfortable living. Tell that to the barista at Caribou with the Philosophy degree. Two year programs can backfill specialized skills that the modern job market demands. The problem, aside from the negative image of technical training, is a lack of quality public institutions and a proliferation of 'for profit' trade schools. I am all for free markets...but for profit education, like for profit healthcare, are inherently flawed concepts.
 
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In addition to what the above poster said, people must once again become involved in the lives of their children. Constant extracurricular activities are fun but they don't educate your child. If you have a child, it is your responsibility to make sure your child knows the alphabet, can read, and knows their numbers. It should all be done before they reach kindergarten age. You need to work with them on basic math skills. It would help if you spent time every evening going over their homework with them. Help them study for their exams. It doesn't matter that you are tired, and want to watch tv. You brought the child into the world, and they are your responsibility. My mother did it with all three of us. By the age of nine, I was reading on the adult level. I can think her for that much.
 

houtx48

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Maybe you need to just study a little more HOW we came to have a middle class in this country!!
This is true, start a world war and destroy the world's infrastructure but leave you own pretty much intact. Then live as king of the world for the next fifty years until the world rebuilds while for the most part, you never up grade your infrastructure and ship manufacturing out to be done. the great American middle class was a fluke of war and we will probably never see such prosperity again.