Third Party & Independents Archives

Inequality Rising - Middle Class Declining

After three or so decades of rabble rousing about how great globalisation is, or will be, I’m definitely seeing more folks coming around to reality. Not that they have changed their minds on the so-called pluses of globalisation, but they are admitting that the rose is off the bloom re many aspects of a globalised society.

After six years of recession a good number of writers/thinkers are suggesting that 'it is what it is', in that they are no longer looking for the 'great recovery'. They are beginning to acknowledge that middle class income has been declining for decades. Instead of waiting in exuberance for growth to take off, they are acknowledging that the jobs lost to globalisation are forever gone, that industrial automation has been a strong player in job loss and will be moreso as innovation/technology progresses. Currently, 3 persons unemployed for each job position in the US market. Sam's Club to squeeze out a little more efficiency by scaling back on 2700 jobs and so on - - -

Farheed, on CNN/GPS, talked about a 1st machine age requiring heavy worker involvement, and, currently, a 2nd machine age where fewer workers are required. He compared GM at its peak with 600k workers and, today, Apple with 50k workers, most in China.

Thinkers are no longer pounding on media that Japan will soon burst out of its slumber and start cranking out GDP's of 7-10%. They are acknowledging that Japan is managing to do 'ok' with just a percent or so of growth yearly for the last 20 yrs. Even while touting that with an aging population and too few young workers the quality of life has improved, more land available, etc, the Prime Minister plans to QE, 'stimulate', and import professional immigrants to get 'growth' going again. He is obviously not looking at the US as an exemplar.

China has been spending 10% on defense year over year but their economy is turning down and seemingly causing the US stockmarket to trend down. One can then assume that China will begin importing immigrants soonest to turn the tide.

The only bright spot, IMO, is Egypt. I believe they finally have it right, if the interventionists around the world will leave them alone for a while. Shutting down extreme Islamists and voting in a military man should be a real positive move for the country.

Bill Gates, too, is coming in with reasonable propositions of late. He suggest US/world aid needs to be redirected to truly needy countries. He suggests China, Mexico, Brazil and some others no longer need aid. Says no more poor countries by 2035, where Africa used to school 40%, they are now schooling 70%, etc.

So, the message seems to be turning to 'while we aren't doing so well with globalisation, we should just chill out and wait for better times'. After all, millions have been lifted from poverty and so on = = =

But, what about this inequality thing? Six Walmart heirs have incomes equal to 48M US families. ABC News reports on a billionaire who is relating the rising noise re inequality to Nazism. Now, that's pouring fuel on the fire bigtime, IMO.
62% of the people believe that nothing major need be done as 'this is just the way the system works', etc. I believe I am the only one who thinks this whole globalisation thing was a conspiracy of the type where 'the king has no clothes'. The ole NAU gas pipeline tween Canada and Tx/La is pumping away, even as some 30 states are suffering a gas shortage and so on - - -

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at January 27, 2014 7:27 AM
Comment #375900

Econ tautology: labor force participation at 62.8%, lowest # since 70’s.

JCPenny’s is closing some 33 stores, Macy’s closing 5, Sears dropping 2500 employees since 2012.

Britain is raising their min wage. Makes Conservative sense to me as a way to dampen the fire over inequality.

And, Jeff Sessions voiced plans to rebuke the President’s plan to offer piecemeal amnesty along with increased legal immigration giving us an additional 30M folks over 10 years. This should win the GOP a good number of votes, IMO.

I’m thinking President Obama’s legacy will likely ride on how he handles the Asian issue. I believe that China will make a move re the South China Sea in the next year or so. Reason being that they see a Clinton or GOP white house in 2016 and would rather push the issue while President Obama is still around. Like a child, they won’t back down until confronted with a strong presence, like a parent to dissuade them. The Pres. had best get to talking or bring a big rig or two into the area, IMO.

Posted by: roy ellis at January 27, 2014 3:58 PM
Comment #375901

I think that when we’re discussing the “middle-classes” here we are still discussing the working poor. Everyone’s one paycheck away from disaster still in every strata grouping. A college education guarantees some things and not all things. 7% have such viable degrees here in the U.S.—WE ARE ALL THE WORKING POOR HERE—NO GUARANTEES.

I take insult in calling us poor-folk the lowered “middle-classes” it gives the illusion that we’ve almost “made” it. WE ARE STILL SCREWED EVERY DIRECTION WE MONETARILY GO IN. WHO ISN’T? LIFE IS STRESS AND LABELS AREN’T VIABLE APPARITIA TO WHAT A HUMAN GOES THROUGH HOOP-WISE TO BE ABLE TO SURVIVE HERE. The “middle” is a body of media-driven labels and hypothica and it’s a rarity to know such a gent or damsel, I don’t know any “middle”. Maybe the working poor is the middle as sufficive? I’d suggest the middle is an illusion.

Posted by: simpleheaded at January 27, 2014 5:11 PM
Comment #375917

Somewhat agree, Simple. The ‘middle class’ takes on vast numbers and various connotations. But, in general, we can say that the middle class as a whole is way less better off than a couple of decades back.

More and more folks have gone from living a ‘middle class’ lifestyle to living on the fringe, one paycheck away from falling thru the safety net.

This, while 95% of profit has accrued to the 1% at the top since 2008. The majority seem to be ok with such extreme income inequality, alluding that ‘that is just how the system works’.

I don’t agree. Travel down this road very far and we soon evolve into two classes, the rich ten percent and the poor 80 perent.

I’m not sure we can say work has been devalued. We can say that the cost of living, inflation, price of everything, has rose to the point where the few dollars made by working a minimum wage job have been rendered just about useless.

Much of the pressure on the dollar comes from the wealthy driving up prices. Example: Last year we were repeatedly told that the housing market was taking off. Prices and interest rates went up and many foreclosed homes were purchased. About the time housing began to slump again we find that the buyers for those homes were the wealthy, purchasing homes thru REITS, corporations and so on - - -. Nothing more than the 1% increasing their already 40% control of everything. Their actions only work to increase the price of rental housing for those that can’t afford to buy.

Now, that is just ‘how the system works in a Corpocracy’.

The President will talk tonight about solutions to income inequality, economic opportunity for all and how he will create some jobs. But, he will be talking to you, not the corpocracy.

The solution lies in invoking anti-trust law, adopting a flat (17%) income tax, abolishing corporate taxes and so on- - -

But, that would take a new 3rd party w/a/dif/pol/att, IMO. Going to be a long time coming, so long as folks believe that ‘that is just the way the system works’.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 28, 2014 12:29 PM
Comment #375926

10th year in a row folks have said this year is worse than the previous year.

One hopes they understand that its a long term effort to get US wages down to where we can compete with the cheap labor markets of the world.

Viewed in that light we do have a ways to go, etc.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 28, 2014 7:45 PM
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