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Old 02-14-2014, 06:05 PM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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28 Signs That The Middle Class Is Heading Towards Extinction

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...rds-extinction

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

The death of the middle class in America has become so painfully obvious that now even the New York Times is doing stories about it. Millions of middle class jobs have disappeared, incomes are steadily decreasing, the rate of homeownership has declined for eight years in a row and U.S. consumers have accumulated record-setting levels of debt. Being independent is at the heart of what it means to be "middle class", and unfortunately the percentage of Americans that are able to take care of themselves without government assistance continues to decline. In fact, the percentage of Americans that are receiving government assistance is now at an all-time record high. This is not a good thing. Sadly, the number of people on food stamps has increased by nearly 50 percent while Barack Obama has been in the White House, and at this point nearly half the entire country gets money from the government each month. Anyone that tries to tell you that the middle class is going to be "okay" simply has no idea what they are talking about. The following are 28 signs that the middle class is heading toward extinction...

#1 You don't have to ask major U.S. corporations if the middle class is dying. This fact is showing up plain as day in their sales numbers. The following is from a recent New York Times article entitled "The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World"...

In Manhattan, the upscale clothing retailer Barneys will replace the bankrupt discounter Loehmann’s, whose Chelsea store closes in a few weeks. Across the country, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants are struggling, while fine-dining chains like Capital Grille are thriving. And at General Electric, the increase in demand for high-end dishwashers and refrigerators dwarfs sales growth of mass-market models.



As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.

#2 Some of the largest retailers in the United States that once thrived by serving the middle class are now steadily dying. Sears and J.C. Penney are both on the verge of bankruptcy, and now we have learned that Radio Shack may be shutting down another 500 stores this year.

#3 Real disposable income in the United States just experienced the largest year over year drop that we have seen since 1974.

#4 Median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.

#5 The rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row.

#6 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be "middle class". In 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be "middle class".

#7 In 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be "lower class". In 2014, an astounding 49 percent of them do.

#8 Incredibly, 56 percent of all Americans now have "subprime credit".

#9 Total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

#10 The average credit card debt in the United States is $15,279.

#11 The average student loan debt in the United States is $32,250.

#12 The average mortgage debt in the United States is $149,925.

#13 Overall, U.S. consumers are $11,360,000,000,000 in debt.

#14 The U.S. national debt is currently sitting at $17,263,040,455,036.20, and it is being reported that is has grown by $6.666 trillion during the Obama years so far. Most of the burden of servicing that debt is going to fall on the middle class (if the middle class is able to survive that long).

#15 According to the Congressional Budget Office, interest payments on the national debt will nearly quadruple over the next ten years.

#16 Back in 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 54.9 percent of all Americans are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#17 More Americans than ever find themselves forced to turn to the government for help with health care. At this point, 82.4 million Americans live in a home where at least one person is enrolled in the Medicaid program.

#18 There are 46.5 million Americans that are living in poverty, and the poverty rate in America has been at 15 percent or above for 3 consecutive years. That is the first time that has happened since 1965.

#19 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 47 million.

#20 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the percentage of working age Americans that are actually working has declined from 60.6 percent to 58.6 percent.

#21 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen from 19.8 weeks to 37.1 weeks.

#22 Middle-wage jobs accounted for 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession, but they have accounted for only 22 percent of the jobs created since then.

#23 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year in wages.

#24 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

#25 According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.

#26 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

#27 Only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago.

#28 Only 19 percent of all Americans believe that the job market is better than it was a year ago.

As if the middle class didn't have enough to deal with, now here comes Obamacare.

As I have written about previously, Obamacare is going to mean higher taxes and much higher health insurance premiums for middle class Americans.

Not only that, but millions of hard working Americans are going to end up losing their jobs or having their hours cut back thanks to Obamacare. For example, a fry cook named Darnell Summers recently told Barack Obama directly that he and his fellow workers "were broken down to part time to avoid paying health insurance"...

And the Congressional Budget Office now says that Obamacare could result in the loss of 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021.

Several million people will reduce their hours on the job or leave the workforce entirely because of incentives built into President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.



That would mean job losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, in large part because people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid, the agency said. It had estimated previously that the law would lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by that year.

But even if we got rid of Obamacare tomorrow that would not solve the problems of the middle class.

The middle class has been shrinking for a very long time, and something dramatic desperately needs to be done.

The numbers that I shared above simply cannot convey the level of suffering that is going on out there on the streets of America today. That is why I also like to share personal stories when I can. Below, I have posted an excerpt from an open letter to Barack Obama that a woman with a Master's degree and 30 years of work experience recently submitted to the Huffington Post. What this formerly middle class lady is having to endure because of this horrible economy is absolutely tragic...

Dear Mr. President,
I write to you today because I have nowhere else to turn. I lost my full time job in September 2012. I have only been able to find part-time employment -- 16 hours each week at $12 per hour -- but I don't work that every week. For the month of December, my net pay was $365. My husband and I now live in an RV at a campground because of my job loss. Our monthly rent is $455 and that doesn't include utilities. We were given this 27-ft. 1983 RV when I lost my job.



This is America today. We have no running water; we use a hose to fill jugs. We have no shower but the campground does. We have a toilet but it only works when the sewer line doesn't freeze -- if it freezes, we use the campground's restrooms. At night, in my bed, when it's cold out, my blanket can freeze to the wall of the RV.



We don't have a stove or an oven, just a microwave, so regular-food cooking is out. Recently we found a small toaster oven on sale so we can bake a little now because eating only microwaved food just wasn't working for us. We don't have a refrigerator, just an icebox (a block of ice cost about $1.89). It keeps things relatively cold. If it's freezing outside, we just put things on the picnic table.

You can read the rest of her incredibly heartbreaking letter right here.

This is not the America that I remember.

What in the world is happening to us?
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:18 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by scott free View Post
I don't normally use this word... but Jesus, preach on pete.

PS - Pat, I didn't even know you and pete had "a thing" but if my asking for you to refute the article he posted is some kind egregious affront to your dignity, then fine, I will.
Again, you didn't ask, you told. Asking would be saying something like "what's your take on the OP, patteeu?" Instead, you wagged your finger at me and told me to change my course. It may have come from ignorance (of the recent cross-thread history between petegz28 and myself), but when you decide to take that approach, don't whine when you get a little (and in this case it was very little) push back.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:24 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by scott free View Post
No, he isn't, not really.

Its you old man, your blind allegiance to any and everything pushed by the government is the problem... "haven't gotten a fair shake? not my problem, I got mine while the getting was good, why didn't you? oh! too young to have, well tough shit"

You're about as detached... "piss on ya lazy kids, I gots mine!" from the average working man as anyone I could ever possibly imagine, thanks, Judge Smails.
How old are you?
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:31 AM   #63
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This will be met with a string of OMG thaw crazy!

But, check out a different POV on this jobs discussion.

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blo...one-chart.html
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:48 AM   #64
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
This will be met with a string of OMG thaw crazy!

But, check out a different POV on this jobs discussion.

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blo...one-chart.html
Your own chart proves a lot of what people have been saying. Lower wage jobs are getting nailed and what the "higher wage jobs" are working longer since before the recession.

Which is in line with what I and others have been saying this entire time. Those that have jobs are working longer for less. DUH!

But thanks for confirming this. Now perhaps you will start to understand it a little more.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:12 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Your own chart proves a lot of what people have been saying. Lower wage jobs are getting nailed and what the "higher wage jobs" are working longer since before the recession.

Which is in line with what I and others have been saying this entire time. Those that have jobs are working longer for less. DUH!

But thanks for confirming this. Now perhaps you will start to understand it a little more.

Its not my chart.

I never disagreed with the fact one line is moving up and the other down.

I do understand. I just take issue with your emotion rich rants and always blaming the evil CEO thing rather than discuss possible causes, potential outcomes, and where opportunity exists.

The article, had you read it, reflects on a causal relationship between ACA and the divergence of the two lines. Maybe that is a bigger issue than CEO pay? And the role technology is playing in replacing low wage jobs perhaps?
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:21 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Seems to be going around.
Definitely.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:24 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Its not my chart.

I never disagreed with the fact one line is moving up and the other down.

I do understand. I just take issue with your emotion rich rants and always blaming the evil CEO thing rather than discuss possible causes, potential outcomes, and where opportunity exists.

The article, had you read it, reflects on a causal relationship between ACA and the divergence of the two lines. Maybe that is a bigger issue than CEO pay? And the role technology is playing in replacing low wage jobs perhaps?
Oh I read it, which is more than what I can say for you and patteeu regarding the OP.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:25 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Your own chart proves a lot of what people have been saying. Lower wage jobs are getting nailed and what the "higher wage jobs" are working longer since before the recession.

Which is in line with what I and others have been saying this entire time. Those that have jobs are working longer for less. DUH!

But thanks for confirming this. Now perhaps you will start to understand it a little more.
No one is arguing about the statistics and the existence of particular statistics don't prove anything about "what [petgz28] have been saying this entire time". The argument is about what causes these statistics and what should be done about them. You want a heavy-handed government approach that punishes the wealthy and subsidizes the poor. Others don't.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:33 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Oh I read it, which is more than what I can say for you and patteeu regarding the OP.

Dont be silly.

I read the OP. No one has disputed the major points points in the OP.

Where you are challenged is on your POV that its all a conspiracy of the CEOs and CEO pay. I don't think people disagree there is an issue. They disagree on how big an issue it is, what is the cause, is there a fix, does it need a fix.....
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:44 AM   #70
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Lone still defending the Democrats, after all they've done for the richest 1%. Amazing how Lone votes against his own beliefs.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:42 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Dont be silly.

I read the OP. No one has disputed the major points points in the OP.

Where you are challenged is on your POV that its all a conspiracy of the CEOs and CEO pay. I don't think people disagree there is an issue. They disagree on how big an issue it is, what is the cause, is there a fix, does it need a fix.....
I never said it was a conspiracy. See, that's what you and patteeu seem think is the only way such a thing can happen and that's where fail falls all over your arguments. It's become a standard business practice, not born out of conspiracy but more of one company did it, then another, then another and the next thing you know it's pretty mainstream.

But to grasp that fact would take some critical thinking and understanding of economics and corporate business in America and not relying on Limbaugh\Hannity talking points.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:56 PM   #72
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Lone still defending the Democrats, after all they've done for the richest 1%. Amazing how Lone votes against his own beliefs.

To be fair you have patteeu and HCF still defending Repubs for the same thing. Which is one aspect of my argument that gets under their skin. The Repubs and Dems are both equally complicit in making hte 1% richer. The mainstream Dems and Repubs that is.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:08 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
I never said it was a conspiracy. See, that's what you and patteeu seem think is the only way such a thing can happen and that's where fail falls all over your arguments. It's become a standard business practice, not born out of conspiracy but more of one company did it, then another, then another and the next thing you know it's pretty mainstream.

But to grasp that fact would take some critical thinking and understanding of economics and corporate business in America and not relying on Limbaugh\Hannity talking points.
OK I though Donger asked you a question and you had alluded to the fact the entire thing was cooked up by CEOs at some conference...

Oh and to keep you on track, Ive been more than a bit critical of the Repubs.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:25 PM   #74
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To be fair you have patteeu and HCF still defending Repubs for the same thing. Which is one aspect of my argument that gets under their skin. The Repubs and Dems are both equally complicit in making hte 1% richer. The mainstream Dems and Repubs that is.
You probably don't keep up on these things, but Republicans haven't been in charge for the past 5 years.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:25 PM   #75
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Very interesting thread. petetgz I don't agree with everything, particularly about UHC - but I think your plan is a lot closer to what we need to do than anything coming out of democrat or republican corners right now.

We need to all realize that we are all being worked over by special interests from both sides of the aisle. They do an absolutely masterful job of keeping us so blinded by rage towards the other side that we can't see to agree on the 90% or so of issues that would be in all of our (the non 1-.1%)'s interests.

Both sides should just call a truce until we can beat back the hammerlock that union and corporate special interests have on our government. It has to start with becoming better educated and seeing past the partisan propaganda that's deliberately designed to maintain the status quo indefinitely.

It may sound silly but I think forums like this are actually a positive start to at least expose each side to the other's ideas. Most live in their partisan media bubble of choice and never expose themselves to the other side. The rest just avoid politics entirely because you just can't discuss such things in polite company - which again comes back to masterful propaganda designed to keep the masses at loggerheads. You couldn't design a better political climate for rampant kleptocracy than what we have now.
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