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Deepening Inequality as US Middle Class Fades into Oblivion


#1

Deepening Inequality as US Middle Class Fades into Oblivion

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

The American middle class is shrinking.

For the first time in more than four decades, middle-income households have lost their majority status in the U.S., according to new findings, and are now outnumbered by their counterparts on opposite ends of the income spectrum.

"The fastest-growing segments are the ones at the extremes, the very lowest and highest ends of the income distribution."
—Pew Research Center


#3

This has been the unstated purpose of both major parties since the 1950s. As we continue to feed the Beast (Military Industrial Complex, banksters) and let our infrastructure crumble... fewer good jobs, smaller paychecks, rising crime, etc. Welcome to the Third World, citizens.


#4

A lot of middle class families I know are struggling. I know several that work full time and are still eligible for food assistance. The middle class is being destroyed by the lack of well paying jobs, or if self employed, the lack of customers that have any money. All the jobs seem to have been shipped overseas..sad.


#5

Victims of oligarchy propaganda and electoral manipulation, the majority is divided and votes against its best interests or does not vote.


#6

I couldn't afford to live in Oblivion. With " garrison state " gentrification, expensive and lousy healthcare, rampant racism, suffocating security and police state expenses, food deserts occasionally broken up by Guano On A Bun franchises and a Federal Minimum Wage of less than $8.00 an hour; it was simply too expensive to maintain my lifestyle. So, I moved to Hell on Earth. Which is subsidized, I find out, by the same mega-donors of the Democratic and Republican Party candidates in 2016. Which I've been told, much to my chagrin, has been going on for at least 4 decades, now. And these phenomena have been codified, by law, in many of our local and state gov't entities; much, much, longer. The transition to HOE was easier than I thought, though. Our Federal Gov't has a wonderful website: USMICPIC @ Fuck Off and Die.Com, which was very helpful. They'll lead you here to HOE with a reassuring smile and lovely etiquette, to boot. And, the Welcome Wagon is duel-purposed as a Paddy Wagon, too. Our efficient gov't, that well-oiled machine, thinks of everything, don't they? It's just another reminder, like a road sign announcing a bridge being built to nowhere, of our precious tax dollars at work. Drive, walk or crawl, carefully; I'll see you in HOE LAND soon enough, I suppose.


#7

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#8

Coming from a union family, I want to agree with you. But I think unions, or union leadership must take part of the blame.

In my book, the problems date from the Cold War in the late 40s and through the 50s. Up until then, labor was radical, with many leaders who were socialists or even communists. With the Taft-Hartley Act and the CIO's expulsion of radical unions like the ILWU and the UE, the labor movement lost its radical leaders and its vision along with it.

A good example is health care. While in other countries, unions fought successfully for universal health care, in the US, unions satisfied themselves with getting health care for their own members. Unlike in these other countries, US unions were not fighting for universal benefits and, hence, lacked sufficient support from non-unionized workers.

Fast forward to the 1980s, and you have the advent of Ronald Reagan blue collar workers who didn't care if unions were being decimated. Still true today, the union/non-union split is one more wedge that the ruling class has to divide us.


#10

The unions were conservative and exclusionary, btw, in the U.S. They didn't like minorities or women making inroads onto the gravy train. Same with healthcare. No national healthcare for " those people " with my tax dollars. Not much has really changed in this country, either, in this regard. The public unions are a much more comfortable place for the " other. " And, they're doing much better as a result. The Fight for $15 is more proof, too.


#11

Rather than mourn the decline/obliteration of the "Middle Class" why not see it as an opportunity for making common cause with the poor and bring about the dismantling of the current system of exploitation? Why not see the construction of a truly equal society--one where everyone will be valued equally even if talents vary? After all, are we not humans coexisting on the same home planet? Don't we have something infinitely more important in common, that is Life--existence?


#12

That is wonderful and very Un-American at the same time. I'm tearing up, ala Rahm Emanuel, at the very thought, or speech, of actually treating people equally. The cops in Chicago were tearing up when the heard Rahm speak, too. From laughter, of course. " No matter where you go ( in America ), there you are. " Some places more so than others, but hey, the PTB are diligently working on fixing that, too. BTW, almost all the leading contenders for El Presidente in 2016, are running on a platform of creating more " others " if elected. I'm sure we're all in there somewhere, as well.


#13

Any questions on why the government is heavily arming our police now?


#14

I fell out of the middle class ten years ago, and it's been quite an eye opener.

I'm kinda sick of the sacred status that the "middle class" (as an ideal) holds for politicians, if only because it relegates the poor to an invisible status.

What I have gained by becoming poor is compassion and insight into the complex issues that cause most of us in deep poverty to be unable to rise financially. Things are never so simplistic as many would like to believe. There are so many unforseeable factors and events out of our control. Many in the middle class are smug and judgmental about those less fortunate.

So here's hoping that the poor and soon to be poor can find some common ground to make the changes needed to help everyone.


#16

Well, in my opinion, that sounds great..but humans being humans there will always be some , Like Orwell said in "Animal Farm" . " More equal than others".


#17

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#18

Well, I agree with you, but for (probably in your eyes..I don't know) all the wrong reason. Unions were an idea who's time had come, in the 1930's. Workers treated like cattle, strike breakers, ect.

But, as most things American, we swung from one extreme to the other. The exploited, became in many cases, the exploiters. Some Unions became a law unto themselves, like the Teamsters, and made the gov't , and much of the population, turn against them.


#19

Then they are no longer "middle class" then. They are "poor". What do you mean by "middle class"?


#20

You really seem to have taken in the business class's propaganda regarding unions....


#21

Clinton sold out the middle class to the Republicans back in 1994. Things have gone downhill from there. This is also why Hillary isn't likely to do very much about it either.


#22

After reading the article and all the comments I would like to say I hope everyone here is fighting the TPP and TTIP. You can find out about the fight at Flush the TPP.
These 2 free trade agreements and more to follow will sink us deeper into the poor house. Everyone needs to get their members of Congress to vote against them.
They will allow more factories to move out of the country and foreign factories to move in with workers they bring with them. Read about it. It is devastating.


#23

People don't vote because the only choice is between Tweedledee and Tweedledum , Remocrat or Depublican . The system is so rigged that Poppy Bush back in the day could dismiss the 45+ million who voted for Ross Perot as "not worth worrying about". Or Jill Stein and her running mate just yesterday could spend 8 hours shackled to chairs in a police station because they turned up uninvited to a presidential candidates forum and had the temerity to think they might be allowed to speak .
And the act of voting itself might prove to be noxious what with the paperless electronic voting machines . Exit polls have differed markedly from the voting results everywhere they've been used - and always in the favour of the rightwing candidate . Nothing like having your vote actively subverted !