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How a Disappearing and Deluded Middle Class Awaits the New President


#1

How a Disappearing and Deluded Middle Class Awaits the New President

Paul Buchheit

Disturbing truths about the wealth gap in America have surfaced in recent months. Our nation is breaking in two. Yet downtrodden Americans are hoping for a fairy-tale ending to their misery, instead of demanding the progressive measures that would empower them.

Collapse of the Middle Class


#2

I find the term "inequality" to be one of the most egregious propaganda veils ever woven as shorthand for 'brutal usurpation of the integrity of absolutely essential diversity of life'. Like a catch-all timepiece that implements a slight of hand 'look to the future' with the 'exceptional' ignoring of the necessity to be in, conscious of and addressing the abuses of the present based on 'eternal truths' (sic) not of reality but of delusional abusive momentum. The latter of course is subject to variants of the dictum 'if you keep going in a given direction, you will arrive at precisely that place to which you are heading. Point being that there is no 'there' there when the dominant means is focused on deriving from derivatives investment in the machinery (both material and conceptual) of destruction. To draw on an oddly appropriate old fossilized metaphor: 'The dip-stick ain't touchin' oil'.


#4

When will what is left of the middle class realize what those who have fallen into poverty already realize, that the Murkin dream is A DREAM and will continue to be as long as we have the best Congress money can buy, presidents and judges who make sure it stays that way ?


#5

We're gonna need lots of soldiers soon. There's that.


#6

Ray--because, these are the Dumb Yuppies that took over the zeitgeist in '85, when they were about 28 and high on "high tech". ( remember this?). They dumped the ideas of FDR and ran off to the corporations for security, "good taste", expensive labels and union destruction. They were a slimey bunch then and they are a whiney bunch now, as the consequences of their Wall Street obsession and contempt for the poor come home to roost. ( I almost wrote "roast", another good description) They want what they want and are the single worst thing to happen to our democracy since Pres Wilson invited a KKK guy to the White House. As a good Progressive, I'll work for polices that will help everyone, even them, but it will never alleviate the loathing I bear for them.


#7

Not all americans are hurting: Two Richmond, Ca. police officers assigned to the public schools and who have allegedly been involved in an underage sex scandal were paid $170,299 and $237,717, respectively, in 2014. Two alameda county sheriff deputies who beat a defenseless prone man in a San Francisco Alley and tried to bribe witnesses had base pays of $90,000 a year. A Bay Area Rapid Transit janitor pulled in $276,000 in pay and benefits last year.

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs who patrol SF General Hospital have frequently pulled in $180,000 to $220,000 per year in pay. This is at a hospital where a few years ago a patient was lost, ending up being found dead three weeks later in the stairwell.

California is full of horror stories of publicly paid employees. Sure not all public workers are paid like this but there are some real horror stories and you wonder how they happened - like the Chief of Police at UC Berkeley who retired, cashed in her $2 million retirement pay and then was rehired. The list of abuse goes on and on. We pay for it.


#8

The guaranteed income for every citizen mentioned by Buchheit is something we need to work towards. It would give people more freedom in their choices for work. They would have a greater opportunity to do work they like instead of what pays the best. They would have less worry about not having enough or any money.


#9

This article should have been titled, "An Increasing Lower Class and Working Class Awaits the New President" - These are the classes that will foment revolution.


#10

We need a guaranteed income, ideally through guaranteed jobs, with the necessary implementation of a financial transaction tax
by our new President, and with a commitment to alternative energy
infrastructure development. This will help restore the middle class. It
may be the only way.

Just one candidate has concrete plans to do all of the above: Jill Stein, Green Party.


#11

From the Middle Class to the Mutual Class: http://paulglover.org/1105


#12

Just remember to keep being nice (As they ram another piece of white hot rebar up your back side), and keep doing as you're told. Everything will be just fine, for the 1% that is!


#13

Regarding this part of the story:

"Salaries for Princes and Paupers, Little In-Between

The optimistic job reports generally fail to mention that most of our new jobs are in service industries,"

Who are these people that prepare and report employment numbers, and why are they drawing a pay check for reporting incomplete information?

I cringe every time I hear or see government employment statistics saying the American workers are doing great with jobs increasing by this percent or that percent. These numbers mean nothing, since they are only half of a formula that would mean something, and give a value to job creation.

100 jobs created that pay 10 dollars per hour flipping burgers is not the same as 100 jobs paying 100 dollars an hour in the legal profession. But you wouldn't know that because the federal jobs report only lists job numbers, a useless figure brought to you by the mushroom producers of the world.


#14

The United States is perhaps one of the worse offending nations in re-defining words to fit political ideology. Middle-class is one such term. Come on, these people are workers. They are working class by any stretch of the imagination. They might believe they are not because so many "experts" say they aren't, but the evidence is there in the article.

"Middle class" is a term used is to blur economic distinctions in our society. Everyone is "middle class," except those at rock bottom (the so-called "under-class" or "precariat".) Actually, the overwhelming majority belong to the working class. Those in the working class produce the goods and services that taken together, are the sole source of wealth.

Living as we do in a class society the class you are a part of is determined by your place in the economy, whether you need to work for a living and produce value, or whether you're able to get rich living off the value produced by others. We can see that the scourges of racism, sexism, xenophobia, poverty, environmental destruction and endless war only benefit one class and that is the ruling class. Their goal is to keep us fighting amongst ourselves rather than uniting against our common foe - them.

Marx warns against commuting class differences into income differences.
"The size of one's purse is a purely quantitative distinction whereby any two individuals of the same class may be incited against one another at will" (Moralizing Criticism and Critical Morality, 1847).

Instead, let us use the language that best describes the social relationships that actually matter in society: we speak of master and slave, lord of the manor and serf, capitalist and worker. Class relations are socially determined by reference to the property relationship and are not defined by some notion of an occupational hierarchy. So let's also do away with this white-collar/blue collar differentiation, too


#15

So sad, but it's hard not to think of this as inevitable, given our govt and its corporate priorities. War is great business when all you care about is profit.


#16

The entitled rich boys, who feel themselves superior. And we're making more of them, while the rest of us work hard to survive without optimism because it's all rigged. Tempting for those without a social conscience.


#17

The great irony is that the phasing out of the middle class as we knew it, is the result of the politics and policies demanded or supported by the middle class. Every step of the way, from Reagan's deregulation mania to Clinton ending actual welfare and taking the first steps to similarly "reform" Social Security, this is what the middle class wanted.

Put another way: They looked at the policies and programs implemented from FDR to Reagan, which took the country to its height of wealth and productivity (far from perfect, but much better), and chose to do the exact opposite. We are an example of what happens to a people who disregard their own history.


#18

Keep in mind that every one of us who still have a job is among the better off.


#19

"The rest of us have gone up or down, mostly down. "

Not sure abt that. Looking at the graphic, in 1971 we had 62% middle, 29% upper and 10% lower. In 2014 we had 49% upper, 43%middle and 9% lower.

The way I read that is that a lot of the middle class moved up to upper class and 1% of the lower class moved to middle. Not sure where the prof gets the "mostly down" part. Looks mostly up to me. He's probably hoping nobody clicks on the links.


#20

Got to look for bad things. No nuance here at Common Dreams.


#21

Tragically, we are a nation that puts locks on dumpsters to keep the desperately poor from finding a scrap of food to eat.

Democrats in Congress kicked off 2015 alone with voting to virtually end food stamps to the elderly poor and the disabled (cut from $115 per month, down to $10).

US corporations have gone international, shutting down/shipping out a massive number of jobs since the 1980s, and we ended actual welfare in the 1990s. We've ignored the consequences for the past 20 years. Looking at the broader picture, it appears that we've (the US) been in the process of transitioning into just another third world labor state.