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What's Killing America's Middle Class?


#1

What's Killing America's Middle Class?

Jim Hightower

What we have here is plutocracy in action. 

"Just as progressives deliberately pushed public policies to create the middle class, so are today's economic royalists deliberately pushing plutocratic policies to destroy it." (Hollywata/Flickr cc 2.0)

#2

It goes much deeper than two corrupt parties selling out their constituents, though that is certainly an important factor. Still, it leaves the mistaken impression that party corruption is at the root of the problem and all that’s needed is to vote out the bad apples. Not so. The two parties have always been corrupt, to some extent, long before the decline of the middle class. It’s been a chronic issue since the beginning. No political institution is immune.

No discussion of this subject is complete without mention of the short-sighted court decisions which have severely aggravated the problem, the merging of the civil and police/military state, the effect of globalization on the work force and so much more. It’s the system that is broken. It’s the system that’s failed us. The two parties are merely one of it’s parts.


#3

And the the rich lure poor children into the military to destroy weaker democracies and kill completely innocent families around the world.

The US is a rogue terrorist nation that steals from everyone on Earth including poorer US residents.


#4

“What’s Killing America’s Middle Class?”

“The two parties are “merely” one of it’s parts.”

Excellent comment, however, I’d tweek it a bit to say,
“The two parties are “mostly” responsible for enabling the corporate takeover of our country.”

The Duopoly parties have allowed “money” to corrupt them, thereby corrupting the whole system.


#5

No one in the Military is “fighting” for the United States of America. Our country is not under attack.

They are “murdering” for the Oligarchs and the parties of the Duopoly who do their dirty work of promoting and selling military conflicts all over the globe. The Military is also providing Security for the corporations and their business interests on every continent, while us taxpayers pay for it, again, thanks to the parties of the Duopoly.


#6

More than a half century ago Buffy Sainte Marie’s Universal Soldier lyrics put the military industrial complex (MIC) mission and war dynamic in focus, only to have it evolve into the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) that has become the biggest money pit in human history.


#7

There’s no free-market when mom and pop shops have to compete against new comers with deep pockets. The deep pockets can sell at a loss if they have to till they drive out the mom and pop shops.


#8

I’ve always believed that the term “middle class” was devised by the 1% to divide the rest of us against each other. There’s no middle to a paycheck; one either signs the front, as management, or the back, as labor.


#9

Don’t give FDR more credit that he deserves — IIRC it was his fifth cousin Teddy who went after the Fat-Cat monopolies of the ‘Gilded Age’ and thus helped bring about the prosperity of the early years of the Twentieth Century.*   But in 1929 – just as in 2008 – success went to people’s heads and the bubble grew too big and finally burst.

Unfortunately, the national mobilization for World War II also created an explosion of weapons manufacturers — about whose growing influence & collusion with members of the military President Eisenhower warned the nation in 1960.   Ike’s warning was essentially ignored, and the Military-Industrial Complex – especially since SCOTUS’ disastrous ‘Citizens United’ decision – now controls nearly every aspect of the American economy and government.  The recent RePooplican “Tax Reform” Bill will give the wealthy even more money for their campaign contributions bribes that they use to control “our” Congress.

 

Where is Teddy Roosevelt now that we REALLY need him??


#10

It’s not being killed at all actually. More people are becoming “upper” middle class than are becoming poor.

Here’s what he found. There was a gradual and broad-based shift of Americans from poorer to richer status. Productivity gains have translated into higher living standards more than is generally believed.

The most spectacular change involved the explosion of the upper middle class (incomes from $100,000 to $349,999). It grew from 12.9 percent of Americans in 1979 to 29.4 percent in 2014 — from 1 in 8 U.S. households to more than 1 in 4.


#11

Yes, or in other terms, those who make their living by doing things, and those who make their living by owning things.

There is a further qualification, regarding whether you make enough to support your family. Therefore the phrase often has these connotations, though I don’t know they actually define “middle class”.

-Those who are wealthy enough to own at least one home.
-Those who can count on (assuming they survive long enough) a financially stable retirement.
-Those who have enough that they can actually believe that one of the people on their ballot represents their interests.

I have no retirement savings, and I never will. I will never be able to own a home. But more and more I am hearing from the media that these things as well as others, such as life insurance, college savings, etc. are not only things we should be looking to finance, but that if we don’t, we are irresponsible.

I took a few minutes to work out what a minimum annual income would be to finance a “responsible” life, and it’s at least $45k. (I know it varies by state and region.)

And beyond the insult that those of us who don’t meet this mark are irresponsible as citizens or parents or whatever, there is the added insult that all of these articles and political speeches idealize the population of the middle class in a way that sends the message that the rest of us “don’t count.”


#12

Yes, it is the system that is broken


#13

It is Class Warfare, make no mistake about that!

Most of us are on the losing side; of that there is no doubt!

Many of those on the losing side have been persuaded to fight against their own class. That is the most tragic part of all,


#14

Members of the military also do search and rescue, intelligence work and protection. It is not all murder for hire although that does seem to be incorporated there. Just for the record: Over one quarter of young people who want to enter the military , fail the entrance exam.


#15

How about as one poster suggested months ago - get rid of the term class. How about an Earth or climate class as we are all residents of the same planet. The term middle class seems to be used by pols when they are running for office. They do not even mention working class or poor people because they do not count as donors.


#16

Isn’t that silly? Many people are grossly underpaid even with an education ( teachers for instance and assistants) and many are grossly overpaid. Personally, unless someone can wave a wand and cure diseases, one does not deserve that million dollar salary. Sorry folks.


#17

Infotainment?


#18

No wonder we have the highest percentage of depression sufferers in the developed world. People living in isolation not connected to each other.


#19

I will add- child of a WW2 veteran ( deceased)


#20

Excellent point! Thirty years ago, there were still many locally owned businesses, which maintained a sense of community and a social cohesion, by recycling a community’s wealth in the community. Now, even small towns have become economic “dead zones” where profits end up at a Corporate HQ far away, never to return.