The incredible shrinking middle class.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by brett636, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

  2. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

  3. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    thats true cach,sure its great to have hdtv and sattalite radio and a cell phone if you can afford it...I'm making around 80k a year and its not enough.
  4. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    I'm not too keen on how your government works up there in Canada, but I do understand that it is a far bit more left than our own. I could live so comfortably at 80k/yr. here in the states that I find it odd for you to say the exact opposite, but perhaps you are taxed heavier than we are? Socialized medicine programs aren't cheap. :wink2:
  5. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    American economy went from having the world's most dynamic middle class to being on the verge of a rich-poor state in only 30 years.
    Why it is that U.S. politics moved left in the age of a relatively middle-class society, and moved right as society got more unequal?

    Lets not be fooled by the appearance of a "middle class”.
    You have to take inflation into account. Not just income. You also have to adjust the parameters. Anyone earning less than $40,000 in the major metro areas where most of our population lives is poor. You can barely survive on $50,000 if you have a higher than average intelligence and are able to manage your money better than most. You will never be able to buy a home and very rarely buy a new car. You will, most likely, have to share rent with someone else unless you are willing to live in an unsafe neighborhood. This is lower middle class. Your life will not change if you move out of the city because you will be paid less if you can find a job.
    And BTW, if all your money is going towards the basics..... rent, transportation, fuel, insurance, healthcare, etc.....with no excess for spending on retail, goods or services, this does not exactly stimulate the economy.
  6. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    The numbers quoted in the article do take inflation into account. Stephen Rose is an economist, and if you've taken any economic courses you would know that they only work with real numbers, not nominal figures. Thats why in the piece I quoted it says real incomes above $100k with the key word being "real" meaning the numbers are adjusted for inflation. For example, I get a 5% raise this year while inflation is 3%. An economist would say my real wage grew by 2% because my nominal wage is increased 2% beyond inflation. Also, if you read the article you would see that people with real incomes below $75,000 dropped by 14%. The middle class is moving up, not down. As people begin to understand how to take advantage of the enormous opportunities in our country they become richer. Those who choose to not advance themselves will remain in the poverty class. Its all about personal choice, not about inequality.
  7. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    First off, working class or middle class people in general don't CHOOSE not to advance, and it's not a personal choice.That is such a right wing myth engraved in their eroded thinking. The choice is made for them by Corp execs, Hedge Funders,Bankers,Investors,Insurers,Healthcare,......Reagonomics.

    So, what your telling people is don't become a Teacher, eventhough they have the same Education level if not more than an Investor, they just don't understand the opportunities to be rich. BTW.....It takes Teachers years to payoff their school loans. If we had no Teachers, who would teach us Economics that graduates use the opportunity to get rich quick scams by starting Poker and Porn Internet sites?

    Secondly, yes, by googling, studies showing that a lot of middle-class families are actually earning a good deal more than they used to, if by “middle class” you mean working parents with college degrees. The median household income in America, which should be a useful guidepost here, is something like $48,000.

    But Thirdly showed—convincingly, it seems to me, by attacking the methodology—that if you remove single teenagers and senior citizens from the equation (not the people we generally think of as “middle class families,” after all), the median income is actually about $20,000 higher than that.

    Yes, real Income is adjusted with Inflation.The question is how is the Inflation measured? For the article one can question the Author's methology in obtaining inflationary mearsures in accurately calculating the price of targeted goods and services, or does the price changes with OVERALL goods and services between 79' and 04'
    Because we are usually more interested in knowing how the OVERALL cost of living changes, and therefore instead of looking at the change in price of targeted goods, we want to know how OVERALL price of a large 'basket' of goods and services changes. Just look at the OVERALL inflation measures from your four year old 2004 article to today 2008.

    Compared with a generation ago, today's middle-class families earn about 75 percent more (that figure ajusted somewhat to a measured inflation average), thanks in large part to Mom's entrance into the work force. But after shelling out for four fixed expenses - mortgage, health insurance, child care or education, and car payments - today's median-income family has less left over, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than the single-income family of the 1970s.

    That’s because it is political decisions driving the distribution of income. Since the 1970s, union busting, tax cuts for the wealthy, and politicians that play possum to business interests have help create the gap between the extremely rich and the rest of us.
    For instance, when the Bush Administration talks about “tax-breaks,” who gets the break? About two-thirds of the benefits from 2001 and 2003 tax cuts went to households in the top fifth of the income bracket. Though many low income Americans did receive a tax refund (in 2004, the bottom fifth received—whoopee!—$250), the enormous loss of revenue at the TOP resulted in budget cuts for social programs like schools, financial aid, and Medicare, and resulted in huge budget deficits. Yes, keep talking about cutting taxes, and simply pass the deficit to our future generation.
    Some of the Administration’s tax cuts are simply irrelevant for many Americans. Those with lower incomes or without investment portfolios don’t usually benefit from capital gains and dividend tax breaks because their money isn’t tied up in stocks and bonds. When the Administration cut these particular tax rates, half the breaks went to those Americans who make over one million dollars.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  8. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    LOL, I've seen plenty of people move up at just about every job I have held. Every one of them did so through their attitude, work ethic, communication skills, and education. You are right, nobody chooses to be promoted, but through everything I just mentioned along with some patience they will highlight for their superiors just why they should receive a promotion. If there is any kind of higher power that does affect people's promotions it would be the federal government with programs such as affirmative action. This allows for less capable, less educated people to move ahead of their more capable co-workers simply because they are black, hispanic, female, etc.

    Its liberals like you that don't understand what freedom truly stands for. With freedom comes responsibility, not guarantees. If someone truly wants to move up in this world they have to want it, and be willing to work for it. Nobody will just give it to them.

    I've done plenty of tax returns for teachers, and I can tell you around here they earn a good living. Most earn around $50k/yr. which isn't a bad income to be earning in Indianapolis. I was able to purchase a house in a nice neighborhood when I was only making $20k/yr. as a part-timer. As the old saying goes you get what you pay for. If a school system isn't paying enough to cover the costs of living in the area they will not attract the best teachers. You are right that it does take years to pay off school loans, but that is true of almost all college students. Its a small price to pay to be qualified to work in whatever field you choose to work in.

    You are correct that teenagers and senior citizens don't support middle class families as a whole. Therefore they do not need to be considered part of this study.

    I can tell you exactly how the author measures inflation. It is measured using the CPI or consumer price index. It is a government measured index that goes out and studies what the average person buys. They do these studies every few years or so, and when they do it they compile a basket of products. Every month they go out and "repurchase" that same basket of items and calculate inflation/deflation based on how much the overall cost of the basket of items have risen or fallen. The system uses a chosen base year(average of years 1982-1984) and starts at 0. When I was taking a macro economics course last summer the CPI was at 203 if I remember correctly. That means prices have doubled since the early 80s which is a relatively slow inflation rate.

    Care to show us some numbers proving that?

    Considering the bottom half of tax payers only pay about 5% of the total amount of taxes collected I can fully understand why they get less. They pay less into the system. The top 5% of wage earners pay something like 40% of all taxes collected. The logic goes like this, you earn less, so you pay less. When a tax cut comes around you will get less than those that earn more, and thus, pay more. Its not rocket science. You should be happy to know that since the Bush tax cuts have put into place the top wage earners in this country shoulder a bigger percentage of the total taxes paid than they did before the tax cuts. I just find it amazing that you believe they don't pay enough.
  9. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    What we need to be concerned with is the lack of opportunities and inequitities the top wage earners reluctantly trickle down to the bottom dwellers. Besides their abililty to take advantage of the taxation system at their pay scale, it's compounded with cuts in progressive and social programs benefitting the fat cats, not the average Joe's. What I can't understand is WHY we haven't overwhemingly voted these top wage 10% mongels and their constiuents out of power.
  10. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    This is America instead of complaining about how bad it is at the bottom why don't you move yourself to the top?
  11. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    Merle Haggard is a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, which shouldn't be a shock since Merle Haggard has never really been a conservative. He is patriotic as hell, but that doesn't make him a conservative, reading his web page should and listening to him on radio backs this up.
    I still don't know why I bother correcting people who are misguided about Merle Haggard or about politics.
  12. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Not really sure what that has to do with anything but he does make good music. I suppose in your world it really does matter who he would vote for but not in mine. If he was going to vote for the Muslim and I like his music nothing would change. I would still like his music and he would still be voting for whomever he wants. I take it if he was going to vote for Tancredo you would not like his music but if he had any liberal views you would like his music? Who are you correcting anyway? Do you think Texasgal is on this site also? If she is thanks for the video I've always liked that song.
  13. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  14. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    This is an old article but I thought it was somewhat relevant. It just seems odd that the liberals want to complain about people moving up out of the middle class and complain about some people being poor while importing the poor from other countries.

    From the article.

    Take median income, the Democrats' favorite gauge. Since a median pinpoints the exact middle of a population's distribution, and since those 500,000 undocumented newcomers are virtually all on the bottom end of the income spectrum, soaring illegal immigration tends to push median income down.

    From me. I do not disagree that people are moving up out of the middle class but people are also flooding in at the lowest income levels. This is due in no small part to the great opportunity here to be successful if you are willing to work hard and take risk. This is not a bad thing as most liberals would have you to believe.
  15. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    It really has everything to do with diverting the subject away from his own tired, defeated views onto new things that aren't so tough for him to defend. While most of his points have no factual basis that doesn't stop diesel from defending them and repeating them as if they were true. I guess it is true that if you tell yourself a lie enough you will start to believe it. I'm starting to find that talking to diesel is like speaking to Baghdad Bob. "There are no tanks in Baghdad!"
  16. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I forgot about Bob. Thank you for bringing him up that put a smile on my face.
  17. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    AV8...Just pointing out your You Tube endorsement
    The Fightin' Side of Me )
    at the bottom of your post resulting from you telling my to stop "complaining".
    Anyhow, there are many links that support Merle's political views...Here's one;
    I'm sure good 'ole boy Merle loves his country and the men and women who fight for us but he would'nt approve of that video misrepresenting him appearing to endorse GW and his foreign policies. Republican conservatives feel they have the claim to use Country-Music at political events, rallies and open forums.

  18. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Damage? Are you even reading the case put forth in the articles I have posted? You should put down Karl Marx Manifesto and take a look around, your views are not supported by fact. I've shredded every point you have made and yet you still repeat them. Has it ever occurred to you that Limbaugh, Savage, and Hanity are so popular due to their sticking to the facts of the issues at hand instead of trying to shove baseless arguments down people's throats? I have a tough time buying leftist propaganda simply because its based on emotional conjecture instead of real facts. If you are so sure that I am wrong then please post something that has some credibility because you have none.
  19. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  20. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008