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  1. #1
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Default The Hunger Games Economy

    http://jefffaux.com/?p=254

    After three decades of policies that have undermined the country’s global competitiveness and the bargaining position of its workers, the United States economy can no longer provide the means to support its three most politically important American dreams: Wall Street’s dream of subsidized limitless profits; the military-industrial complex’s dream of global supremacy; and the middle class’s dream of rising incomes.
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    The deal is done. The middle class will be sacrificed. The partisan disagreement is now over the details: how much pain there will be and how fast it will come.

    The deal was not negotiated in some smoke-filled back room. It is the accumulation of decisions made and not made since 1981, when the Age of Ronald Reagan replaced the Age of Franklin Roosevelt. The 1970s had brought the first signs that America’s post–World War II global economic dominance was shrinking—an oil-price crisis and the appearance of our now-chronic trade deficit. One response was Jimmy Carter’s plan to wean us from dependence on imported oil. Another was a call by prominent business and political figures for a government-led strategy to respond to rising competition from a recovering Europe and Japan. But these efforts stopped dead with Reagan’s election; our collective economic future would be left to the market.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Wait a minute arent the military-industrialists, wall st. and the middle class all the same thing?

    I think its the working class who're getting sacrificed to prop up the middle classes but the narrative is all messed up.

  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Wait a minute arent the military-industrialists, wall st. and the middle class all the same thing?

    I think its the working class who're getting sacrificed to prop up the middle classes but the narrative is all messed up.
    Yes and no. It really depends on your interpretation. I consider most of the middle class also part of the working class. Around these parts, 50k would bring you further than living in S.F. (which is why everyone is buying homes here.) Much of the military(don't compare it to the Military-Industrial-Complex,) blue-collars, and white-collar jobs (tend to) apply to that type of interpretation. In all honesty, those type of jobs would be the lower end of the middle class while jobs like working at McDonalds would be... the bottom working class. adjusted with inflation, however, the working/middle class has seen their money shrunk. Now, the problem that we are dealing with is that many of the blue-collar and white-collar jobs are sent to other areas because it is cheaper or that they are privatized to make money (which means low wages.)

    Wall Street is a different place altogether, after all, it also applies to the rich. Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase CEO) lives quite close to Wall Street with his fancy home. Most of the people trying to strike it rich are in Wall Street. They live in their market-driven lala land (to put it in a derogatory way.) The Military-Industrial-Complex is not the middle class, it is more like a list of corporations just like Wall Street. Many of these corporations would want subsidization because it means more money out of their pocket.

    In that narrative, the concept of the American dream was to live a decent lifestyle and get a job that pays well, which would basically be the middle class. Your home told whether you were poor, in the middle class, or upper/rich based on neighborhoods, etc. The suburbs tended to be both working and middle class.

    You could be part of the working class but still be part of the middle class.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Yes and no. It really depends on your interpretation. I consider most of the middle class also part of the working class. Around these parts, 50k would bring you further than living in S.F. (which is why everyone is buying homes here.) Much of the military(don't compare it to the Military-Industrial-Complex,) blue-collars, and white-collar jobs (tend to) apply to that type of interpretation. In all honesty, those type of jobs would be the lower end of the middle class while jobs like working at McDonalds would be... the bottom working class. adjusted with inflation, however, the working/middle class has seen their money shrunk. Now, the problem that we are dealing with is that many of the blue-collar and white-collar jobs are sent to other areas because it is cheaper or that they are privatized to make money (which means low wages.)

    Wall Street is a different place altogether, after all, it also applies to the rich. Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase CEO) lives quite close to Wall Street with his fancy home. Most of the people trying to strike it rich are in Wall Street. They live in their market-driven lala land (to put it in a derogatory way.) The Military-Industrial-Complex is not the middle class, it is more like a list of corporations just like Wall Street. Many of these corporations would want subsidization because it means more money out of their pocket.

    In that narrative, the concept of the American dream was to live a decent lifestyle and get a job that pays well, which would basically be the middle class. Your home told whether you were poor, in the middle class, or upper/rich based on neighborhoods, etc. The suburbs tended to be both working and middle class.

    You could be part of the working class but still be part of the middle class.
    Well I did hear that having a job in the states was what qualifies people as middle class now, it just makes me think that middle class either means something much more modest than it once did or does globally or things are so bad, with less and less opportunity for everyone that it really is what constitutes being middle class and everyone else is even worse off.

    Got to be a sign of an economy in decline if that's the case. Really and truly.

    I always think that the working class will come of the worst, its what's happening in the UK, its what's happening everywhere. The military-industrial elites and capitalists will be the last to take a hit, if they even do because no one is attacking them, its just the unemployed and poor who'll take the flack, even from their own.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well I did hear that having a job in the states was what qualifies people as middle class now, it just makes me think that middle class either means something much more modest than it once did or does globally or things are so bad, with less and less opportunity for everyone that it really is what constitutes being middle class and everyone else is even worse off.

    Got to be a sign of an economy in decline if that's the case. Really and truly.

    I always think that the working class will come of the worst, its what's happening in the UK, its what's happening everywhere. The military-industrial elites and capitalists will be the last to take a hit, if they even do because no one is attacking them, its just the unemployed and poor who'll take the flack, even from their own.
    Possibly in decline. There are a lot of reasons that could be given. One of the biggest reasons is that people no longer want to fund the programs that made America great. However, just because they don't want to fund them doesn't mean they want to cut them. In short, they don't want to get taxed... but they don't want them cut. Translation? Most of those (I mean everyone from the dirt poor to the richest rich) in the 60's 70's and 80's literally took from the government and no longer feel that that aid should be given to incoming/preceding generations at a time that they really need it (that is where they blame the government.)

    The difference between the rich of today and the rich from the 30's-70's is that they felt it WAS their duty to be tax a high amount, to fund the government programs to help everyone, to bring those in the impoverished and presumably help those to leave being impoverished to help future generations. In political usage, we call this positive liberty. You free yourself by also freeing others (unlike the negative liberty you see of today.)

    The majority of the wealth was in what we consider the middle class. 50 years from then, the concentration of that wealth has more than double to the wealthiest. Which is why the inequality in the U.S. is so high compared to other nations like Russia and China.
    The federal minimum wage hasn't increased in ages to necessitate the rising inflation cost.
    What you used to be able to do for 25k 40+ years ago, you can only dream of doing it today. In other words, a dollar in the 60's was worth more than a dollar today.
    Most of the jobs that propelled the 50-70's were pushed to other countries - essentially leaving a vacuum.

    Two programs (that I can think of succeeding the FDR programs) that were a ghost of what they were 50+ years ago:
    Great Society:
    (there is an exhaustive list of what the Great Society encompassed and what Lyndon B. Johnson envisioned for future generations.)
    Education: Many governors and Lyndon B. Johnson sought to lower the cost of education AND higher education because they knew education was the difference between staying in poverty and moving up to the middle class less dependent on the government. What LBJ did was to lower the cost of education for most of those people in the 60's, 70's and 80's. These days, you'd see the price of education going up in taxes or going down in the form of cuts. In my college, for example, the tax hikes has gone up 200% for the students, since 2000 and the tax cuts have since went on since 2007 (right when I graduated high school....)
    Interstate Highway System:
    There is a reason why we have a grade D in our current transportation system. That is because ever since Eisenhower finished his two terms, the funding for the system has been on a decline. The succeeding presidents and states governors have funded their current high way system a lot less than when the system was first built. The only reminiscence that even come close is the possibility that there would be state high speed rails.

    All in all, I may have rambled a little bit much.

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