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  #1  
Old Jul 24, '10, 7:58 am
MugenOne MugenOne is offline
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Default The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

From The Business Insider
Editor's note: Michael Snyder is editor of theeconomiccollapseblog.com
The 22 statistics detailed here prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.
So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes? Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects. It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations. The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough.
Here are the statistics to prove it:
• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• or the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.



http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker...CD,WMT,XRT,DIA
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  #2  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:11 am
EmperorNapoleon EmperorNapoleon is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

I'm not convinced that any of those statistics either alone or together prove that "free trade" is responsible for a shrinking middle class. The financial crisis separated the wheat from the chafe; i.e. those who are part of the middle class because of real income and spending power vs those who's middle class status is based on nothing but debt. A sharp decline in the middle class is expected when the piper comes calling.
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  #3  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:21 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Solution -

Put God back in the public square

Distributism

The Catholic principle of subsidiarity.
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
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  #4  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:21 am
CatholicGerman CatholicGerman is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Well, this is all what we discussing in the other thread.
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  #5  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:23 am
CatholicGerman CatholicGerman is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalo View Post
Solution -
Put God back in the public square...
... by promoting marriage. The family is the world's fastest-established, most reliable, and cheapest source of general welfare.
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  #6  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:37 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Get back to - Tradition, Family and Property
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

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  #7  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:45 am
EmperorNapoleon EmperorNapoleon is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

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Originally Posted by CatholicGerman View Post
The family is the world's fastest-established, most reliable, and cheapest source of general welfare.
Marriage has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility or the lack thereof.
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  #8  
Old Jul 24, '10, 8:59 am
Lutheranteach Lutheranteach is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

The middle class has been a vanishing animal in the US for the past 35 years. This isn't news
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  #9  
Old Jul 24, '10, 9:22 am
stinkcat_14 stinkcat_14 is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorNapoleon View Post
Marriage has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility or the lack thereof.
Interesting hypothesis, can you point to some research that establishes for example that married couples with children are no more financially responsible or well off than single people with children?
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  #10  
Old Jul 24, '10, 9:23 am
CatholicGerman CatholicGerman is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorNapoleon View Post
Marriage has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility or the lack thereof.
Of course it does. Don't you ever wonder why so many people are broke, in the first place? Don't you wonder why the government is expanding rapidly in size (it is a substitute breadwinner for millions of women and children)? Don't you wonder why there are so many fatherless children living in poverty?

Nations follow a cycle of financial boom-and-bust accompanied by social decadence-and-austerity. Generally countries in the bust cycle move toward great social austerity (conservatism/traditionalism) as the cost for supporting decadence grows. In the boom cycle, countries tolerate decadence as the general population enjoys greater prosperity and quality of life. But there is a tipping point, where the improvement in prosperity is overridden by the negative effects of the decline of tradition. I believe we are, again, at such a tipping point.

The rise and fall of nations traces directly the rise and fall of the traditional family. It follows the following pattern, which is apparent repeatedly in history (ancient Greece, ancient Rome, but also the Renaissance and Industrialization/Revolution). The slide into decadence and debauchery is usually halted by an end to prosperity; a crisis. After all, living a decadent life in a chaotic world is expensive. In the end, nobody's making any money, everyone's just spending it.

So the party ends when the money runs out. In our times it is unemployment/globalisation, in Rome's time it was the Barbarians, in the Renaissance it was the Bubonic Plague, and Industrialization's family stresses were ended with the Great Depression):

Quote:
Nations most often fall from within, and this fall is usually due to a decline in the moral and spiritual values in the family. As families go, so goes a nation.

This has been the main premise of thinkers from British historian J. D. Unwin to Russian sociologist Pitirim Sorokin who have studied civilizations that have collapsed. In his book Our Dance Has Turned to Death, Carl Wilson identifies the common pattern of family decline in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Notice how these seven stages parallel what is happening in our nation today. In the first stage, men ceased to lead their families in worship. Spiritual and moral development became secondary. Their view of God became naturalistic, mathematical, and mechanical.

In the second stage, men selfishly neglected care of their wives and children to pursue material wealth, political and military power, and cultural development. Material values began to dominate thought, and the man began to exalt his own role as an individual. The third stage involved a change in men's sexual values. Men who were preoccupied with business or war either neglected their wives sexually or became involved with lower-class women or with homosexuality. Ultimately, a double standard of morality developed. The fourth stage affected women. The role of women at home and with children lost value and status. Women were neglected and their roles devalued. Soon they revolted to gain access to material wealth and also freedom for sex outside marriage. Women also began to minimize having sex relations to conceive children, and the emphasis became sex for pleasure. Marriage laws were changed to make divorce easy.

In the fifth stage, husbands and wives competed against each other for money, home leadership, and the affection of their children. This resulted in hostility and frustration and possible homosexuality in the children. Many marriages ended in separation and divorce.

Many children were unwanted, aborted, abandoned, molested, and undisciplined. The more undisciplined children became, the more social pressure there was not to have children. The breakdown of the home produced anarchy.

In the sixth stage, selfish individualism grew and carried over into society, fragmenting it into smaller and smaller group loyalties. The nation was thus weakened by internal conflict. The decrease in the birthrate produced an older population that had less ability to defend itself and less will to do so, making the nation more vulnerable to its enemies.

Finally, unbelief in God became more complete, parental authority diminished, and ethical and moral principles disappeared, affecting the economy and government. Thus, by internal weakness and fragmentation the societies came apart. There was no way to save them except by a dictator who arose from within or by barbarians who invaded from without.

Although this is an ancient pattern of decline found in Greece and Rome, it is relevant today. Families are the foundation of a nation. When the family crumbles, the nation falls because nations are built upon family units. They are the true driving social force. A nation will not be strong unless the family is strong. That was true in the ancient world and it is true today.

Social commentator Michael Novak, writing on the importance of the family, said:

One unforgettable law has been learned through all the disasters and injustices of the last thousand years: If things go well with the family, life is worth living; when the family falters, life falls apart.
That's what I meant by saying we need to refocus on marriage.
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  #11  
Old Jul 24, '10, 9:26 am
CatholicGerman CatholicGerman is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

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Originally Posted by stinkcat_14 View Post
Interesting hypothesis, can you point to some research that establishes for example that married couples with children are no more financially responsible or well off than single people with children?
Yes, exactly. Almost all of the poor are single women and their children. A married woman might not be wealthy, but she will rarely be destitute. And it is not just selection bias.
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Old Jul 24, '10, 9:31 am
CatholicGerman CatholicGerman is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

From the same article:

Quote:
The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.

These are the ten stages through which the great civilizations have gone. Notice the progression from bondage to liberty back to bondage. The first generation throws off the shackles of bondage only to have a later generation through apathy and indifference allow itself to once again be enslaved.
Think about that. We threw off the shackles of bondage (oppressive taxation and foreign rule), then we enjoyed increasing prosperity, until we decided that we didn't care about our own country and neglected our society's health, and now we are reverting back to bondage.
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  #13  
Old Jul 24, '10, 9:39 am
Good_News Good_News is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Interesting statistics.

Funny thing though, I missed the statistic that dealt with the size of the middle class.
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  #14  
Old Jul 24, '10, 9:55 am
MugenOne MugenOne is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

CatholicGerman, I agree with you and analysis makes a lot of sense. I'm still young enough and hope not to experience the outcome of our social decay. I told my wife that if our country continues to slide down hill, we'll move to Thailand, Vietnam, or the Philippines.
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Old Jul 24, '10, 10:39 am
CatholicGerman CatholicGerman is offline
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Default Re: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

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Originally Posted by buffalo View Post
Exactly. Those are male values (that women who are raised and influenced by strong, ethical men also posses and cherish), and the basis of patriarchy. Patriarchy is the route to prosperity and social cohesion, because embracing the masculine is the route out of bondage. The female values like charity, compassion, and fairness are also essential, but they are most beneficial inside of a patriarchal framework. You cannot have charity without production, compassion without responsibility, or fairness without justice.

Christianity is a patriarchal religion, and it is it's patriarchal nature (a reflection of it's essential truth and divine nature) that has allowed it to spread like wildfire around the globe, as it continues to do. Catholicism teaches us that the male and female natures of society are best merged at the base of society, in complementarian marriage. You have to build upon a solid foundation.
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