Friday, November 30, 2012

Herein Lies the Oppurtunity... rEpublicans, Are You Listening?

by:Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty
-vs- Tyranny


For whatever it may be worth the following is something to seriously consider. rEpublicans especially should consider the implications of the article. It may very well hold the key to any hoped for future success by the party of blinders.


CBS DC - The median net worth of American households has dropped to a 43-year low as the lower and middle classes appear poorer and less stable than they have been since 1969.

According to a recent study by New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff, median net worth is at the decades-low figure of $57,000 (in 2010 dollars). And as the numbers in his study reflect, the situation only appears worse when all the statistics are taken as a whole.

According to Wolff, between 1983 and 2010, the percentage of households with less than $10,000 in assets (using constant 1995 dollars) rose from 29.7 percent to 37.1 percent. The “less than $10,000″ figure includes the numerous households that have no assets at all, or “negative assets,” which is otherwise known as “debt.”

Over that same period of time, the wealthiest 1 percent of American households increased their average wealth by 71 percent.

As noted by Daily Finance, from 1983 to 2010 the share of total wealth held by the richest 10 percent of American households increased from 68.2 percent to 76.7 percent. Meanwhile, all the rest of Americans lost financial ground.

An August Pew Research Center study found that many in the middle-class are divided on how they believe his gap widened.

Fully 85 percent of self-described middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. ... {Read More}

Serious considerations for serious people. No?

Via: Memeorandum

32 comments:

  1. Wow. I can't believe you posted that, Les.

    This is the kind of stuff we "liberals" and "progressives" have been shouting about for years, only to by poo-pooed by the Right, as if the problem didn't exist, or worse, that the solution was more of what they were doing to cause the problem in the first place.

    Historically, it's all very clear now.

    The military became a permanent top expenditure from WWII on. There was an entire economic sector built on that war and to this day we still have it.

    It is extremely expensive. Right now, about 1.6 trillion a year in total. 1.6 TRILLION A YEAR.

    It's insane.

    Granted, throughout the period since WWII military spending was usually not quite that high, but it was always in that top three with Social Security, and later Medicare.

    But unlike SS and Medicare, the military is not funded by direct taxation. We have no War Tax. The money is spent by discretion of the government from the public treasury.

    When I hear people call SS a "Ponzi Scheme," I chuckle. When people say Medicare is "unsustainable," I feel sorry for those people's souls. But when I hear the same people who say those things then say say, "We need MORE military spending," I think I'm listening to a paranoid moron.

    What all this gets to is what We the People spend OUR money on. 140-something bases around the world? Or a new interstate-integrated, fail-safe power grid? Military occupations or more and less expensive schools? Being the center of the world or taking care of our own?

    That's the question. That's why I am a "liberal" or whatever the heck else you'd like to call me. ;)

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Been saying all the while I am really a classical liberal, although most, IMNHO, have lost sight as to the meaning of the term. At any rate you must know by now I am certainly NOT at all the typical rEpublican socon neocon mix.

      Delete
  2. Encouraging envy of "The Rich" and making efforts to confiscate or pare down their wealth by main force is NOT going to do one single, itty bitty thing toward elevating the status and improving comfort levels and security in the lower and middle classes.

    If a rising tide raises all but boats, which no one but a fool -- or a "Marxian-Socialist-Liberal-Progressive-Statist" -- would deny, the opposite is equally true.

    Marxian confiscatory-redistributionist policies, if followed to their logical conclusion, leave EVERYBODY high and dry.

    As Margaret Thatcher's overused-but-apt-and-justifiably-famous cliché says, "The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

    I'm very much afraid that "liberals," if you want to call them that" (I prefer "imbeciles" "fiends," "conjurors," or "devils," myself ;-), truly believe that "money" is only an artificial construct that governments CREATE at WILL by printing it up in batches when needed or desired to implement some "end" or other government has conjured up from its bowels. (Alas! Government has no mind.)

    Statists look at life through the wrong end of the telescope -- and often they don't look at it at ALL, but rather at their own putrid insides.

    Marxian-Communist-Socialist-Liberal-Progressive-Statist types suffer from an acute case of chronic CRANIO-RECTAL VISION.

    Everyone with even a gram of common sense has realized this for decades, but knowing something does no good in a society addicted to the pursuit of "ease" and madly in love with its own brand of idiocy.

    The question should not be "What's WRONG?, but rather what could we possibly DO to correct it?

    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not advocate redistribution by main force. I am of the Austrian/Randian mindset. Having said that surely you realize that is not our present reality, and perha it may never be.

      America became the economic powerhouse it did because in large share the middle class. We have a declining middle class today as well as a growing lower economic class. The point of this post is cautionary and at the same time pointing to possipble opportunity for rEpublican party growth. Look to the Jindal's of the party. I won't be holding my breath.

      Delete
    2. FT,

      Why do you always look through that same old, tired, narrow lens? You do not at all understand anything about how modern American liberal and progressive people really think. You just imagine this loony historic conspiracy bull.

      JMJ

      Delete
  3. "If a rising tide raises all but boats, which no one but a fool -- or a "Marxian-Socialist-Liberal-Progressive-Statist" -- would deny, the opposite is equally true."

    As Jersey pointed out, over the last 30+ years, the top 1% has managed to wildly increase its percentage in wealth ownership while the rest of us have not. And nothing has trickled down, nor any "boats" been lifted as a result of the top 1%'s increasing wealth. In fact, the rest of us are doing worse.

    From Forbes:

    "The average annual income of the top 1 percent of the population is $717,000, compared to the average income of the rest of the population, which is around $51,000. The real disparity between the classes isn’t in income, however, but in net value: The 1 percent are worth about $8.4 million, or 70 times the worth of the lower classes.

    The 1 percent are executives, doctors, lawyers and politicians, among other things. Within this group of people is an even smaller and wealthier subset of people, 1 percent of the top, or .01 percent of the entire nation. Those people have incomes of over $27 million, or roughly 540 times the national average income. Altogether, the top 1 percent control 43 percent of the wealth in the nation; the next 4 percent control an additional 29 percent.

    It’s historically common for a powerful minority to control a majority of finances, but Americans haven’t seen a disparity this wide since before the Great Depression — and it keeps growing.

    The Fallacy of Hard Work

    The average annual income of the top 1 percent of the population is $717,000, compared to the average income of the rest of the population, which is around $51,000. The real disparity between the classes isn’t in income, however, but in net value: The 1 percent are worth about $8.4 million, or 70 times the worth of the lower classes.

    The 1 percent are executives, doctors, lawyers and politicians, among other things. Within this group of people is an even smaller and wealthier subset of people, 1 percent of the top, or .01 percent of the entire nation. Those people have incomes of over $27 million, or roughly 540 times the national average income. Altogether, the top 1 percent control 43 percent of the wealth in the nation; the next 4 percent control an additional 29 percent.

    It’s historically common for a powerful minority to control a majority of finances, but Americans haven’t seen a disparity this wide since before the Great Depression — and it keeps growing.



    It’s a common belief in America that all people have the same opportunity for success as the top 1 percent. Most people consider success to be a by-product of hard work, and hard work is something that Americans are extremely familiar with. In fact, Americans have increased productivity by 80 percent since 1979; unfortunately, their income hasn’t risen accordingly, if at all.

    To ignore this is to ignore reality. A habit of the present GOP and its leadership.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There always HAS been and always WILL be a "Top One Percent." So what?

      It's the natural order of things. Human beings create hive-like structures in which to live.

      You didn't say say it in so many words, but the criticisms of this phenomenon seem rooted in a belief that ENVY is a virtue rather than one of the deadliest of the seven deadly sins.

      The great problem that besets us, of course, is no longer part of a now-outmoded left-right paradigm. Instead it is the unholy union between Big Government and Big Business that has effectively left the people without the representation guaranteed them in the Constitution.

      What caused the formation of that deadly power bloc?

      I tend to believe it was the result of the rise of government interference in the affairs of business that started at the beginning of The Progressive Era.

      Business will always try to find a way to prevail. When the Captains of Industry began to realize they couldn't "beat" government, they decided to join forces WITH government.

      The result has been an increasingly powerful de facto conspiracy against the best interests of the people.

      Had it not been for the emergence of a bullying, domineering, increasingly powerful, increasingly ruthless Central Government, the history of the twentieth century might well have been far less tragic than it was, and we would be in a better position today.

      The Robber Barons have been replaced with something far worse -- A Robber Government.

      Capitalism -- a wonderful, healthy thing that took us very far very fast -- no longer exists. It has been replaced with with its predatory cousin -- that warped, deformed creature called Crony Capitalism or Corporatism.

      We live now under a monstrous form of neo-Feudalism -- thanks largely to the machinations of "Progressives."

      ~ FreeThinke

      Delete
  4. Believe it or not, most of the wealthy people whom I personally know are Democrats. In fact, that seems to be the case all over Northern Virginia, which went strongly for Obama on November 6.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite a few of the more well off (upper middle class and above) I know are dEmocrat as well AOW.

      Delete
  5. There are only so many seats in the 2%. It's a fallacy that everyone who works hard will reach that level. "Opportunity" is not just, or fair. That's why it's important to make the "opportunity" as level as possible. The government does not guarantee success, but has a Constitutional responsibility to remove discriminating barriers to simple "opportunity.".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The government does not guarantee success, but has a Constitutional responsibility to remove discriminating barriers to simple "opportunity.".

      Of course the government does not guarantee success. I can't. It can't even balance its books. Further it has no business in "giving favors to anyone so they might succeed.

      As to removing discriminatory barriers if they exist... Agree completely.

      Delete
  6. The study you focus on takes 1983 as its starting point, that would be at the beginning of the "Supply Side Economics." So, this is proof that Supply Side Economics does not work; unless of course you are one of the top 10% or even luckier, one of the top 1%.

    In regards to this "middle class" if you study economics you realize that it came into being in the late 1940's and was directly a result of government programs and unions. Thus with the advent of Supply Side Economics and the willful destruction of unions and the beginning of government programs to reward wealth rather than labor you find yourself right where you are today.

    So exactly what mechanisms does someone of a "Austrian/Randian mindset" offer to correct this situation?

    Its like Hostess Brands, a 2.5 billion dollar a year company that entered bankruptcy in 2004 to get wage concessions from their unions, which they got, dropping average salaries from $48,000 to $35,000. Then they emerge from bankruptcy debt free with the concessions from the unions that they wanted.

    So, 2012 sees them in bankruptcy court again, with massive debt and demanding more wage concessions (from $35,000 to $25,000).

    So, people like you and the Republicans in general blame the unions for shuttering down Hostess.

    No one bothers to ask how the hell a 2.5 billion dollar company that had no debt at the beginning of 2005 finds its self drowning in debt by 2012. The answer is really simple, the venture capitalists that owned Hostess loaded it up with debt which they used to pay themselves for their investment in Hostess and then Hostess cannot pay these loans back so they seek bankruptcy protection from their creditors.

    Its known as the Bain Capital brand of Capitalism.

    Then you shutdown operations and sell the brand name for millions of dollars to someone else to use....

    So, a few of the 1% make 30 to 80 times their initial investment and 18,500 employees lose their jobs, their pensions, and deplete their savings.

    If you are concerned then please read John Kenneth Galbraith, yes, a progressive, who warned us back in 1952 in American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power, what would happen when Government and Business interests did not have to fear the countervailing power of citizens, unions, employees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "So, people like you and the Republicans in general blame the unions for shuttering down Hostess."

      A)You do not know whom I blame now do you? But since you didn't ask I'll tell you. Fist I blame mismanagement, therein is where to key to failure is usually found. As a secondary unions generally have less impact than often thought.

      "No one bothers to ask how the hell a 2.5 billion dollar company that had no debt at the beginning of 2005 finds its self drowning in debt by 2012. ..."

      Really, you did did you not?

      Delete
    2. The reality is, in the case of Hostess, there was no "mismanagement" because that would assume that management was determined to stay in business. The reality is that the owners of Hostess Brands, which was four venture capital firms, did not care for the business, nor saw any value in continuing operations.

      In fact, management executed the wishes of their shareholders, with aplomb.

      In regards to your rather limp attempt at smartassness, yes, I did ask but then again, I am not a political junky....

      Delete
  7. There is not opportunity for the GOP here:

    "those who feel this way, 62 percent say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54 percent say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47 percent about large corporations, 44 percent about the Bush administration, 39 percent about foreign competition and 34 percent about the Obama administration."

    This is a justification for Obama's progressive statism.

    Jersey: Can you give us a link to substantiate your military spending claim? Not to a liberal rag, but to a government budget site? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Speaking of Hostess... the generals got the Ho Ho's, the Secret Service got the twinkies, and government at all levels is infested with Ding Dongs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What the left perennially doesn't seem to understand is that these are measures of categories and NOT FLESH AND BLOOD HUMAN BEINGS. According to the IRS's own data, 58% of the people in the bottom quintile in 1996 were out of it by 2005 (many of those folks rising 2 quintiles) and more than 50% of the people in the top 1% of income earners were out of that within that same time period. Add to that the fact that most of these income inequality indices do not include transfer payments and the pictures becomes even more clouded/amenable to being demagogued.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Still not convinced, leftists? Try taking a look at consumption levels. Consumption as a percentage of income in the bottom quintile (according to the CBO) has grown from 112% in 1961 to 198% in 2007 (data from the Department of Labor - http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/123566). Clearly (and undoubtedly due to such things as transfer payments, the underground economy, etc.), between the increases in income (and, yes, the income of the lowest quintile actually went up 18-25% - depending upon whether you use the CPI or the PCE Deflator - from 1979 to 2007) and consumption levels, the debate seems to be more one of bringing the rich down at this point.

    ReplyDelete
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