Food For Thought - Is the Middle Class An Endangered Species

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    Dec 10, 2010 4:58 AM GMT
    Bernie Sanders says the U.S. now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. There are some interesting points raised in his speech.

    Do you think the U.S. is moving toward a country of two classes, the very poor and the very wealthy?
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    Dec 10, 2010 6:17 AM GMT
    We've had similar economic disparity back in the Robber Barron days of the latter 1800's and just before the Great depression. The country brought it around both of those times, so I have hope for this time around. there is one major difference between those days and today though. They didn't have such huge major corporations owning the major medias of those days. Now they are all controled by the same or similar corps who own our congressmen and put our presidents in office. Big Oil, Big banks/Walstreet/big money interests, The Military complex W/retired generals consulting for our media while invested in Military equiping Corps, Haliburton, KBR, Mercenary soldiers such as Blackwater.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Its all so tangled in such a tight web that this time around we've got a hell of a lot of work to do to break the "SYSTEM" up, to stop the redistribution of money upwards, and get the populations educated enough to stop buying into only what the media feeds them. (notice they have the republicans believing that Obama wants redistribution of wealth, when really its the pot calling the kettle black, the wealthy repugs have already been at it since Reagans Trickle down economics, it just doesn't work) They are only being fed what will keep them voting against their own interests. On top of it religion plays into it and is used by leaders to get the public following them on a few choice social issues then they can seem to get them to buy into any lies, like that giving huge tax breaks to millionairs and billionairs will get them put back to work. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>These are reasons we should be very glad for a few WIKILEAKS whistleblowers getting some truth out, and by the way they have been careful to avoid names of 'little guys' who might get rubbed out if exposed. The middle class has much bigger forces against them now than previously and those forces are much more entrenched in our government. Look how the AIPAC Lobby has infiltrated our country's leadership, the media, say one thing against some action of israel and your brought down in a hurry. LOTS OF WORK TO DO
  • musclmed

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    Dec 10, 2010 6:53 AM GMT
    sashaman saidBernie Sanders says the U.S. now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. There are some interesting points raised in his speech.

    Do you think the U.S. is moving toward a country of two classes, the very poor and the very wealthy?
    [url][/url]


    well since we moved to a society that profits on debt. There will be alot of people with nothing, and a very few rich.

    I believe the problem began in the 60's, then was worsened in the late 70's and finally worsened with GAT/NAFTA where the US was shafted with free trade disparities.

    However Bearnie Sanders doesnt have any credible solutions on the area. He believes in government takeover of industry. Not too many Middle class examples in former USSR.
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    Dec 10, 2010 10:53 AM GMT
    I never know what the attention span of people is and what is too much or too little information when discussing these types of topics. So, from http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html I will just post a couple of charts and visuals as a comment and say that Sweden, apparently, has a greater disparity. Also, when looking through a historical lens, the US has been far more divided. Of course, that was when wealth was gold and not paper. While the wealth held by the top 1% has historically been greater (up to 44% in 1929 compared to 35% in 2007) it was a larger slice of a smaller pie. That was when there were almost no millionaires in comparison to todays billionaires... it is hard to compare the differences.


    Alright, the site does not seem to like allowing me to use it's images to post here and I am not about to host them elsewhere... I just don't "do" technology. If you want to see the charts (including a very interesting one on wealth distribution by race) you can hit click on the link above... Suffice to say that many of the charts may surprise people who think that the disparity between wealthy and poor Americans started in the 60's, 70's.
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    Dec 10, 2010 11:15 AM GMT
    Everytime I read a post from RealLifeDad I want to run or shoot myself. Life is bad, America is bad, THEY are taking over the US. The sky is falling and Chicken Little is nowhere to be found. All the evil corporations control the world. I guess they were on vacation in Cancun and somehow let Obama be elected. But now they are back. But how did Obama get elected? Shut up, it disproves my theory, dammit! Run, be scared, be very scared, we prefer you being scared! Keep being scared of big scary corporations and multi national stuff!!

    I prefer not to be scared by big anything. I can handle adult talk without all the scary stuff thrown in. I think. I vote. Works for me.
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    Dec 10, 2010 3:33 PM GMT
    BiggerFasterStronger saidEverytime I read a post from RealLifeDad I want to run or shoot myself. Life is bad, America is bad, THEY are taking over the US. The sky is falling and Chicken Little is nowhere to be found. All the evil corporations control the world. I guess they were on vacation in Cancun and somehow let Obama be elected. But now they are back. But how did Obama get elected? Shut up, it disproves my theory, dammit! Run, be scared, be very scared, we prefer you being scared! Keep being scared of big scary corporations and multi national stuff!!

    I prefer not to be scared by big anything. I can handle adult talk without all the scary stuff thrown in. I think. I vote. Works for me.


    Denethor?
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    Dec 10, 2010 3:50 PM GMT
    BiggerFasterStronger saidEverytime I read a post from RealLifeDad I want to run or shoot myself. Life is bad, America is bad, THEY are taking over the US. The sky is falling and Chicken Little is nowhere to be found. All the evil corporations control the world. I guess they were on vacation in Cancun and somehow let Obama be elected. But now they are back. But how did Obama get elected? Shut up, it disproves my theory, dammit! Run, be scared, be very scared, we prefer you being scared! Keep being scared of big scary corporations and multi national stuff!!

    I prefer not to be scared by big anything. I can handle adult talk without all the scary stuff thrown in. I think. I vote. Works for me.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> LOL !!! Being a little "hard" on me aren't you !!!! People need to realize that big money interests are buying American Politicians votes, and those big corporate interests are what moves our Politics, not the American Voter who is more often than not, influenced to vote against their own interests by those big money interests who buy most of the advertising. Its a fact of life in the America that needs to be exposed. Its not that the sky is falling, its a wake up call that many of us needs to be shouted out. So don't be scared, just be informed so your no one of the 'sheeple' who buy into the propaganda put out by big money interests.
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    Dec 10, 2010 5:20 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    sashaman saidBernie Sanders says the U.S. now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. There are some interesting points raised in his speech.

    Do you think the U.S. is moving toward a country of two classes, the very poor and the very wealthy?


    If the Democrats were permitted to implement their plans to completion, then yes, we would have a very large "dependent on the government" class and then everyone else (who would be rather well off).

    Just look at the # of people on food stamps.

    Look at the new healthcare law where a family of four making $81,999 now gets their health insurance paid for by the government, i.e. they now are dependent on the government as well.


    You realize you are constantly contradicting yourself on this forum, right? A family of four making less than $82,000 is wealthy enough to pay $12,000 for health care, but a single gay man earning $200,000 isn't affluent? Which is it? Or, is it based on the convenience of your anti-Democratic talking points?
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    Dec 10, 2010 9:40 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    A family of four earning $81,999 per year should not have their health insurance paid for by the government.

    ...and should not have health insurance at all, right? How will you have them pay for it otherwise?

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    Dec 10, 2010 11:53 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    You realize you are constantly contradicting yourself on this forum, right? A family of four making less than $82,000 is wealthy enough to pay $12,000 for health care, but a single gay man earning $200,000 isn't affluent? Which is it? Or, is it based on the convenience of your anti-Democratic talking points?


    Let me put it in simple terms for you to understand:

    A single gay man making $200,000 per year is not a "millionaire."

    A single gay man making $200,000 per year is not a "billionaire."

    A single gay man making $200,000 per year is not "wealthy."

    A family of four earning $81,999 per year should not have their health insurance paid for by the government.

    Capiche?


    You write in absolutes when you have no moral, philosophical or experiential analysis to support your points.

    If single gay person earning $200,000 a year for several years doesn't have a net worth of $1 million, then there's something wrong with that individual. there are people who earn far less and have higher net worth.

    And while you don't think that the single gay man should pay more 39% in taxes on anything above $200k, you think a family of four should spend 15% of their entire income on healthcare?

    And liberals are elitists? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 11, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
    OK, unless we all move to rural Nebraska, Wyoming or North Dakota, you want most working families to forgo health insurance. Because as it is right now,
    http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp165/# The range of basic family budgets for a two-parent, two-child family is $31,080 (rural Nebraska) to $64,656 (Boston, Massachusetts). The median family budget of $39,984 is well above the $19,157 poverty threshold for this size family.
    # Over three times more working families fall below the basic family budget levels as fall below the official poverty line.
    # Of the six family types examined, over 14 million people (28%) live in families with incomes below the basic family budget thresholds.

    figureb.gif
    Fully one third of the population cannot meet basic family budgets with their income:
    table3.gif
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    Dec 11, 2010 2:22 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidOK, unless we all move to rural Nebraska, Wyoming or North Dakota, you want most working families to forgo health insurance. Because as it is right now,
    http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp165/# The range of basic family budgets for a two-parent, two-child family is $31,080 (rural Nebraska) to $64,656 (Boston, Massachusetts). The median family budget of $39,984 is well above the $19,157 poverty threshold for this size family.
    # Over three times more working families fall below the basic family budget levels as fall below the official poverty line.
    # Of the six family types examined, over 14 million people (28%) live in families with incomes below the basic family budget thresholds.

    figureb.gif
    Fully one third of the population cannot meet basic family budgets with their income:
    table3.gif


    See, Q, despite the constant chirping that we progressives are crazed ideologues, you can see right here how quite the opposite is true. The sad part, is that though we can see past our ideologies to the realpolitik of a solution that may not be ideal but helps a good portion of the public, my experience of SB and most of the other "right-wingers" here (and I would except Mock from this) is that their "ideology" is really just an excuse for the craven greed.

    You see this constantly as they flip from one position to another without realizing the stunning hypocrisy and intellectual dissonance of their "arguments" (a single man making $200k isn't "wealthy" and shouldn't be taxed as such, but a family of four should shell out $15k on healthcare or forgo it),

    If all families of four are paying 15% of their budget on healthcare every year, they certainly won't be taking a plane any time soon and there goes all SB's customers and, eventually, his job. (Well, we can hope.)
  • conservativej...

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    Dec 11, 2010 3:43 PM GMT
    sashaman saidBernie Sanders says the U.S. now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. There are some interesting points raised in his speech.

    Do you think the U.S. is moving toward a country of two classes, the very poor and the very wealthy?
    [url][/url]


    There is an obvious solution: Just appoint Bernie Sanders as our permanent Socialist Dictator and see how it goes.

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    Dec 11, 2010 3:53 PM GMT
    conservativejock said
    There is an obvious solution: Just appoint Bernie Sanders as our permanent Socialist Dictator and see how it goes.


    Silly hyperbole from a greedy asshole. You think everything that isn't a complete allowance for predatory, craven "capitalism" is socialism.
  • roadbikeRob

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    Dec 11, 2010 5:38 PM GMT
    The American middle class is in the same boat as both the working class and the poor. All three of them are being squeezed and pushed further down the economic ladder. Even the upper middle class is getting hit hard. But swinging our great country completely to socialism is not the cure all for this serious problem. Some socialism mixed with capitalism is a good idea but making America a complete socialist country will definitely not work. There has to be a viable way to combine some socialism with our capitalistic system in which the poor, working class, and middle class will benefit.
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    Dec 11, 2010 11:53 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidThe American middle class is in the same boat as both the working class and the poor. All three of them are being squeezed and pushed further down the economic ladder. Even the upper middle class is getting hit hard. But swinging our great country completely to socialism is not the cure all for this serious problem. Some socialism mixed with capitalism is a good idea but making America a complete socialist country will definitely not work. There has to be a viable way to combine some socialism with our capitalistic system in which the poor, working class, and middle class will benefit.


    No one is "swinging our country toward socialism." Restoring the protections and regulations of the New Deal and the Great Society is all most of us are interested in.
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    Dec 11, 2010 11:55 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    conservativejock said
    There is an obvious solution: Just appoint Bernie Sanders as our permanent Socialist Dictator and see how it goes.


    Silly hyperbole from a greedy asshole. You think everything that isn't a complete allowance for predatory, craven "capitalism" is socialism.


    Christian! Please don't call fellow RJ members an "asshole" ... it's very coarse of you and something I would expect from Webster-the-Devil, but not you.


    As soon as he stops acting like a "greedy asshole," I'll stop pointing it out. Frankly, twomack is the epitome of what is wrong with this country. A spoiled brat, who inherited his wealth, and thinks the other 330 million of us are here to make his business profitable and serve him as our homely Overlord. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 12, 2010 12:51 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 saidA spoiled brat, who inherited his wealth, and thinks the other 330 million of us are here to make his business profitable and serve him as our homely Overlord. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I don't think he believes that, but perhaps he'll clarify.


    He's come as close to saying it as one can without spelling it out. Like MOM, I was taught critical thinking.

    Frankly, he's more honest about his intentions and ideology than other right-wingers on here. (Though he probably doesn't think he's home and probably pays people to tell him how handsome he is.) If this was the antebellum South, he's be paying Confederate soldiers to right for his right to own human beings.