The middle class

Written by  //  December 26, 2010  //  Business, Economy, Globalization, Public Policy, U.S.  //  No comments

Michael Snyder: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it
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.

Although written in 1993, Equity and National Security remains as – if not more – relevant today
“The equity-related problems of the developed economies do not end with unemployment. Distributional issues are also coming to the fore. Growth experienced by the Western economies in the 1980s did little to distribute income more equitably. In fact, over this period, contrary to what occurred in the 1970s, many OECD countries experienced growing gaps between rich and poor in their respective societies. This was accompanied by falling real wages and an erosion of the middle class. Although troubling, these results are much more compatible with current economic thinking than jobless growth. Few who argue the link between economic growth and job creation see any necessary connection between economic growth and a more equitable distribution of income. There is, however, a strong relationship between income disparities and job creation.”

Frank Rich: Who Killed the Disneyland Dream?
… How many middle-class Americans now believe that the sky is the limit if they work hard enough? How many trust capitalism to give them a fair shake? Middle-class income started to flatten in the 1970s and has stagnated ever since. While 3M has continued to prosper, many other companies that actually make things (and at times innovative things) have been devalued, looted or destroyed by a financial industry whose biggest innovation in 20 years, in the verdict of the former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, has been the cash machine.

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