DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS

76 comments

Posted on 23rd August 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, ,

Some of the figures in this report shocked even me. The last chart is almost mind boggling. The middle and lower income families have the same median net worth they had in 1983. After three decades of debt financed delusion, most families haven’t advanced one penny. But the upper income families have increased their net worth by $267,000. Did the upper income people just work harder or did they rig the game in their favor? Were the majority of Americans just lazy and stupid or did the upper income executives ship their jobs overseas in order to boost stock prices and goose their own net worth? Did the people at the top use propaganda and lies to convince the majority that a debt based consumer economy would make them rich? Were these people at the top the issuers and beneficiaries of the debt? You can look at the data and make up your own mind. 

Released:    August 22, 2012

The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier

 

Chapter 1: Overview

As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future.

These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that includes 1,287 adults who describe themselves as middle class, supplemented by the Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Fully 85% 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. Of those who feel this way, 62% say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54% say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47% about large corporations, 44% about the Bush administration, 39% about foreign competition and 34% about the Obama administration. Just 8% blame the middle class itself a lot.

Their downbeat take on their economic situation comes at the end of a decade in which, for the first time since the end of World War II, mean family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers. But the middle-income tier—defined in this Pew Research analysis as all adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national

median 1 —is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued over the past four decades.

In 2011, this middle-income tier included 51% of all adults; back in 1971, using the same income boundaries, it had included 61%. 2 The hollowing of the middle has been accompanied by a dispersion of the population into the economic tiers both above and below. The upper-income tier rose to 20% of adults in 2011, up from 14% in 1971; the lower-income tier rose to 29%, up from 25%. However, over the same period, only the upper-income tier increased its share in the nation’s household income pie. It now takes in 46%, up from 29% four decades ago. The middle tier now takes in 45%, down from 62% four decades ago. The lower tier takes in 9%, down from 10% four decades ago.

For the middle-income group, the “lost decade” of the 2000s has been even worse for wealth loss than for income loss. The median income of the middle-income tier fell 5%, but median wealth (assets minus debt) declined by 28%, to $93,150 from $129,582. 3 During this period, the median wealth of the upper-income tier was essentially unchanged—it rose by 1%, to $574,788 from $569,905. Meantime, the wealth of the lower-income tier plunged by 45%, albeit from a much smaller base, to $10,151 from $18,421.

Which Presidential Candidate Is Better for the Middle Class?

As the 2012 presidential campaign heads toward the party conventions and the fall climax, no group has been the target of more electioneering appeals than America’s beleaguered middle class. The Pew Research survey finds that neither candidate has sealed the deal with middle-class adults but that President Obama is in somewhat better shape than his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. 4

About half (52%) of adults who self-identify as middle class say they believe Obama’s policies in a second term would help the middle class, while 39% say they would not help. By comparison, 42% say that Romney’s election would help the middle class, while 40% say it would not help. There is much more variance in the judgments of the middle class about the likely impact of the two candidates’ policies on the wealthy and the poor. Fully seven-in-ten (71%) middle-class respondents say Romney’s policies would help the wealthy, while just a third (33%) say they would help the poor. Judgments about Obama tilt the opposite way. Roughly four-in-ten (38%) middle-class respondents say his policies would help the wealthy, and about six-in-ten (62%) say they would help the poor.

Who Is Middle Class?

In addition to looking at a “statistical middle” derived from government data, this report looks at those who self-identify as middle class, based on a Pew Research Center national survey of 2,508 adults. In the survey, 49% of adults describe themselves as middle class; 53% said the same in a similar survey in early 2008, when what is now known as the Great Recession was gathering steam. That recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

The 2012 survey finds an increase in those who self-identify as being in the lower or lower-middle class—32% place themselves in these categories, up from 25% in 2008. And 17% now say they are in the upper or upper-middle class, down from 21% in 2008.

Noteworthy patterns by race, age and gender are present in all of these self-categorizations.

Similar shares of whites (51%), blacks (48%) and Hispanics (47%) say they are middle class, even though government data show that whites have a higher median income and much more wealth than blacks or Hispanics.

Adults ages 65 and older (63%) are more inclined than all other age groups to call themselves middle class and less inclined to say they are lower class (20%). Meantime, younger adults (those ages 18 to 29) are more likely to say they are in the lower or lower-middle class; fully 39% say this now, compared with 25% who said so in 2008.

Men (46%) are somewhat less likely than women (53%) to include themselves in the middle class. In 2008, a somewhat larger share of men (51%) said they were middle class, and 54% of women said they were.

Falling Behind, Moving Ahead

When middle-class Americans size up their personal economies, they see themselves as both moving ahead and falling behind. It all depends on the time frame. Over the short term, their evaluations tilt negative. Over the span of the past decade, they’re mixed. And over the full arc of their lives, they’re positive—albeit less so now than in the past.

The Great Recession officially ended three years ago, but most middle-class Americans are still feeling pinched. About six-in-ten (62%) say they had to reduce household spending in the past year because money was tight, compared with 53% who said so in 2008.

The downbeat short-term perspective is not surprising in light of the heavy economic blows delivered by the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and the sluggish recovery since. About four-in-ten (42%) middle-class adults say their household’s financial situation is worse now than it was before the recession, while 32% say they are in better shape; an additional 23% volunteered that their finances are unchanged. Of those who say they’re in worse shape, about half (51%) say it will take at least five years to recover, including 8% who predict they will never recover.

Asked to compare their financial situation now with what it was 10 years ago, the evaluations of the middle class are more evenly divided. Some 44% say they are more financially secure than they had been, and 42% say less. (An additional 12% volunteered that it’s about the same.)

Over the longer term, the evaluations grow more positive. Six-in-ten (60%) say their standard of living is better than that of their parents at the same age, 24% say it is the same and just 13% say it is worse. However, these evaluations were even rosier four years ago, when 67% said they were doing better than their parents at the same age.

Does Hard Work Pay Off?

In addition to their scaled-back judgments about how they are doing personally, Americans have a bit less faith in their long-held beliefs about the efficacy of hard work.

Two-thirds of the middle class (67%) agree that “most people who want to get ahead can make it if they are willing to work hard,” while 29% agree that “hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people.” Among the general public, the shares are similar—63% say hard work pays off, while 34% say it does not necessarily lead to success. The Pew Research Center has asked this question 10 times since 1994, when 68% of the public agreed that hard work would pay off. The proportion saying so peaked in 1999, when roughly three-quarters (74%) expressed that view.

Looking Ahead with Muted Hope

Middle-class Americans look to the economic future—their own, their children’s, and the nation’s—with a mix of apprehension and muted optimism.

About a quarter (23%) say they are very confident that they will have enough income and assets to last throughout their retirement years; an additional 43% say they are somewhat confident and 32% say they are not too or not at all confident.

As for their children’s economic future, some 43% of those in the middle class expect that their children’s standard of living will be better than their own, while 26% think it will be worse and 21% think it will be about the same. Four years ago, in response to the same question, the middle class had higher hopes for their offspring, with 51% predicting they would have a better standard of living and 19% thinking it would be worse.

As for the nation as a whole, the verdict from the middle class is likewise muted. Only about one-in-ten (11%) say they are very optimistic about the country’s long-term economic future, 44% are somewhat optimistic and 41% are somewhat or very pessimistic.

Does Partisan Affiliation Influence Economic Perceptions?

As is true of the population overall, more members of the middle class identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (50%) than with the Republican Party (39%), with 11% declining to take sides. These partisan affiliations are correlated with the economic attitudes and perceptions of survey respondents in ways that often run contrary to their actual economic circumstances, a pattern evident in many Pew Research surveys conducted since 2008, when the recession took hold and Barack Obama was elected president.

Many of the demographic groups that have fared the worst during the recession—including young adults (ages 18 to 24), blacks and Hispanics—have the most upbeat assessments of their own economic mobility, their children’s economic prospects and the nation’s economic future.

These groups are all heavily Democrats and supporters of President Obama. For example, young adults are more optimistic than older adults about the nation’s long-term economic future (67% of adults ages 18 to 24 vs. 52% of adults ages 35 and older), and blacks (78%) and Hispanics (67%) are more optimistic than whites (48%). The same patterns play out in many evaluations of personal finances.

Partisan differences also affect the way members of the middle class apportion blame for the economic difficulties the middle class has endured over the past decade. Sizable gaps exist on whether a lot of blame belongs with large corporations (Democrats 59% vs. Republicans 27%) and banks and other financial institutions (Democrats 62% vs. Republicans 40%). However, similar majorities of both groups blame Congress (63% for Democrats and 58% for Republicans).

 

Cost To Lead a Middle-class Life

The survey also asked how much annual income a family of four would need to lead a middle-class lifestyle. The median response among those who consider themselves middle class is $70,000, meaning that half of middle-class adults say it would take more than $70,000 annually and half say it would take less than that amount.

Public estimates of how much money it takes for a family of four to live a middle-class lifestyle are quite close to the Pew Research Center’s analysis based on U.S. Census Bureau data that the median income for a four-person household is $68,274. 5

As expected from the varying cost of living across the country, the annual family income seen as necessary for a middle-class lifestyle is a median of $85,000 in the East and $60,000 in the Midwest (with a median of $70,000 in both the South and the West). Similarly, the median among middle-class adults living in rural areas is $55,000; among suburban and urban dwellers, it is $75,000 and $70,000, respectively.

Income Trends from Government Data

The economic narrative the middle class tells about itself through its responses to the Pew Research survey is consistent with the story told by government economic and demographic trend data. For the half century following World War II, American families enjoyed rising prosperity in every decade—a streak that ended in the decade from 2000 to 2010, when inflation-adjusted family income fell for the middle income as well as for all other income groups, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. 6

A Pew Research Center analysis of long-term census data also finds that those in the upper-income tier now take in a much larger share of U.S. aggregate household income than they did four decades ago, while those in the middle tier take in a much lower share. (For the purpose of this analysis, the middle tier is defined as those living in households with an annual income

that is 67% to 200% of the national median; the upper tier is made up of those in households above the 200% threshold, and the lower tier is made up of those below the 67% threshold.)

 

The Pew Research analysis finds that upper-income households accounted for 46% of U.S. aggregate household income in 2010, compared with 29% in 1970. Middle-income households claimed 45% of aggregate income in 2010, compared with 62% in 1970. Lower-income households had 9% of aggregate income in 2010 and 10% in 1970.

These shifts result from two trends: larger income gains for upper-income households than for others and a decline in the share of adults who live in middle-income households. From 1970 to 2010, median incomes rose 43% for upper-income households, 34% for middle-income households and 29% for lower-income households. Over the same four decades, the share of the adult population living in upper-income households rose to 20% from 14%; for middle-income households, it fell to 51% from 61%; and for lower-income households, it rose to 29% from 25%.

Winners and Losers

Even as the share of Americans in the middle has declined, the income status has improved for some demographic groups and deteriorated for others. This report classified groups into winners and losers by comparing changes over time in their shares in the upper- and lower-income tiers.

From 2001 to 2011, there were distinct differences by age: Adults ages 65 and older were the greatest winners, while other age groups were economic losers. The widowed and currently married were winners, while those who never married or who were divorced or separated were economic losers. Age helps explain some differences by marital status. Widowed and currently married adults tend to be older than those who never married. Adults with only a high school diploma were among the groups that lost the most ground, although college graduates also experienced a small loss.

Over the longer term—1971 to 2011—older adults fared better than younger ones, married adults fared better than the unmarried, and college-educated adults fared better than those with less education.

Wealth, Assets and Debt

The net worth of middle-income families—that is, the sum of assets minus debts—also took a hit during the past decade, according to data for 2001 to 2010 from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Median net worth fell 28%, to $93,150, erasing two decades of gains.

Wealth of middle-income families had been unchanged from 1983 to 1992, then grew sharply—by 43%—from 1992 to 2001, and continued to grow in the 2001-2007 period, by 18%. Net worth of middle-income families dropped 39% in the later years of the decade as the housing market crash and Great Recession wiped out the previous advances. Over the 1983 to 2010 period, only upper-income families registered strong increases in wealth.

Breaking apart the two components of net worth—assets and liabilities—the value of assets grew more than the level of debt in dollar terms from 1983 to 2001 and from 2001 to 2007 for all families and for middle-income families. For middle-income families, though, the rate of increase in debt was larger than the rate of increase in assets during both periods. From 2007 to 2010, mean debt level for middle-income families fell 11%, or $11,040, but the value of their assets fell even more, by 19%, or $75,621.

One reason that upper-income families fared better than others is that they are less dependent on home equity, which has been the main source of declines in wealth since 2006. Home equity accounted for at most 24% of the mean assets of upper-income families from 1983 to 2010, compared with at least 40% of the assets of middle-income families during the same period.

About the Authors

This report was edited by Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and director of its Social & Demographic Trends project, who also co-wrote Chapter 1. Senior editor Rich Morin led the team that drafted the questionnaire; he also co-wrote Chapter 3 with research assistant Eileen Patten and wrote Chapter 5. Senior writer D’Vera Cohn co-wrote Chapter 1 and wrote Chapter 2; senior researcher Cary Funk wrote Chapter 4. Chapters 6 and 7 were written by associate director for research Rakesh Kochhar and senior research associate Richard Fry. Research assistant Seth Motel and Patten helped with the preparation of charts, and Patten formatted the final report. Patten and Motel also numbers-checked the report. Social & Demographics Trend project associate director Kim Parker and research associate Wendy Wang assisted on all aspects of the research project.

About the Report

The remainder of this report is organized as follows: Chapter 2 provides a detailed demographic profile of those who described themselves as middle class in the Pew Research survey. Chapter 3 reports how well middle-class Americans say they have fared financially in the past decade. Chapter 4 examines social mobility, including whether middle-class Americans believe they have done better or worse in life than their parents, their expectations for their children, and asks Americans how much money is needed to lead a middle-class life. Chapter 5 examines the politics of the middle class, including their judgments about the political parties and presidential candidates on matters related to the middle class. Chapter 6 uses an income-based definition of the middle tier derived from U.S. Census Bureau data to analyze economic and demographic trends over the past 60 years, with a special focus on the past decade. Chapter 7 also uses government data to conduct a detailed analysis of trends in both wealth and income from 1983 to 2011, with a special focus on the decline in wealth since 2007 among different income groups.

About the Data

The income, wealth and demographic data come from two primary sources. The demographic and household income data reported in Chapter 6 are derived from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) conducted in March of every year. Income is reported for the year prior to the survey year (e.g., 2010 income is reported in the 2011 survey). The specific files used in this report are from March 1971 to March 2011, the latest year for which ASEC data are available. Conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPS is a monthly survey of approximately 55,000 households and is the source of the nation’s official statistics on unemployment. Additionally, the mean family income numbers in Chapter 6 are derived from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Historical Income Tables. The wealth data in Chapter 7 are derived from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Department of Treasury. It has been conducted every three years since 1983 and is designed to provide detailed information on the finances of U.S. families. The SCF sample typically consists of approximately 4,500 families, but the 2010 survey included about 6,500 families. For more details, see Appendix 2.

The general public survey is based on telephone interviews conducted July 16-26, 2012, with a nationally representative sample of 2,508 adults ages 18 and older, including 1,287 respondents who identified themselves as “middle class.” The survey included an oversample of 407 non-Hispanic blacks and 377 Hispanics. A total of 1,505 interviews were completed with respondents contacted by landline telephone and 1,003 with those contacted on their cellular phone. Data are weighted to produce a final sample that is representative of the general population of adults in the continental United States. Survey interviews were conducted in English and Spanish under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points for results based on the total sample, 3.9 percentage points for those in the middle class, 5.7 percentage points for non-Hispanic blacks and 5.5 percentage points for the Hispanic subsamples at the 95% confidence level. For more details, see Appendix 3.

Notes on Terminology

Race/Ethnicity: Hispanics are of any race. Whites and blacks include only non-Hispanics.

Education: “High school or less” refers to those who either did not finish high school or who graduated high school (with a regular diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED) but did not obtain any college education. The educational level “some college” refers to those who do not have a four-year college degree, but have completed some college credits, including those who received associate degrees. “College graduate” refers to anyone with at least a bachelor’s degree, including those with a graduate or professional degree.

Net Worth: The difference between the value of assets owned by a household (such as home, stocks and savings accounts) and its liabilities (such as mortgages, credit card debt and loans for education). The terms “net worth” and “wealth” are used interchangeably in this report.

Income Tiers: Analysis based on census data refers to lower-, middle- and upper-income groups, or tiers. Using income as the criterion, the middle tier is defined as those living in households with an annual income that is two-thirds to double (67% to 200%) the national median; the upper tier is made up of those in households above the 200% threshold, and the lower tier is made up of those below the 67% threshold. The assignment of a household to a tier depends on what its income expressed in 2011 dollars is estimated to be after it is scaled to a three-person household (see Appendix 2 for details on the adjustment process).

Social Classes: In survey-based analysis, assignment into the lower, middle or upper classes is based on a respondent’s answer to the following question: “If you were asked to use one of these commonly used names for the social classes, which would you say you belong in? The upper class, upper-middle class, middle class, lower-middle class or lower class?” Respondents who say they are upper or upper-middle are combined into a single “upper-class” category; respondents who say they are lower or lower-middle are combined into a single “lower-class” category. The size of the middle group, whether based on household income in 2010 or based on self-described class in the 2012 survey, turns out to be nearly identical.

  1. This income range is $39,418 to $118,255 in 2011 dollars. As explained in Appendix 2, incomes are adjusted for household size and then scaled to reflect a three-person household.
  2. In the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, the source of the income analysis in this report, respondents are asked to provide household income data for the calendar year prior to the year of the survey (e.g., 2010 income is reported in the 2011 survey). This means, for example, that 51% of adults in 2011 were in the middle-income tier based on the incomes they reported for 2010. For this reason, income data in this report cover the 1970 to 2010 period and the demographic data cover the 1971 to 2011 period.
  3. Due to data limitations, change over time for wealth is measured from 2001 to 2010 rather than 2000 to 2010. For an explanation of data sources, see Appendix 2. 
  4. Interviewing for the survey ended in late July, nearly three weeks before Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate and a month before the GOP convention was to convene in Tampa. 
  5. Pew Research Center estimate of 2010 calendar year income (in 2011 dollars) from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, March 2011. Incomes are adjusted for household size and scaled to reflect a four-person household.
  6. Due to data limitations, this set of trend data tracks income for families (related people living in the same housing unit), while most other data analyzed in this report is based on income for households (all people living in the same housing unit). For an explanation, see page 58. 
76 Comments
  1. FBD says:

    Trying to achieve the middle class dream is soooo yesteryear.

    Either one of the below is where you wanna be;
    1) Quite rich.
    2) Quite poor.

    Each has enormous benefits in America today.

    Middle class? Not so much.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 4:01 pm

  2. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    Your articles always depress the hell out of me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 4:03 pm

  3. Administrator says:

    TPC

    Try being me. I depress myself.

    Blame the PEW Foundation for this one.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 4:08 pm

  4. GreasedUpWillie says:

    “Everybody knows the fight was fixed, the poor stay poor and the rich get rich” – Leonard Cohen

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 4:26 pm

  5. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    Admin “Try being me.”

    I’m working on it, spreading the terrible word everywhere I go.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 4:42 pm

  6. Muck About says:

    @TPC: If you think it’s depressing now, wait a while.

    flat,550×550,075,f.jpg

    MA

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 5:06 pm

  7. Muck About says:

    One more try….

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfavJO4Uky3ZXrln-2qrgUe_ZBMVjCE0NBLKjB1fKmmfLio_OR1GGpdXq4

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 5:08 pm

  8. Muck About says:

    Oh well.. Too damn small..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 5:08 pm

  9. Thinker says:

    I found it pretty depressing, too. Expected it, since I see the data firsthand every day, but Pew did a great job of telling the story. I hope people are listening. Or care, even.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 5:55 pm

  10. Thinker says:

    Nielsen: Rising Prices Greatest Factor in Grocery Purchase Decisions

    Eight-five percent of respondents to a Nielsen global online survey say that rising food prices are impacting their choice of grocery purchases, with more than half (52%) stating higher prices are a major influence.

    The rising price of food is the number one consideration among 16 factors measured by Nielsen that influence consumer’s choice of grocery purchases. The consistency of findings across the regions underscores the ongoing struggle consumers worldwide are grappling with in this volatile economic environment. The increasing cost of food is affecting 88 percent of respondents in Asia-Pacific, 86 percent in Latin America, 83 percent in North America, 82 percent in the Middle East/Africa region and 81 percent in Europe, with more than half of respondents in these regions indicating that rising food prices is having a major impact on choice of grocery purchases.

    Soaring fuel prices, which lead to increased transportation costs, are also affecting consumer choice. More than one-third (35%) of global respondents consider the cost of traveling to buy groceries a major obstacle, ranking it among the top four key implications that affect grocery shopping choice across all regions. Forty-two percent regard transportation costs as a minor issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 6:03 pm

  11. Destin says:

    The only thing that amazed me in that report was that a full third of the middle class claim they’re doing better than they were pre-recession. In my house less worse is the new good and treading water is the new American dream.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 6:53 pm

  12. llpoh says:

    Admin – no offense, but Denninger is largely full of shit. For instance, his argument that people paid for collegeg with checkbooks 30 years ago is horseshit. Absolute horseshit. I paid off loans for years. His argument that corporations attacked the middle class is also horseshit. They took their jobs overseas to make more money, and didn’t give a shit about the middle class. That isn’t the same as targetting them specifically. Indifference isn’t the same as malevolence. I have worked at high levels in large, and small, business, and it was never a goal of anyone to hurt anyone else. Never. Neither were we concerned, in general, if our actions hurt them. We had a bussiness to run.

    Let me talk for a moment about the middle class. My employees are middle class. I like them personally. But in all honesty, what they are capable of is this: they are capable of doing what I tell them, and only what I tell them. They are incapable of much else. They do not have the intellectual capacity to be allowed independent action. Their thought processes are shallow. They cannot visualize cause and effect. They cannot see deeply enough into a problem to see real solutions. They cannot handle myriad problems simultaneously. I run a very lean management structure. Why? Because most managers add problems and do not solve them. The more managers you have, the more you need. They are self-reproducing.

    So given the severe limitations of the middle class – they need someone to provide them jobs and tell them what to do – just what are they worth on the world market? Not very much is the unfortunate but real answer.

    So what to do? I propose eliminating corporate taxes entirely. Corps don’t pay tax anyway. I propose eliminating government funding of arts etc and funneling that money into science and engineering. I propose that layer after layer of red tape be eliminated – OSHA, EPA, etc. We can go on and on with good ideas.

    But in the end, the reality is that the middle class, in the modern world, do not have a competitive advantage. People with IQs of 85 – 115 simply cannot value add much. Especially at the lower band. The fact is, the middle class will eventually cover a band of people roughly represented by IQs of approx 110 to 125. That is probably around 15 percent of the population. So the real middle class that can add value to the economy is around 15 percent of the population.

    It is a pipe dream to think that folks with IQs of 85 to 100 can live a middle class lifestyle. They are going to be at best the working poor. Seriously, the idea that a middle band of fifty or sixty percent of the population can obtain a middle class lifestyle as the US has defined it is an unsustainable dream.

    It is what it is. Screaming and beating chests will not change a fucking thing.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

    23rd August 2012 at 7:25 pm

  13. llpoh says:

    Here is what I would do re taxes. First – no corporate tax at all. Second, flat rate income tax – perhaps 20 percent on all income all sources starting at $20k or something like that. The exact numbers aren’t important. I would allow no duductions – whatever you make, the tax is 20 percent.

    Think what this would do. Corps would have the most tax effective situation in the world. They wouldn’t need to hire any accountants at all except to report profit to shareholders – real profit and not the crap that goes on now.

    Individuals could do their own tax easily. No more accountants needed.

    Government expenditure would plummet. No tax code to manage! How many IRS agents would be needed? Not many at all.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 7:39 pm

  14. AWD says:

    It’s hard to interpret all this data when you consider 50% of the population is getting money from the government. Many, many of the 1% are rich and getting richer because of great big fat government contracts and contractual work with the DOD and other government agencies that spend/waste hundreds of billions of dollars.

    I also find it hard to believe that there are imbeciles out there who believe Obama is going to make their lives better, unless you consider the 50% of the population is getting money from the government.

    Money from the government is unsustainable, a word that has been so overused lately that it almost has no meaning. We cannot simply keep borrowing $1.3 trillion per year, it’s impossible, as is paying back $16 trillion we already owe. Four more years of Obama will ensure a debt of $22 trillion, and another 30% increase in Welfare spending for the 100 million people already on welfare.

    Some day soon, middle class people, the ones that pay taxes at least (50% of Americans don’t pay any taxes) are going to have to decide if they will continue to pay taxes or live. Taxes are going up, way up, thanks to Obamatax, to pay for people who don’t pay taxes and get free shit, all 160 million of them total. It’s an immovable object (the FSA and SS recipients) meeting the crushing, crashing and collapsing of the economy and government.

    If middle class people think they have it bad now, they have no idea what’s in store. Only by utter collapse are the parasites, the 1% ‘ers and the FSA, going to be removed from sucking the blood of the middle class and those people that still work for a living.

    Vote for Obama, and the crash happens much sooner. Vote for Romney, and watch the slower, more pathetic collapse. I don’t think even Ron Paul could save this country anymore. Would he tell the 100 million FSA welfare recipients? “no more free shit”? It’s gotta collapse. There is no other choice.

    Your choice for the coming election:
    Socialism_Capitalism.jpg

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    23rd August 2012 at 7:41 pm

  15. AWD says:

    A little long, but definetly on topic and worth a read:

    Economic Inequality: a Small Price to Pay for Staying Human

    To paraphrase Baudelaire, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world of the moral superiority of collectivism. According to Ayn Rand, if we don’t convince the world otherwise, nothing else will work. Our greatest ally in this fight is human nature. Our greatest asset is morality itself, which is really, truly, undeniably, and absolutely on our side.

    Today’s political debates often end up in the following compromise: capitalism may be more economically efficient, but it’s no moral match to economic equality that benefits most people. But the only way economic equality can benefit people is by pandering to their class envy. In all other aspects — economical, political, cultural, philosophical, and spiritual — it’s a dastardly, immoral cause.

    To begin with, it is the efficiency of capitalism that benefits most people. Among other things, it raises everyone’s living standards and quality of life; expands consumer choices; boosts innovation that reduces the share of low-paying, mind-numbing manual jobs; increases the pool of well-paid professional jobs; gives the poor access to things that only the rich could enjoy a short while ago; promotes the creation of new cures of diseases; extends life expectancy and makes old age much more enjoyable.

    The alternative to capitalism — whatever one would like to call it — is the loss of freedom, loss of choices, government corruption, and moral decay. What do we get in return? The vague promise of economic equality.

    But in human reality, complete economic equality cannot be achieved. A century of collectivist social experiments around the world has proven three undeniable facts: One, government-enforced economic equality results in a forced inequality of a powerless, impoverished populace ruled by a corrupt elite. Two, the main obstacle to economic equality is human nature. Three, human nature cannot be changed, no matter the effort to re-educate, indoctrinate, or punish the violators.

    An essential part of everyone’s human nature is what collectivists are maligning as greed. Generally speaking, it is a normal desire of all humans to achieve a better life for themselves and their children. In a free capitalist system, “greed-driven” achievers engage in lawful productive work, start businesses, and build things. In a restrictive socialist system, to achieve a better station in life, one must either join the corrupt government apparatus, or become part of the criminal underworld with its vast shadow economy. The alternative is to succumb to misery and, very likely, alcoholism or worse. In the end, capitalism brings out the best in people; socialism brings out the worst.

    How worthy and moral can an ideal be that punishes achievement and criminalizes human nature?

    Proponents of economic equality are either willfully blind, or are themselves sociopathic megalomaniacs, trying to create a restrictive system in which they envision themselves to be part of the powerful ruling elite. Both are willing to go to extremes in order to achieve their goal. As they spin their tale of an imminent paradise, they never say what it will cost us to get there — and, frankly, they don’t give a damn. Individual human sacrifice is never an obstacle for collectivists; their glorious end justifies any unsightly means.

    It is up to us then to examine just what exactly we will have to give up for the promise of economic equality — something that has been proven to not exist.

    At first we will have to accept restrictions on certain consumer choices and products in exchange for letting the government take care of our personal well-being. Then come restrictions on speech and activities: a price for maintaining the national well-being. Eventually all dissent is suppressed and criminalized, as the media falls under the government control, young people are indoctrinated in the “new ways,” businesses pay enormous taxes, more and more families descend into misery and live off government subsidies, the economy crumbles, and shortages create long lines at the supermarket.

    The leaders shift the blame to “enemies of the people,” saying that this country would have been a dreamland if it weren’t for a few greedy reactionaries. With no one left to object, desperate citizens succumb to the hatred and accept the idea that eliminating the few is a fair price to pay for improving the lives of the many. Then they accept the idea that eliminating an entire class of people is a small price to pay. But despite all the bloodletting, the promised collectivist paradise never arrives and the misery only increases. By now the demoralized, destitute masses are fully separated from the ruling elites by an impenetrable wall of privilege.

    The ultimate price — the relentless sacrifice of millions of people: their work, careers, ambitions, property, and lives — has been paid to reach an unattainable economic mirage, a phantom concocted in the feverish minds of a few maniacs obsessed with class envy.
    In contrast, the price of living in a free and prosperous capitalist society is merely to accept economic inequality as a natural extension of human nature. Without doubt, it’s a small price to pay for remaining a free, productive, and moral people who live in harmony with objectively true moral principles, otherwise known as the natural moral law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 7:53 pm

  16. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @llpoh – I’m almost not sure where to start.

    Intellect has very little to do with where you fall on the socio-economic latter. I’ve known brilliant bums and frighteningly STUPID rich people.

    I had no idea you loved class warefare so much.

    I almost think I’m being trolled at this point. I mean….there’s no way your own IQ is so low as to actually believe the shit that just dripped from your fingers and onto the keyboard.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

    23rd August 2012 at 8:02 pm

  17. AWD says:

    Lipoh:

    Right now, today, and the last 20 years or so years, people that go to college, learn to think critically, and have the fortitude to complete the pedantic four years of college and obtain a degree, haven’t been able to afford to reproduce. They can’t buy a house or afford children. In short, people with higher IQ’s are becoming fewer and fewer, because they aren’t able to reproduce, especially the middle class.

    People with IQ’s of 80-100, who didn’t go to college or even finish high school, who didn’t get married, they simply reproduce like cockroaches, and live off the welfare dole for 18 years, are populating this country entirely. (okay, the 1% kids are also reproducing). The government/welfare system rewards people more money and free shit the more kids they have. They are paid to reproduce and vote. And so, we now we have our current situation. The educational system is a joke, but the genetics of the population has drifted into “dull normal” or worse, all at the bequest of the government, who prefers “dull normal” or “idiot” to intelligent people; they are less dangerous. And that, folks, is why this country is going to collapse. Well, one of the many reasons, but government eugenics has changed the intelligence level of this country for the worse. Plus, all the uneducated immigrants, many of whom get on Welfare and perpetuate the whole thing all over again.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 8:07 pm

  18. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @AWD –

    You are confusing stupidity with laziness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 8:16 pm

  19. AWD says:

    “Intellect has very little to do with where you fall on the socio-economic latter.”

    My god, sign him up. A card carrying collectivist. It’s all pure luck, right? Unbefuckingleivable.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

    23rd August 2012 at 8:16 pm

  20. llpoh says:

    TPC – bullshit. Truly. Intellect correlates heavily as to where you fall in the socio-economic spectrum. That you would even debate that is astonishingly stupid. Sure there are exceptions. But I am talking about 150 million people. How many stupd doctors/lawyers/professors/upper level business folks are ther? Very damn few. Those folks have high IQs on averge. For instance, college profs would start at around 125 and go up from there. Are there any stupid ones? Sure. But not as a rule.

    Just how many people do you employ? How many businesses have you run? You know not a thing about this.

    Class warefare my ass. I am speaking from experience as a businessman. I know what people are capable of and how to train them. I do it for a living. How about you?

    The fact is that about 75 percent of folks – ie those with IQs below 115 – are not capable of complex reasoning. Not my fault you do not want to believe that. Of the remaining 25 percfent, a lot do not have the intellectual discipline, the background, etc to be significant contributors. So you are left with around 5 percent that will excell. It is what it is. There are of course exceptions.

    But the American dream of a middle class affluent lifestyle is a false one. It was built in recent decades on debt. It is false, and it is unsustainable. Simply showing up to work and doing ewhat you are told will not cut it in a world market. Billions of peoiple will do that.

    The 7 million capable folks are competing against hundreds of millions of folks overseas.

    I employee many folks and pay them middle class wages. Just what the fuck do you do?

    You are a mental flyweight if you want to start arguing merits of employees with me. I employ peiople. I pay them. I know what they are worth in a world mrket. Their middle class jobs rely on my skill – not on theirs.

    You sound like Obama and his “you didn’t build that” bullshit. Grow the fuck up. Wake the fuck up. Reality sucks but it is reality.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

    23rd August 2012 at 8:21 pm

  21. Maddie's Mom says:

    “Right now, today, and the last 20 years or so years, people that go to college, learn to think critically, and have the fortitude to complete the pedantic four years of college and obtain a degree, haven’t been able to afford to reproduce.” – AWD

    In some cases, that may be a good thing:

    From a story on our local newscast this evening regarding 4 guys robbing a Radio Shack:

    “They said the possible motive in this latest case is hard to believe.”

    “Two of these guys are college graduates,” Lillard said. “They are all buddies and one of them was facing some difficulty repaying college costs, and they concocted this scheme to rob the Radio Shack. They were going to steal some electronics, re-sell them, and use that money to help their buddy pay off his bills.”

    Yep. That was “money” well spent. I guess he skipped “Critical Thinking 101″. lmao

    http://www.newson6.com/story/19352312/four-masked-men-arrested-for-robbing-broken-arrow-radio-shack

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 8:23 pm

  22. AWD says:

    Lipoh and I deal with these people all day long, every day. What Lipoh said is 100% correct. Hell, everyone here can see and often say that people are becoming stupider and lazier by the month. Would there even have been a website of “people of Wal Mart” twenty years ago? The degeneration has happened very quickly, and more rapidly than anyone can believe. It’s not by accident. As always, in every civilization in every age, in every part of the world since time immemorial, once all the morals, ethics, values, and spirit of a people are removed, the society collapses, and always for the same reasons. The morals, ethics, values, and spirit of this country was destroyed by the free-love, me-first, do what feels good, debt fueled obese baby boomers.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

    23rd August 2012 at 8:24 pm

  23. AWD says:

    MM

    I disagree. College kids are so far in debt, ripped off by worthless college skimming, their grand reward for becoming educated and working hard, they are resorting to crime to pay back student loans and bills. Why? no jobs. This is a symptom of the problem I was talking about, not a cause.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 8:26 pm

  24. llpoh says:

    AWD – you are absolutely fucking right. I have said that very thing – the gene pool is being depleted daily.

    And good comment to TPC. No surprise he is living in a basement with the in-laws, is it.

    I didn’t build that. What a joke. In all seriousness, the jobs I provide would disappear instantly without me. There is no one – and I mean no one – in the comapny that could keep the comapny alive should iopt out. It takes skill, experience, education, and intellect to navigate the waters, and those qualities are in short supply. And it really irritates me if people suggedst I would be attacking the middle class if it becomes necessary to move production overseas. I would only do it out of extreme need. I am able to run a profitable company in extremely difficult circumstances. A lot of folks can’t a- and go overseas. They aren’t evil – they are simply trying to make money. They may be unethical, by exploiting other nations and peoiple. But they do not do it so as to destroy the middle class.

    Fact is, the middle class was always just an illusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 8:30 pm

  25. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    Colecttivist? Hardly.

    My stance: Rich people stay rich. Poor people stay poor.

    The middle class gets to migrate to either side of the fence, but rarely does our system allow someone to migrate across the classes.

    Why? Because its fucking rigged that way. Welfare is designed to FORCE YOU to be dependent on it, and being rich means the politicians are falling all over themselves to give you loopholes to get out of tight spots.

    Speaking from the viewpoint of a poor person trying to rise up the ranks: Get off your fucking high horses.

    More goes into it than “oh, he’s middle class so he must have an IQ of 85. Therefore, give him a shovel because he’s useless.”

    Hell, out of all of the rich people I know I can think of only ONE who I would deem has above average intellect, the rest of them either got insanely lucky, grew up advantaged, or screwed someone else out of their money.

    Under you two’s rules, my ass would have been on a shovel for life because thats what I started out doing.

    Luckily I’m pretty good about faking a good background, so when I go to the local Gold Club to smooze the rich dumbasses, it works because they already KNOW how awesome they are, I’m just confirming it for them. And OBVIOUSLY since I agree that they are hot shit, I must be a bright young man.

    Morons.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    23rd August 2012 at 8:30 pm

  26. AWD says:

    Lipoh:

    I give you a great big AMEN to your 8:21 post. You didn’t build your business because of your work or intellect, somebody else made that happen. Obama’s bullshit socialistic thinking has certainly “sunk in” for so many clueless stupid fucking people. Again, I say unbefuckingleivable.

    1.jpeg

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 8:34 pm

  27. AWD says:

    Once people swallow the “you didn’t build that” bullshit, the next thing they do is take away everything you did build, all the jobs you did create, all you have produced. It’s called communism.

    didntbuildfield.jpeg

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    23rd August 2012 at 8:38 pm

  28. AWD says:

    “Speaking from the viewpoint of a poor person trying to rise up the ranks: Get off your fucking high horses”

    A poor person can rise up through the ranks two ways:

    1) they can schmooz, become a “community organizer”, a union boss, be a card-carrying party member, or a thug of said party, gaining wealth and power through favors, graft, legalized stealing (taxes), corruption and tyranny, ie, become a democrat. Obama has never had a real job, ever, never started a business or ran anything. It’s called socialism.

    2) you can work hard, go to college, become a professional, an MBA, get skills useful in this world, start a business or a practice, again work hard, learn as much as you can, be honest, forthright, work even harder, save, and you might just get ahead. It’s called capitalism. We haven’t had capitalism in the U.S. for a long time.

    As far as being on a high horse, tough shit if you don’t like reality.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

    23rd August 2012 at 8:47 pm

  29. AWD says:

    a72.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 8:49 pm

  30. AWD says:

    neverlemon.jpg
    entitleist.jpg

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 8:54 pm

  31. Llpoh says:

    AWD’ – good job.

    TPC – AWD is right. I grew up dirt poor. No one in my family had an education odont give me your class welfare bullshit. Mt kids have a lot of advantage because of my success. Poor kids lack that advantage. Thecrapabout the game is rigged implies that people such as myself intentionally keep them down. That is not the case – they need the drive to overcome their lot. Not my fault it is what it is.

    Let us look at the middle class. It will largely fall to people with IQs of 85 to 115 – the 25th to the 75 percentiles.

    People with IQs of 85 can do heavily supervised manual labour and not a lot else. They can’t even really work at McDonalds. Are they worth a wage of $50k and an employer cost of $80k in a world market? Can an employer turn a profit paying those folks that wage? No fucking way,unless the employer has extreme skills and is extremely benevolent.

    People with IQs of 100 are capable of running equipment, working at McDonalds,etc., but require a lot of supervision. They may be capable of low level responsibility for the quality of their work. Are they worth the 50/80k mentioned above in a world market? No. They simply do not value add enough.

    What about people at the 75th percentile with IQs of 115? They are capable of being police and teachers and government drones – and we know how smart those folks are. They can run complex equipment, can be responsible for the quality of their work, and can do some supervision – but they are not senior or upper management material by and large. Are they worth the 50-80k? In a well run company, probably yes.

    In a world market, the people who are worth what is generally considered a middle class wage of $50k and up start at around the upper quartile in the US. That means only around 15 percent of the population or so is worth what is considered a middle class income. Ten percent are top income earners, and fifty percent (IQs of 85 o 115 or so) are the working poor, and 25 percent IQs below 85 are effectively unemployable by anyone trying to turn a profit Orrin an effective organization. They are suited to picking fruit and not much else. Sorry, but thems the facts. Nothing to do with class warfare.

    Don’t like the truth? Tough shit. If someone is below the 115 mark,they need to be born into a good situation,or be industrious enough to overcome their shortcomings by hard work,education, etc. they are up against it, but not all is written in stone. But to overcome, they will need to be very disciplined indeed.

    TPC – you really are out of your depth.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

    23rd August 2012 at 9:18 pm

  32. Llpoh says:

    Sorry for all the typos. On a blackberry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 9:20 pm

  33. Hope@ZeroKelvin says:

    Just one more exposition of why our country has slipped on the Banana Peel of Doom and is headed into the Abyss of Third Worldness.

    Our new Mt. Rushmore:

    a.baa-Figures-Of-Bananas.jpg

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 9:28 pm

  34. Destin says:

    Ilpoh, you may have paid off loans for years but in 1997 I graduated from one of the best publicly-funded engineering schools in the country with all of $2500 in credit card debt, and I paid for every dime myself waiting tables 25-35 hours a week. I don’t remember what the tuition was back then but I checked the university website and found that tuition is up 27% in THREE YEARS. Just imagine what the increase would be from when I, or you, were in school. I actually pay attention to this issue quite a bit because of a particularly holier-than-thou relative. This particular relative has spent her entire life shitting silver spoons and, to her credit, has a phd in chemistry from an elite private university. After getting turned down for a job by pretty much every major chemical company in the US, she somehow managed to land a position as an “administrator”

    Denninger does exaggerate often but he’s dead on on both education costs, and Jefferson County AL. I did business there earlier in the year and have seen first-hand what the Wall Street vultures have done to this community. The hilarious thing about Jefferson County is that the mayor and half the county commission went to jail for taking bribes (a good thing), yet the last time I checked offering a bribe and taking one were both just as illegal, yet not one indictment was handed to any of the low-level scum from JPM who handed out these bribes much less the high-level scum that gave the marching orders. If I were a prosecutor I would think that if I can prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone accepted a bribe, it shouldn’t be too much harder to prove that somebody offered it. Instead we got the usual shenanigans of JPM paying a fine and admitting no wrongdoing. The government, like a mid-level mob enforcer, could not give a shit how much JPM or any other TBTF, grifts, swindles or steals so long as they get their piece of the action.

    Granted, Jefferson County wasn’t someplace you’d want to live even before all this. Like most of the, shall we say, lower-income urban communities, it doesn’t matter how crooked you are, if you’re in the proper party you run for office unopposed, and could probably win re-election from a prison cell. But my own personal morality doesn’t allow me to pardon a burgler just because the victim was dumb enough to leave his door unlocked.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 10:12 pm

  35. GJH says:

    Llpoh – some stark truths, or approximations thereof.

    I also don’t have much problem with what TPC says.

    As llpoh says, if 25% have the IQ, most of them are lacking in some other area, so that only about 5% are capable of running things. I won’t swear to the %s, but he’s in the ballpark. So that leaves plenty of room for TPC’s smart people that aren’t financially successful.

    Let’s not get too carried away with IQ and ‘smart’. Lots of different people have lots of different kinds of smarts. The PhDs I know have their own stupidities as surely as we all do. The National Merit Scholars I know have not tended to be the highest achievers either. But yes, certain people are more capable of effective, intelligent action.

    It’s human nature that a large portion of people prefer following to leading. But our society reinforces that tendency, and is turning it into a winner-takes-all game. Americans are like domesticated animals. A fish biologist I know tells me that hatchery fish are completely different than wild fish of the same species. Same happens to people when they grow up thinking that the state will provide. We could create a society that foments more individuality and financial independence, instead of one that makes entrepreneurship an uphill battle, forcing most of us into becoming domesticated employee animals. (the same effect leads to lots of dolts among the elite class–e.g. george w)

    Myself, that’s what I was born into. If you don’t know how to do business, and don’t have any examples or mentors, it’s harder to get into. But I’m doing it. I’ve worked as a biologist/geoographer for gov’t and ngo. sucks. So now it’s entrepreneurship and independence.

    And here’s an interesting angle on ‘smart people’. Most of my friends are post-graduate educated liberals (seems most post-grads are) and they seem to be among the most incapable of understanding what is going on in our country and society. Too many years of conditioning? Too much vested interest? Too comfy?

    The message I perceived as a ‘gifted’ student growing up was that if we did well in school, life would roll out the red carpet for us. Hah! But then, what portion of post-grads work in areas not subject to market forces, like gov’t, academia, and NGOs?

    It all jives nicely with 1984. If I remember the #s correctly, society was divided something like 80% – 15% – 5%.

    Personally, I’ll work to create a freer, less hierarchical world.

    But if dumbass sheeple turn their backs on freedom, what can you do? Help those who are stirring from their slumber, I guess.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 10:14 pm

  36. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    “No surprise he is living in a basement with the in-laws, is it”

    Pretty much

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 10:24 pm

  37. Llpoh says:

    Most people around here are sane, hard- working, bright people. That means you, TPC. It is great that folks want people to be able to achieve good lifestyles. Unfortunately, the good intentions do not jibe with reality. I would love for the middle band to be able to earn their $50k per year. Unfortunately, global forces dictate that they are simply not worth that much, and our elected politicians make it impossible to keep jobs in country w ith myriad rules and regs. The fact is, the lower middle band are worth maybe 20k per year, and the middle middle band a little bit more. But when you add the 20 or 30k additional charges the govt mandates, eventhoselower wages become unsustainable in a global market. Unskilled labor performed by lower IQ persons simply cannot create enough profit to cover a 50k bill when the overseas competition has an equivalent cost base of 10 percent of that, for more skilled labor.

    TPC – as you can see, I fight dirty. Sorry about that. You are a worthy young man, I have no doubt, and are doing the right things. That you will be successful is a given. But do not think for an instant that the masses have your gifts and drive and ambition. They do not. And that would only become Chrystal clear to you if you start employing people and become responsible for covering their wages, their fuck-ups, and at the same time have all you own on the line, along with your personal freedom being at risk if they severely fuck up and you haven’t covered your ass by instructing them in writing not to do even the most implausibly stupid and dangerous things. For instance,if they decide to remove a safety guard and intentionally stick their arm in the moving cogs, if you haven’t specifically instructed them not to do it, it is possible you will be held personally liable for their fuck up. No kidding. Make no mistake – people are unimaginably stupid at times, and employers carry the can for their stupidity.

    Destin- Icame out of school inthe early1980s owing around 20k. That was a significant sum back then. Private schools, good education. State schools can still be funded, largely, by part time work. But few have the willingness todo the hard yards. Congrats on your efforts. Colma,TPC etc are others worthy of praise in this regard. Huge debts do not need to be the norm. But to some it is easier to go into debt than to work.

    GJH- some commendable thoughts. I think that a less hierarchical society is very unlikely. It Ida dream that erruptedduring the boom years when people could get ahead simply as a result of an ever expanding economy. Talent will differentiate itself, and the talented will get paid extremely much better than the rest. It is ridiculous what some employees are currently paid, but someone capable of running a company profitably is worth infinitely more than an unskilled modestly intellectually endowed employee. Just how it is – one is replaceable and one almost isn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    23rd August 2012 at 11:05 pm

  38. GJH says:

    llpoh – “I think that a less hierarchical society is very unlikely.” — You’re probably right. Well, I’ll do my best to make it hierarchy -1 :) .

    Don’t you think that a freer market would result in a less hierarchical society than we have now? Seems to me that there are a vast number of gov’t-enforced monopolies out there, and that there are a lot of things that people could do independently (even less-talented people) to make a living, except that they’re not allowed. Have you seen John Stossel’s ‘Everything Illegal?’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBiJB8YuDBQ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 11:39 pm

  39. Llpoh says:

    GHJ – I think a freer market will make things more hierarchical – if and when people get compensated for their worth in an open market, you will find the vast majority of people are overpaid.

    Their are a lot of things that are propping up salaries- govt unions, minimum wages, unemployment benefits, etc – and I believe you would see a collapse in wages in a free market. But the reality is that artificially propped up wages and a middle class sustained on debt is unsustainable. The modern world will reward the talented and punish the mediocre. And punish mediocrity will be the name of the game. There are instances of vast overpayment toCEOs and it is a disgrace. But I think that it pales in comparison to the vast overpayment to government drones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 12:01 am

  40. Anonymous says:

    llpoh at 7:25 says he personally likes his employees. Then he spends the rest of the paragraph denigrating them. Reread it. He basically describes them as retards. One can almost taste the contempt he has for them.

    llpoh then tells us how wonderful and smart he is. How literally everything would fall apart without his wise counsel. How they all rely on him, The Great Wise Father must guide them to perform even the most mundane tasks. He believes he is the Great Benefactor and believes his employees would starve to death, were it not for him. His ego surpasses that of Donald Trump.

    llpoh measures the worth of a human being based solely on what they can contribute to his bottom line.

    llpoh compains often how much it sucks to run his company, that it’shardly worth it. One wonders why he even bothers with it all. He clearly is not a happy man.

    If there were a TV reality show called The World Worst Bosses, I suspect his employees would nominate him. Secretly, of course, for he is the type of person who can go postal at any moment. What a sad excuse for a human being.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    23rd August 2012 at 12:45 am

  41. Llpoh says:

    Seeing the thumbs down on my comments suggests about half the folks believe there is a God-given right for Americans to be able to enjoy the US defined middle-class’s lifestyle. Unbelievable.

    I have spent 35 years running businesses and employing people. No such right exists. I have said that two things allowed the “middle class” to flourish. First, an uninterrupted period of growth commencing after WWII provided jobs and a degree of affluence. Then when growth slowed as a result of the US failing to be world-leaders in education/productivity/quality, growth was artificially maintained via debt, and the “middle class” lifestyle was maintened by debt.

    The bubble has burst. The growth no longer exists, the debt is unsustainable, and the lavish “middle class” lifestyles of the government drones is also unsustainable.

    Just what advantage do the”middle class” with IQs of 85 – 115 have over their counterparts from India, China, etc? The answer is they have no advantage whatsoever – they are lazy and poorly educated in comparison to the competition. So just how are they going to command wages more than ten times that of their competition? THEY ARE NOT is the short answer. I repeat – they are not going to command wages higher than their world competition in the long run.

    First,they will lose jobs by the millions. That is happening. And it will continue to happen. Second, wages will fall, either by attrition over time or immediately as the unemployed are forced to accept lower wages. Finally, when the wheat is separated fully from the chaff, and Chinese wages have risen to a point of equilibrium, the new reality will be set. I suggest that the equilibrium point will be perhaps $15,000 to$20,000 per year for middle band workers.

    Get used to the idea. Nothing – and I mean nothing – will prevent the equilibrium point from occurring. Individuals will have to work and educate themselves mightily in order to keep from being trapped by this. Life isn’t fair and to the victors go the spoils.

    Anyone who thinks this is not going to happen is out of their minds. It is done. It is over. Look at Greece. Look at Spain, Ireland, etc. it is happening. It will happen all at once or it will happen slowly. But it is going to happen sure as the sun sets.

    I am telling it straight up. Get ready or not. Get your kids ready. Or not. There will be no escape from global competition. None. Be the best in your field or get ready for a life of subsistence living. The world will not lavish affluence on the mediocre. Those days are nearing a catastrophic end.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 12:49 am

  42. Anonymous says:

    More wisdom from llpoh. I’ll bet most of his employees are getting a poverty wage from The Great Benefactor.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

    23rd August 2012 at 12:55 am

  43. Llpoh says:

    Anonymous the moron rears his head. I run it for the money, for the most part. I do not denigrate them, I tell it how it is. They lack the skills to run a company. Without someone with the skills to run a company they would be without work. I provide them an upper-middle class wage, and I have virtually no employee turnover once they reach one year at the company. No one – and I mean no one – is allowed to bother them at work. They are by and large nice people that I enjoy being around. I know their families. Etc etc etc. but they cannot run a company. Not at all.

    I measure their worth to me in dollars vis a vis their employment with me. It has nothing to do with their worth as human beings. If I do not make money there is no company. If there is no company there are no jobs. If they do not help make me a profit I cannot employ them. I engineer my business around their limitations. Many folks cannot do that either because of commercial issues and either close their businesses or take them overseas.

    It is a simple equation that anonymous is too stupid to understand. He or she obviously believes that jobs are a right and need not be earned, and that profits are not necessary.

    I repeat – anonymous is a moron. He obviously thinks that by clicking his heels together thrice he can make commercial reality disappear. Bet he works for the government.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

    23rd August 2012 at 1:01 am

  44. Llpoh says:

    My employers make on average $55k per year plus benefits, you ignorant shit for brains. But should they lose their jobs for any reason, agreat many will be unemployable at any wage. As I said, I engineer around their limitations. I actively help those that are generally considered unemployable. You haven’t got a clue about me. I am able to engineer around their limitations because of my own skill and ability. It costs me some money but not heaps. But people without those same skills could not employ them. Truth not brag, asshole.

    Without the skills I have I would lose the business or take it overseas. You can believe as you wish.

    I do have a substantial ego. That part you got right. The rest was pure bullshit.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    23rd August 2012 at 1:07 am

  45. Anonymous says:

    Yes I work for state government. What’s your point? That we’re all retarded also? Is everyone in your universe retarded? My IQ is higer than 85 so you do not need to bring in a straw man argument about profits. I fully grasp the concept.

    Congrats on your low employee turnover. I would not have guessed that but I will take your word for it. Maybe you’re not as big a prick in real life as you appear when you write.

    Take a chill pill and have a good night.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    23rd August 2012 at 1:10 am

  46. Anonymous says:

    Shit for brains is pretty funny. But you don’t know me either. I could be much smarter than you. I could also be an 18 year old teenager with an IQ of 85. One never knows with this internet thing.

    $55k plus benefits is pretty decent. Maybe you’re less of a prick than I thought. Maybe you’re just overly passionate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    23rd August 2012 at 1:15 am

  47. Llpoh says:

    Anonymous – views held tend to reflect ones experiences. Yours reflects someone that does not have to compete or generate profits. Mine reflect the reality of competition and the need for profit.

    I am a big prick. You got that right too. I am not, however, a bad employer. Quite the contrary. But it is not a fun job and often doesn’t seem worth the effort. Nthere are no thanks or gratitude to be had from any quarter – quite the contrary. Mostly I am seen by outsiders as an evil businessman exploiting my employees or a cash cow to be milk by any of the many layers of government. Few appreciate the realities – I do what I do to make money, and I do feel a responsibility for my employees. Alli ask is that governments leave me alone to do the best I can. That small request is obviously just too much to ask.

    Without me and my ilk, there would be no government work, no entitlement spending, no jobs whatsoever. Wish people would understand that and give business the respect it deserves and needs to survive – especially small business.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 1:29 am

  48. former big boss says:

    Llpoh, I too ran a company for years and I agree with just about everything you have said. “I do what I do to make money.” Unfortunately the employees didn’t get it. They thought I did it to give them a job. They thought they were doing me a big favor by showing up every day. This year I closed the business as it wasn’t worth it anymore and of course to the (6) employees I am the bad guy because they no longer had their good paying jobs. The concept that possibly if they had worked a little harder instead of pissing around on the internet for a few hours each day then they might still have their jobs has never occurred to them. Two of the more experienced idiots found new jobs very quickly and both lost their new jobs in less than 3 months. There were many weeks that I worked up to 60 hours because I had to, these guys refused to come in on a Saturday and work (for more pay) when we were busy. Tough shit, don’t miss them at all and I am happily retired.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 4:10 am

  49. Llpoh says:

    Former big boss – I hear you. Great comments. By and large, people who do not own or run businesses have no clue. They are killing the golden goose, plucking it one feather at a time. Evil business can afford any reg and how dare they believe they are entitled to a profit.

    When the last business slams the door who will provide jobs then.

    State nd fed govt employees have no idea that they rely on business owners for their wages. No business owners = no jobs for anyone.

    Business owners need to be taken care of above all others. Instead they get the shit end of the stick. Unbelievable.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    23rd August 2012 at 4:27 am

  50. cv51 says:

    llpoh: The singularity cometh robots will make your life easier. What do we do with those of low intelligence? Give them government jobs? Or put them on the dole? That seems to be the political solution.

    Your view is clear, practical and honorable. Had you lived with less of a constitution your ass and those of your minions would have been gone a decade ago.

    My brother manages a science shop for the Forest Service and he has engineers etc. who don’t do a damn thing and the rest of the shop has to cover for them. He cannot fire them. He has come to accept this. But it drove him to drink for a spell. He says the government will hire many of the professionals who graduated at the bottom of their class. We get screwed by this policy. It throws a shovel into the gears. So you have a culture who are diametrically opposed to private enterprise. I think we call them socialist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 7:40 am

  51. Yojimbo says:

    LLPOH

    I’ve worked at every position in a restaurant, from dishwasher in college to waitperson to line cook to sous chef.

    I’ve owned a restaurant, and oversaw the building of a new restaurant, all according to code and regulations.

    I now work as a consultant in the restaurant industry in Boston.

    Bottom Line: You are absolutely correct on everything you say about running a business.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 8:43 am

  52. Mary Malone says:

    The Middle Class can kiss a comfortable retirement good-bye. Even the NY Times is admitting that their savings have been decimated and their incomes are in the crapper. Of course, the story is buried – but you take what you can get these days from state-run media…
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/big-income-losses-for-those-near-retirement/?hp

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 9:05 am

  53. TeresaE says:

    Wow, what a great thread.

    The “middle” class exchanged hard work and real education (not the watered down, government-think-tank, thing we call education today), for cheap tvs, socks and soda pop.

    Here is the problem with blaming the populace – we already admit they are not intellectually capable of deep thought, yet, somehow, it is their fault that they have been trained (at the cost of trillions) to NOT think for themselves.

    The reality is that the BIG guys, BIG businesses, KNEW exactly what they were doing.

    EVERY law enacted has specific outs for them, while they pile regulation upon their competitors – the guys like Llpoh, and me.

    This was done simultaneously while creating the education system that rewards SHOWING up and discourages anyone from excelling and differentiating themselves from the pack. Our children have been, and now it is out of control, taught that conformity, not being competitive and for god’s sake don’t you EVER learn “ahead” is the means to success. Just show up, that is all it takes and hell, with a good enough excuse, you don’t even have to necessarily do that. Businesses are not born from those that think “showing up” fulfills 90% of their job requirements.

    But, I don’t think the fall of the middle class is truly the fault of the idiots. I came to the conclusion in 2005 that the fall of the middle class is 100% attributable to the outright war every government agency in the country has on our small businesses. At every turn, we are made to file papers, track, pay, track, pay, papers that the big guys don’t have to. This isn’t accidental, because if it was, then there would not be “outs” written into law. They know exactly what the hell they did, and continue to do.

    So, once we accept that the government created this, then we should accept that there is less than a zero percent possibility that the SAME FUCKING PEOPLE can “fix” it.

    As for the people, Idiocracy is becoming closer to reality everyday. There is no fixing it until their free food and free roofs and free pills stop.

    The problem now is there is nothing left to welcome them back into the productive fold. It’s nearly all gone because us “greedy” small businesses can’t seem to stay in business when our customer base continues to shrink and our expenses continue to be MANDATED higher. How dare we greedy fucks try to operate under the rules of nature and math. We should just be like the government and cut checks we can’t cover and make promises we can’t keep.

    Oh wait, we would be imprisoned, well maybe Anon the State Parasite would like to enlighten us as to where in the world it is possible to pull money from our asses.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 9:10 am

  54. TeresaE says:

    Destin says (way back up there)
    The only thing that amazed me in that report was that a full third of the middle class claim they’re doing better than they were pre-recession. In my house less worse is the new good and treading water is the new American dream.

    Destin, sweetie, those are members of government-guaranteed industry.

    The ONLY people I see spending money on vacations and homes are state, local, county, federal and auto unionists.

    The rest of us have had pay cuts, bene cuts, increases in costs. Those paid with government cash are still flush.

    Reality in our new world. Soon, 100% will feel better off because those of us that have to earn our livings (with profits) will all be poor. Collectivist success, don’t ya’ know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 9:29 am

  55. underfire says:

    Inflation adjusted wages are basically the same as in ’83? I’d say that should be a cause for celebration.

    How has that happened in the face of globalization? By America and Americans assuming vast amounts of debt (to be paid by the kids). As that appears to be coming to an end, expect that graph to continue trending downward.

    btw, as a small business owner, in agriculture, I completely agree with lipoh. If it wasn’t for the Hispanics that know how to work, crop prices would be much higher or ag would have folded in the US.

    AWD is right on too, reverse evolution has occurred amazingly quickly. Just a few generations and broad swaths of society are in sharp decline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 11:06 am

  56. Administrator says:

    Those inflation adjusted wages are using the BLS reported inflation which coincidentally began to be manipulated in 1983. Using the true level of inflation as calculated prior to 1983, the situation is far far worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 12:07 pm

  57. FBD says:

    llpoh

    I wouldn’t bother to answer an “anonymous” poster, but that’s just me. One never knows if they are being trolled, Nevertheless, your answers to him/her were as illuminating as your other posts. My takeaway from the discussion, trying to boil it down to the bottom line (a term you understand better than most).

    You are a leader.

    Generally speaking there are two classes of people in the world. These two classes are leaders and followers. I’m guessing … based on my observations of living a long life …. that the distribution is rather unevenly divided; with 95% of the population of the world being followers and the other 5% being leaders.

    Leaders like you strategize, set visions and priorities, build relationships, influence others, they worry a lot, etc., but most of all they MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. I don’t know you, but I’m guessing that describes you to a “T”.

    The question is, what do FOLLOWERS want from their leaders? Soft “touchy-feely” stuff. Trust, compassion, stability, and hope. But most of all I think they want Security … usually expressed in terms of “you owe me …”. In short the WAIT FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN.

    Therein lies the tension. Leaders and followers are really quite different … different goals, different attitudes, different dreams, hopes and desires.

    Not saying there isn’t any overlap between the two. There is. Also not saying one is better than the other. It’s just the way it is. I’m sure you’d want more leader types in your company. But not too many!! Leaders need followers. An organization of 95% leaders probably wouldn’t be very effective. lol

    I must admit that never having owned a business, I am probably a follower. We followers have changed over the years. For example, if my boss asked me to work overtime I wouldn’t have even dreamed of saying “no” … even if I didn’t want to. If my boss told me I fucked up, I would do everything in my power to not fuck up again. I could give many more examples of what it was like “back in my day” vs. today. But today it seems too many followers want all the benefits the boss has … but without doing anything whatsoever to merit it.

    In closing, I think the thumbs down posts on your posts are quite unfair. You must feel like Dr. Pepper, so unappreciated. I guess it’s a price leaders must pay. Hang in there!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 12:43 pm

  58. Administrator says:

    FBD

    That anonymous douchebag who was provoking llpoh should be hung by his balls. Don’t you agree?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 1:03 pm

  59. Ron says:

    I always enjoyed college grads working in the trucking industry.They would brag about theyre degree.Then i would point out that both of us drive trucks and i have a GED.
    When i read about the costs of college and the job market i wonder if college is worth it.
    The reproduction thing.Most people are selfish,for many kids are a bother.You also have to put your family above your job/money.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 1:25 pm

  60. Pirate Jo says:

    Ron, what seems “selfish” to me are people who breed even though they don’t HAVE a job or money. People think they are entitled to all the kids they want, and if they lack the resources (not just money – there are many kinds of resources needed to raise kids) to do it themselves, why of COURSE it is incumbent upon the rest of us to provide those resources. These morons lack the imagination to think of doing anything else with their lives, so of course it’s up to everyone else to subsidize their quest for meaning and fulfillment.

    This is the part where people jump up quickly and say that most people can afford kids if they just live within their means, if they don’t spoil their kids with the newest and best of everything, and blah blah blah. That simply isn’t true, at least not anymore. The people who make these claims simply don’t realize how broke the average person really is. A giant swath of the population is barely able to meet its own needs on a day-to-day basis, let alone prepare for the day when they are too old to work. The demands (financial and otherwise) of raising children are truly beyond their reach, or would be, if everyone else wasn’t forced to pick up the tab.

    I do believe that if you do not have the means to raise children, you should not have them – even if that means never. And especially if you are on public assistance already.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 1:42 pm

  61. Drowning in Parasitism says:

    If the demographers are going to break the data down by ethnicities – as they typically do and USUALLY framed as though Whites’ have some kind of covert,unfair institutional advantages, why are “Jews” not singled out? After all, they have hundreds of organizations with billions of dollars at their disposal to advance their ethnic and political interests and certainly do NOT consider themselves “White.”

    Separate the Jews from those designated as “Whites” and the picture is much more dismal than this bleak data shows:

    Dear “Middle Class” Americans: Most Of You Are Debt Serfs With Zero Assets

    Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-10-12/news/29968100_1_middle-class-membership-total-wealth-liquid-assets#ixzz24UG7E0qxhttp://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-10-12/news/29968100_1_middle-class-membership-total-wealth-liquid-assets

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 1:51 pm

  62. FBD says:

    Admin

    I agree entirely. I was trying to be nice in my post to llpoh, but since you mentioned it, yeah that person is a real fucking douchebag. They are going to hell, for sure.

    But, llpoh demonstrated extraordinary restraint in his response. “Anonymous the moron ” … and “shit for brains” … I mean, c’mon, that’s pretty weak. Is he feeling OK? I hope so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 2:05 pm

  63. Maddie's Mom says:

    @AWD (8:26)

    I understand what you’re saying, but I just can’t wrap my mind around becoming a CRIMINAL to pay off a debt. Any kind of debt.

    If this guy has truly done his best to find work and meet his obligation, but without success, then just DEFAULT.

    Seems the most intelligent option to me. At least I might not have a felony on my record to further inhibit my chances of finding a job in the future. (Good move there, Junior.)

    But what do I know, I’ve got no college degree so I’ll think on it some more ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 3:54 pm

  64. Llpoh says:

    Here is the thing – Teresa is right. Government is slowly strangling the golden goose.

    Government, and politicians, do not understand that every single thing inthe country relies on having business with the opportunity of turning a profit. Business doesn’t need a guarantee of a profit – just the opportunity of it. And that opportunity is largely dead.

    Everything in the country relies on private business. But most do not understand it. Government wants to provide more free shit to the freeshit army, and in fact wants to expand that army. So it needs money. Given that private enterprise is the only source of money unreality, it looks to take money from them. No other sources exist. They make the decision to take from business without any understanding that business must not be taken from and must be protected as it is the source – the only source – of a country’s wealth.

    But they do not realize it. They pile cost after cost onto business. And are killing the goose.

    But they are not alone. Look at the thumbs down on comments above – smart people visit this site – and still it seems half expect business to be able to provide good paying jobs and provide benefits no matter what global forces are at play. They think business is evil if they do not provide and keep the gold flowing.

    Businesses do not leave the country or close for fun – they do those things because they can make more money elsewhere, or because they are making insufficient profit, or none at all.

    Demanding business to pay $50k per year so as to keep the middle class status quo in place will not work – business can only pay wages that allow them to make money. Market forces dictate the wages – be it $50k per year or $5k. Demanding $50k when the market dictates $5k is a fool’s errand.

    But there are plenty of fools.

    If someone doesn’t take the pressure off business soon the debt issues, etc., will not matter – there will be no jobs at all and unemployment could soar to fifty plus percent. Or more.

    Then people will work for food, and will abandon thoughts of $50k salaries. Idiocy simply knows no bounds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 5:34 pm

  65. Llpoh says:

    Former big boss closed a business with 6 employees, plus himself. Seven people lost jobs there. But that is not the end of it. Owing to the cascading multiplier effect, as many as 50 people may have become unemployed as a result of his business closing. Business that closes force other closures. Huge blowouts in unemployment can occur very rapidly.

    And the fifty folks who lost their jobs probably killed off half a million in tax revenue while simultaneously sucking up a quarter million in benefits. So accompany of six that closes added nearly a million dollars to the US deficit. A thousand such businesses would add a billion to the deficient. A million such businesses could easily fail soon – and the deficit would grow by a trillion dollars per year.

    Nice,huh?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 5:43 pm

  66. Colma Rising says:

    As a long time excellent employee I will state that employees too do what they do to make money.

    Llpoh: You’re right in many ways, but I must agree with TPC in many ways too.

    I will elaborate later, because my boss is either greedy or a moron, at least for the moment. That assesment changes day to day. As for intelligence=success, I say “Specious half truth”.

    Example while I work late to ponder:

    Emergency on-call plumber, dumb as a stump but ain’t no fool: Do you haggle rates knee-deep in shit?

    Answer that honestly and you will be pondering my angle….

    We will discuss the flaws of Utility Theory later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 6:10 pm

  67. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    My main sticking point is on the IQ assertion.

    Hard work and common sense take a person pretty far in life. A smart person with those two traits will obviously go further than someone without intellect as well, but IQ aside from those two traits is borderline useless.

    As for breeding ourselves dumber, I agree with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 7:50 pm

  68. backwardsevolution says:

    Lipoh – the words you use: “…they are simply trying to make money. They may be unethical by exploiting other nations and people, but they do not do it so as to destroy the middle class; in a world market; global forces dictate; I fight dirty.”

    Sounds like a shark.

    Your motivation for running your business is the pursuit of MONEY, just as the shark’s motivation is the pursuit of food. “No offence,” says the shark, “it’s what I do.” If you resent your workers’ stupidity, then why don’t you hire some really intelligent ones? They’d do a great job, size up your business quickly, and then set out to do the same thing. Then you might get some of that healthy “competition” you so enjoy.

    Most of the greatest minds (and no, I don’t include most business people here) were not motivated by money, producing consumer trinkets and the mindless advertising promoting same, raping the planet and leaving a wasteland behind. Even Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize winner, took delight in declining Mensa’s offer to “join their club” because his IQ wasn’t high enough.

    The doctors, dentists, lawyers you speak so highly of are intelligent specialists. Most do not come up with anything novel in their lifetimes; they simply specialize in what great researchers before them have discovered. They too belong to unions (although they call them associations), making sure their numbers stay just low enough to ensure they make an excellent living (which I agree the majority of them should).

    Someone above said you are a leader and the rest are followers, but actually it’s the other way around: it is always the followers who dictate the leaders. Your current leaders are Obama and Romney. What does that say about society’s current “leaders”? Of course, the people didn’t choose these leaders (vested interests did), but these are the peoples’ choices come election day.

    Your business is your dream, what YOU value, but it is not what everyone values. I’ve been humbled more than a few times over the years (when my ego got too big) by people who I thought were stupid. Yes, they were stupid at what I was good at, but I was surprised – shocked actually – that they were good at other things I was clueless about. Yes, I could have gotten good at what they did well, but it wasn’t what I valued; my mind didn’t think like their’s.

    Greed, money, power and control are what is dictating today’s society. Our leaders are Blankfein, Paulson, Bernanke, Summers, Dimon, Clinton, Bush, Obama. They have set up the game, and we are being forced to follow, but not everyone likes the game.

    There are all sorts of reasons people are not leaders, being lazy or having a low IQ are only two of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    23rd August 2012 at 8:22 pm

  69. FBD says:

    backwardsevolution

    ooohhhhh, I can’t wait to see how llpoh The Shark will deal with you.

    Here’s a preview
    shark-eats-seal1.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 9:27 pm

  70. Llpoh says:

    Backwards confuses power with leadership.

    Backwards confuses the desire to be financially independent with greed.

    Backwards doesn’t understand that people do not dictate their leaders but rather permit allow powerful persons to exist and control.

    Backwards doesn’t understand that without businessmen to dream of making products and money, no other endeavors would be possible. None of the great minds he has ever identified could have made their mark without the businessmen who dream of better lives for themselves, and by so doing allow funding to flow to universities, science, and the arts. His great minds – his Nobel prize winners – would universally owe their gratitude to those that contribute to their endeavors personally, or via the taxes they pay personally and via their employees. Businessmen sponsor those great minds, that would never exist without the largesse of the businessmen.

    Business is critical to all that society is, but it is bitch slapped regularly by morons like backward. You could remove all government service, and business would ensure that society survived. But if you kill off business society will crumble in a day.

    Backwards evolution is a good name for an ignorant Neanderthal that must have trouble walking upright.

    And I am a fucking shark. Try running something where each week you must find a six figure payroll debt, and then talk to me about being a shark. Pussies need not apply.

    THat backwards doesn’t know this speaks volumes about his experience and skill. He is just another ignorant asshole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 10:12 pm

  71. Colma Rising says:

    No middle class becomes a very hairy situation…. it always has…. for those who rise to the top. It historically becomes extremely unstable, requiring vast amounts of money and influence to maintain security for the rich, especially when the downward slope of the experience is perceived by the vastly growing amount of poor.

    Smith, Marx, Malthus, Keynes, Machievelli… all spoke of this from different angles and each had great insights (though questionable conclusions).

    My sophomoric opinion is that reading accelerated the phenom… Lords and slavers alike had vested interest in the enforcement of anti-litteracy…

    No less, with the situation as it is developing globally it would seem the only “middle class” that will develop is soldiering.

    Turn turn turn… When it gives it sure does tumble.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 10:27 pm

  72. Colma Rising says:

    Llpoh: People will always confuse sheep dogs for wolves, vice versa… They both stink and growl.

    It must suck being painted evil all the time. I wouldn’t want to run a shop these days that’s for sure…

    I just can’t shake the feeling I’m smarter than my bosses these days. They’re inefficient. I see it everywhere now. Bad decisions right and left… Not that they’re dumb, but being too fearfull and passive.

    Hard to explain… any clue what I mean? I know that was your forte on a large scale back in the dinosaur days…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 10:44 pm

  73. Llpoh says:

    Colma – if your bosses are owners, they can get scared because every mis-step can cause them money or send them broke, and the fear and anxiety can be enormous. Also, the skill base to own and run a business is so large these days that they simply may not have the requisite talent and background to allow for success.

    If they are employees and not owners, the fact is they simply may not give a shit about the business. Good help is hard to find. Their whole desire may simply be to not fuck up too badly and get fired – they maynoteven understand the whole concept of profit. A lot of employees do not correlate the need to generate profit with keeping their employment – they see it as a matter of don’t fuck up will be sufficient. Then they become surprised when they are downsized or the company goes broke.

    A lot of bad bosses out there. A lot. But in fairness the game is rigged against them. Too many bricks have been placed in their packs, so now only the fortunate or the extremely skilled and talented succeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 11:06 pm

  74. Novista says:

    llpoh

    Here was something John Mauldin posted some time back, by way of William C. Dunkelberg,Chief Economist. National Federation of Independent Business.

    “There are only 6 million employer firms, 90 percent with fewer than 20 employees. These are the job creators … ”

    ~

    “Without startups, there would be no net job growth in the U.S. economy. From 1977 to 2005, existing companies were net job destroyers, losing 1 million net jobs per year. In contrast, new businesses in their first year added an average of 3 million jobs annually.”

    “In 2000, for example, startups created 3,099,639 jobs. By 2005, the surviving firms had a total employment of 2,412,410, or about 78 percent of the number of jobs that existed when these firms were born.”

    Seeing as how 5.4 million employer firms aren’t the big/multinational corporations puts a different light on the reality.

    But wot Colma said, too … bosses that are inefficient, bad decisions …

    I’ve often wondered how some businesses actually continue to exist — aside from my two biggest, baddest examples, AT&T and Avco.

    On a smaller scale, two television stations that had the advantage of being ‘big frogs in small ponds’ and the hubris to match — and both fell to hostile takeovers. One computer peripherals company, talk about blind, did a special deal with the outsource mfg. arm, they could rebadge the product and only sell in Asia … until they turned up in Australia for warranty repairs. Hmmm.

    To indicate further acumen, they hired a whole swag of sales people in Australia, sent them all to the Boston head office and a month later, company when Chapter 11. WTF?

    I have other examples of ‘leaders’ who surely must register on your IQ scale and don’t pass the test on my street smarts gauge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 11:36 pm

  75. Novista says:

    Maddie’s Mom 3:54 pm

    This thought only came to me later in my day. How exactly do you default on a student loan when there is no provision to declare bankruptcy? 2005 change to law, I think …

    Given that the snot licking, mother-fucking, shit-eating bankster scum and their bought politicians saw the mortgage scam about tapped out, maybe they made advance plans for more people to fuck around? Remember the ED SWAT team that broke down a guy’s door, ended up with him in his underpants face down on the ground, handcuffed, the kids screaming — and the woman they were really after for a student loan arrears just had not lived there for some time.

    I don’t think it is beyond the realm of possibility, knowing in many cases that the parents supplied some or most (all?) funding to the of-legal-age student, that the message is conveyed, “You figure it out or we’ll go after your parents.” Whacha gonna do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 7:39 am

  76. Maddie's Mom says:

    Novista,

    Hell if I know.

    Just don’t make the f’n payments!!

    Change your name…

    Figure out some kind of work to do…”off the books”…

    ?????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd August 2012 at 2:52 pm

Leave a comment

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.