29 July 2010

Is The Middle Class Almost Extinct in America?

*** How long was today's chaotic economy in the making and how is it destroying the American middle class wealth?

From Denny: The Republicans and Big Business keep gambling with the lives of middle class people. It is no longer any big secret that Big Business, and business in general, need to hire people back to do the work. What business is doing is playing an ugly game of delay with the American middle class worker, wearing them down until they will accept half their original pay for the same work because they are so desperate to survive in this chaotic economy.

In other words, if the actual living wage was say $60,000 a year that same job is now only paying a mere $30,000. It isn't possible for people to survive on less when housing prices are still high, food prices are high, gasoline prices are insane and the list goes on that the pricing structure has not lowered to meet the salary structure.

But the corporate fat cats just don't care they have bankrupted the middle class. That's their point: they want to reduce the prosperous middle class back down into the working class model where they could be as cavalier as they want with wages, health care benefits, retirement benefits and job security. The Republicans have virtually succeeded at breaking the unions that once fought for middle class wages.

Foolishly, many middle class voted against themselves on a wide range of issues, bringing this down onto the heads of everyone. They fed the Greed Beast without realizing that one day that Greed Beast would get so big there would no longer be any way to contain him. We are here at that day. Just take a look at the statistics for the quickly evaporating middle class:

From 2001 to 2007 (President Bush years): 66 percent of income growth went to the top 1 percent

Among income earners: bottom 50 percent owns less than 1 percent of the wealth

Minimum wage comparisons:

Chinese garment worker makes 86 cents per hour
Cambodia garment worker makes 22 cents per hour
United States minimum wage earner makes $7.25 per hour

Source: Business Insider

Joan Walsh, editor in chief of Salon.com, discusses the war on the middle class in America:

The top 1 percent in America grabbed two thirds of the income. They own 83 percent of all stock owned by Americans. These trends began under Republican President Ronald Reagan, beginning the erosion of the middle class. It was under Reagan that the idea began of hiring workers for only 32 hours a week so business did not have to pay benefits. Now, that idea is the corporate work model: denying a living wage to workers, denying retirement and health care benefits.

She also said that 1981 is the beginning of tax cuts for the rich and record high debt, family income drops, income inequality soars, household incomes drop down steeply and the resulting household debt goes way up. All of these scenarios happened and continued under every Republican president. They improved somewhat under President Bill Clinton yet drove the middle class off the edge of the cliff when President Bush came into office.

The middle class worker is up against job outsourcing and political parties pitting the public against each other so they never find out the historical truth that continues in our lives today.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

*** Photo by Beverly and Pack @ flickr

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