Wages

Chicago, New York City Cops Talk ‘De-Policing,’ ‘Blue Flu’

“In Oklahoma City, after the terrible bombing, Americans were wearing a T-shirt- I’ve got a copy of it here that was given to me- and I’d never seen this before. But this T-shirt shows all the different things that federal law enforcement officials do and mentions all the different agencies and has the following quote on it:

A society that makes war against its police had better learn to make friends with criminals.

That’s a fact.”

-Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, in a July 20, 1995, meeting with federal law enforcement

I’ve been following the protests, riots, and other activity related to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. And considering the anti-police sentiment that’s arisen and being stoked by certain politicians, the mainstream media, anarchists, and other agenda-driven parties, I was wondering how long it would take before someone in law enforcement uttered the following. From the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop early Sunday morning:

We’re about to see a nationwide “de-policing” shortly.

De-policing. A situation where law enforcement activities are unofficially curtailed.

Comments on that Sunday post lent support to such action:

“De-Policing”, hey, I’m all for it! Give the people/folks what they want, maybe then they will be happy!

Essentially de-policing is the solution to all of this nonsense but it must be a concerted effort by all the police and not just one municipality. That will wake bitch slap the media and politicians into realizing what the consequences are of falsely accusing the police of these stupid excessive force accusations. NYPD did it right by telling the jack-off mayor he is persona non grata. For starters that should be done to mayor tiny dancer, libtard Dick Durbin, jack-off soon to be out of a job Holder and a host of others.

Why are we waiting for de-policing to happen? Start right now, answer all calls and do paper. No more rushing to a man with a gun, burglary in progress, person shot. Take your time and get there safely, take down all information. When the detectives get there they can suspend the case until the offender turns himself in and proceed with paper work. Not charged unless they confess, don’t bother calling the useless Felony Review or asa Office. Sorry, take it slowly, no more racing around for me on jobs. Gotta go, I feel the flu coming on. Take care of those that mean the most to you!

There was also talk of law enforcement officers coming down with the “blue flu” on that Second City Cop post. In New York City, the flu is also known as a “sick out”- which is what a number of cops out in the “Big Apple” are calling for as the anti-police protests carry on. From Thee RANT Forums (“New York City Cops speaking their minds”) website, under “Sick out New Years Eve”:

It’s been said many times now it has to be done! Bratton sold you all out and the Mayor hates your guts. How many Captains and above on the job 700? let them work the detail on New Years. If everyone goes sick this city will be at a fughing standstill! It needs to be done folks to give everyone a much needed reality check. I’m sure the job has a contingency plan in place where everyone who goes sick will have to report to the Police Academy. How many Surgeons do we have? What could they do? It needs to be done! It will cost 2 days pay perhaps but would be well worth it.

Again, commenters lent support to such activity:

The city and the public need a reality check. Can u imagine what would happen in Manhattan alone. A lot of robbed beat up white-boys.

“De-policing,” “Blue flu,” “Sick out.” Personally, I don’t see any of this happening on a large scale just yet. The present animosity being directed at the police isn’t coming from the majority of citizens (despite what the MSM would like you to think), and I believe most LEOs realize this.

However, as America’s finances continue to deteriorate going forward, I can see such work slowdowns and stoppages occurring with law enforcement. Disputes over wages, pensions, working conditions are likely flashpoints.

If the coming financial crash ever gets as ugly as what’s happened in the once-prospering South American country of Argentina, then perhaps we might see incidents like what took place there last year around this time. From the BBC website on December 10, 2013:

At least five people have been killed as looting spreads through Argentina.

Hundreds have been injured as people took advantage of a police strike to rob shops and homes.

Police have refused to go on patrol until their demands for a salary rise are met.

Their move follows a police walkout in Cordoba province last week which also led to lootings, and which was settled after the governor almost doubled officers’ pay…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Looting rife in Argentine city of Cordoba as police take strike action”
YouTube Video

On the third-ever day of this blog (November 24, 2010), I shared the following with readers (not sure I had any at that time though). I think it bears repeating here. I wrote:

This last thought about the individual being ultimately responsible for their own personal protection is hammered home by John S. Farnam, a long-time defensive firearms instructor and deputy sheriff (training officer) in the Park County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office. In The Farnam Method of Defensive Shotgun and Rifle Shooting, the founder and president of Defense Training International wrote:

It is said by enlightened social scientists, “If it rained twenty-dollar bills every Monday morning, there would still be people begging for their dinner ever Monday evening!” The same is true with criminals. No matter how “civilized” or indulgent our society becomes, there will always be criminals. And, the more foolishly dependent we all become upon governmental institutions as the only means of preserving civil order, the more dubious our continued existence becomes, and the more quickly order will disintegrate when our societal underpinnings are crippled or even imperiled. When citizens become additively dependent on an eleemosynary and paternal government to do for them what they could be, and, of right, ought to be, doing for themselves, that civilization’s days are surely numbered. Never forget, regardless of how politically incorrect it may sound to the uninformed, your personal security is always your responsibility, and yours alone!

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

SCC. “NYPD Takes A Stand.” Second City Cop. 14 Dec. 2014. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2014/12/nypd-takes-stand.html). 15 Dec. 2014.

“Deadly Argentina looting spreads as police go on strike.” BBC. 10 Dec. 2013. (http://survivalandprosperity.com/2010/11/24/putting-the-self-back-into-defense/). 16 Dec. 2014.

Farnam, John S. The Farnam Method of Defensive Shotgun and Rifle Shooting. Boulder: DTI Publications, 1997.

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Potential Blowback From Chicago’s Minimum Wage Hike

In case you haven’t heard, the City of Chicago just approved a minimum wage hike for all workers in the city. From the Mayor’s Press Office on December 2:

Mayor Emanuel, City Council Approve Ordinance to Increase Minimum Wage in Chicago to $13 by 2019

City Council today passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage for all Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. This measure, sponsored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Will Burns, Alderman Pat O’Connor and 31 other aldermen, will increase the earnings for approximately 410,000 Chicago workers, inject $860 million into the local economy, and lift 70,000 workers out of poverty…

On December 1, Mayor Emanuel and a group of Aldermen introduced a substitute ordinance based off of Senator Kimberly Lightford’s bill that gets the City of Chicago to a $10 minimum wage in roughly seven months, an $11 minimum wage by 2017, and to a final minimum wage of $13 by 2019, plus inflation increases after 2019.

Personally, I interpret the hike as merely an election-year ploy to help Rahm Emanuel and the siting aldermen in the upcoming February 24, 2015, Municipal General Election in Chicago. Consider the following from Joseph Erbentraut on the Huffington Post website Tuesday:

The fast-tracked plan, one of three wage-increase proposals considered by city officials this week, is backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in what some critics say is a political move designed to win favor with left-leaning Chicago voters ahead of the February 2015 mayoral election

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While it’s nice to think a number of Chicago workers will be getting raises, the potential blowback could be significant. And Chicago residents may be on the receiving end. Back on June 22, 2014, I was reading the latest issue of The Sovereign Society’s weekly electronic publication the Sovereign Digest. Jeff Opdyke and Erika Nolan commented on the nationwide push for minimum wage hikes. They noted:

All over the country, unwise politicians are pushing a misguided “living wage” agenda that’s driving minimum wages higher. Seattle, for instance, just recently approved a $15-per-hour minimum, which is already biting the city in the butt in two ways. First, as I and anyone with two brain cells to rub together rightly pointed out, companies are finding that low-level managers now want pay raises, too, to rightly keep their pay commensurately above the people they’re managing. Doh! And other companies are imposing a “living wage tax” on consumers to cover the rising labor costs. As both of those trends spread — and they will — a form of inflation creeps into the system more broadly.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As the above relates to the “Windy City”- Chicagoans should be prepared to pay higher prices for certain items/services.

There’s one more way Chicago residents may be impacted directly and adversely by the minimum wage hike. Sparing readers the simple economics involved with Tuesday’s action down at City Hall, a number of Chicago business owners- realizing now or later the disadvantage they’re at compared to competitors outside city limits- will be shuttering their stores shortly or down the road- either by choice or not- as a result of this hike.

Shuttered businesses= lost revenue via fees/taxes for the City

Something else to chew on. The country is just about due for an economic recession (against which the government and Fed have mostly run out of “bullets” due to the economic crisis late last decade). Forcing raises on a number of Chicago businesses still smarting from the so-called “Great Recession” could be a death sentence for them.

As for those workers in the city who will supposedly benefit from the minimum wage hike? Regrettably, pink slips could be a real possibility for a number of them.

In summary, there’s a good chance the City of Chicago, Chicago residents, and minimum wage workers in the city are ultimately going to get stung by Tuesday’s political theater. And the pain could be coming sooner than later. Just don’t expect City Hall and their friends in the mainstream media to publicize the debacle if/when it goes down.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Erbentraut, Joseph. “Chicago City Council Approves Plan For $13 Minimum Wage Despite Opposition.” Huffington Post. 2 Dec. 2014. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/02/chicago-minimum-wage_n_6255436.html). 3 Dec. 2014.

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014 Business, Employment, Federal Reserve, Government, Income, Inflation, Mainstream Media, Recession, Taxes, Wages Comments Off on Potential Blowback From Chicago’s Minimum Wage Hike

CNNMoney Poll: 63 Percent Of Americans Believe Most U.S. Children Won’t Be Better Off Than Their Parents

Long-time readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember this bit about American kids possibly not turning out to be “better off” than their parents. I blogged on September 21, 2011:

Back in 2006 when I was working at a suburban fire department, a battalion chief came into my office, saw the local paper on my desk, and asked, “Did you read that piece about how kids these days might be the first generation who won’t be better off than their parents?” I replied, “Yeah, it was depressing.” The fire officer confided, “That stuff scares me. I’m worried they might be right about that.” I’d be concerned too, especially if I were the parent of a couple of young kids like this chief was.

I was reminded of that exchange when I read the following from Tami Luhby on the CNNMoney website yesterday:

The American Dream is impossible to achieve in this country.

So say nearly 6 in 10 people who responded to CNNMoney’s American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International. They feel the dream — however they define it — is out of reach.

Young adults, age 18 to 34, are most likely to feel the dream is unattainable, with 63% saying it’s impossible. This age group has suffered in the wake of the Great Recession, finding it hard to get good jobs.

Younger Americans are a cause of great concern. Many respondents said they are worried about the next
generation’s ability to prosper.

Some 63% of all Americans said most children in the U.S. won’t be better off than their parents. This dour view comes despite most respondents, 54%, feeling they are better off than their own parents…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to Luhby, the poll came from telephone interviews with 1,003 adult Americans from May 29 to June 1, 2014.

I’m really not surprised by the findings of this survey. Besides an ugly employment picture, middle-class incomes are stagnating and the cost of living is rising (despite what the government and its shills say).

Here’s something else I mentioned in that September 2011 post. It’s from Annalyn Censky- also on the CNNMoney website:

It’s official. The first decade of the 21st century will go down in the history books as a step back for the American middle class.

Last week, the government made gloomy headlines when it released the latest census report showing the poverty rate rose to a 17-year high…

But the data also gave the first glimpse of what happened to middle-class incomes in the first decade of the millennium. While the earnings of middle-income Americans have barely budged since the mid 1970s, the new data showed that from 2000 to 2010, they actually regressed.

For American households in the middle of the pay scale, income fell to $49,445 last year, when adjusted for inflation, a level not seen since 1996.

And over the 10-year period, their income is down 7%

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Are middle-class wages still stuck in reverse today? From a September 17, 2013, post on the Free exchange blog (The Economist website):

THE Census released new figures on income and poverty today… They’re both grim and unsurprising. In 2012 the real median household income in America was flat relative to 2011 and down considerably from the pre-recession level

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So is the American Dream impossible to achieve anymore?

I don’t think so. But I predict many of the kids today and possibly future generations will find it significantly more difficult to realize the Dream due to the self-serving and ill-advised fiscal and monetary policies carried out by the adults of the last few decades to the present time.

By incurring trillions of dollars of debt during this time period, we’ve screwed a good number of our kids and future Americans.

Here’s hoping yours won’t be employed as a servant to the Chinese or whoever the next hegemon is in the coming years…


“Chinese Professor”
YouTube Video

Sources:

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Luhby, Tami. “The American Dream is out of reach.” CNNMoney. 4 Jun. 2014. (http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/04/news/economy/american-dream/index.html). 6 June 2014.

R.A. “Stagnation for everyone.” Free exchange. 17 Sep. 2013. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/09/incomes). 6 Jun. 2014.

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Thursday, June 5th, 2014 Asia, Debt Crisis, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Hegemony, Income, Main Street, Monetary Policy, Poverty, Wages, Wealth Comments Off on CNNMoney Poll: 63 Percent Of Americans Believe Most U.S. Children Won’t Be Better Off Than Their Parents

Signs Of The Time, Part 75

In an era of stagnant wages and a rising cost of living, having a job doesn’t guarantee an individual can make ends meet.

In the past, many Americans would rise to the challenge, finding and working a second or third job if that’s what it took to put food on the table.

These days, it’s just easier for able-bodied, able-minded men and women to latch onto the government “tit” rather than work.

And plenty do it- no doubt about that.

Enter Scott Carroll. A minor league baseball player when he shot the following two-and-a-half years ago, this Kansas City, Missouri-native proclaimed to the world he would do whatever was required to eke out a living:


“Scott Carroll Will Endorse ANYTHING!”
YouTube Video

Okay, so Carroll was just having a good time and probably wasn’t hurting as much as many other Americans as a professional baseball player. But there’s still an important lesson to be taken away from this funny video:

Scott Carroll just recently made his big-league debut for the Chicago White Sox at age 29.

I doubt his TV pitchman skills got this right-handed pitcher to where he’s at today.

Hard work, perhaps?

Welcome to the majors- and Chicago- Mr. Carroll.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 Employment, Government, Humor, Income, Signs Of The Time, Wages Comments Off on Signs Of The Time, Part 75

Marc Faber: ‘We Are In A Gigantic Asset Bubble Around The World’

Time to talk money. Dr. Marc Faber appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning and touched on financial topics including the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program and asset bubbles.

On QE, where the Fed currently puchases $85 billion of longer-term Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities each month, he Swiss-born investment advisor and money manager told viewers:

Every government program that is introduced under urgency and as a temporary measure is always permanent. And, in my view, the Fed has boxed themselves into position where there’s no exit strategy. The question is not tapering. The question is at what point will they increase the asset purchases to say 150, 200, a trillion dollars a month. That is the question.

Shakespeare couldn’t have put it better.

The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report also chimed in on asset bubbles. Dr. Faber warned:

You said earlier on there is no inflation. Inflation can be in consumer prices. It can be in commodities. It can be in wages. It can also be in assets. And we are in a gigantic asset bubble around the world…

So I think that one day, this asset inflation will lead to a deflationary collapse, one way or the other. We don’t know yet what will cause it.


“The world is in ‘gigantic asset bubble’: Faber”
CNBC Video
ANY CHARACTER HERE

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Monday, October 21st, 2013 Bonds, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Deflation, Federal Reserve, Housing, Inflation, Investing, Monetary Policy, Stimulus, Wages Comments Off on Marc Faber: ‘We Are In A Gigantic Asset Bubble Around The World’

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Proposes Highest Minimum Wage In The U.S.

Fall 1986. I was hanging out with my older sister in her bedroom when I came across a binder for some basic economics/personal finance class that she was enrolled in at the local public high school. As I leafed through it, I thought, “This is some pretty cool stuff- I hope I get the chance to take a class like this when I’m in high school next year.” I didn’t. Not in my freshmen year or any other year. I ended up at an all-boys Roman Catholic college preparatory high school, where such material just wasn’t taught.

Latin, yes. Economics/personal finance, no.

Ita sit (so be it).

In fact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn also attended the same school. Both of us might have been able to benefit greatly from such instruction early on.

Perhaps one more than the other, based on a new minimum wage hike the Chicago Democrat proposed yesterday in his “State of the State” address. From Paul Merrion on the Crain’s Chicago Business website yesterday:

Gov. Pat Quinn’s call for a $10 minimum wage has created yet another firestorm for the state’s business community.

While economists question whether higher minimum wages hurt jobs and make some states less competitive than others, Illinois business leaders view the governor’s proposal as one more blow to the state’s battered business climate.

Illinois already has the fourth-highest minimum wage at $8.25 an hour, and raising it more than 21 percent over four years would put it far above Indiana or other neighboring states eager to attract Illinois companies to relocate.

According to Merrion, a minimum wage of $10 would be the highest in the country.

Supporters of Quinn’s minimum wage hike are calling it “pro-worker.”

Whether or not “higher minimum wages hurt jobs” directly, a higher wage, in conjunction with the state’s huge fiscal mess and recent (January 2011) corporate income tax rate hike of 46 percent, might be the last straw for Illinois companies contemplating leaving the state and kill the formation of new businesses here. By itself, the effects of the hike may not be significant. But taking everything else into consideration, the growing belief that Illinois is “anti-business” will probably be magnified by its implementation, and jobs could be impacted as a result.

Pro-worker? What good’s a minimum wage hike if jobs leave the state and new ones aren’t created?

Economics 101, my man. Economics 101.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Merrion, Paul. “Quinn’s call for $10 minimum wage riles business.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 6 Feb 2013. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130206/NEWS02/130209864/quinns-call-for-10-minimum-wage-riles-business). 7 Feb. 2013.

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Quote For The Week

For the time being, in the US our corporate and governmental system backed surprisingly by the Supreme Court has become a plutocracy, designed to prolong, protect and intensify the wealth and influence of those who already have the wealth and influence. What the Occupy movement indicates is that a growing number of people have begun to recognise this in spite of the efficiency of capital’s propaganda machines. Forty years of no pay increase in the US after inflation for the average hour worked should, after all, have that effect. The propaganda is good but not that good.

-Legendary investor and “crash prophet” Jeremy Grantham, in an opinion piece that appeared on the Financial Times (UK) website on February 5, 2012

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Monday, February 13th, 2012 Crash Prophets, Government, Inflation, Main Street, Propaganda, Quote For The Week, Wages, Wealth Comments Off on Quote For The Week

Looking Closely At The Quality Of All Those New Jobs

There’s been a lot of buzz about the U.S. economy have turned a corner since the latest job numbers were released last Friday morning. From the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release that day:

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JANUARY 2012

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread in the private sector, with large employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Government employment changed little over the month.

Since its release, some are questioning the validity of the report. “Bogus” is the term I’m most often coming across in my research.

But I’m more curious about the quality of the jobs that were allegedly created, rather than the quantity. After all, since spending supposedly accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, those occupying higher-paying positions should be the ones spearheading a lasting economic recovery.

Just prior to late 2008, when the global financial crisis really reared its ugly head, Peter Morici, a professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, repeatedly won MarketWatch’s “Forecaster of the Month” contests. Dr. Morici warned MarketWatch.com readers on August 11 that year:

“We have fundamental structural problems,” Morici said. “This is not a classical recession that has a self-healing character” that the Federal Reserve can speed up with lower interest rates.

“Things will happen in the next two years that will shock people,” Morici said.

Well, this “crash prophet” talked about the quality of the jobs being created these days in a piece on the FOX News website yesterday. Morici wrote:

Many of the jobs created in recent months don’t pay well, and too many well educated Americans are relegated to low skilled and part-time work for lack of opportunities. Gains are concentrated in areas such as restaurants, health care and education, and business services categories—lots of waiters, and more nurse’s aids than nurses, record keepers than teachers, and clerical workers than architects and lawyers.

Manufacturing, a bright spot, historically pays quite well; however, many of the new jobs created don’t pay terribly high wages.

I guess having some kind of job is better than not having any (plenty of Americans would probably disagree with me, however). Regardless, policymakers and economic Pollyannas might want to think twice about pinning their hopes on these new waiters, nurse’s aides, record keepers, and clerical workers turning around a beleaguered economy that, by evolution, has become so consumer-driven.

I could be wrong, but I just don’t see Rafael from the breakfast place I frequent driving a new SUV back to his McMansion after a hard day’s work anytime soon.

Sources:

Nutting, Rex. “Morici wins contest for third time in a year.” MarketWatch.com. 11 Aug. 2008. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/morici-wins-contest-for-third-time-in-a-year). 7 Feb. 2012.

Morici, Peter. “President Obama has convinced Americans to settle for a poor economy.” FOXNews.com. 6 Feb 2012. (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/06/president-obama-has-convinced-americans-to-settle-for-poor-economy/). 7 Feb. 2012

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 Crash Prophets, Employment, Recovery, Wages Comments Off on Looking Closely At The Quality Of All Those New Jobs

Quote For The Week

Interest rates are amazingly low and that, thanks to Ben Bernanke, is driving everything. You know, I keep making a point. You know, there’s a difference between Ben Bernanke and Harry Houdini. Ben Bernanke’s not a magician. We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The Fed knows it. We have many, many homeowners that are totally underwater here and cannot get out from under. The technology frontier is limited right now. We definitely have an innovation slowdown and the economy’s gonna suffer. And all the Fed tweaking, and all the interest rate tweaking, and all of the tax adjustments, are absolutely not going to be able to save us if we cannot get across the labor that’s in line with the rest of the planet, and we can’t get our productivity levels high enough to justify the wages that we’re already getting paid. It’s not that complicated.

-Peter Yastrow, market strategist for Yastrow Origer and the world’s largest LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) trader, on CNBC on June 1, 2011

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Monday, June 6th, 2011 Depression, Federal Reserve, Housing, Interest Rates, Monetary Policy, Productivity, Quote For The Week, Taxes, Technology, Wages Comments Off on Quote For The Week

Report: U.S. Middle Class In Big Trouble

Argentine blogger Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre wrote way back on Halloween 2008 in his blog Surviving In Argentina about how his country’s middle class became poor. FerFAL recalled:

It’s 1:06 AM over here. I just finished showering and my wife and son are asleep. I was putting shampoo on my hair, thinking about what I wrote today on this post, and remembered the exact moment when I realized along with several other people, not only that TSHTF (that we all knew) but that the world we once new no longer existed, and that this was not a hurricane, this was an ice age period, it wouldn’t just go away…

It happened 4 years ago, almost a year after the December 2001 crisis. It was a social studies class and this teacher, don’t remember if it was a he or a she, was explaining the different kinds of social pyramids. God! Now I remember more! We even had a text book with those darn, cruel pyramids! The first pyramid explained the basic society. A pyramid with two horizontal lines, dividing those on top (high social class) those in the middle (middle class) and the bottom of the pyramid (the poor, proletarian). The teacher explained that the middle of the pyramid, the middle class, acted as a cushion between the rich and the poor, taking care of the social stress. The second pyramid had a big middle section, this was the pyramid that represents 1st world countries. In which the bottom is very thin and arrows show that there is a possibility to go from low to middle class, and from middle to the top of the social pyramid. Our teacher explained that this was the classic, democratic capitalist society, and that on countries such as Europeans one, socialists, the pyramid was very similar but a little more flat, meaning that here is a big middle section, middle class, and small high and low class. There is little difference between the three of them.

The third pyramid showed the communist society. Where arrows from the low and middle class tried to reach the top but they bounced off the line. A small high society and one big low society, cushioned by a minimal middle class section of pyramid. Then we turned the page and saw the darned fourth pyramid. This one had arrows from the middle class dropping to the low, poor class.

“What is this?” Some of us asked.

The teacher looked at us. “This is us”

“It’s the collapsed country, a country that turns into 3rd world country like in pyramid five where there is almost no middle class to speak, one huge low, poor class, and a very small, very rich, top class.”

“What are those arrows that go from the middle to the bottom of the pyramid?” Someone asked.

You could hear a pin drop. “That is middle class turning into poor”.

I won’t lie, no one cried, though people rubbed their faces, held their heads and their breath…

I couldn’t help but think of Aguirre’s story as I read a report yesterday about the middle class in this country. Sherle R. Schwenninger and Samuel Sherraden of the Washington, D.C.-based New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute, recently evaluated the state of America’s middle class after the “Great Recession.” What they found was truly disturbing. Here are some bullets from their report “The American Middle Class Under Stress”:

Middle-income jobs are disappearing from the economy. The share of middle-income jobs in the United States has fallen from 52% in 1980 to 42% in 2010. Middle-income jobs have been replaced by low-income jobs, which now make up 41% of total employment.

• 17 million Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

Real wages have stagnated over the past two decades, and in recent months, have actually fallen. Over the past year, nominal wages grew only 1.7% while all consumer prices, including food and energy, increased by 2.7%.

Wages and salaries have fallen from 60% of personal income in 1980 to 51% in 2010. Government transfers have risen from 11.7% of personal income in 1980 to 18.4% in 2010, a post-War high. There are 8.5 million people receiving unemployment insurance and over 40 million receiving food stamps.

• Health care spending increased from 9.5% of personal consumption in 1980 to 16.3% in 2010.

• The average cost of one year of college is $21,000. After adjusting for inflation, it has risen 72% since 1990.

• The share of personal consumption spent on food and energy has risen from 13.4% in 2002 to 15.3% in 2010.

Household net worth declined from $65.7 trillion in the second quarter of 2007 to $56.8 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2010. The middle class, which has much more of its net worth tied up in home equity, has borne the brunt of this decline.

Over the past three decades, household debt as a share of disposable income increased from 68% to 116%.

Unless this trend is somehow reversed, I fear yesterday will be that day when I look back and realize the American middle-class had started off on its journey to becoming impoverished.

You can read the entire New America Foundation report on their website here (.pdf format).

Source:

Aguirre, Fernando. “Thoughts on Urban Survival.” Surviving in Argentina. 31 Oct. 2008. (http://ferfal.blogspot.com/2008/10/thoughts-on-urban-survival-2005.html). 11 May 2011.

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Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 Debt Crisis, Education, Employment, Energy, Food, Government, Health, Housing, Income, Insurance, Main Street, Net Worth, Poverty, Spending, Wages Comments Off on Report: U.S. Middle Class In Big Trouble
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RSS Chris Hill’s Other Blog: Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes

  • Degussa Singapore Launches YouTube Channel
    It’s been some time since I last blogged about the first Asian branch of Degussa, a leading international player in the precious metals world. Degussa Singapore opened its doors at 22 Orchard Road in October 2015 and operates a safe deposit box service in addition to selling bullion bars, coins, and precious gifts. Yesterday I […]
  • Nomad Capitalist’s 5 Best Countries For Offshore Gold Storage
    Research related to Monday’s post about precious metals storage in Singapore led me to a piece published last fall by Andrew Henderson over on the Nomad Capitalist website. I’ve mentioned Andrew and his company before on the blog, but for those readers not familiar with them, Henderson is the founder and managing partner of Hong […]
  • Singapore’s ‘Strong’ Precious Metals Storage Infrastructure Anchors Trading Hub Push
    It’s no secret that Singapore has become a global leader in the storage and safekeeping of private wealth. In fact, the last mention of the Southeast Asian city-state on this blog concerned a December 12, 2016, article on the The Business Times (Singapore) website which noted privately-owned precious metals from around the world are finding […]
  • List Of Offshore Private Vaults Updated
    The list of private, non-bank vaults outside the United States (offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum) located on this blog’s sister site- Offshore Private Vaults- was recently updated. Safe deposit facilities now open for business have been added under the following countries: -Hong Kong (Royal England Safe Deposit Box Ltd.) -Thailand (Magna Carta Law […]
  • Next Degussa Numis Day To Take Place May 4, 5
    Degussa, a leading international player in the precious metals world which also offers safe deposit boxes (for customers) at branches in Germany, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland, has just posted information about their next Numis Day (first blogged about here) at their Geneva and Zurich showrooms. From their website: The Next Numis Day We appreciate and […]