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A hidden middle class 'bailout' courtesy the Department of Education BinaryMan Financial Forum 9 02-19-2017 08:35 PM

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Old 04-25-2017, 05:52 PM
ACME_MAN ACME_MAN is offline
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Default America's Middle Class Shrinking, While Europe's Increases



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Insightful article at Marketwatch which appeared the other day. Complete with charts and graphics . . . depicts a declining American middle class although this is something that most of us already knew just from simple observation.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ame...ies-2017-04-24
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:15 PM
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Yes, the income inequality could be our biggest problem and it's not trending in the right direction. Sure, we can take all the money from the wealthy, but it's not going to solve the problem. What we need to do is to make it more difficult to qualify for the government handouts. Then, only then people wil start climbing this ladder to better their own lives. Just like it used to be in the good old days.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:53 PM
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As a European living in north america, I'll say that the middle class has been stunted for a loooooong time in Europe. They have more economic and society issues in Europe now than we do in north america, though here in Canada PM 'Turdeau' is trying to make sure we catch up with France and Germany fast, economically and culturally.

As an example of Europe, Spain had a huge economic fall in 2007... now it's 2017, and I'd say it's only now that it looks like things are finally improving, but it does not look like the 90s are coming back any time soon... in the meantime, the electorate there are consistently voting for the communist party (typically 10-15% of popular vote) and the newish pseudoanarchist/communist/populist party to the left of the communist party (Podemos, "we can") is typically getting 20% of the vote...

As a frequent traveller to or through the US and Canada, I have to say we are better off here, at the moment, unless you find yourself in a Detroit or Baltimore ghetto, or 'community housing' in Toronto... Marseilles or Barcelona (as I know it outside the tourist spots) don't look too pretty...
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:02 AM
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It appears that in the very near future, at least half of the labor force will be replaced with automation, and we'll probably end up with some kind of universal basic income system. Some professionals are going to be replaced just as easily as low skill workers. Income will be largely equalized if for no other reason than robotics and automation making the human workforce obsolete in many areas. That's the buzz I keep hearing and reading. So in that sense, the middle class will grow. Actually, the whole class system will probably cease to be relevant for the most part.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:57 AM
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I see the people in skilled trades doing the best in the long run. Middle management jobs dry up and blow away at a whim. I know more of these people out of work once they hit a certain salary. I have long avoided getting into management and am the tail end of a long career in manufacturing.

I feel bad for the recent grads that are shooting for good jobs, which are few and far between. I did a lot better than my parents did, but doubt my kids will do as well as I have. The US middle class is on the decline.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
It appears that in the very near future, at least half of the labor force will be replaced with automation, and we'll probably end up with some kind of universal basic income system. Some professionals are going to be replaced just as easily as low skill workers. Income will be largely equalized if for no other reason than robotics and automation making the human workforce obsolete in many areas. That's the buzz I keep hearing and reading. So in that sense, the middle class will grow. Actually, the whole class system will probably cease to be relevant for the most part.
Sounds like people need to get into the field of building the robots and repairing them when they break.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:24 AM
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That will provide some new opportunities certainly, but not enough to replace all jobs that get automated
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:56 AM
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Automation is certainly the wave of the future. At my company we're bringing in new machines every year to manufacture parts and we're not increasing our head count. I'm not worried about holding a job as I'm the guy that makes sure the robots are turning out good parts.

But think about what's coming. Self-driving trucks would put tens of thousands of over-the-road truckers out of work. Solar panel roofs that last 30 years and yet, are less expensive than standard asphalt shingle roofs could spell the end of power plants. Green energy for automobiles and electricity production would end our dependence on fossil fuels.

It's astounding how a lot of low skill jobs could potentially be eliminated.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:18 PM
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A lot of high skill jobs as well. High earners will probably have the hardest time as I imagine they will have to adjust their standard of living down to the UBI level. Lots of potential for unrest.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:07 PM
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Sounds like people need to get into the field of building the robots and repairing them when they break.
The robot of the future will not be repaired. Just cannibalised of everything that is still working and recycled. Manufacturing another new robot will be cheap and hassle free. Another advantage is that it will also be already updated to the standards of the day. It will be the same model as for the automatic gear box in the cars today or more and more with the smartphones industry. No jobs will be found in repairing robots or updating them.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:41 PM
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Of course, this is what happens when a nation exports its money and good paying jobs; and imports labor to suppress wages.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACME_MAN View Post
Insightful article at Marketwatch which appeared the other day. Complete with charts and graphics . . . depicts a declining American middle class although this is something that most of us already knew just from simple observation.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ame...ies-2017-04-24
you should read the article a little more carefully. What it really shows is that europeans are more poor and they all make similar amounts of money.

Our middle class is substantially richer than europeans and more of us are richer overall.

All the dollars are in consumption based parity dollars.

A better comparison would be to pick a middle class level of consumption and determine how many people are above/below.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:06 PM
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you should read the article a little more carefully. What it really shows is that europeans are more poor and they all make similar amounts of money....

......A better comparison would be to pick a middle class level of consumption and determine how many people are above/below.
Exactly right. This is just another example of the presstitutes in the media misreading the data and telling people without that ability or too busy or too lazy to read the data, what to think, in order to feed their agenda.

It's just more fake news.

"In inflation-adjusted dollars, the share of U.S. households making $100,000 or more has more than tripled between 1967 and 2017, from 8% to 26%, according to U.S. Census data, while the percentage of middle income ($35,000 to $100,000 a year) has fallen. However, lower income U.S. households ($35,000 or less per year) have only slightly fallen over the last four decades."

So if the lower class is nearly the same, and the middle class is smaller...the ONLY place for the majority of the missing middle class to have gone, is the upper class...which did, in fact, grow.

So...they are telling us that's bad? Really?

Idiots, I tell ya. Idiots are everywhere.

And as many have tried to say... a bad day in the low income class in America is better than a good day in some other countries' middle class.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:14 PM
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I wonder how that chart for the US would look if we removed all the 3rd world immigrants we've taken in the past 8 years and all the illegal immigrants in the US.


“The U.S. represents a significant exception to this general relationship between national income and the middle-income share,” Kochhar noted. “The median income in the U.S. — roughly $53,000 per year — exceeded the median income in all countries but Luxembourg in 2010.” However, even as more middle-class Americans are moving up in the world, there is also a higher level of income inequality. “The gap between the earnings of households near the top of the income distribution and the earnings of those near the bottom is the widest in the U.S.,” he wrote.

Maybe that "gap" is what inspires some to earn more. Knowing you get to keep your increase is a great incentive to create it.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:17 PM
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The coming wave of worker displacement due to robotics has nothing to do with exporting jobs. The advance of technology doesn't stop at our borders. This will be a world wide phenomena. Even the cheap imported labor will be replaced.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:35 PM
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We, the middle class of America have been raked over the coals for nearly a decade. Democrats CLAIM to support the middle class, but they never do.

Democrats claim they are AGAINST the "rich getting richer, poor getting poorer" paradigm... yet all you need to do is look at any place in America that has had Democrats at the helm for a long time. Their "accomplishments" are plain to see. These are the places in America that have turned into 3rd world cesspools.

Many of our largest cities have become quagmires of marxist kleptocracy. Democrat policies CREATE a wealthy ruling class, and a dirt poor proletariat. And the results are clear for all to see.

Places like Detroit, Chicago, LA, Philly, and Washington DC have been under firm Democrat rule and policies for decades... so these are the shining examples of what Democrat policies accomplish. All are mired in poverty, with jobless rates well into double digits, violent crime rates at three and four times the national average, intrinsic corruption at all levels of government, HUGE salary gaps between rich and poor, horrific educational systems and almost no middle class to speak of.

These are in fact the places where wealthy Democrats look down from their ivory towers at the groveling masses below. They toss them handouts and platitudes... but they do NOTHING to actually fix the system they created.

In stark contrast, "red state" America is almost entirely made up of middle class citizenry... of ALL religions and nationalities. It doesn't have the problems, the crime, the debt, or the corruption. The Democrats in conjunction with their Wall Street cronies used suburban America as a giant piggy bank for 8 years... and the middle class FINALLY figured this out. Hillary would have brought another 4 years of federal pillaging among working class Americans. We rightly (thankfully) rejected that notion.

The blight visited upon us over the last decade will not heal overnight. It will take another 2 or 3 years to really get the ball rolling again... but roll, it will.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
It appears that in the very near future, at least half of the labor force will be replaced with automation, and we'll probably end up with some kind of universal basic income system. Some professionals are going to be replaced just as easily as low skill workers. Income will be largely equalized if for no other reason than robotics and automation making the human workforce obsolete in many areas. That's the buzz I keep hearing and reading. So in that sense, the middle class will grow. Actually, the whole class system will probably cease to be relevant for the most part.
I don't know if the class system will disappear, but I absolutely agree that a big impact from automation is coming. It has been happening all my life -- 77 years so far.

Way back, you picked up the phone and an operator asked "number please?" Then dialing was introduced, (operator jobs disappeared!) but you still needed an operator for long distance. Somehow the telephone company figured out we could handle dialing the extra digits for that, so now we do (long distance operator jobs lost.) Or maybe your phone is slick enough that you can just select from a list.

Vending machines in many places stand ready to sell you a bag of chips or a can of Pepsi. Tickets for commuter trains are available the same way.

I have read recently about a store with no checkout clerks. Tracking technology in the store sees what you took and charges you for it. (Cute girls unemployed~!)

Several companies are developing driverless cars. How long until this is applied to over-the-road trucks?

Fifty years ago (!) I developed computer software that automated the testing of computer devices in the manufacturing plant. Even then it was possible to exercise and test all of the pathways on an electronic circuit board in seconds.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:29 PM
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The robot of the future will not be repaired. Just cannibalised of everything that is still working and recycled. Manufacturing another new robot will be cheap and hassle free. Another advantage is that it will also be already updated to the standards of the day. It will be the same model as for the automatic gear box in the cars today or more and more with the smartphones industry. No jobs will be found in repairing robots or updating them.
Yeah, think of all the appliances that are now cheaper to replace then they are to have fixed. If I didn't do the work myself, my washing machine would have needed a repair that would have cost $100 just to get the guy to show up. A $15 part marked up to $50, and another $100-200 to have him put it in. Do you spend $250-300 to repair an out of warranty washing machine or look for a new version on sale?

Phones, TVs, blenders, vacuums, etc. have become throw away items instead of durable goods.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:34 PM
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I don't know if the class system will disappear, but I absolutely agree that a big impact from automation is coming. It has been happening all my life -- 77 years so far.
As you've stated, it's been happening for a long time... and yet we always find new and innovative ways to stay busy. The industries that automate merely spawn new industries to feed them goods, raw materials and of course... the automation itself.

Automation has been ongoing for over a century, and we've only GAINED jobs. The civilian labor force in America was only 62 million in 1950. It doubled to 125 million by 1990. It is now more than 160 million and growing... so no real signs that jobs will suddenly be supplanted by automation.

In fact, the only noticeable difference is that many goods and services have become cheaper and more plentiful, and of course the standard of living has gone up.

The "robots replacing people" theme is fodder for some great science fiction, but the very laws of capitalism prevent it from happening. People may be forced to "change gears" in their career from time to time, but they will never be replaced.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:51 PM
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Yeah, think of all the appliances that are now cheaper to replace then they are to have fixed.
I had an HD TV fail about a year ago. It would occasionally just shut itself off. After this had continued for a while, the day came when it just wouldn't turn on anymore.

It was only about 3 or 4 years old, and a quick online search found similar issues with the same model. Apparently this model was known for failures in the power board. I was relieved because the main board, screen, and everything else was fine. The power board was a fairly small module and looked easy to replace.

After digging around online, I was able to locate that power board... for $200. I went back through my receipts... and realized that I'd purchased the whole TV for $199 on sale at Wally-World. So even doing the labor myself, there was no use in fixing it.

The good news is that in the end, the $200 I would have had to spend to fix the original set, bought me a bigger and better TV.

And here's the fun part... you can get a 19" HDTV at Wally-World for $79. Consider that in 1970, a "big" 19 inch color TV (not hi-def, not "smart") would have set you back at least $600. In today's money, that's nearly $4,000.
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