Income Inequality Squeezes the Middle Class [via Beat the Press]

Inflation adjusted percentage increase in mean...
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I couldn’t agree more. There is less of the pie for the poor and middle class. No matter what your talents and your willingness to work, how do you compete with a system that distributes income upward toward those who already have the money? Income inequality continues to squeeze the middle class perhaps eventually into its disappearance.

James Pilant

This brief comment is from a posting on Beat the Press entitled –

If Millennials Do Worse Than Their Parents, It Will Be Because Bill Gates‘ Kids Have All the Money

The Washington Post had a column by a millennial columnist complaining about the lack of opportunity. It is striking that the column never once mentioned income inequality.

There is no doubt that millennials will on average be far wealthier than their parents. Output per hour has roughly doubled over the last three decades, meaning that the real wage could be almost twice as high today as it was in 1980. Insofar as the typical millennial is not seeing the benefits of this productivity growth it is due to the fact that so much income has been redistributed upwards, not the result of any generational dynamics.


Here’s some more from Mother Jones, the New York Times, and Slate.

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Meltdown Monday: Like watching my fantasy baseball team get slaughtered, only it matters (via Minding the Workplace)

David Yamada and I definitely see eye to eye on this issue. I have no retirement investments on Wall Street, so I am one step further away. Still, I am very upset by the self destructive tendencies of the Congress of the United States and its effect on world markets. I’m looking to the elections in 2012. Surely we can do better than this!

James Pilant

I confess that I have spent my day alternating between semi-productive writing and e-mailing tasks and less productive glances at the stock market reports. At the bell, the Dow has finished another 600 points down. Like millions of Americans, what happens with the stock market bears directly and indirectly on my financial health. And like many fellow Americans, I am a bit player in this casino economy. Some of my retirement savings are invested i … Read More

via Minding the Workplace

Post-meltdown America: An economic recovery for the wealthy (via Minding the Workplace)

David Yamada, whose blog I am a great admirer of, tell the story correctly. The great mass of Americans suffer while a small minority reap unprecedented profits.

James Pilant

As our economy teeters on the brink of another recession (even as the "old" one never seems to have disappeared), here are three indicators that the wealthiest among us have been the primary beneficiaries of any recovery from the big meltdown: 1. Executive raises make a comeback Matt Krantz and Barbara Hansen of USA Today report that executive raises in 2010 made a comeback after a leaner 2009 (link here): The heads of the nation’s top companies … Read More

via Minding the Workplace

Fault Lines: The Top 1% (via THE INTERNET POST)

Exactly. The distribution of income is this country is a great moral and ethical problem. If the money were allocated according to ability and work ethic, that might make some sense but walk around in this country and look at the hard working men and women reduced to penury by law that favor financial “innovation” over hard work and productivity.

James Pilant

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country's income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it's been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years. Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US' 14.3 trillion dollar debt is u … Read More


Adding Insult to Injury – America’s Debt Ceiling Crisis & Who is responsible for the financial crisis in America? (via Tucson Blonde)

This is a explanation of why the rich are gaining ground and the middle class losing it. It cites statistics on a regular basis. No statistic cited is anything that I have heard contrary data on. So, I think the report was written with considerable research. I would note that there is not just a little passion in the post which is delightful to me but not always to my readers.

This blogger wrote a lengthy, well written and thoughtful article. Please visit the web site and reward those efforts.

James Pilant

Whose side is Congress on? In November 2009 the New York Times published an article about the number of US Senators and House members who were millionaires.[i] At the time two-thirds (66%) of the senate and more than half (55%) of the house were also millionaires. That year recorded an estimate of nearly 7% (ca. 21 million) Americans who were, at least, millionaires. If our “representatives” truly reflected the current state of our great Nation w … Read More

via Tucson Blonde

Human Rights Facts (229): Tens of Thousands of U.S. Citizens Die of Poverty Each Year (via P.a.p.-Blog)

The data is for 2000 but as all of us familiar with the economic data know, we live in worse times. But don’t expect any concern from Congress or the President. They are scurrying to the commands of the tens of thousands of lobbyists in Washington. The poor are generally unable to deploy lobbyists and their campaign contributions are small, very small.

James Pilant

Human Rights Facts (229): Tens of Thousands of U.S. Citizens Die of Poverty Each Year (source) Poverty kills, it seems. As if it's not bad enough in itself. Although death is often multicausal, a study has tried to estimate in how many cases poverty is a contributing factor: For 2000, the study attributed 176,000 deaths to racial segregation and 133,000 to individual poverty. The nu … Read More

via P.a.p.-Blog

Small Boats Sunset wallpaper – The Attack of The Serious People (via The Long Goodbye)

This is a thorough analysis of the debt ceiling crisis. I enjoyed it. I hope you do too.

James Pilant

Small Boats Sunset wallpaper - The Attack of The Serious People Small Boats Sunset wallpaper   For better or worse the debt ceiling debate has turned into a horse race story. The closer any political event can be framed into a horse race context the better most of the media likes it … Boehner has a plan, talks break down, Reid has a compromise, tea toddler Republicans pull back. So ABC's report of a tentative debt ceiling compromise might mean something for the next few hours and then disappear into th … Read More

via The Long Goodbye

Are Things As Bad As They Seem? (via Info Ink)

Yes, they are every bit that bad.

James Pilant

The partisanship…..the extremism……lack of respect…….the out right lies…….the misinformation (and yes, it is different from lies)…….and it all comes down to the American voter….YOU voted for morons and now you are paying the price for that vote…..I know, what could be so bad we might get lower taxes and balanced budget and spending controls….what could be so bad? Glad you asked!  While you were bobbing and weaving through t … Read More

via Info Ink

What I Am Reading Today – James Pilant – July 18th, 2011

I read Paul Krugman’s columns in the New York Times on a daily basis. In this book, Krugman argues that government policy during the New Deal was responsible for creating a Middle Class society in the 1950’s and 1960’s and that if we so desire we can accomplish this again. He argues and I believe argues successfully that the destruction of American manufacturing, the decline of wages and the stagnation of our job opportunities are neither inevitable or the product of natural forces.

The Conscience of a Liberal

Here’s a nice paragraph –

A Progressive agenda, then, would require major changes in public policy, but it would be anything but radical. Its goal would be to complete the work of the New Deal, including expansion of social insurance to cover avoidable risks that have become vastly more important in recent decades. And as an economic matter, achieving that agenda would be eminently doable. It would amount to giving U.S. citizens no more than the level of protection from financial risk and personal misfortune that citizens of other advanced countries already have.

I am very much enjoying the book. If you want a copy you can go here on Amazon.

James Pilant

Flawed economics (via to boondoggle is human.)

This is what I have been saying in many blog posts. We simply cannot keep doing the same economic things over and over again when they have failed over and over again. Some have said that is the very definition of insanity.

It is not ethical or moral to have corporations and the wealthy shed their tax burdens while leaving the average wage earners holding the bag. Those who control large sums of money in this country benefit like everyone else from educational systems, roads and bridges, and the work of police, firemen and our soldiers. Calling yourselves, “job creators” does not place a halo on your head or relieve you of your duty to your country, your state, your community and your fellow citizens.

We need to have a tax code that allocates the taxes paid in relation to the excess wealth accumulated and severely limits the amount paid on the base money necessary for basic needs, like food, shelter, education and medical needs.

I like this blogger’s thinking and I wish him well.

James Pilant

Flawed economics Supply-side Economics (see for definition and description), founded by Milton Friedman and made policy by Reagan, has been tested over the past 30 years.  It is working for the top 1%; not so much for the rest of us.  The dawned (indeed, dawned) realization is that the vast majority of ordinary consumers – the massive lower middle- and middle-class – are seeing their wages stagnate.  We are witnessing the impact of wage-stagn … Read More

via to boondoggle is human.