most of the middle class jobs lost were in manufacturing. BO's overly
aggressive EPA is shutting down manufacturing in this country. And Obamacare is
preventing small businesses from hiring, trying to avoid the dreaded 30 hour and
50 employee thresholds.LDS? lib would blame bush if the
neighbor's dog ran across his yard. It was barney frank who caused the
@ of $100.00 is 2 cents, 2% of $100.20. That's only 1 month, calculate 2%
over a year. Than think that it's been going on year after year.
That's why I can't afford grocery's or to get in my car and go
any where. Chaos; to confine the hostages and punish the unruly.
Feds printing money is one of the scariest things I've heard. It reminds
me strongly of the money manipulation of the Hitler regime and lead to major
Car Man and LDS Liberal I think you both have it right and wrong. GWB is a part
of the progressive movement in this country as well as the current
administration. Bigger government chokes out innovation and industry with all
the regulations and inefficiencies they dream up. The stock market is
manipulated and has been for the past couple of years. With all the bad news
that is coming out about how the economy is really doing why would the stock
market continue to go up? Hmmm could it be propaganda and market manipulation?
Look at the velocity at which stocks trade currently and then tell me if there
is anyone with "smart" money still in the market. Bubbles are being
created by the Fed and if they don't stop printing money and catering to
the too big to fail banks, the whole global financial system will implode.
If you want to see more middle class jobs disappear, just wait until the
Senate's immigration bill passes. The number of high tech and H1B visas
for legal immigrants almost doubles and staying gets easier. Businesses win by
keeping wages low and not having to train in-house, while middle class jobs
disappear and wages stagnate or go down. Our "IQ starved" companies and
educational institutions want to increase the number of foreign workers because
they can't find American citizens that "want to do the job." State
Senator Warren Hatch is winking at the middle class as he is one of the main
sponsors of the bill.
Oatmeal:You describe a rosy scenario. I hope you're right, and
we become a classless society that can reap the benefits of technological
progress.The history of our economic system is one of great
competition, and the analysis so far indicates that technology widens economic
inequalities, even in the Scandanavian countries that educate their kids with
equality as a goal.Greater inequality is likely to lead to a host of
problems, and we may have to get very creative to achieve a society that can
avoid those problems, in general.
Technology will present us with an opportunity for a golden age or a path to
class warfare. The choice is ours. We could literally have a nearly classless
society of well-educated, industrious and high achieving individuals. It comes
down to us developing new ideas of wealth, education, economics, industry and
happiness. So which shall it be? Can we develop the society, system of ethics
and culture to match our technology? Or will our story read more like a sci-fi
A half century ago America’s largest private-sector employer was General
Motors, whose full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in
today’s dollars, including health and pension benefits.Today,
America’s largest employer is Wal-Mart, whose average employee earns $8.81
an hour. A third of Wal-Mart’s employees work less than 28 hours per week
and don’t qualify for benefits.Corporations have been
investing in technology rather than their workers. They get tax credits and
deductions for such investments; they get no such tax benefits for improving the
skills of their employees. As a result, corporations can now do more with fewer
people on their payrolls. That means higher profits.(Various quotes
by Robert Reich)Corporate profits are claiming a larger share of national
income than at any time in 60 years, while the portion of total income going to
employees is near its lowest since 1966.
Technology has displaced workers for a long, long time, and we've always
managed to find new things to do. What we haven't really seen
yet is the displacement of high skills workers, but there's ample reason to
think this is on the way. Robotics is getting better and better at surgery, and
IBM's Watson, which smoked everyone on the memory skills show Jeopardy! is
being applied to medical diagnosing, so patients will soon increasingly rely not
on their physician's memory and diagnostic skills, but on the
sophistication of automated medical diagnosis. This will occur within the next
10-15 years.What accountants did 5 years ago is now performed by
systems, even newspaper articles will increasingly be written automatically by
sophisticated software that can compile some facts into a publishable story.The breadth and depth of technological displacement may put more
widespread pressure on our population as employment is segmented into jobs that
are still cheaper to perform by humans, and jobs that have not yet been
automated.As the children of physicians and attorneys increasingly
struggle to find employment, we may find our views of employment and wealth need
PEW put out an article called "The Lost Decade of the Middle Class" it
shows people moving down, not up. And robotics was not one of the reasons.
This article highlights the fact that Utah needs to put more emphasis in our
elementary and secondary schools on math and science skills. We over-emphasize
dance, sports, etc. in this state, and do a miserable job preparing most
students for college in core subjects such as reading/writing, math and
science.We can continue to stick our head in the sand and think our
schools are doing an ok job. The reality is that most of our high school
graduates are not ready in three out of four core college subjects, and have to
take remedial classes in these subjects. When adjusted for demographic
advantages in the state, our students do worse than the national average in math
and science (and other subjects!). We need to fix this. Now.
To LDSLiberal:If you have lost $0.5M, you have not been that wise.
You either bought too much home in the housing boom (many of us did not), or
traded in and out of stocks and missed the big run-up, or a combination of those
and other poor decisions. Blue-chip stocks are hitting all-time highs, with the
most conservative of those investments (utilities, dividend paying blue-chips,
etc,) having some of the best runs. Most smart investors I know have been
hitting all-time highs for two years or more.You can blame others,
including GWB, if it makes you feel better, but that will only give you
psychological refuge that may help you temporarily feel better, but won't
help you understand your mistakes and how to avoid them in the future.Save. Invest wisely including diversification. Live frugally. You will be
With slave labor being used by multinational corporations overseas and machines
used here (robots and computers), I wonder what jobs will be left for people to
do in the next couple of decades. A few months ago on 60 minutes, some experts
on technology and jobs said there will really be little to no work for most
people to do in the next generation. In other words, all the education in the
world may not find you a job. If this is so, we will have to drastically
recalibrate how humans divide up the food and goodies the machines make.
It'll be interesting.
Ya'know, it isn't as though this condition and the processes that have
gotten us here wasn't predicted or couldn't have been anticipated.Mechanization and/or automation, in many forms, has been an increasingly
prominent feature of society for the last almost 300 years. True, the advent
and more recent ubiquity of the computer, that most versatile of machines, has
rapidly accelerated that process during the last 35 years or so.But,
warnings about the insufficiency of a High School diploma have been blaring for
at least 30 years. I remember because it was those warnings in the late
70's that prompted me to get my act together and push for college
graduation. Something I completed, finally, after 12 years of on/off attendance
(had to work my way through college).With the incredible advances in
robotics and A.I. in the last 10 years or so, I'm not sure what will be
left for people to do for work in the future. I hope that means we'll
finally attain the utopian dream where robots will be doing what we don't
want to while we spend some kind of lives of productive leisure. The
alternative is scary to contemplate.
@ LDS liberal,If you read the article and look at the graphic, it shows that the
loss in middle jobs have mostly shifted to upper skills jobs. Only 3% of the
total jobs went from middle skill jobs to low skill jobs (15% up to 18%), but
11% of the jobs went from middle skill jobs to upper skill jobs (26% to 37%).
This doesn't justify The rich get richer, the poor are
getting poorer.It says more like the middle class are moving to the
upper class. I'm not sure that is true by any means, but the article
doesn't say what you are thinking it says.
We are getting to the point where supporting human beings in an economy while at
the same time having a robotic workforce is going to be a bigger decision point.
But we're also burdened with the willingness of some parts of Earth to use
their huge population as slave labor and sell that to us. A global treaty
regarding a minimum wage could help both competition and the result in the end
of ignorantly using things made by the bloody hands of a child slave in India or
If there is going to be a much smaller middle class, then we need to stop
allowing low income workers to immigrate here.
In other words -- The rich get richer, the poor are getting
poorer.Between my 401K and my home value -- I've lost over $
1/2 million.I played by all the rules, made sound investments [not
risky ones], was always frugal and followed the Prophet's advise to
the letter.I blame GW Bush.