Rich-poor gap growing

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The gap between the United States’ rich and poor continued to grow last year, according to new government wage data.

With pay down and fewer jobs available, the Social Security Administration’s figures highlight one of the major issues of the Occupy Wall Street movement - widening income disparity, the Associated Press reported.

The SSA said 50 percent of workers made less than $26,364 last year — and most Americans have fewer job opportunities available to them. But the wealthiest Americans are relatively unscathed, with those earning $1 million or more jumping 18 percent from 2009.

Total employment fell again last year, dropping from 150.9 million in 2009 to 150.4 million in 2010. And in 2007, at the height of the recession, there were still 5.2 million more jobs than in 2010, the AP wrote.

The average income for Americans was $39,959 last year, but the median wage was just $26,364. The SSA wrote that this shows “the distribution of workers by wage level is highly skewed,” the AP reported.

Occupy Wall Street protesters have demonstrated across the country in recent weeks against what they deem the unfair income disparity between the U.S.’s top wage earners and average Americans.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66547.html

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And President Obama's policies of spending my children and grandchildren's money to fund bailouts of Big Labor and reward big money special interests has contributed to this.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

Correct. Taxes are now fairly regressive, and they become more regressive all the time, so as we borrow trillions and put all that pressure on future generations to pay it, we automatically sentence them to slavery to the government.

Americans don't really care, however. Obviously we hate our children since 95%+ of American voters select borrowers and taxers and (most to the point) spenders in each election.

Maybe we should just kill, cook and eat our children. It would be more honest and less painful, really.

AH, why do you focus on the auto industry bailout without mentioning the Wall St bailout? It would seem the Wall St bailout would more directly add to the problem of rich-poor gap increase. At least with the auto bailout, a lot of middle class salaries were saved. In fact, the lower amount of unionization in the US is directly connected to the 1% increasing their wealth at the expense of the middle class.

Pink Slip

People who complain about the auto bailout and not the Wall St. bailout either don't know, or don't remember that both bailouts came from the 700 billion dollars of TARP money. It wasn't really a separate bailout from a money standpoint. Obama used 24.9 billion of the 700 billion from TARP for the auto bailout, not a separate 24.9 billion. In other words, if he hadn't done the auto bailout, the whole 700 billion would have gone to the banks and hedge funds anyway. So, why do people even complain about the auto bailout and forget to mention the big banks? That is a good question. Beats the hell out of me, other than they have been well trained. Maybe they would have rather seen all the money go to the corporate banks and hedge funds, rewarding them even more for the damage they have done? At least the auto bailout went to working people.

Here's a link for you auto bailout complainers to read about it on your own: http://useconomy.about.com/od/criticalssues/a/auto_bailout.htm

Trained by who? Who trained you to be an apologist for failed Democrat policies?

John McCain would be president today if he'd had the balls to tell the Republican establishment to go **** themselves and gave cover to those in Congress who didn't want to bail out Wall Street by joining the vast majority of Americans who opposed the bailout.

Conversely, Barack Obama did not oppose the bailout, either.

So to answer your question (of which I already answered before), I opposed the Wall Street/Big Corporation bailout, the Big Labor bailout, and the porkulous.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"for failed Democrat policies"

Sorry, but Bush and his appointee Paulson practically begged for a Wall St bailout. You're so partisan.

Pink Slip

Really, Pink? 1. I wasn't even referring to you. 2. Is that all you can come up with? "I don't like what you say so I'll just ignore your post and make up something so I can call you a partisan."

Trying reading the ****ing post and try not to let your bias towards Democrats and your penchant for enabling Big Union (just as bad as Big Corporation) excesses get in the way.

----------------------------------

John McCain would be president today if he'd had the balls to tell the Republican establishment to go **** themselves and gave cover to those in Congress who didn't want to bail out Wall Street by joining the vast majority of Americans who opposed the bailout.

Conversely, Barack Obama did not oppose the bailout, either.

So to answer your question (of which I already answered before), I opposed the Wall Street/Big Corporation bailout, the Big Labor bailout, and the porkulous.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

Yes, I read the post. I'm just pointing out the "Democrat policy" remark. You're quick to label everyone else as partisan, and yet your pattern is to constantly pin these things on one party.

Pink Slip

Well?

Which party has controlled Toledo along with its special interest groups and run the city into the ground?

Which party controls California along with its special interest groups and has run the state into the ground?

Which party has the White House right now? Controls the Senate? Rammed through Obamacare using Tom DeLay-type tactics? Controlled Congress and passed the Wall Street bailout, the big labor bailout, and a 900B stimulus that did nothing but hand money to the big money special interests who helped get this certain party elected in the first place?

Third party. This country needs a third party in the worse possible way.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

Which party's president nearly doubled the national debt (Bush)?

Which party's president tripled the national debt (Reagan)?

Which party cut taxes during wartime?

Which party has the worst job creation numbers on record?

Which party is directly responsible for lowering the country's credit rating?

Which party's policies led to the greatest gap between the rich and poor since the Great Depression?

Which party pushed for the Wall St bailout?

Etc, etc...we could play this game all day. However, I personally think both parties play a huge role in where we are now. So...who's the partisan here?

Pink Slip

Both parties hate the middle class (the REAL middle class, not the f*ckwits in the unions). Both parties refuse to enforce the borders against the yearly tsunami of illegal immigration. Both parties support globalism. Both parties spend like 14-yr-old girls with daddy's credit card. Both parties have presided over many tens of thousands of pages of IRS tax code for businesses and corporations, which is the largest body of loopholes ever created.

So that should sum up who's really to blame, here: The voter.

I completely agree with everything except the final sentence.

Both parties have made it nearly impossible for a third party to gain any traction whatsoever and the voters are left with voting for the lessor of two evils.

The real middle class voter is too busy trying to keep his/her family's head above water. The next great president will be the one who can transcend the uber-toxicity of the current political atmosphere and pull the divide together enough to address the issues that have been left to their own devices by both parties.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

Say what?

Nader was running in all 50 states in 2000. The Democrats screamed at him for doing so, largely since Democrat voters are the problem. They wanted a Wall Street candidate, as expressed in Gore. Nader was a clear choice, had views and policies which were fiercely Democratic, and every Democrat could have voted for him merely by clicking. But they didn't. Hence the voter is the problem.

The busyness of a middle class voter is irrelevant since the polls are open for long time on election day. He has plenty of time to think before that day, too, and is exposed to enough media in the preceding months that he can't claim he's "forced" to pull the lever on one or the other major candidates. After all, why is he doing that, if he's too busy to even study those candidates in the first place?

And in case that it's escaped your notice from the 2008 election campaign, we already obtained your "puller", called Obama. He said all the right things, and looked good and waved to the crowds, yet by gosh and by golly, when he got into office his strong support from Wall Street made him do the very same things that GWB (the previous Wall Street candidate) was doing, regardless of what he said in the campaign. He was a fraud. Just like GWB and his "compassionate conservatism". Just like Clinton. Just like Reagan and his trained pet HWB. All these guys were Wall Street Presidents, with the predictable result that we've been driven into the Second Great Depression (or Third, depending how you view the 1873-1890 financial ennui).

A potential uniter like that can't exist with the major parties, and yet people keep choosing them from the major parties, hence no union results. And the ballots are full of alternatives. So we're back to what I said: The problem is the U.S. voter. He keeps voting for Wall Street candidates and then expects the middle class to recover. But Wall Street makes its money from destroying the middle class. So the U.S. voter is not only to blame, but is a moron. And bad things are guaranteed to happen to stupid people.

Which party's president nearly doubled the national debt (Bush)?
Is Bush still president? Didn't someone else take over in 2009?

Which party's president tripled the national debt (Reagan)?
Is Reagan still president? I didn't know we were talking about the 80's.

Which party cut taxes during wartime?
Is this still 2002? No?

Which party has the worst job creation numbers on record?
That would be both parties. Republicans hold the House; Democrats hold the Senate. And Obama's been campaigning for the past three years.

Which party is directly responsible for lowering the country's credit rating?
Who was president? Who controlled half of Congress? Democrats get 60% of the blame with the Republicans taking 40%

Which party's policies led to the greatest gap between the rich and poor since the Great Depression?
Easy, who signed off on NAFTA. Bill Clinton (D). Who went on Larry King and blatantly lied about NAFTA. Al Gore (D). Who rammed through the largest tax increase (at the time) in American history that balanced the budget disproportionately on middle class America? Hint...Al Gore (D) cast the deciding vote there in the Senate.

Who promised that she was going to come in and 'drain the swamp' and make Congress work for average Americans...and promptly went out and ruled just like Tom DeLay (R) did? Nancy Pelosi (D).

Which party wants to ignore the fact that by next year, the national debt will hit 16- 16.5 trillion dollars and continue to recklessly and irresponsibly spend money we don't have and leave the bill for our children and grandchildren?

Which party has controlled the majority of the executive/legislative wings for the past six years- Democrats. That's the REAL issue here. Not something that took place 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

I'll go back to what I keep saying. It took me 20 minutes to balance the budget in four years, reduce the national debt by over 50% in 10 years. Why can't Republicans and Democrats in Congress do the same?

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"Is Bush still president? Didn't someone else take over in 2009?...Is this still 2002? No?"

So then you aren't concerned with the debt??? Huh--I could have sworn you were!

You have a very interesting perspective---when a Republican is president, only Congress matters. When a Democrat is president--it's his fault!. No mention of the GOP-controlled Boehner Congress. No mention of the GOP votes on NAFTA (132 for & 43 against in the House and 34 for & 10 against in the Senate)--it's Clinton's fault!

The more you talk, the more you expose yourself as nothing but a partisan.

Pink Slip

Did John Boehner control Congress? Really? I thought he only presided over the House. What does Harry Reid do?

BTW...Nancy Pelosi (D) and Harry Reid (D) presided over the passing of the big corporation bailout. Where the hell was their leadership?

NAFTA:
Bill Clinton signed the damn bill- yes or no?

The Republicans passed the bill but Clinton could have vetoed it, right? Could he have?

The Gratuitous name-calling, last word nonsense:
And you blindly stick your head in the ground and ignore big labor abuses. You're an enabler. While middle class America drowns because of policies signed off on by both parties, all you really care about is making sure that big labor gets 'theirs.'

I would gladly vote for a Democrat who would transcend party politics, denounce big money special interest groups- like big labor, and bring everyone together. The problem is, I haven't found that person yet.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

So the House has NO power? You CAN'T pass any legislation without the House passing a bill. Why do you think there hasn't been jobs bill?

"NAFTA: Bill Clinton signed the damn bill- yes or no?"

And Bush signed the Wall St bailout bill--yes or no? Also, the TARP bill could not have passed without Republican votes. The GOP could have blocked the bill in either the House or the Senate. Bush could have vetoed it.

You're far more partisan than I am. Far more.

Pink Slip

"...While middle class America drowns because of policies signed off on by both parties, all you really care about is making sure that big labor gets 'theirs.'

I would gladly vote for a Democrat who would transcend party politics, denounce big money special interest groups- like big labor, and bring everyone together. The problem is, I haven't found that person yet."

Yeah, I'm SO much more partisan than you.

My party is the American Heartland Party. What's yours?

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

There are people who like to make it seem as though the funds for the auto bailout didn't come from TARP. They do this on purpose so they can try and make Obama look bad. They want people to believe that the money for the auto bailout was "more spending" on Obama's part, when really the spending took place on Bush's watch. Obama just diverted some of that fund to an area of the economy where it might actually get to the working people.

Frankly, I don't see why Obama is not praised for doing this. Obama was giving TARP money to actual "job creators" instead of the banks and hedge funds.

Oppose TARP all you want, but please don't call it a "failed Democrat policy". That is just not accurate.

Okay, it doesn't matter who came up with the policy. Bailing out big business, big banks, big corporations, big labor, big auto was a bad idea, period.

By 2012, the national debt will be about 16.5 trillion dollars- that's unacceptable.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

It doesn't matter who comes up with the bailout policy; the important part is why big business and big banks even ask for them in the first place. And why, whether they get them or not, we all have to suffer an economic meltdown because of their actions. That's what needs fixing.

We Americans should never have to have our president telling us we need to bail out banks and hedge funds or the economy of our nation will implode. We shouldn't have to have our Head Of Treasury, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, calling for a 700 billion dollar emergency fund to fix problems he himself probably had a lot to do with creating.

Those first days of the economic meltdown, when Bush went on television with a worried look in his eyes, were kinda scary. They were meant to be scary. What were we supposed to believe? This was the President Of The United States and the head of the US treasury, telling us it was over if we didn't do a bailout. Were they right? Would it have been worse?

Let's stop fighting each other and fix the problems that caused us to get into this mess.

"Let's stop fighting each other and fix the problems that caused us to get into this mess."

Yeah, I completely agree there.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"Let's stop fighting each other and fix the problems that caused us to get into this mess."

But we're not fighting each other just by talking. That's part of Toledo's general affliction, in that anything less than outright cheerleading is widely believed to be a "problem". Of course, that comes from the usual scapegoating method, where lots of people who have no power are trying to slap down other people who also have no power, based on the lowest common denominator: Free speech.

That aside, we're also not trying to fix anything. Too many of us are still spending too much money on consumer items. Too many of us are still using up mind-blowing amounts of energy on transportation, heating, cooling and lighting. Too many of us still don't have much of a problem with a government that taxes and spends, then borrows and spends. Too many of us do not practice anything like we're preaching.

Fixing the problems as noted above my posting should be a fait accompli. Americans facing a coming lifetime of poverty should be canceling their spending and overall involvement with consumerism. They should be paying off debts or bankrupting in huge numbers, to prepare for a future of less energy and less employment for just about everyone. However, we're back to a part of Toledo's general affliction as I hinted about above, in that people value appearance and feelings over far more substantial items like personal wealth and sound government. So voluntarily downsizing your own lifestyle is generally vigorously opposed, since it crosses the highly inflated self image of most Americans. In short, Toledoans need to adopt frugality, but refuse, since it makes them feel poor. And you can't tell them that either, since they will call you a "gloom and doom" guy or a "naysayer", and then move on to claiming that anyone who advocates frugality is being fatalistic and (amazingly) is part of a social order that somehow (since the mechanism is never defined) compels employers to leave and stay away.

I've worked for many years now to get Toledoans to understand that you can't spend or tax yourself into prosperity, and that the future will be worse than today, hence the only rational choice would be to adopt frugality and conserve capital for those times. After all, when capital movements become nearly frictionless when compared to labor movements, then there's only one rational outcome: Capitalists will dictate the terms, and historically speaking their terms are enslavement. Hence why I use the term "rational choice", since effective slavery only means a worse future for the working class. So I doubt after all this time that I've had much effect except to piss a lot of people off and thus lend steel to their resolve to be as fiscally absurd as possible, hence accelerate their class degradation.

Still, I'd rather be right than liked.

Who writes the checks?

Congress....

Which party controlled both houses of congress when TARP was passed?

Democrats.

And once again for the cheap seats...Bush was a MODERATE...and when Democrats took control on congress in 2006 unemployment was at 4.6%....

http://money.cnn.com/2006/11/03/news/economy/jobs_october/

Unemployment sinks to 5-year low
Rate posts unexpected drop to lowest since May 2001; job growth revised higher.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
November 3 2006: 2:42 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in more than five years in October, the government reported Friday, a sign of unexpected strength in the job market.

The jobless rate sank to 4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in September, the Labor Department said. It was the lowest since May 2001. Economists had forecast the rate would hold steady.

and the democrats were bitching about it being too high...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

(you have to go to rense, as I can't seem to cut and paste it properly)

This cartooon tells me that the selective-ness of the lamestream media is being noticed nationally. I think the only reason the LSM covers the occupiers at all, is that the media types don't actually "get" that the demonstrators have been listening to Ron Paul and agree with him, by and large.

It used to be that the media would characterize any and all who wanted the "Fed" abolished as nutcases. Guess they can't quite make up their minds these days. Poooor media people. They have actually lost track of who their enemies are.

As usual, a few months short and missing a lot of facts, but at least Pink Slit is starting to understand that Democrats cause poverty.

The rest of us talked about this in July of this year.

http://swampbubbles.com/20110726/usual-under-democrat-rule-rich-get-rich...

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

"The gap between the United States’ rich and poor continued to grow last year". Not only that, you forgot to mention "the poor will always be with us".

Which party's president STILL hasn't passed a budget almost 3 years after he was elected?

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

Notice the shrinking of union membership coincides perfectly with the destruction of the middle class. Remember that next time you spout off your confused nonsense of how "big labor" is destroying the middle class.

Pink Slip

Well that MUST be it. Correlations MUST be cause/effect driven.

So using your logic, EATING OATMEAL CAUSES CANCER. Because people who regularly eat oatmeal get cancer at higher rates so it MUST be because of the oatmeal right?

It can't be because old people get cancer AND old people eat more oatmeal. Meaning even though there's a correlation the reason people get cancer and the reason people eat more oatmeal is because THEY'RE OLD!

The decline of union membership and the decline of the middle class are not cause/effect relationships. They are both symptoms. Symptoms of the movement away from Industrial Age manufacturing based societies. The higher rate of the cost of living and the gap in incomes have led to the destruction of the middle class more than anything else. Unions have fed into the gap in incomes thus adding to the problem.

MikeyA

Pink, you'll have to show me where exactly I said Big Labor was destroying the middle class because I don't remember saying that.

Clearly, you are taking something I wrote out of context...again. But I'm not surprised. You're typical of hardcore partisans who can't stomach someone having an opinion contrary to yours.

Also, your chart proves what I've said repeatedly. NAFTA + overreaching tax increase that hit middle class America = decline of middle class America. Both parties did it. Big unions were actually on the right side for once in opposing NAFTA.

Middle Class share of aggregate income plummeted in the aftermath of NAFTA's passage. Your chart states it implicitly. And it's even from Think Progress. Thanks for proving my point.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"Pink, you'll have to show me where exactly I said Big Labor was destroying the middle class because I don't remember saying that."

http://swampbubbles.com/20111021/rich-poor-gap-growing#comment-64059

And sorry, but NAFTA didn't pass in 1967 which is where the graph begins. The trend started long before NAFTA was passed. And tax rates have consistently FALLEN since the 60's

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/Content/PDF/individual_rates.pdf

So you clearly don't know what you're taking about.

Pink Slip

Now, you're just flat out lying.

And President Obama's policies of spending my children and grandchildren's money to fund bailouts of Big Labor and reward big money special interests has contributed to this.

Where in there did I say Big Labor was destroying the middle class. Answer: none.

And Pink, I don't give a damn when your little chart starts. It clearly states that around 1991-1992, the middle class share of income plummeted right after NAFTA was passed and that proves what I say is the root cause of the decline of middle class America.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

Look, stop advocating a clearly and provably wrong viewpoint.

Union membership was weakening for more decades than you've admitted. The wiki on the topic sums it up for us:

"Union density (the percentage of workers belonging to unions) has been declining since the late 1940s, however. Almost 36% of American workers were represented by unions in 1945. Historically, the rapid growth of public employee unions since the 1960s has served to mask an even more dramatic decline in private-sector union membership."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_unions_in_the_United_States#Membership

The thing that moves on from that to PROVE that your correlation is absolutely wrong is that union membership was only 1/3rd of the working population at its utmost in 1945. That significant minority cannot control the entire metric. It is like you're saying that the non-unionized workers in the nation have no measurable effect on the middle class.

So what's logically and factually happened is that the fall of the American middle class is the larger narrative, within which the collapse of private unionization is merely a chapter. Union collapses were much more the effects than the causes.

And there are many causes to the fall of the American middle class. Reliance on excessive laws and taxes is a cause. Reliance on the hydraulic despotism of petroleum is a cause. Our transformation into an imperial fascist state is a cause. Our disdain for individual liberty (i.e. freedom from banks) is a cause. The hyperinflationary growth of government is a cause. The formation of a global economy (based on capital and not labor) is a cause. Etc.

I think what you're glossing over GZ is the fact that non-union members benefit almost directly from union gains. Non-union employers have to raise wages to compete against union employers. So the decline of unions affects non-union members as well.

Pink Slip

You know, you used a word there that you clearly don't understand: Compete. Employers don't need to compete in our environment of permanently high unemployment. And that's just how it goes.

So anyone who supports a union while not being in one, will never see the benefits of that. So there's no point. The union will only keep getting smaller, and since "support" pretty much means "keep paying the union price", the non-union supporter of unions will feel the double hit.

As for my original statements, they remain true. There's a lot more going on for the decline of the middle class than just the decline of unions.

Employers still have to compete for labor. If I'm a non-union employer and looking to hire an employee, I know that the employee has a choice to work for me or a union employer. If the union employer offers higher wages and better benefits, I better try to match or I'll lose that potential employee.

Of course if I'm only competing against another non-union employer that offers lower wages, then I can lower the wages and benefits I'm willing to offer. And that's what's happening now.

Pink Slip

Are you dense? When that oil refinery opened up 3 jobs a couple of years ago, even limited to people that already knew current employees, they received 3000 applications. Application-to-job ratios are commonly seen to be 100-to-1.

With official unemployment at over 9%, and unofficial (i.e. real) unemployment at 17%, and with a much higher rate in effect for people who hate their jobs and want to get back into their desired careers, then NO... employers don't have to compete for labor anymore.

You have to stop living in that dreamworld in your head about the past. The past is over and won't return in time to save those workers who believe they can just make demands. The capitalists have all the power; they will remain in control of all that power; there is no way to get that power away from them; and they are using viciously that power to drive down wages and drive out (often ridiculous) benefits and retirements. This can't be stopped, and it will go on a lot longer than any of the working classes can wait it out (what with their own expenses).

There's only one sane option: The working class has to downsize their lifestyles. Those who resist will merely invite a more catastrophic form of personal loss, marked by bankruptcy, divorce, foreclosure, selling off of personal heirlooms, and of course stress-related mental illnesses.

If you believe you as the worker still have power, then use it, buddy. Of course you know you don't, and you also know that none of the rest of us do either. So stop the posturing. It's part of Toledo's pointless cheerleading and the capitalists take a shit from a long distance above all that sort of thing. The more we pretend that we have any power in the worker-employer relation, the more we invite their contempt, which will ramp up even more of their vicious actions.

WoW! GZ just debunked a BASIC concept of a market economy--the law of supply and demand in the labor market. (just kidding--you didn't debunk it, you just don't understand it apparently).

Just last week at work, we interviewed a potential employee. I know for a fact he had at least two other offers. So if effect, YES I was competing for his labor. Go ahead GZ--explain to me how this didn't really happen.

Not if this employee had two other offers and they were union jobs, I may have to RAISE my wages in order to compete with those jobs. But as I said, since union jobs have dwindled over the past 5 decades I don't have to compete against as many of them and can offer lower wages.

It's not that hard to understand. It's basic stuff.

Pink Slip

Are you even reading what I'm writing?

The supply for labor is far too large for our economy. The demand for it is lower for it than before, and is trending even lower into the future. Therefore the price of that labor will be low, and trending lower.

The thing that unions try to stop is market forces like that, by the way. Which is why people so rightfully loathe unions.

And your anecdote doesn't pluralize into data, my friend. Not with unemployment stats that are this high.

"The thing that unions try to stop is market forces like that, by the way."

Right. And they are successful at it--which is my point. When there is higher union membership, wages tend to go up along with the size of the middle class. When union membership goes down, wages stagnate, wealth is distributed upward and the middle class shrinks. You can also look at European countries to see this effect.

Pink Slip

Bull.

The middle class was doing just fine pre-NAFTA. I should know since my parents were right down the line middle class. My father went to work and brought home the bacon and my mother had the CHOICE to stay home and be a homemaker. No, we didn't have an abundance by any stretch but we weren't lacking either.

You see, Pink, your chart doesn't convey any shred of human element. It's just a cold collection of numbers that anyone can twist to their own devices.

The bottom line is middle America did just fine and was doing just fine until NAFTA was passed. Why, the good paying manufacturing jobs were still here.

After the bill passed, the vast majority of the job losses were good paying middle class manufacturing jobs that didn't require a college education. Why? Cheaper labor in other countries. What happened to the displaced workers? They ended up the service industry where wages paled in comparison. Thus, the beginning of the two Americas we have today. The haves and the have nots. The haves prospered disproportionately in comparison to middle America.

The unions correctly opposed NAFTA and even for the right reasons- the loss of American jobs to other countries. Once companies and big corporates had the green light to become mobile and flexible in terms of where their factories created product, it completely undercut the bargaining power of American workers and unions. They had the final trump card to push back union organizing drives because they could always move the jobs elsewhere. Employees had no other choice but to agree to fewer rights because of the ability of companies to relocate to other countries with cheaper labor and less resistance from workers.

Yes, there was a net increase in jobs as a result of NAFTA's passage. However, those gains came at the price of worker’s wages- this is the true line of demarcation where middle class America began to struggle.

The loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs + lower paying jobs as replacements = wage deflation in many sectors- particularly among blue collar, non-executive management positions. Why did the 1% do better than the rest. It's pretty clear- the growth of wages among middle class workers stopped dead in its tracks. Why was their a two tiered recovery during the Clinton era? Because the haves made out like bandits and the rest struggled to keep themselves afloat.

And how did unions react to the fact that of the 234 supporters in the house- 102 were Democrats and of the 61Senate supporters 27 were Democrats? How did they respond when Bill Clinton signed the bill and said: "...NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement."

They did very little. They didn't take to the streets and protest. They didn't attempt to recall the people, especially Democrats, for voting for NAFTA. They didn't withhold their support to the Democrats in 1996 to make them pay. Instead, they did little or nothing about it.

You would think that if big labor was truly the representatives of the middle class that they would have brought their power to bear after Clinton signed off on NAFTA. They didn't. In 1996, they gave Clinton a pass even though Ross Perot was running again.

So, please. Spare me the union rewrite of history. It's clear they care more about their political power than middle class America, or the purpose they purported to stand for.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"The middle class was doing just fine pre-NAFTA."

I don't know how much clearer the numbers can be. They CLEARLY show that the middle class was in sharp decline before NAFTA was passed. Anyone can see that--why can't you? You insist on believing 2+2=5, despite the contrary evidence. I share your disdain for NAFTA and globalization in general. But come on, it's pretty easy to see that the middle class was already in decline.

"The unions correctly opposed NAFTA and even for the right reasons- the loss of American jobs to other countries. Once companies and big corporates had the green light to become mobile and flexible in terms of where their factories created product, it completely undercut the bargaining power of American workers and unions. They had the final trump card to push back union organizing drives because they could always move the jobs elsewhere. Employees had no other choice but to agree to fewer rights because of the ability of companies to relocate to other countries with cheaper labor and less resistance from workers."

Yes, I agree with all of that. But those forces were already in action, pre-NAFTA

Pink Slip

The protection of uneconomic employees is not a success. Your disdain for market forces is telling.

If union membership goes back up in general it will be due to economic recovery, not the other way around. And economic recovery is a long way off, if it ever happens again.

Companies in Toledo were told by unions that wages and benefits need to be protected. The companies nodded, rolled their eyes and then SHUT DOWN. The lesson to be learned here is that unions don't learn.

"Your disdain for market forces is telling."

I'm not sure what you're basing this on. Organized labor is simply a counterpart to organized capital. And both can exist in a market economy.

Pink Slip

No, if you understand what the implication is for a widening rich-poor gap (smaller middle class) then that exactly what you were implying.

"I don't give a damn when your little chart starts. It clearly states that around 1991-1992, the middle class share of income plummeted right after NAFTA was passed and that proves what I say is the root cause of the decline of middle class America."

I question your ability to read and comprehend this chart. In the late 60's, the middle class share of income was around 30%. Before NAFTA had passed, it decreased to around 15%. From that point on, it never dipped below 10%.

So to say that "income plummeted right after NAFTA was passed" while ignoring the steep decline in the 25 years previous to that, is downright ignorant and borderline psychotic.

Pink Slip

I will say this in the most nicest way possible. You are entitled to your opinion. I disagree with it, period.

You don't get to decide what's factual and what's not. That's why I'm here, to engage in constructive conversations with people I agree and, yes, disagree with.

You are here apparently to act like the board school-marm who likes to slap people on the wrists with a ruler if she doesn't like what someone says.

You are not an MSNBC talk show host- no matter who the hell you think you are.

I have pointed out on several occasions that I respect your opinion. But it's explicitly clear from your snotty, arrogant, and condescending tone that you don't respect anyone else's opinions.

What YOU don't understand is the fact that YOU are exhibit A of why grown adults can't have a civilized political discussion. You are the poster child for everything that's gone wrong in our political discourse.

You're not interested in finding common ground with others. You're interested in the game playing of attempting to win an argument- just like the Keith Olbermanns, Rush Limbaughs, etal... of this country.

I don't think what's going on right now in our country is a game. I don't think that middle class America has been represented by either party. IF they weren't too damn busy doing what they have to do to keep treading water and hoping upon hope that some politician will come down the pike and magically make it all better...

Well, that's what many thought when we elected President Obama in 2008. We put our future in the hands of an articulate, young US Senator who allegedly aspired to 'change' the country. And many people have been terribly let down and misled

It's clear all you care about is making sure your big labor buddies get 'theirs.' Well, congratulations, they did. Along with big corporations in the bank bailout, big labor received a gift wrapped thank you present from President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid with money that WE DID NOT HAVE.

That's not being partisan- that's a fact.

Then to make matters worse, Obama inexplicably handed the ball off to Pelosi and Reid to write another pork-filled love letter...I mean...900B stimulus package using money that WE DID NOT HAVE that has done NOTHING to help jump start the economy.

That's not being partisan- that's the fact.

You can trot your little charts out to your heart's delight but it should be clear to anyone with an IQ of a brick that running trillion dollar deficits and blowing up the national debt by nearly 35-50% in FOUR YEARS is not a good idea.

That's not being partisan- that's the fact.

By the way, your little chart not only shows the plummet in the state of the middle class after NAFTA, it also indicates middle class America did better under the Reagan era.

That's not being partisan- that's the fact.

And the fact of the matter is this, hardcore partisans care more about winning and losing than moving our country forward. Hardcore partisans will do anything to demonize and denigrate people they disagree with- because they care more about winning the argument and being right than moving the country forward.

We have a lot of problems to address and not enough statesmen and leaders in our government willing to deal with them. Why? Hardcore partisans who care more about winning versus working with others to move the country forward.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"Well, congratulations, they did. Along with big corporations in the bank bailout, big labor received a gift wrapped thank you present from President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid with money that WE DID NOT HAVE."

You keep referring to the auto bailout as a gift to labor, when in fact it was another corporate bailout. Corporate bailouts are horrible enough, but let's not make this about the unions because it's not.

"Then to make matters worse, Obama inexplicably handed the ball off to Pelosi and Reid to write another pork-filled love letter...I mean...900B stimulus package using money that WE DID NOT HAVE that has done NOTHING to help jump start the economy."

Any fool can see how we went from shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per months, to GAINING jobs every month. This is proof that you simply don't know what you're talking about.

"You can trot your little charts out to your heart's delight but it should be clear to anyone with an IQ of a brick that running trillion dollar deficits and blowing up the national debt by nearly 35-50% in FOUR YEARS is not a good idea."

What the hell does that have to do with the chart I posted? We were discussing the decline of the middle class and unions. Of course the explosion in national debt (caused by the housing bubble bursting) is bad. Who would argue that? Not me.

"By the way, your little chart not only shows the plummet in the state of the middle class after NAFTA, it also indicates middle class America did better under the Reagan era."

First--most of the decline of the middle class occurred years before NAFTA passed. This is not a matter of opinion--I've shown the numbers. Secondly--regarding your point about Reagan...so what? The middle class did better under Carter and LBJ. So why pick Reagan? Probably to make a partisan point.

As I said before, we'll probably disagree on many things. But let's at least get the facts right.

--The decline of the middle class was because of NAFTA? NO (Fact--most of the decline occurred before NAFTA)

--NAFTA was the Democrats fault? NO (FACT--congressional Republicans supported it fully.)

--The Wall St bailout is the Democrats' fault? NO (Fact--there would have been NO bailout if not for Bush, Paulson, and the wide support of congressional Republicans

You may say "both" parties are to blame, but when you get into the specifics you only blame one party and can't see the facts in front of your face. In my opinion, NAFTA received wide support from BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans. The decline of the middle class is due to policies receiving wide support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. The bailouts received wide support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. The endless wars received support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. The war of civil liberties receive support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans.

And I could go on. And this makes ME a partisan?? You should look in the mirror because you have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

Pink Slip

"You keep referring to the auto bailout as a gift to labor, when in fact it was another corporate bailout. Corporate bailouts are horrible enough, but let's not make this about the unions because it's not."

LMAO...isnt that a nice little fantasy....

WHO owns GM now?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/02/business/02uaw.html

G.M.’s New Owners, U.S. and Labor, Adjust to Roles

And the evil corporate Bondholders...such as retirees...got hosed...

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-04-27-gm-bond-proposal_N.htm

Yes ...it was ALL about the Unions...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

In my opinion, NAFTA received wide support from BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans. The decline of the middle class is due to policies receiving wide support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. The bailouts received wide support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. The endless wars received support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. The war of civil liberties receive support from BOTH the Democrats and Republicans.

That's the first reasonable thing you've said in about...15 posts. I'm glad you finally came around. Have a nice day.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

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