Saturday, July 24, 2010

And They Wonder Why We Are Pissed...

Intuitively, I knew this was true. I guess I just didn't want to believe it. It was and still is, the time honored tradition of class warfare. Check out these statistics. It is far worse than even I believed.

The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it

Posted Jul 15, 2010 02:25pm EDT by Michael Snyder in Recession

From The Business Insider

Editor's note: Michael Snyder is editor of theeconomiccollapseblog.com

The 22 statistics detailed here prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.

So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes? Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects. It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations. The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough.

Here are the statistics to prove it:

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• or the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom

The Libertarian Party is a no brainer.

For the life of me, I don't get it. I simply don't understand why people can't understand that excessive government is the problem. And we have excessive government. Don't we all agree that we have too much government? Are there really people out there that think we need more government?

Our "two party" system is a travesty. Individually, these parties don't stand for anything anymore. It doesn't matter whether you steal my money and give it to the poor or deliver it to the elite. Once you've taken it from me, it's gone. But there is one thing both parties are very good at. Creating more government.

Without campaign reform, these two parties hold a monopoly. In fact, I don't think they'd survive any kind of anti-trust scrutiny as we apply it to business.

It's probably too late. The opportunity to stop them has long since passed. The elite have theirs, and now it's the welfare recipients turn to clamor for more. And when you take money from the people that do the work, and deliver it to the people that do nothing- you are near the end. Because the people with the capacity to work quit working (as you steal their work product) and the people with no desire to work continues to grow as they receive free money.

There was and still is only one solution. The Libertarian Party. Get government the hell out of our lives. Get rid of worthless agencies such as the "Energy Commission" which was created to solve our energy woes some forty years ago and has done absolutely nothing in that time. No measured results. Student loans? Where in the history of the U.S. or Constitution did it say that we'd make loans to people seeking an education? Who said that is a function of government? Should I dole out 200k so that some liberal arts major can get a sociology degree and then default on the loan? Insanity. Government run amok.

A flat tax. No accountants, no 2500 page tax code, no mortgage interest tax break for the ultra rich to build themselves castles. In fact, our entire tax code is the poster child for government gone wild. In a drunken stupor, most of us couldn't devise anything so unfair, complex, and ridiculously stupid as our current tax code. It absolutely encourages cheating. In fact, I believe one day in an enlightened world if we manage to survive, they will show kids in a history class the tax code as it exists today. The kids will roar with laughter. That was the law?

Identifying government as our problem is easy. The real problem is stripping the two parties that support this government waste- of their power. That's the issue. As long as the sheep are convinced that any vote for a third party is a wasted vote, we'll never be able to stop this.

Ever.