What happened to middle class? Ask Alice

  • Article by: Andrei Cherny
  • Updated: November 3, 2013 - 6:23 PM

What happened to middle class? Ask Alice: asset-limited, income-constrained, employed.

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bogie246Nov. 3, 13 6:50 PM

Government handouts have pulled the struggling middle class into dependency and poverty. There was a time when one "bread winner" could support a family. But a high tax rate requires two productive non takers to work. The very successful who are educated have prospered. Good for them, but government policy has severly damaged the prospects for the lower middle class to move up. So the decision is whether to work hard and try to break through or take the handout. Too many have their handout...and why not? Government is encouraging it.

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davehougNov. 3, 13 6:51 PM

What happened is container ships and container trains. Moving goods from Asia to America became WAY cheaper. So jobs moved. So unions cracked. So labor faced competition and lost to the guy who needed WAY less to live on. So we ship paper money out and stuff (think wages) in. So Asia and OPEC gets richer, America gets poorer.

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gophfan10101Nov. 3, 13 6:57 PM

Yawn...I make more than this fictitious ALICE income with only 2 years of post secondary education and years of hard work. The middle class is only getting smaller because people don't want to work for it anymore. They just want it handed to them.

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palsarNov. 3, 13 7:07 PM

The "middle class" was a fluke. The only reason we even had a middle class was because the two things: the Industrial Revolution and WWII. The U.S. led the world in industrialization thus demand for our products. WWII left the industrial countries in ruins except the U.S. The world needed our products so exployers were forced to pay workers, creating the "middle class." The world was catching up to us by the 70's. By the 90's we were just another player. Today's corporations don't need the U.S. Only when U.S. wages become competitive with the rest of the world will companies think about returning. In the history of the world, there were basically two classes, the aristocrats and the rest. We are returning to that. No matter how much you try, there is no more middle class. Unions can't fix this, they have no power because employers don't need U.S. workers. Gov't can't fix this, they can't force companies to remain or return to the U.S.

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gandalf48Nov. 3, 13 7:22 PM

ishikawa - [urthermore, exactly how did Bush trample the lower rungs of the middle class people you cite - it is easy to make the accusation, but I am asking for specific "tramples" to use your vernacular.] *** So very true, why don't we ever get specific examples? This whole article seems to complain and offer no solutions. Education reform is the way forward...we need to offer people another option other than the 4 year degree. We need 6 month education programs where you can learn the skills to get a good job without all the fluff of a 4 year degree.

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foneboothNov. 3, 13 7:24 PM

What, this question needs to be asked? The wealthy sucked it up in the big vacuum in the sky. No matter how large, there is a finite amount of cash in the world. The global wealthy, in their constant need to one-up each other and themselves forgot or didn't care where that extra cash was coming from. Suck it from the pockets of the middle class. When 1% of the population makes more than the bottom 40%, that is HUGE. They are the so called job creators. So minimum wage, tell your workers how to get food stamps, and by junior a new Mercedes when he graduates from high school.

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foneboothNov. 3, 13 7:26 PM

"Do you not think the people in the private sector create value, jobs, wealth and prosperity?"...no, not any more.

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palsarNov. 3, 13 7:52 PM

Gee, people like to give the "thumbs down" but I don't see any answers provided. Prove me wrong.

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Don9539Nov. 3, 13 8:15 PM

Davehoug has it right. The low priced workers of the world gained access to the best markets. The Wal-Mart model shows that even these very same "Alice's" are unwilling to pay workers high American wages if they do not have to.

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gandalf48Nov. 3, 13 8:22 PM

palsar - [Gee, people like to give the "thumbs down" but I don't see any answers provided. Prove me wrong.] *** Don't you understand, they feel like they don't need to offer solutions. Government schools have raise a crop of people who seriously believe that everyone can get a government job. That they don't need to offer logical solutions...increased taxes and pointing a finger at the rich are the only thing their minds can compute. They don't understand that higher taxes don't give working people more money...only those who choose to give up working get that money. Let them blow it up...we already raised taxes and it didn't give us more jobs or solve the debt crisis.

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