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  •  But... (16+ / 0-)
    As long as a good percentage of the people feel they are moving up the income ladder, they will be OK with our system.

    Isn't it just this process that is stalled in so many communities?

    •  stalled how? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atheistben

      for a few years? Not long enough.

      I haven't had a raise in 2 years. but

      I make 5 times what i made 22 years ago. I make double what i made ten years ago. My net worth has doubled over the last 10 years.

      I live in a much nicer house than 10 years ago. I have way better gadgets than i had before.

      I live worlds better than my grandparents or parents did.

      That's the calculus that people go through. A few bad years and you throw out the President, not the system.

      •  Are you suggesting that the system is fine as is, (9+ / 0-)

        or do you promote more progressive (or conservative?) policies?

        One mistake many successful people make imho is believing that everyone would attain the same results with the same amount of skill/effort.

        I think the reality is that some people will necessarily become economic winners.  I would hope that if you find yourself there, aside from being grateful, you'd want to do what you could to help others attain prosperity.

      •  Stalled badly (11+ / 0-)

        Elizabeth Warren:
        The crisis facing the middle class started more than a generation ago. Even as productivity rose, the wages of the average fully-employed male have been flat since the 1970s.

        Paul Krugman, The Death of Horatio Alger:

        The other day I found myself reading a leftist rag that made outrageous claims about America. It said that we are becoming a society in which the poor tend to stay poor, no matter how hard they work; in which sons are much more likely to inherit the socioeconomic status of their father than they were a generation ago.

        The name of the leftist rag? Business Week, which published an article titled "Waking Up From the American Dream." The article summarizes recent research showing that social mobility in the United States (which was never as high as legend had it) has declined considerably over the past few decades. If you put that research together with other research that shows a drastic increase in income and wealth inequality, you reach an uncomfortable conclusion: America looks more and more like a class-ridden society.

        Center for American Progress:

        Children from low-income families have only a 1 percent chance of reaching the top 5 percent of the income distribution, versus children of the rich who have about a 22 percent chance.
        Children born to the middle quintile of parental family income ($42,000 to $54,300) had about the same chance of ending up in a lower quintile than their parents (39.5 percent) as they did of moving to a higher quintile (36.5 percent). Their chances of attaining the top five percentiles of the income distribution were just 1.8 percent.

        •  again, not longitudinal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhubarb

          over time a person's income tends to increase. But at the same time 2 other things happen.

          1. New workers enter the workforce at the bottom of the income scale
          2. Old workers leave the workforce at the top of the income scale.

          So that suggets that individuals will do better than the group average.

          I wish they'd run those stats over time for a particular age cohort. How have 45-years olds been doing over time. That would be more telling.

          •  that's crap... I was doing great until (11+ / 0-)

            2006 when things started to go wonky... I'm 52 and
            have been slipping back because of the shitty economy,
            making 1/3 or what I made in 2007.  

            SOME people do great and always will, the rest of the 90%
            have to live within the reality the top 10% create for
            everyone else.

            "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams............. "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

            by Statusquomustgo on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 11:30:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You said (7+ / 0-)
            As long as a good percentage of the people feel they are moving up the income ladder, they will be OK with our system. So long as they can look back and see that they've got it better than they remember their parents/grandparents had it.

            What's a "good percentage"? 30%?

            [M]ore and more evidence from social scientists suggests that American society is much "stickier" than most Americans assume. Some researchers claim that social mobility is actually declining. A classic social survey in 1978 found that 23% of adult men who had been born in the bottom fifth of the population (as ranked by social and economic status) had made it into the top fifth. Earl Wysong of Indiana University and two colleagues recently decided to update the study. They compared the incomes of 2,749 father-and-son pairs from 1979 to 1998 and found that few sons had moved up the class ladder. Nearly 70% of the sons in 1998 had remained either at the same level or were doing worse than their fathers in 1979. The biggest increase in mobility had been at the top of society, with affluent sons moving upwards more often than their fathers had. They found that only 10% of the adult men born in the bottom quarter had made it to the top quarter.

            The Economic Policy Institute also argues that social mobility has declined since the 1970s. In the 1990s 36% of those who started in the second-poorest 20% stayed put, compared with 28% in the 1970s and 32% in the 1980s. In the 1970s 12% of the population moved from the bottom fifth to either the fourth or the top fifth. In the 1980s and 1990s the figures shrank to below 11% for both decades. The figure for those who stayed in the top fifth increased slightly but steadily over the three decades, reinforcing the sense of diminished social mobility.


            link
            And those are old data. I'd wager that figures from 2000-2010 would paint a much darker picture.
          •  So few workers "leave the workforce at the top" (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, wonmug, OHdog, peptabysmal

            of the income scale is the part where your argument breaks down.

            Perhaps you have progressed nicely in life.  But in any given corporation, there is only one president, a dozen VPs and all the middle management bottlenecks.

            The vast majority of workers spend their time at the lower level (bracing for the "it's their own fault - they weren't smart enough, didn't work hard enough, didn't..... arguments here) of the company and retire on an amount of money where they can barely get by..

            Saying you make 5 times more than you did 20 years ago... where is inflation in that?   It's just chest-beating: "Hey!  I did great!"   Good for you and we are all happy, but that is not the experience of the vast majority of people.

            You believe the lie that everyone gets richer --- and it simply is not true.  A LOT of people struggle their entire lives.  A LOT of people get by on minimal income or barely adequate income.   Median income is around $40,000-50,000.  In most parts of the country, that is barely enough to raise a family, let alone send kids to school.

            Arguing that each of them ends up "well off" or "comfortable" is simply a lie.  They do not!  They continue to struggle.

            Hell, at one time or another 25% of the children of the US will be in poverty or food stamps.  The system is working for them and their parents? Like hell it is.

            "OH!  But they get richer!"  Well, of course, they get jobs, but one upper-middle income success story like yours does not a system make.

            I feel you are simply out of touch with the bottom 1/2 of the nation and are most familiar with your upper 20% friends who have some - slight - reason to be happy with the current system.

            Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

            by YucatanMan on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 04:14:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You are (obviously) not a teacher! n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog

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