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The Federal Reserve just released its Survey of Consumer Finances, the only government survey of wealth in America. The Survey is conducted every three years. This survey, conducted in 2010, is the first one to reflect the effects of the Wall Street Meltdown in 2008.

How does it look? Bad. Really, really bad.

The median wealth of American families (meaning half above and half below) dropped from $126,400 in 2007 all the way down to $77,300 in 2010. That's a 39% slide. It puts the median net worth of American families at its lowest level since 1995, fifteen years earlier.

About 12% of American families have a negative net worth. Meaning that they're broke.

Among Americans with no high school diploma (15 percent of the adult population), median wealth plunged from $34,800 in 2007 to $16,100 in 2010, a 54% drop. That is the lowest level since at least the Fed's 1983 survey, maybe earlier. So three decades of progress have been wiped out.

Among minorities, median wealth plunged from $29,700 to $20,400. That is the lowest level since 1992. White median wealth is now 540% higher than minority median wealth.

The median value of American homes dove from $209,500 in 2007 to $170,000 in 2010. But the median mortgage was almost completely unchanged: $74,700 in 2007, $74,100 in 2010. So debt payments increased from 7% of income to 11% of income.

In 2007, the bottom 25% had a net worth of $14,800 or less. In 2010, the bottom 25% had a net worth of $8,300 or less, a 44% decline.

In 2007, the top 10% had a net worth of $955,600 or more. In 2010, the top 10% had a net worth of $952,500, a decline of less than 1%.

Let me sum it up for you: In the greatest economic crisis that the United States has faced since the Great Depression, the rich barely lost a nickel. But the poor definitely got poorer. And people in the middle were crushed.

If this continues any longer, then we can invite a priest to administer last rites to the American Middle Class.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

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Comment Preferences

  •  What's that sucking feeling I have on my (24+ / 0-)

    paycheck?

    Oh, it's the rising prices of everything I buy and the falling values of what I own.

    Thanks for keeping the flame burning. I wonder how long this will go on before people's anger starts getting directed in a better direction than Kenya . . . .

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:42:19 AM PDT

    •  The politics of resentment (5+ / 0-)

      which I wrote about this morning, isn't helping.  Instead of trying to increase our collective wages and benefits, the monied interests have pitted us against each other to fight over crumbs.  And then they'll come for the crumbs.

      We need less austerity and more sharing of the resonsibiity (yes, I'm looking at you, monied interests, and your continual avoidance of any responsibilities).

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:37:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. Loved that editorial cartoon that showed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        several guys around a table with a bunch of cookies on a plate. The rich guy grabbed all but one of the cookies and said to one of the other guys, 'Better be careful, they want some of yours.'. That's the situation that we need to be trumpeting from the rooftops and keeping people focused on.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

        by FarWestGirl on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:24:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Staggering... (24+ / 0-)
    In the greatest economic crisis that the United States has faced since the Great Depression, the rich barely lost a nickel. But the poor definitely got poorer. And people in the middle were crushed.
    Reminiscent of Clinton's campaign slogan:
    It's the vanishing middle class, stupid.
    Thank you for this post and may these statistics go viral.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:46:45 AM PDT

  •  I sure have gotten poorer. (18+ / 0-)

    Thanks for coming to NN. It was appreciated.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:47:10 AM PDT

  •  And imagine how much poorer they.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slowbutsure, Puddytat, FarWestGirl

    ...would have been if not for the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003.

    Fully 75% of those tax cuts accrue to the working and middle-class.  That's not my opinion.  It's a fact.

    I would advise President Obama and the Dems to immediately extend those tax cuts for another 10 years.  In fact, given stagnant median incomes, it would be responsible not to do so.

    Those of you who disagree with me, wait until you begin to see 30-second spots this fall detailing how much more the middle-class households will have to pay next year "because the Dems refused to extend the tax cuts."

    Another idea.  Why not PERMANENTLY increase the Earned Income Tax Credit by 2,500.  What's the downside versus the upside?

    Bush gave seniors a prescription drug benefit without paying for it, and many believe that put him over the top in 2004.

    With the 10-year bond at 1.65%, the market is telling Dems, deficits don't matter.

    So if the market doesn't care about deficit spending, why do so many Dems in Congress?

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:48:22 AM PDT

    •  Tax cuts are great. (20+ / 0-)

      If you have a job from which taxes are taken, or investments to drawn on.

      And you don't qualify for EITC if you don't have a job.

      How about some jobs? Especially for those of us who have been out of work for literally YEARS.

      If we are going to go into debt, how about helping the people who are out of work and get NO income before pandering to the already employed?

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:23:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Point well taken, Brooke (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, FarWestGirl

        We can modify it so that the EITC is 1,000 and the other 1,500 is a direct transfer to every adult over the age of 18.  Permanent transfer.

        Globalization has increased the size of the pie.

        But fiscal policy has failed to better distribute the pie.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:36:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit. Utter bullshit. (7+ / 0-)

      When you say that the Bush tax cuts deliver 75% of their benefits to the "middle class", either you have a seriously twisted definition of "middle class", or you're simply lying.

      Per the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

      By contrast, the richest one-percent of Americans would receive 43 percent of the total tax cuts, receiving an average tax cut of $46,000 each. The top five percent of filers would garner a little more than half of the tax cuts.
      So: either you're claiming that a significant chunk of the 1% are the "middle class", or you're lying about who gets what.

      Scratch that - you're lying either way, or at the very least completely wrong. I'm tempted to HR you for the blatant lying, but the rest of your post (partly) redeems the bullshit, and I try not to HR comments with any redeeming features whatsoever.

      Although it's not the Democrats you should be talking to regarding deficit-fetishism so much as it's the GOP: they're the ones pushing austerity fever.

      •  My source, Australian2... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Australian2

        It's actually more than 75%, according to the Washington Post story.

        According to the note, total yearly impact on deficit of extending tax cuts by one year: 238B

        And according to the Dems, the impact of extending tax cuts to just the working and middle-class is 202B.

        So, 202/238 will give you the share of the tax cuts accruing to the working and middle-class.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        GOP plan to extend tax cuts for rich adds $36 billion to deficit, panel finds

        By Lori Montgomery
        Washington Post Staff Writer

        Thursday, August 12, 2010

        A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year -- and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation's millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.

        New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax cut per household of about $100,000.

        The analysis, requested by Democrats on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, comes as debate heats up over tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration, most of which are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Republicans want to extend all the cuts, which would cost the Treasury Department $238 billion in 2011, according to the taxation committee. President Obama and congressional Democrats have vowed to extend the cuts only for families making less than $250,000 a year and individuals making less than $200,000 -- 98 percent of American taxpayers -- in a plan that would add about $202 billion to next year's deficit.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:53:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Dems are defining (6+ / 0-)

          $250k/year as "middle class" in their offer to the GOP - which is just bulldust.

          So, fair enough - you're not lying, and I apologise for saying you were. However, to state that a household living on $249,999/year is "middle class" is still bullshit.

          •  It's a lie. "Unknowingly repeating a lie" (5+ / 0-)

            obviously doesn't make ParticiaVa "a liar", but the original claim was a lie.

            “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

            by JesseCW on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:55:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jesse, go back to the 2004 campaign, (0+ / 0-)

              where Senator Obama and the Dems made that distinction.  They defined the middle-class as singles earning less than 200K and couples earning less than 250K per year.

              Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

              by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:03:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is a lie. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PatriciaVa, FinchJ

                It is not less a lie for having been told by Politicians courting the powerful at the expense of the weak.

                No one making six figures is middle class.  

                “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

                by JesseCW on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:28:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problematic definition of middle class (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW

                  The reason this so often leads to an argument is people arguing it aren't doing so with the same terms.

                  A reasonable economic definition of middle class would be the three middle quintiles of income.

                  What often gets dragged in is the STUFF one expects to have in a middle class life, e.g. house in suburbs, 2 cars, etc etc.  And in certain high-cost areas, it is VERY expensive to maintain that kind of life.  For example, where I live in Silicon Valley, a typical house under 1500 sf on a 6000 sf lot costs $900,000.  Yes you read that right, $900,000.  Most of the value of this house will be the land; the house will typically be at least 40 years old.

                  That's where you get the "$250K is indeed middle class" argument: people arguing that they have a double-income household (say 2 engineers earning $125K a year) and they STILL can't afford a house.  It has nothing to do with being in the middle of income earners and everything to do with what they can and cannot buy with what is a top 5% income.

                  FWIW I accept that it is hella expensive here, that Prop 13 artificially distorts the housing market (making it more expensive), that the few school districts that aren't falling apart due to years of deliberate budget starvation have homes in them bid up the wazoo.  But I would never claim I am living a middle class lifestyle despite my worth-almost-a-million sub-1500 sf 55 year old tract house.  That's what things are like here.  It would be like complaining you can't afford a back yard in Manhattan so that makes you poor.

                  Hint: Saying you're middle class because you chose to spend $100K a year on housing and don't have much left does not make you middle class anymore than spending $10M a year on jewelry makes you middle class.

                  In capitalist America, bank robs you!

                  by madhaus on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:25:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The definition of middle class is not problematic. (0+ / 0-)

                    We're simply dealing with propaganda.

                    You cut right through it and get to the heart of issue that's perfectly clear to overwhelming majority of Americans -

                    No matter how much a suite at the Waldorf Astoria costs, deciding to live in one doesn't render a millionaire middle class.

                    I live in Southern California.  Scattered around  greater LA are everything from 160k 4 bedroom 1400 sq ft homes in Watts and 6 million dollar 800 sq ft studio cottages in Malibu.

                    And, like you, I'm familiar with people who decide to live in the most prestigious zip code they can find and claim this makes a mid six figure income "middle class".

                    But it's just lies they tell to try to justify why they don't want to contribute to the society that they've gotten so much from.

                    “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

                    by JesseCW on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:55:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  2008 campaign, my bad....n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

              by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:04:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  WaPo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat

          is becoming more FOX every day.

        •  If I accept your agurement about who is middle (5+ / 0-)

          class, which I do not you still have the problem that more than 60% of the country is poor or working class. And they got screwed and continue to get screwed. If you make more than 70,000 dollars a year you have no financial worries. So I am not in the least concerned about you. I worry about people who are not financially secure. And you buddy Bushes tax cuts are of little help to those folks.

          A payoff of 1000 or 1500 per year does not matter when one trip to the emergency room can cost 150,000. Or it takes more than 100/week to feed your family. Or the wages that you and spouse/partner make in a month does not cover the basics of food, shelter, clothing, utiliteis, education. And then people get lectured to by conservatives that their problems would go away if they were better people of character.

    •  Agree about deficit spending... (3+ / 0-)

      Everyone likes to compare the national economy to home economics which is like comparing apples to aglets, but since that seems to be the preference, I'll give it a shot.

      In your home life, you can only cut spending so much.  If you have a job and your revenue is not enough to pay off your bills, you have two choices: cut spending or increase revenue.  Some of those bills are discretionary like eating pizza rather than rice and beans.  Some are not such as paying off previous debit (whether it was wise spending or not).  

      For safety reasons, you live in a nice house in a pretty nice neighborhood (a nice canadian on one side and a kind of scary Mexican on the other) with a state of the art alarm system, two security gaurds you pay for around the clock survelience and you have a small arsenal of guns stored strategically all around your house and even in some of your neighbors houses.  You have lots of kids who you are responsible for taking care of but you feel that they are just spoiled.  They sometimes get snacks and go see a doctor (they don't pay for it of course, you do).  You decide that rather than diminishing you security, you should stop providing them pizza, snacks and trips to the doctor.  Does that sound like a rational person to you?

      Mabe, it would make more sense to borrow some money (since you have unlimited cheap loans available to you) and invest in the future.  Invest in going back to college to increase your revenue potential, invest in your children's education so they will be able to soon take care of themselve and maybe even contribute to your later years as well.  Maybe cut back on the security a little bit since you already spend more than your entire neighborhood combined already, maybe cut it down to only as much as half the neighborhood combined.  Maybe fix up your house a little bit so it is more attractive and since you work out of your home, it may increase your revenue potential.  

      Evaluate your customer base and the product you are offering them.  Maybe you are charging them all wrong.  For example, maybe the customers getting the most out of your services are paying less than your cost but the ones getting the least can no longer afford to pay for your services.  Reorganize your pricing structure to optimize your revenue margins.  

      Re-evaluate who your friends are.  Friends can sometimes be a one-way relationship.  Some friends only take, take, take.  Others only give but in amounts so small, you may not recognize their contributions.  Stop granting supposed friends priveledges so that they can take your customers resources either directly or indirectly.

      So to summarize, borrow money cheaply to invest in revenue generation for the future, stop wasting money on parinoid delusions, rewards true friends and stop supplying the leaches and work to develop the children and your family so they can grow into self sufficient contributors.  Sounds easy enough.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:05:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am sorry you are just flat out wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, elwior

      Even if you are correct about the majority of benefits going to the middle class, which you fail to define, YOU DO NOT CUT TAXES IN A TIME OF WAR!!!!!!!. Sorry for shouting. Just because Bush gave seniors a drug benefit without paying for it and that may have helped him win the White House does not mean it is smart policy.

      I got news for you it is about more than winning elections. It is about governing sensibly. Or competently. And being truthful. And not leaving things worse than when you got here. And that your friend Robert Rubin and his buddies broke our country and our economy so badly that major reform is necessary. And we can do it without folks like you.

      Asking Robert Rubin's advice on the economy is like going back to the doctor who nearly killed you and who you sued for malpractice to give a second chance to, because after all he meant well.

    •  We don't need tax cuts. We need a government (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, elwior, WheninRome

      that returns services for our taxes.

      Taxes aren't too high.  The bar for Food Stamps is too high, and the payout too low.  The bar for free school lunch is too high (and the food not good enough).  The bar for Medicaid is too high.  The bar for section 8 is too high.

      We need higher taxes, and a Government that spends those taxes on our well being instead of on Lockheed Martin or Goldman Sachs.

      “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

      by JesseCW on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:53:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Written like a true Edmund "Tax and Spend" Burke (0+ / 0-)

        Conservative. Not like the pseudo-Conservatives we get these days.

        A Letter to a Noble Lord (1796)

           Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.

            Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving but selection. Parsimony requires no providence, no sagacity, no powers of combination, no comparison, no judgment.

        Busting the Dog Whistle code.

        by Mokurai on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:34:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There Was Never a Growth in Family Net Worth (20+ / 0-)

    (adjusted) for ANY stratum of Americans in the bottom 99% since Carter or possibly LBJ. If your family made gains in the 80's or the 90's, someone else from your level lost.

    ONLY the top 1% has gained family net worth for most of living memory.

    There's a solid factual reason Occupy took up the contrast between 1% and 99%. In a country this starkly unfair, always citing the median lets us hide the entire story.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:49:22 AM PDT

    •  Too mnay who became middle class (9+ / 0-)

      decided they had made it and were Republicans.  Oh racism played a big role also with white middle/working class folks, but the plain facts are that the middle class and poorer clases could have prevented this.  The middle class partipated in its own destruction.  

      This has been happening for three decades.  Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

      The question is what is to be done now that poverty is a growth industry, so to speak.  The most likely outcome is the people will fight each other for scraps from our overlords.  

      There is another way.

       

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

      by TomP on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:20:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, we redefined "middle class" too broadly (11+ / 0-)

        It used to mean highly paid white collar professionals (doctors, lawyers, business executives, etc.). The grunts who actually did the hard dirty work of making and assembling things were the "working class", knew it, and were proud of it.

        Somewhere along the way, they lost that pride. Somewhere along the way, "working class" became a slur and an insult. Somewhere along the way, someone erased the lines and broadened the definitions until "middle class" came to mean "anyone who works for a living", or at least "anyone who works and owns at least one house and car".

        That made it easy to overlook and despise the "working poor", formerly the lower end of the "working class", who couldn't afford a house and if they even had a car, it was an old banger they could barely keep running. And as for the jobless poor - they were totally demonized, and they still are.

        We won't regain sanity until we go back to using rational definitions.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:40:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good points. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trueblueliberal, elwior

          I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

          by TomP on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:44:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutly Right could not say it better myself (0+ / 0-)

          The demoralizing of the working class has sapped the spirit out of our culture. I remember in kindergarten learning about the heroic policeman and fireman and my friend the plumber and the farmer and all the people who make our lives good by the good things that they do. Now our heroes are the wealthy and those lucky enough to have inherited wealth.

          People are famous for being famous and our kids idolize pop stars and athletes and socialites. I worked hard all of my life until I became disabled and my works very hard and my daughter is proud of our hard work. She is learning the lesson of hard work before she goes to college and we are proud of her for that. I want every kid in America to be able to work hard and develop some pride knowing that he or she contributes. And that is infinitively more important than making sure bankers do experience any losses.

        •  since when were professionals middle class? (0+ / 0-)

          They weren't.  They were "upper middle" at worst.

          In capitalist America, bank robs you!

          by madhaus on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:26:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Upper Class did not have to work (0+ / 0-)

            They could, and some of them did, just live on the interest from their family's investments - very, very well, I might add. (Others took a more active hand in investing and got much, much richer.)

            Doctors, lawyers, etc. were their paid employees - and both sides knew it.

            Would you consider the captain of a ship in the Royal Navy to be "lower middle class"? 19th century Brits would, could, and did (HMS Pinafore, Gilbert & Sullivan).

            I commend to your attention a novel called The Late George Apley, by J.P. Marquand. If you want to know the difference between the Upper Class and the Upper Middle Class, that will tell you better than anything.

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:11:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Quick, capture those chickens and put them into (0+ / 0-)

        a CAFO where they belong. Bastard chickens, going out on the town, having a good time, then coming home and expecting green pastures. I say turn them into Wal-Mart fried chicken.

        No one shall be free!

        hmm.

        A Victory Garden documents our experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles.

        by FinchJ on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:19:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's extreme. (0+ / 0-)

      Virtually all of the gains have been concentrated at the top, yes - but the top 20% have generally done quite well as a whole. And the next 20% made modest gains as well.

      Is it true that the gains in the US economy since the 1970s have been distributed in a horribly uneven fashion? Yes.

      Is it true that only the 1% has made any gains at all? No.

  •  sir (18+ / 0-)

    i have three degrees

    my son has three degrees

    my daughter has two degrees

    none of us can get a full time job.  i work part time as a high schol sub.  that's the best i can do.

    my son has a terminal masters degree in counseling psychology and a ton of student debt..  he can not get a job.  he is thirty years old, in debt up to his eyeballs, and is living with us.

    my daughter, a newly minted college grad, just got turned down for a job as a server at an ICE CREAM SHOP

    when will this insanity end?

    •  i should add (11+ / 0-)

      that my three older children are doing fine.    the two younger kids, who were born in the mid 80s, are struggling.  i have developed an ulcer over the last year because of the unremitting worry i have regarding my children's future.

      •  I think it'll end as more of us demand an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LivesInAShoe

        economy that is based upon energy and uses money as the mechanism of exchange rather than the end goal.

        American workers were used. The jobs that "come back" will be low paid and insecure due to the constant droning from Wall St and Capitol Hill that we must compete with the Chinese. I never understood why so liberals got sucked into globalization- essentially giving up the labor struggle that thousands lost their lives for.

        "Oh sure, compete with slaves, that sounds like a great idea!"

        A fundamental restructuring of the economy is in order. Otherwise any "economic growth" we see will only continue the status quo. Eventually the capitalists will move the jobs from China (er, already happening) to other "third world nations" to continue their planetary pillage. We have to stop supporting politicians who vote for this collective suicide that is the perpetual growth economy!

        The best part is anyone who has access to their lawn can make a difference. Recognize the insanity that is our lawn culture (#1 irrigated crop in America). Recognize the insanity in our own lives and refuse to comply with the social norms that want us to outwardly profess to our neighbors that everything is alright.

        Everything is not alright! People who go hungry still mow their lawns, still spray the chemicals, and still live in a box that tells them they can never produce anything. Bollocks.

        Grow your own. Join the local food revolution. Start small to learn basics and move up, but don't conform to this society that tells you to mow your grass, keep it green, and kill all the "weeds." The conformity of American liberals to disgusting abuse of the land under our care is an ongoing crime that must be put to a stop!

        Live our values not theirs!

        /rant

        A Victory Garden documents our experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles.

        by FinchJ on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:28:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Neither Obama or Romney will have a prescription.. (9+ / 0-)

    To fix this...  

    Sadly, it is structural.  No one is willing to challenge the "status quo" that has metastasized over the past 30 years.
    While President Obama is a hell of a lot better than the alternative (who makes Herbert Hoover look like a reformer).  He will not bite the corporate hand that feeds him.

    The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

    by Agent Orange on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:24:15 AM PDT

    •  Romney (0+ / 0-)

      knows what to do.  Sell the spare parts.  Ship private and government jobs overseas.  Eliminate all social programs.  Maybe give a coupon instead.  Funnel money to the top1%.  He has lived it.  He doesn't need to say a thing.

    •  Herbert Hoover *was* a reformer, but one (0+ / 0-)

      who simply wasn't willing to do more than small gradual "tweaks".

      “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

      by JesseCW on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Definitely poorer. (8+ / 0-)

    I make the same amount of money I made 12 years ago and the cigarettes and gas is DOUBLE, just to name two examples of heinous growth in corporate profits compared to my stagnant wage.

    I can't afford the fluffy, pretty, shiny, high-tech disposable things that keep the economy hopeful like I used to. I could support local restaurants and mom and pop stores a lot more. Oh, what's a dollar for a cold drink on a hot day back then? It was NOTHING. Now it could break me and leave me without gas money. Sorry mom and pop. Guess you gotta lay off one of your employees and work that register from sunup to sundown and never see the outside of this place again. The business you built with your heart and soul and sweat and tears is now handcuffed to you because you can't hire anybody. I hope you don't lose it. Then you'll have to find work where nobody has money to spend on new employees, which is EVERYWHERE.

    And that's the way the cookie (economy) crumbles. Anecdotal but quite true. You can be an economist just by being poor. You'll have a lot of Eureka moments about the circulation of money when you no longer have it. ;-P

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:33:39 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for quick overview (0+ / 0-)
  •  We are definitely poorer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, ratzo

    my husband and I have both lost our jobs - me over six years ago and my husband a year ago.  He picks up odd jobs here and there for a little (damn little) cash.  Fortunately the car is paid for, but I dread anything going wrong with it.  We've canceled all but the legal minimum of insurance coverage.  We qualify for burial in the veterans' cemetery, but won't be able to get a casket.  I was lucky enough to get on VA healthcare, but my diabetic husband has nothing.

    The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

    by PSzymeczek on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:04:06 AM PDT

  •  Baby boomers (0+ / 0-)

    As someone older than the baby boom, my family and I were discussing our working world.  We were recruited with little competition.  We had degrees and were trained to the skills the corporations needed.  Corporations did not believe any behavior was justified because that was "business".  There were ethics and legality.  Or so we believed.  BUT that world is gone.  Something will replace it. WHAT is unclear.   Perhaps with new technology and good global connections, my Grandkids will have a chance.  Their parents have been knocked around too much.  

  •  Why should the rich have to pay for their mistakes (0+ / 0-)

    To hold them responsible would just cut more jobs.  And then you'll be more broke than you already are.  Now mone on.

    snark

    We're living in world fascism, but coming up to world socialism. But it doesn't happen without a fight.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:44:20 AM PDT

  •  Hey Alan (0+ / 0-)

    Are you running? I live in Northeastern Polk County in Davenport near Disneyworld and I hope you are running because my family really wants to vote for you. And as you know political coverage in Central Florida media is pretty bad.

  •  We need trickle UP economy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ

    Besides being an insult to the regular working person (non Rmoney types) ..we know where all of those tax cuts end up...in bonuses for CEO's and shareholder dividends.  

    Trickle down is another way of saying..that those who are of middle wage earnings do not have the wherewithal to create their own businesses, to invest capital in opportunities...so it must be left to those in the upper ecomomic stratosphere to trickle it down..to throw the masses an economic bone. Arff!

  •  If The Rich Think The Poor Will Happily Die (0+ / 0-)

    They have another thing coming. These fools are fomenting unrest on a massive scale once enough people can no longer afford to eat or acquire shelter. Do you think a parent isn't going to do whatever he or she can to feed their child? When they can't, do the rich think that they'll just lay down and wait for the end? The people who foster and champion inequality are idiots of the highest order.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:08:16 PM PDT

  •  We need more recent numbers (0+ / 0-)

    2007 to 2010?  That magnifies the drop in home values, a significant component of net worth in middle class families.  For most non-investment income families, the house is their biggest piece of worth... and after 2007 when the housing market collapsed, it turned into an anchor when so many mortgages became upside down.  Widespread foreclosure meant at best people had most of the net worth wiped out.

    Home values are starting to come up again, but so many were fleeced in the bubble, the push by the real estate and mortgage industry to borrow more than people could reasonably afford to, and the resultant destruction of so many people's savings.

    People who were renting and deliberately chose to sit out the bubble madness probably didn't suffer these kinds of reversals.  However, the percentage of households owning a home is still over 50% (it peaked at 68.9% in 2005 and has been dropping since).

    Homeownership rates in USA since 1960

    I am trying to find more recent homeownership rates and only can find quotes in newspapers.  it is down to 65% now.

    In capitalist America, bank robs you!

    by madhaus on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:40:24 PM PDT

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