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Upward Mobility In America Now

Stuck in America.  Upward mobility—the American Dream—is at an all time low.  We look at what’s happened to the ladder.

Zenobia Bechtol, 18, and her seven-month-old baby girl Cassandra, live in the dining room of her mother's apartment in Austin, Texas, Friday, Dec. 14, 2011, after Bechtol and her boyfriend were evicted from their apartment after he lost his job. The latest census data paint a bleak picture of a shrinking middle class amid persistently high unemployment and a fraying government safety net. (AP)

Zenobia Bechtol, 18, and her seven-month-old baby girl Cassandra, live in the dining room of her mother’s apartment in Austin, Texas, Friday, Dec. 14, 2011, after Bechtol and her boyfriend were evicted from their apartment after he lost his job. The latest census data paint a bleak picture of a shrinking middle class amid persistently high unemployment and a fraying government safety net. (AP)

New census report out this month on Americans and money.  The income gap grows again.  The big majority of Americans see no gains in a pale recovery.  Median household income, down 8 percent from 2007.  Middle class, falling.  The poor, going nowhere.

Only the well-to-do on the rise.  Economic mobility – “movin’ on up” – is at the heart of the American narrative.  Now, a lot of Americans are going nowhere, or down.  Who is moving?  And who’s not?  And what will it take the move the country again?

This hour, On Point:  going somewhere, going nowhere, in America.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Frank Bass, data editor for Bloomberg News and author of the forthcoming book, “Guide to the US Census”

Isabel Sawhill, co-director of the Center on Children and Families and the Budgeting for National Priorities Project at the Brookings Institution

Douglas Besharov, professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

Jeff Faux, founding president at the Economic Policy Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times  “A new study by researchers at the Brookings Institution shows that about two in three Americans achieves a middle-class lifestyle by middle age — and delves deeply into who makes it there and how. Isabel V. Sawhill, Scott Winship and Kerry Searle Grannis tackled the question of why some children make it to the middle class and others do not, studying criteria that tend to be indicative of later economic success and examining how race, gender and family income come into play.”

Brookings “Americans have an unusually strong belief in meritocracy. In other nations, circumstances at birth, family connections, and luck are considered more important factors in economic success than they are in the U.S. This meritocratic philosophy is one reason why Americans have had relatively little objection to high levels of inequality—as long as those at the bottom have a fair chance to work their way up the ladder.”

Brookings Institution Up Front Blog  “The media is full of commentary about Mitt Romney’s suggestion that people who do not pay income taxes are lacking in personal responsibility.  My view is that personal responsibility matters. In fact, Governor Romney has cited more than once a Brookings study (done with my colleague Ron Haskins). The study shows that if you do just three things: stay in school at least through high school, don’t have a child until you’re married and over 21, and work full-time, your chances of being poor are only 2 percent and your chances of joining the middle class are 74 percent.”

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  • WorriedfortheCountry

     Yes, personal responsibility and education in either a trade or other skill is critical.

    However, you also need the jobs.  To have jobs you need economic growth.  You also need competitive tax policies and ‘smart’ regulations that don’t kill jobs.  There is zero upward mobility with the jobs — no matter how much you tax the rich.

    It is crazy that we have a corporate tax system that artificially drives good jobs to places like Ireland or Switzerland.  In the end it robs us of jobs and tax revenue.

    It is also crazy that our tax code is over 74,000 pages.

    When things were good this big government nonsense was just an annoyance.  However now we can’t afford it in this global economic malaise.

    What is amazing is the downturn and crisis wasn’t used to reform government and make it more efficient and get out of the way of business.  Instead we got two new 2700 bills (maybe well intended) but ultimately will create huge bureaucracies that burden economic growth.

    Glass-Steagall was only 30 pages.  It was simple.  Everyone understood it.  That should be the model for any new regulation or reform of current regulations.

    Instead we get bills that are not even read or understood by the lawmakers and congressional leaders stating we need to ‘pass it to find out what is in it’. 

    • jefe68

      Hmmm, get out of the way of busniess… Seems to me we already did that to a large extent in the years leading up to the great recession. It’s amazing at how flippant your comment is as well as based on a failed ideology.
      You also contradict yourself, on the one hand you lambaste regulation and a few sentences later you’re praising the Glass-Steagall act.

      I guess that’s why Mitt Romney seems to heading for loss in November, all those folks believing in the GOP. 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Of course there is good regulation and there is bad regulation.  SarBox is another example of bad regulation.  I’ve seen it first hand.  It was an over reaction to Enron.

        I don’t pin all ills on Obama and the democrats.

        The bloat of government size and regulation has been building over several generation.  Notice it NEVER goes the other way.

        It is time to clean house.  The global economy is much more competitive now and we can’t afford it any longer.

        I don’t buy your premise that I am pushing a failed ‘ideology’.  Bush was a government grower.

        It is time to shrink government back to 18% of GDP.  Also, we should push as much government as possible back to the states.  It is very inefficient to have money funnel through an unaccountable federal government.  Government is more efficient effective the more local it is.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Why was it never time for government to get ahold of its bloat and stop growing when a Republican was in the White House?

          Don’t waste your breath on us lost liberals. It’s your wing which needs to do the stuff you keep calling for. And somehow they keep ignoring you.

          Because all those righties who want to cut gov’t spending don’t statistically exist.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             No, I griped about GOP overspending.

            Cheney — ‘deficits don’t matter’ was a horrible comment.

            The Tom Delay/ Denny Hastert led house was horrible.  They only seemed interested in consolidating political power instead of improving government.  However, Nancy Pelosi took over and she was even worse.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            As I said before, you don’t statistically exist. Every right-winger who really gave a crap about spending during the Bush II regime could meet at a booth in a Friendly’s. And it doesn’t even have to be a corner booth.

            Ain’t your fault. But don’t tell us lefties about it. Go convince your own for when they’re back in power.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I disagree with your analysis.

            Remember, the vast middle usually tunes out when unemployment is below 6% like during most of the Bush years.

          • Don_B1

            And just WHAT did Nancy Pelosi do that was worse?

            She did implement an enforceable ethics rule, and got healthcare reform passed, both of which will improve ALL Americans’ future.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             If you believe Obamacare is good for the country then there is no hope for you.

            Enforceable ethics rule?  Charlie Rangel?  Maxine Waters?

            Please.  She was only into political power.

            What happened to CSPAN hearings on Obamacare and 72 hours of review before the vote?

            No.  The process was indefensible.  The law is indefensible.

          • Don_B1

            The process was outrageously prolonged by Republican delaying, distracting tactics; they “negotiated,” then withdrew support when their ideas were adopted.

        • TinaWrites

          “ The global economy is much more competitive now and we can’t afford it any longer,” you say.  The Republicans keep wanting to open up markets.  Well, one gigantic market they are too greedy to think about opening up is right under their nose:  the American 98%.  If corporations return jobs to the U.S., WE could afford to buy their goods.  Pollution would be decreased, because goods would be shipped shorter distances.  Prices would go down for the same reason.  Our government needs to provide micro loans to the women of our own poorest areas, urban and rural, even suburban, to help them enter the economy; our businesses need to return jobs to our shores.  Many more things need to change, but this is enough for this post.  

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Tina, the US tax code encourage the big, most profitable companies to move good jobs (and profits overseas).  We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

            60 Minutes had a good segment on this about a year ago profiling companies like Google and other profitable companies moving jobs.

            Nothing has been done about it.

            Also, our tax policy encourages companies to keep profits overseas.  Crazy.  This helps our competition overseas.  I’ll give you an example Cisco wanted to expand into the video conferencing business.  They ended up buying a European company only because they had billions in excess profits sitting overseas.  Now jobs are expanding in Europe for this Cisco division instead of the good ole USA.

          • Don_B1

            Republicans threaten a filibuster on tax policy changes or load it with poison pill amendments every time the subject is raised.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             You just described the Democrats action over the last 2 years.

            Give Harry Reid a ring.

          • Steve__T

             Both sides are complicit greedy and give two sh!ts about Americans.

          • Don_B1

            The Democrats are much more responsive to the middle class; there are a few who too often can be persuaded to support wealthy interests over the middle class.

          • TinaWrites

            Do you think the corporate CEO’s would be willing to pay  higher personal income tax if the tax code taxed their companies at lower rates (as a compromise? — what’s good for business and what’s good for the country combined in one bargain?)  (Sorry if I don’t answer back, I’m way behind on everything.  Thanks.)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Oh, and I don’t believe for minute that Romney is heading for a loss.  Notice how the media and Obama supporters are talking polls the last 3 weeks and not Obama accomplishments.  Even today they media started pushing guess what — a consumer confidence POLL that improved +9 points in one month.  Do you believe that?
        One week after the FED said the economy was so soft they needed to print billions for QE3.

        Reagan was losing to Carter at this point in 1980.

        The only success Obama had was foreign policy and that has been proven to be a sham.  He thought that by killing OBL that Al Qaeda was dead.  Nope.  He thought giving one speech in Cairo is a foreign policy and everyone will love us.  Nope.  But don’t worry it is just a bump in the road.

        The U of Colo model has Romney taking 320 electoral votes.  They have been correct in predicting every election since 1980.  Maybe it will be closer than that but I still think Romney will prevail.

        I have faith that the American voters believe Obama should be fired.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          The end of the middle class began with Nixon opening ‘free’ trade with China even though it was a communist empire at odds with us in Vietnam. Regardless of the legitimacy of having any business in Vietnam, that opened up a vast pool of slave labor to support our appetite for ever cheaper stuff. Then came Ronny Raygun and his ‘Free Trade” mantra which was smoke an mirrors: while our corporations played by some mythical set of rules, the rest of the world did not and at us for lunch. NAFTA and unwillingness to wage economic counter attacks undermined domestic corporate activity (hiring and investment) and promoted off-shoring. The flood gates seemed to break open under Bush, maybe due to tax policy or a combination of tax policies promoting off-shoring and us passing a tipping point. Well here we are with folks still investing faith in the Myth of Reaganomics.

          Snap out of it!!! . It was a myth! You believed in the fairy tail and in 2007 the beautiful maiden turned out to be an evil witch. We’ve been butchered by Republican economic policies for 40 years. How long will it take for you to look at history and see it was a myth crafted to trickle ever more wealth up, not down?

          George H.W. Bush was at least honest about it when he coined the phrase VOODOO Economics…. And David Stockman who helped invent it later agreed it was a failure, because in the end, they just made numbers up to support their arguments…. So here we are 30 years later coming out of the great recession and folks like you are still arguing that Republicans should be given back control of the economy?

          They set the house on fire and are now blaming the fire department for not getting it under control on schedule while they sabotage the fire trucks. Now that is not just madness, that’s treasonous!!!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The Dems have controlled congress for most of the last 40 years.  There have been mistakes by both parties.

            The 2008 housing crisis and banking failure was not the result of GOP economic policies or tax cuts.  Obama says it over and over but no one ever calls him on that nonsense.

            The repeal of Glass-Steagall was the creation of ‘too big to fail’ by Bill Clinton.  Sure it had GOP support to pass but USUALLY the buck stops with the President.

            The support of liar loans in the name of giving ‘the American Dream’ to the poor was mostly a Democrat game plan.  I believe Bush was complicit circa 2004 when he was running for reelection but he did attempt reforms to FREDDIE and FANNIE but was blocked by congress (Barnie Frank).  

      • Michiganjf

        These ignorant, boneheaded Republicans won’t admit they’re falling until they’ve all hit bottom, and probably not even then… unfortunately, they’re pulling the rest of us down too.

        Tax rates at historic lows, corporate profits and cash reserves at historic highs and the wealthy richer than ever… they’ve deregulated nearly everything and destroyed America’s unions, and still these idiots won’t admit their “perfect world” isn’t creating jobs despite all their moronic dreams having already come to pass… instead, they’ve crushed the middle class- America’s erstwhile job creating engine.

        It’s not even worth trying to get them to face or acknowledge facts anymore, we just need to turn them ALL out of government.

        Republicans have utterly destroyed this country for everyone, including themselves, and even destitution won’t end their pig-headed STUPIDITY.

        There’s not a single policy to which they don’t have an asinine, backward approach.

        America could be driving the entire world’s economies toward success if we could get rid of Republicans and their idiotic priorities, every one of which is WRONG.

        Take ANY POLICY driving success in any other country, or even policies which once drove America to success, and Republicans are now pushing for the EXACT OPPOSITE!

        VOTE THE MORONS OUT!!!

        RY-OMNEY FOR PRESIDENT OF SOME STATES OF AMERICA 2012!!

    • Shag_Wevera

      I appreciate your well constructed conservative agyment, and the fact that you didn’t engage in Obama bashing to make it.  This is the stuff of reasonable discourse.  Well done!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Thank you.  However, there was an implicit criticism of Obama.  He let the crisis ‘go to waste’.

        One of his campaign promises was to go through the budget line by line and eliminate all waste.  He didn’t do this in the budget he offered and he is clearly not interested in passing a budget in his first term.

        I honestly believe he has set back his vision of big government for generations.  I’m not sure he realized that or even cares.

  • Yar

    Another hour where fools blame prostitutes for their choice of profession? Maybe not directly, but through insinuation. As if everyone is created equal, or that opportunity is open to all.  The sad thing is that in our polarized world, these divergent realities still exist.  
    Just three things?
    High school is next to impossible if your belly is empty or you don’t have a safe place to sleep.  
    Marriage is unrealistic without income and family support.  
    Full time work, not a string of part time jobs that take up 12 hours or more of the day but fail to offer a living wage or access to healthcare.

    Yes, blame the victim, you den of vipers.  Stone the woman, her sins are obvious, she is the harlot. You self made millionaires, you men of the world, never apologize.  At least in India they acknowledge caste.

    In the US we pretend all are welcome; as long as they already have citizenship, a job, are white and christian. How many generations will be cursed by this ignorance? 

    In a different reality, quality of life wouldn’t be measured by income and consumption. Growth is not a measure of a national economy in a world of finite resources, military strength isn’t what makes a county strong.
    Where is this visible today?
    In the teacher, the factory worker, the low level government employee. The shrinking middle class.  Only making enough to pay the mortgage, educate the children, and participate in civic activities. The very source of our strength is cursed by self made millionaires as costing too much.  Shrink government, free the entrepreneur, never realizing the lid on the pot is what keeps the broth from boiling away.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Great post Yar.  You’ve been on a roll for the past several days!

    • Gregg Smith

      Opportunity is available to all. With all due respect your vision of America is depressingly unrealistic. I think the three suggestions are good advise. I don’t think it’s helpful to imagine a world where most children are too hungry to learn in school.  

      • Yar

        “I don’t think it’s helpful to imagine a world where most children are too hungry to learn in school.   ”
        The world today, and you can’t imagine over 3 billion people living on less than 2 dollars per day.  You have washed your hands of 47 percent?  They are not part of your world.

        Gregg, a closed mind is really depressing.
        It isn’t that these suggestions are wrong, they are simply observations, and not causes nor solutions.  By making them commandments, this is what you are saying to the poor. Don’t find love; don’t have children; it is only your fault when you fail.

        • Gregg Smith

          Are there 3 billion living for less than $2/day in America? The 47% refers to Americans who don’t pay taxes. Most receive assistance. How is that washing my hands? I’m feeding them. The advise was just that, I don’t know where you got they were commandments. 

          • Don_B1

            Many who qualify for SNAP don’t get it, and the same is true for TANF. They simply exist is cars, or moving from one apartment to another, with less than adequate food, etc.

          • Gregg Smith

            Look at the baby in the picture above, does he look like he’s starving? How about the mother?

          • Steve__T

             That’s a sick response.

          • Don_B1

            @Steve__T:disqus 
            I echo Steve_T!

            Also obesity is a sign of lack of proper nutrition, from overeating foods that are nutritionally deficient but loaded with CHEAP sugar. See:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

            for Robert Lustig’s take.

          • Gregg Smith

            Then that’s just stupid poor parenting. It’s not a matter of hunger.

          • Steve__T

             Just a curious question Gregg. Have you ever  seen a person on the street holding a sign saying homeless need help or something similar? Have you ever given them a buck even a quarter, or do you just ignore them?

          • Gregg Smith

            I have offered them jobs many times, I never got any takers. I have offered to take them to lunch, no takers. I am a sucker for the military vets though. I’ll give them a $20.

          • Steve__T

             Well God bless you. I too have done the same, because the first thing comes to my mind is, there but for the grace of God go I.

          • mochajava13

            Only about half of the 47% who don’t pay taxes receive government aid.  The other half don’t make enough to pay taxes, but also make too much to qualify for government aid.

      • Don_B1

        No one has to “imagine” a world where most children are too hungry to learn in school. There are schools right here, particularly in some larger cities from New York City to Texas to California, where this already exists. Kids who live in cars, or don’t know if they will be moving again soon.

        • Gregg Smith

          No, most children are not too hungry to learn in school. In the cases where some are, most are a result negligent parents. Schools feed the children on top of all of that. You cannot be serious with that claim.

          • Don_B1

            So unemployed or underemployed parents are just negligent in not choosing to work when there are four applicants for EVERY job?

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I didn’t say that. I am saying the schools are not full of starving kids too hungry to concentrate. I said the advise offered was good advise. Look at these replies. Somehow all anyone heard me say is no child is ever hungry. It’s nuts. How is the suggestion to stay in school controversial? Yar made it so on the basis that kids were too hungry to learn.

      • Steve__T

         Where the heck have you been, what closet do you live in, she spoke truth. Children go to school hungry, some whole family’s live in their cars, you need to wake up, no there is no opportunity for all. To many people like your self looking down their noses at others that didn’t get the same break or have the same type parentage. Im sure you’ll say that’s sick, and it is, but it’s the truth.

      • LinRP

         Oh c’mon Gregg, are you playing the troll here with being unable to imagine kids going to school hungry? I imagine you sitting back and laughing hysterically as you post something as inane as that hoping to fire people up.

        • Gregg Smith

          If you don’t omit the word “most” from my comment it makes more sense. 

    • Jane Hamilton

      Yar says: “In the US we pretend all are welcome; as long as they already have citizenship, a job, are white and christian. How many generations will be cursed by this ignorance? ”
      Talk about ignorance… this statement shows how racist and ignorant this person is. This country was founded by white, christians and they are the majority of the population so of course they appear “welcomed”. We have laws for a reasons so if an illegal aliens breaks that law then they should be held accountable and it would only make sense that they would not be “welcomed”.
      Oh I forgot white, christian citizens are held to a different standard then minorities and illegals or people like Yar. It is this mentality that divides this nation. 

  • responseTwo

    In 1979 I got a job at electronics company working for a little above minimum wage with healthcare for my wife and 2 children. My wife did daycare at home, home was a mobile home, while I worked and spent half my life in night school. The company I worked for had tuition refund for night school as did all the other ones I worked at after that. 
    Over the years I got a cert from an electronis tech school, ASET , and EE degrees while working at various tech companies. Most of my work was related to or stemmed from manufacturing.I was lucky, I’m a baby boomer. Ha, try to find that kind of upward mobility now. Your lucky to get health care.There is no upward mobility in this country. It is riddled with greed, shareholder value, and all finance all the time.

    • Don_B1

      The growth of Wall Street financial sector income, from less than 15% of the profits of the country to OVER 35% of the profit is where the some of the inequality and all the financial crash has come from. It was Republican ideas, stupidly supported by some Democrats, that enabled most of this.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I have long since given up on the American dream.  I am in the process of trying hard to steer my family away from materialism and cosumerism.  It is not easy.  Forgive me, as I’ve said this here many times before, but we must learn to cherish the things that cannot easily be taken away.   Family, friendship, faith, and nature are some great things to build happiness on.

    Upward mobility brings to mind a sinking ship, with all the rats scurrying and scampering to reach the highest point on the ship.  In reality, the ship is sinking and all the rats will die.  All of us will die as well, and no money can be taken with us.  A wise man once said that if you plan your finances perfectly, the last check you write in your life will bounce.

    Be good, be happy, enjoy each day.  I vote and am liberal because I believe they best represent what I have written here today.  I am not hateful, not very competitve, and do not seek excess.  I see this coming from the right.

  • AC

    http://singularityhub.com/2012/06/28/abundance-the-future-is-better-than-you-think/

    so it’s not 1950, but there is hope. I guess it depends on what ‘middle class’ is supposed to mean; is it only for Americans? or should it be ’standards’ for the human condition for the planet?

    • Don_B1

      The prospects shown here do have the requirement that the calamitous results of climate change are avoided; otherwise humans will be living with the standards of Amazon tribes or those in the wilds of Borneo.

      It can be done, but not likely if Republicans are a majority of government.

  • StilllHere

    How is it that immigrants who come to this country with next to nothing can achieve so much for themselves and their families?  Why is it that they keep coming to the US, encouraged by their relatives already here and risking their own well-being in the process?  Millions in this country are improving their station in life every day.

    Maybe we need to redefine what the American dream is for some of you.  It seems to have become all about materialism.  Is that how we identify middle class as well?  How many hybrid cars, flat screens, smart phones, laptops, tv channels, single serve coffee makers; how much bandwidth…  You’re not moving up if you don’t get a new car every two or three years? 

    • Shag_Wevera

       ”Millions in this country are improving their station in life every day.”

      You are probably right about this.  But how many millions?  Five?  How about ten?

      There are almost 300 million of us in this country, and logic would dictate we create a society and economy that best serves all of them.  The problem is that we cater too much to this minority.  Be as successful as you wish, once everyone has food, shelter, clothing. education, and healthcare.  It is called responsibility.  To those with great power (or wealth) comes great responsibility.

       

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Millions? That’s great, until one faces the fact that tens of millinos were improving their station in this country every day, until a generation or two ago.

      Statistics show that in the last 40 years, there are simply fewer and fewer tables spaces open in “up”. And in the meantime, the American worker has become tons more productive, given up all sorts of paid time off, expanded their workweek (or gone to temp work, not by choice), and had “employment benefits” redefined downward in the name of “competition”.

      But very little of that has shown up in their pay envelope. That’s a feature of top-down class warfare, not a bug.

    • Steve__T

       I wanted to start my own business and had written proposals on repayment and I went through hell trying to get loans, no approval anywhere. A neighbor of mine from Pakistan bought a franchise business that was greater than my loan by about 15k after being here less than a year. So tell me what’s wrong with that picture.

       Oh by the way I have Never bought or owned a new car my whole life even when I could afford one, I’m a sort of thrifty person, you know save money, and thank God because I have a little to live on. My dream of America has been re-defined it was America that  re-defined it.

  • AC

    ‘healthy, wealthy and wise’
    what is wealthy – food security? shelter? gold-plated door knobs?? idk…..

  • madnomad554

    It’s a two wrongs don’t make it right scenario. Government has certainly done its part, but equally so, too many Americans have mass consumed their way onto that sinking ship. Politicians, media types and economists, often refer to our economy as the biggest economy in the world, and it is…based on MASS consumption. And most of those before mentioned seem hellbent on keeping it the largest in the world. However, I don’t have to spend every dime I have, nor do I have to keep myself in revolving debt, just so this country can retain that title. For I do not and will not MASS consume.

    Sorry, but I’m going to put this out there again, 70% of all jobs lost during this recession were construction/housing industry jobs. Too many people simply building too much house. The home owners own supply and demand behavior, drove up the price until, “pop”, goes the bubble. The truth is, if people realize they don’t need so much house, then most of these jobs aren’t coming back for quite some time.

    Most of these mass consumers spend all of their money and claim, “I don’t make enough money.” You know, many of the mass consumers get on average two weeks paid vacation (10 days) and another two weeks total paid holidays, about another 10 days. So they work 11 months out of the year, but get paid for 12. Poor poor mass consumer.

    I’m 43 and have been self employed for half of my working career, averaging around 30 grand a year. In fact that’s about what I have averaged per year since I was 18. I think if more Americans were self employed, they wouldn’t complain about their current job or any other job they might have. Self employment means no paid vacations, no paid holidays, no sick days, but I’m not complaining. And everytime I can’t afford something, I don’t cry, “I don’t make enough money”.

     

    • William

       One think I always hate about owning your own business is the license and permit fees. I would have thought most local and state governments would not charge more than a dollar for a business license, especially now, to encourage people to go out on their own and start a business.
       It is exciting to get that customer to say “yes” to your bid, do a good job and hear that “thank you” when completed.
      Good luck!

      • madnomad554

         Well the best “yes” and or “thank you”, is by way of repeat customers…

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We no longer have a cold war to galvanize the public, politicians and corporations to craft tax and economic policies to spur investment in education and domestic manufacturing…

    What we have now is an economic war (enabled by the walmartization of the manufacturing industry) and class warfare (championed by the Republican party) which has devastated the middle-class.

    Until we are galvanized to stop the slow slide into third world economic status, global corporations will continue to outsource, the wealthy will get tax breaks and loopholes from legislation they pay their politicians to pass, and the middle-class will shrink.

    Whatever happened to United we stand, divided we fall? This is no longer the United States of America as our government has become co-opted by right wing neo-feudal lords (the ultra wealthy).

    Until there is a sea-change in our culture and politics, how can this possibly be stopped?

    • William

       The Democrats since FDR have used class warfare to divide the country. We still have too many Americans that shoot themselves in the foot with drug abuse, dropping out of school, teenage Moms, etc….

      • Shag_Wevera

        So any American who hasn’t achieved the American Dream has themselves to blame?

        Reagan with the “young bucks and Cadillac driving welfare queens” wasn’t class warfare?

        You have a very selective memory.

        • William

           We has a society have gone overboard with assisting the poor, disadvantaged etc..since the Great Society programs. After nearly 50 years we need a new game plane since this one is not working.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            “We has a society have gone overboard with assisting the poor”

            Not sure whether you consider yourself to be of Christian Faith but ponder this: Who would Jesus starve?

          • William

            Even Obama said people need to show personal responsibility, quit free riding, and buy medical insurance. We have sufficient number of programs in place that people need not starve. We are much better off than previous generations and they had fewer safety nets and survived.

          • Steve__T

              Pissst hey William WAKE UP!! your dreaming.

          • Don_B1

            The programs lack FUNDING for the number that are eligible! So many in-need applicants are turned away. More so in red states than blue states.

          • William

             There is no lack of spending on food programs. Many schools offer breakfast and lunch with some like in TN offering dinner.

          • Don_B1

            The one you are trying to take us on will not work; the one F.D.R put us on did work from 1945 to almost 1980, when reaction to the OPEC crisis led us toward Reagan’s anti-unionism and deregulation (though Carter actually started the latter).

            This has allowed the C-level executives to abscond with over 90% of the growth in profits from productivity gains, a lot of which was provided by workers.

          • William

             We were the only game in town after WW II so we could just keep passing on price increases and demanding higher wages. The warning signs were there when the Japanese arrived in the early 1960′s with great consumer electronics and the mid 1970′s with well made cars.
            Reagan saw that unions were not doing us much good and many Americans don’t really care to join a union so he was correct.
            Top executives always make a good wage, but the biggest threat to many people will be the inability of government to stop illegal immigration. That has really kept wages down for many people due to excessive numbers of people willing to work for lower wages. Neither party is going to stop it so that problem will only grow.

          • Don_B1

            Reagan saw unions as a cost to shareholders not a contributor to economic prosperity of the middle class which is the creator of demand for goods and services and thus economic growth.

            Top executives did just fine earning 50 times the median salary of their employees; they really don’t “need” 500 times that median. But it is how they measure themselves against other executives. And it has little impact on the number or quality of the jobs they “create.”

          • William

            If the magic of union labor was so great they would be present in every industry, but they are quickly fading away. We need just look how the UAW stole GM from the bond holders and took pensions from the 20,000 Delphi workers to see how corrupt they are these days. The leadership of the unions have rewarded themselves very well over the years too.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeppers. All those out-of-work people shouting “Hang Hoover” at the Presidential motorcade, circa 1930-31, and somehow the Democrats started using “class warfare” to whip up the undeserving riffraff who should have pulled their money out of the market, or not have put their money in a pre-FDIC bank, or taken pains to do something else that one in a million folks did.

        I don’t know what kind of money you make. I suspect we are not far apart in income strata. But I don’t have the slightest trust in you to “have my back” if we’re in a dark alley full of plutocrats.

        • William

           I tend to not trust people that demand “the other guy” pay more because “it’s not right he makes so much”….other than moving money around..those policies have not made much improvement in many poor people’s lives.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Then you don’t trust the top-down class warfare which made folks like you and I, “the other guy”, pay more?

            If one could have a conversation with you, the first thing to stop JAQing off about would be “it’s not right he makes so much”, but “he should be lucky that poor people aren’t rioting in the streets and he doesn’t have to travel in an armored limosine”.

            Keeping people from starving, and keeping them from rioting when they’re next to starving, holds no value to you because (surprise) it hasn’t happened to you.

          • Don_B1

            If “the other guy” paid workers what they deserve there would not be the problem the country faces today.

            The bankers were incredibly arrogant and talking about how they needed to violate ethics if not the law to maintain their jobs in the financial culture of opaque transactions where they could rip off the world.

            Now the rich want to use the current economic crisis to further weaken the safety net, so they can continue rent-seeking until the growth for everyone disappears.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        You need to go back and read some history books not written by the Committee for America or Club for Growth.

        There was class warfare back then and the workers were the ones being murdered by police dying from gun fire. The disparity between rich and poor was extreme. With that disparity, social unrest grows. These are the seeds of revolution. The Romans understood this: their empire did not last for centuries for no reason.

        • William

           An odd thing about FDR was he declared war on the wealthy and business community when our country needed them…

          • Don_B1

            They were not helping then just as they are NOT helping now. In both times, they saw no DEMAND for the goods and services investing their money would provide, so they pursue rent-seeking activity elsewhere, like buying Treasury paper at effectively negative interest rates, because building more plant or hiring more workers would give even less return on their investment.

            You really need to educate yourself from your 19th century ideas. Actually there were a few economists in the late 1800s that knew more than you do about an economy in a depression.

          • William

            Your knowledge of FDR’s failed economic experiments and his war on the business community and the wealthy is not uncommon but nothing you should brag about.

      • gonkers

        OR, OR, OR when the reckless pro-rich policies of the 20′s crashed the economy and FDR pushed needed reforms… the rich first opposed FDR’s efforts even to the point of plotting a military coup.

      • LinRP

        That’s right William! Those dirty, filthy worthless ones who get pregnant, battle addictions, and drop out of school. You NEVER see that happening in the class of wealth, privilege, and incredible advantage and connection. And if it does, money can make just about ANY problem go away, or at least be managed. Oh no, those are perfect lives, lived in a perfect manner, with nary a bump in the road. Life is a straight line from advantage to more advantage. No one gets sick, divorced, addicted. I think people in that echelon only die when when most convenient for family members!

        You must be living one of these charmed lives too. In a bubble. Where no one ever makes a misstep or “shoots themselves in the foot.” Pulllleeeeze!!!!

    • Jane Hamilton

      And as usual no one mentions all the people lining up for handouts…. From the police officer making 160,000 a year with a retirement at 55 at 80% of that (9000 a month) to the hospital worker who intentionally only works 24 hours a week so they can collect public healthcare and food stamps or the illegal using a fake SS number to collect benefits, who pays no taxes. (they absolutely file and claim all the credits they can) Remember they know how to work the system. That is how they were able to break-in in the first place. 
      It is all the “rich” peoples fault….. How absurd. 
      Look at Europe.. that is where we are headed. Too many handouts whether it be to the RICH or the POOR is the problem. But no one wants to give up their piece of the pie so like Europe, currently Greece and Spain, eventually we will be forced to. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.hennings.1 Ryan Hennings

    Sigh…give me a break.  I wish NPR would stop with the “cry baby” stuff with our tax dollars.  If they want to support the left, do it without our taxes!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       Yeah, you’re two cents you contributed is being used to speak out for the middle class and poor.

      You’re the cry baby.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Thanks for your great incite and contribution to this discussion.

      I wish NPR would go without governmental subsidies just so people like you wouldn’t be able to bitch about it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Incite”?

        You may mean “insight”. But then, reading the original poster, both may apply.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Oops!  Thanks for the spell-check!

    • JGC

      You look like a nice upper middle class couple…

    • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

      AM tuner broken? There must be a Rush episode on for you to ditto.

    • IsaacWalton

      Odd that Mr Hennings would say that since he graduated from Georgia State University which most likely received some kind of fed/govt tax dollars. Mr. Henning, it’s people like me that are happy to give some of what I made to help out schools like yours. Unfortunately, it’s people like you (republican I guess from the LIKES on your FB page) that will take what you need (even from the gov’t) and then not want to give back…sigh.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Oh, I guess I am naive.  I thought they were just stating an obvious problem.  I didn’t realize they were asking for more taxpayer — borrowed — money.  They already spend too much.

      Reading the blurb above it sounds like family support and hard work are the solution to moving up — not more government.

      However, as I stated below, we still need the jobs and we need to reform government so we have more PRIVATE sector jobs.  Otherwise, we are toast and will be in a permanent state of haves and have-nots.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       Is that you John Stossel?

    • jefe68

      Sigh indeed.  It’s comments like yours that are all about whining and complaining about how the world is just not nasty and Darwinian enough for the likes of you.
      Pretty disgusting attitude you have there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Our middle-class and working-class are doing better than some sub-Saharan countries?

    Woohoo! In the words of The Great Mustache of Understanding, Rwanda is invited to Suck. On. This.

  • dandavis

    The counties with most equal income distribution are the poorest. 

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Tell that to Bristol Palin.

  • J__o__h__n

    santorum’s Repubilcan economic polices sent the jobs away or cut them. 

    • StilllHere

      I thought it was Clinton’s NAFTA.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

         Both parties work for the elite.

      • gonkers

         Just because Clinton foolishly bought into some wacky right wing ideas doesn’t make them less RIGHT WING IDEAS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    The only people I see “getting ahead” in America today are immigrant families, for the sole reason that they cooperate, economically, rather than competing with each other for the biggest slice of the pie. Everybody does something towards the same end: family prosperity. For example: gramdma babysits while mom & dad work, auntie does the haircuts and uncle may fix your teeth. It works.
     

    • JGC

      Yikes! Uncle fixes your teeth?  Is he a dentist, or just a guy with a pair of pliers?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        This is not my personal experience. I was born here to people with deep American roots going back to 1638, on the English side. I wrote my observations of New Americans on the scene, mostly from Asia. I WISH I’d had an uncle who was a dentist! These were merely some examples of what I see around me, BTW, nothing more.  

  • William

    How does the age figure into the income gap? Most people don’t stay poor their entire lives and as they get older, wiser and have better skills they move up in income. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       Not anymore.

      Know any people over 50?

      • William

         Yes, my sister is 52 and makes about 115k a year. She started out as a 9 dollar an hour RN in 1982, 30k in college loans, and now she is a CRNA and doing very well.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

           Lucky her.

          I know at least 30 people over 50 who used to make a lot of money.

          Now with being laid off from full time jobs almost none of them are making anywhere near what they used to make in the new jobs they are working in.

          • William

             Actually, not much luck but a lot of hard work.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            You are funny.

            Haven’t you learned yet that most people that have been laid off from good paying jobs worked hard too?

            It is luck that she hasn’t lost her job.

            Anyone in the middle class is at risk in America today for downward mobility.

          • William

             No. Hard work, taking late night and weekend shifts, moving to where the jobs were at, frugal lifestyle, not getting married at 18 but went to college instead, picked a very difficult and demanding career

    • Steve__T

       Haaah ha ha ha ahh that’s funny

    • mochajava13

      This isn’t true anymore, especially not for my generation. Wages have stagnated across the board and have dropped in some industries, including ones where a graduate degree is needed. 

  • dandavis

    The income gap is the consequence of the failure of central planning. The FED Reserve monetary policy is inflatng away the value of savings an pensions.

    • gonkers

      Yup, the income gap has NOTHING to do with 30 years of class warfare by the rich against the rest of the nation… NOTHING to do with depressing the minimum wage, destroying unions, out-sourcing, etc. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    How long before someone on this panel calls Santorum’s bluff on “family values” and the right’s war on womens’ health care, especially for working class folk?

    I mean, he must be a religious man, as it’s only by a miracle (not science) that people will have sex without BC and pregnancy rates will go down.

    (And don’t bother with the “Then people should just stop having sex”.)

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    What happens to Santorum’s statistic if you keep graduation from high school, but only consider economic status as a child as a factor in achieving succes?

    He sounds like he’s selling moral family values as a solution to a systemic economic problem.

    • IsaacWalton

      You’re right. He ALWAYS sells moral family values as the solution to everything. Worked for him. I’m sure he’s sorry that the entire world isn’t him.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

         How did it work for him?

        He cheated Pennsylvania for the education of his kids.

        People like Santorum are always the biggest hypocrites.

    • StilllHere

      Actually it sounds like reality.

  • AaronNM

    All this talk of family values, so where’s the support for new parents? Lower middle-class families have no choice but to have both parents work just to afford the $1400 per month in daycare costs along with all the other expenses. Why is early childcare not a part of the social compact? Seems it would free up a lot of money for the middle class if infant care services were public services.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Nonono, you don’t understand at all. Time and time again the message from our uberlords is “mothers with upper-middle-class income should stay at home, but for poor mothers working ‘builds character’ “.

      And it’s a well-known fact that if working class mothers had character, they’d be middle-class.

      (I dont’ have to explain that I’m being sarcastic here, do I?)

      • AaronNM

        The sarcasm was not lost on me. Very well put.

  • Mouse_2012

    Romney sounds so Fake

    • DrewInGeorgia

      If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Like Mitt can control fuel prices which now fluctuate wildly with oil futures speculation! Deregulation, lazy fairy thinking are the answer to everything?!? Haven’t we actually increased oil production more under Obama than Bush? Hollow rhetoric counting on magical thinkers to embrace it.

    • Steve__T

       Yes he can lower them by doing what he wants to do for the rich CUT THE TAX on gas. next time your at the pump check the little sticker(most don’t) that says how much tax your paying you’ll be surprised.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Not me, I read everything… unit price stickers etc. ~38 cents per gallon or about 10%

        • Steve__T

           But do you really think he cut that

      • gonkers

        So we should let the parasite speculators in the commodity
        markets bleed us dry, but we should cut the gas tax to deprive ourselves of
        funds to repair our highways?

        What am I missing?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, the low-income families haven’t had a raise since the start of the Bush II “record 5-year (or whatever) expansion”. This may be something that falls in the category of background knowledge.

  • IsaacWalton

    Thank you Isabel! I wish Mitt would listen to you. Tax breaks for the middle class puts more money in our pockets to spend. I believe our GDP is 2/3 reliant on consumer spending. If we can spend, demand goes up, people hire. The rich having more money means they just reinvest in stocks that are owned mostly by a small percentage. Doesn’t sound like it’s been trickling down.

  • Sawyerfarm2006

    This trend has been going for the past 30 years. I am part of the first generation that is doing worse than their parents! Which was before the great recession.

  • IsaacWalton

    I love when experts layout the parameters for success. I think it’s good to know them…but it also takes the individual making responsible choices after that. My father says, luck is only preparedness meeting opportunity. I was born into a lower middle class family (7 living in a 3bedroom, 1 bath home, single earner, enlisted naval father)…I benefitted from govt student loans and happily paid them off. Am I living the American Dream…I’m not living my parent’s dream. Just living my dream in America.

  • mark polanzak

    This is a great topic, but I am confused as to the “ladder rung system” being articulated — it sounds as if one of the ladder rungs you have to reach is earning an average income of college graduates by 29 years old. I don’t think this makes much sense. In order to be middle class, you should be earning what the middle class makes? That doesn’t like much a prescription. I have reached all the ladder rungs, exceeded them, actually; I have a graduate degree, but I am below middle class earnings…

  • InActionMan

    There a three causes to our current economic mess.

    1. The huge Baby Boomer generation moving to retirement with no savings.

    The Baby Boomers have always affected the economy in a major way from the sale of Davey Crockett Caps and Hoola Hoops in the 50′s, Rock and Roll Records and Cars in the 60′s, the hyper inflation of the 70′s and the housing and stock market booms of the 80′s and 90′s.

    Now the broke Boomers have stopped consuming and are dragging down the economy.

    2. Outsourcing of low skill jobs.

    3. Most importantly is the internet/automation revolution we are currently in. The most important/underreported story of the year, of the decade, hell of the 21st Century was the release of the “Baxter” Co-Robot.

    Baxter is designed to work side-by-side with human workers allowing small companies to gradually ramp-up to robotic production.

    Baxter only costs $22,000.00 and is projected to work for the equivalent of $4.00 per hour human labor.

    Baxter 1.0 is slow and has limited capabilities. However, if robot development follows “Moore’s Law” like microchips: in 2014  Baxter 2.0 will be twice as good, in 2016 Baxter 3.0 will be four times as good and in 2018 Baxter 4.0 will be eight times as good. Most low skill jobs will disappear. Those that remain will be pegged to minimum wage.

    The good news is that many factories may return to the U.S. from China because robots will be cost effective against cheap 3rd world labor. The bad news is the new jobs in support of robot workers that pay well will probably require at least an Associates degree.

    Unless we slash “Defense” spending and redirect those funds toward training/education and infrastructure America will become a third world banana republic with a great mass of poor on the dole and getting into trouble

  • Pingback: Upward Mobility In America Now | Clearing House for Environmental Course Material

  • OnpointListener

    Can your guest address the downward mobility of older citizens?

    I am a widow, nearing retirement, with a teenager going to college.  The economic downturn stripped a lot of value from my retirement funds, stripped a lot of equity from my house, and caused a decrease in my income.  In the meantime, health insurance costs, property taxes, and fuel costs are going up, up, up.

    • Jane Hamilton

      Health insurance going up = paying for others expensive medical treatments
      Property tax going up= paying the salaries of gov. workers and paying for the entitlement welfare crowd
      Fuel cost up = governments inept handling of promoting alternative energy sources
      House price down= government relaxed lending rules
      Hmm… the rich did not factor in here…

  • perihelion22
  • Call_Me_Missouri

    Our current economy is 60% Consumer Spending.

    Without a Middle Class, that 60% will shrink substantially and  that will crush our current economy.

    I think there is a valid argument to be made that shrinking Consumption would be a great thing to do, but I never hear anyone explain what will replace the lost consumption in the economy.

    All this talk about wages is nice, but it still is not the real conversation that we need to have if we truly want to change the direction of this economy in a meaningful way.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I noticed a grating contrast yesterday between Romney talking about the dignity of work, and possibly at the same convening (around Clinton’s charitable organization), Obama was addressing “modern slavery,” of human trafficking.  There is definitely work that has nothing to do with human dignity, and I would include a lot of the shenanigans that go on on Wall Street, sad to say, but also work that diminishes humans in ways the employers can get away with.  Beating people for working too slowly is an obvious abuse, but people can be worked into all sorts of disabilities, which forces people to work at jobs that had better benefit the next generation, because it certainly doesn’t benefit those who are doing it.  Oh, is that self-sacrificial?  We get the pyramids, and we glorify those who made them?   There is plenty of dignity in being below middle class, and plenty of indignity in being where the idealists of middle-class life would like us all to be.  It depends.

  • dandavis

    Less socialism is what  is needed! We want jobs?- End the Corporate Income tax- Make the US the largest tax haven in the world. After WWII government spending and taxation dropped dramatically, and prosperity ensued.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       It already is.

      2/3rds of all corporations in America today PAY NO CORPORATE TAX!

    • gonkers

      So if we just go back to a time where the top corporate tax rate was 53% and the top income tax rate was 90%… we’ll be getting rid of “socialism”?

      http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/02corate.pdf

      BTW, the corporate income tax rate on income over $50k dropped only 2% in 1946. So are you suggesting we go back to 38%?

    • InActionMan

       I hope you’re a multimillionaire Dan. If not you are promoting a philosophy that is against your own self interest.

    • gonkers

      So when we were no longer fighting a global war on two fronts, and all that productive wartime capacity could be turned to peaceful uses… when suddenly the nation moved from severe wartime austerity to prosperity…  the credit goes to a 2% drop in the corporate income tax? 

    • Shag_Wevera

      You can’t out-china China, dude…

  • Minimalistbydesign

    Just listen to the benchmarks set as the definition of success in America — all of which are based on the ideology of wealth. Having lived in Europe for a number of years – I can say that Europeans do not hold material and economic wealth as the primary indicator of one’s “success” in life. So long as the “poor” in America believe in the ideological benchmarks set by the wealthy and aspire to be “middle class” with all its representative benchmarks and accoutrements – then those with lower incomes will remain poor (as they seek to gain the “possessions” of the middle class) while the richer will get richer as the producer of those goods. Break the cycle, find a different aspiration than simple “upward” mobility – and obtaining the essential needs in life become increasingly more easy. Comparing the income disparity in America to third world nations ignores the basic standard of living between these countries. Look at the Forbes 400 Wealthiest Americans — the owners of WalMart are in the top 10 – the “poor” making the “wealthy” rich – through this ideology that material wealth equates to “self-worth” and success.

  • gonkers

    After 3 decades of aggressive class warfare by the far Right and the wealthy interests they slavishly represent… and with a cowardly Democratic Party afraid to fight back but instead itself buying into these dangerous far-right ideas… what should we expect but to see the system work more for wealthy and corporate interests and not for the entire nation?

  • adks12020

    I’m 30 years old and graduated just before the drop in the economy.  I’m resigned to the fact that I may not reach the point where I can own a home or have children, or buy a car that’s less than 5 years old, etc. for at least 5 more years. I’m working hard, saving money, finishing a graduate degree, and hoping that I will get a better job in the next year or two so I can move onward and upward.  I guess it all depends on whether there are jobs available to help me do so.

    It’s a little rough sometimes when I think about where I hoped I’d be by now but it is what it is. I know many people in my general age group are dealing with the same frustrations.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Why is Mr. Rich Romney not creating jobs for the poor and middle class with his many, MANY millions of annual unearned income?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, there are only so many groomsmen, gardeners, maids, car elevator attendants and footmen a fellow can hire before it’s just gaudy excess.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZKG7NEG53UKVK7OTIT7Y4VMBOM Jay D

    “Stop romancing the past people” Amen Jeff Faux.

    It was so great because the really jobs were there for the workers. Today the jobs are in China for the workers and Americans can only buy and sell what they are making

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    The partisans will have their say but…
         -does the US reach a point of no return?
         -when the lid blows, the governor fails,
          the circuit breaker no longer protects the system?
     
    When the wealthy abandon the community  do they  retain the right to lecture those that remain? 

    When the poor abandon the rules that conribute to the community can they be supported?
     
    Where are the prophets? Will we listen?
     
    If the system/organism/republic fails can the body(left, right, wealthy, poor) survive?

    Does anyone recognize the need for community or are we all only self-built men and women that only tolerate those around us as long as we gain some quantifiable benefit?

  • Markus6

    Ideology always trumps reality, for both sides. The left leaning speakers say nothing about the effect of 20 million or so illegal aliens taking those entry level jobs. Construction, food services, hotel workers, etc all employ these people. This depresses wages (and keeps prices down) below what many citizens can afford.

    It’s certainly not the only reason, but it is a factor.

    I question the sincerety of these people who seem to care so much for the poor and middle class. The care only until it slams into their ideology.

    And this applies to both sides.

    • InActionMan

       Those “illegal aliens” are here because corporate America wants them here.

      I don’t blame the illegals for coming they want a better life for themselves and their children. If you want to be angry at someone be angry at the corporations that tell the government to keep the boarders open. Both the Republicans and Democrats are controlled by the corporations.

      My advice, liberal or conservative. Vote third party.

      • Markus6

        Might surprise you, but I agree with you … well mostly. The corporations lobby the government like you say. But given how strongly liberals favor this, I’ve got to believe that they influence the government too. This includes newspapers, TV, universities, etc. 

        And I agree that corporations have too much influence over both republicans and democrats. As someone who leans conservative (at least fiscally), the citizens united ruling astounds me. However, though smaller, unions and other special interests also have influence.

        So, I don’t blame the illegals. I’d try to do the same thing in their situation. But they’re still part of the problem. And this still convinces me that liberals are only compassionate when it’s not too inconvenient. 

      • Markus6

        Might surprise you, but I agree with you … well mostly. The corporations lobby the government like you say. But given how strongly liberals favor this, I’ve got to believe that they influence the government too. This includes newspapers, TV, universities, etc. 

        And I agree that corporations have too much influence over both republicans and democrats. As someone who leans conservative (at least fiscally), the citizens united ruling astounds me. However, though smaller, unions and other special interests also have influence.

        So, I don’t blame the illegals. I’d try to do the same thing in their situation. But they’re still part of the problem. And this still convinces me that liberals are only compassionate when it’s not too inconvenient. 

        • NLopez1

           Blame the illegals….Americans always think of those from South of the Border! Ever look at the statistics of the illegals from Europe & those who come across our border with Canada? P.S. many “native born” americans – yes lower case americans – do not and will not work for the low slave wages without benefits. And, business small and large hire the “unfortunate” low wage earners because they can.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.weiskel Tim Weiskel

    The supreme irony that is so striking about the Romney candidacy at this point is that he and his running mate are going around the country asking the electorate:  “Are you better off then you were four years ago?”

    The honest answer to this on the part of Romney himelf — as the census data clearly shows — is a resounding, “YES!”  The 1% is remarkably better off now than when Obama assumed office, and the assets grew incredibly during the eight years of the previous regime. 

    The American people deserve to know this, but Romney isn’t telling
    them.  In fact, it appears that the 1% is now suffering from what one British commentator calls “Romnesia: The Ability of the Very Rich to Forget the Context in Which They Made Their Money.”
    http://www.alternet.org/economy/romnesia-ability-very-rich-forget-context-which-they-made-their-money

    The truly sad and quite inexplicable part of all of this to any foreign
    observer is how those who have been systematically victimized by
    Romney’s 1% can be so confused about what has happened to them that they would go out and vote for him out of sheer frustration with their declining circumstance.  With the total collapse of a functioning
    education system and the complete co-optation of America’s corporate press by the 1%, blind ignorance and rage is all that is driving this large chunk of the population.  Like a charging rhino, their vision is blurred, and they are likely to run us all into deep trouble.

  • barlow1

    In the nineteen-forties you could quit a job and get another the same day.  Its the large manufacturing base that we had. China has seen 200 million people rising to middle class status WITH OUR FACTORY JOBS!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZKG7NEG53UKVK7OTIT7Y4VMBOM Jay D

      exactly! I love the effects of trickle down and free trade!

      at-least I can buy my jeans for 10 bucks at Wal-Mart!

    • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

      Actually they are not OUR factory jobs. Foxconn and companies like it are Chinese companies. Boeng sells jets to China. Are Boeing workers building jets  to sell China in THEIR jobs?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

         Gee way to miss the point.

        On Boeing, check out what happened with China and their jets.

        China said they would buy Boeing’s new Dreamliner if they could build the wings for it.

        Boeing transferred the technology to China and then China gave them wings that wouldn’t work.

        Now China is building the planes themselves.

        Stupid Boeing. China ALWAYS CHEATS.

        • Steve__T

           Do you think, when a Chinese visitor here on vacation goes to a gift shop and buys a trinket or memento of their trip to America is surprised when they turn it over and sees Made in China?

    • anamaria23

      A global economy is perhaps inevitable. but how much did companies like Wal-Mart have to do with the decline of US manufacturing?   So much import from China must have decreased demand for American products and  quality. In addition to the small business put out by them moving into a community.
      Their model of low pay, poor benefits while the Walton heirs are swaddled in upwards in 20 billion dollars each
      is becoming the way.

  • working_for_change

    The macro view expressed so far doesn’t touch on the fact that the middle class is buried in debt, has no power to increase it’s return from the economy (can’t work more, can’t get better paying jobs, doesn’t have any money to invest), and struggles more and more to cover basic living costs, get out from under debt, and has nothing left over to spend on consumption, which is what the damn economy is all about!

  • DrewInGeorgia

    We now have a Financial Services Economy. Self Serve that is. How much of our Higher Education has come to focus on cranking out Banksters? Wouldn’t the Best and Brightest better serve themselves and Society by being motivated and directed to education, healthcare, and sciences? Couldn’t we take a huge step forward if all Healthcare and related industry were Non-Profit? But how would R&D progress? Why would anyone work if there was no profit motive? some will scream. The same reason most work now, to earn a decent living and provide for their families. The Jobs would pay higher wages and the direct investment back into the company would be increased if the shareholders, traders, bankers, and accountants were taken out of the equation. Costs would fall rapidly and employment in related fields would explode. Yes TPers, Federal Funding would have to pick up any slack in the short-term. However, Federal revenues would increase from growth in employment and reduced costs. Making all research and development International in nature by tying Global efforts together effectively would seal the deal. We could do the same thing with Education. How different would our situation be if everyone had acces to healthcare and an education? Why can’t we get our sh!t together?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       I don’t buy your thesis but I do believe you are onto something with your ‘best and brightest’ statement.

      Over the last 3 decades there has been a shift of many of the best and brightest to the financial industry.  That is where the money is so we know the motivation.  We can debate the merits of the financial industry and how much actually drives economic growth.

      My concern is the opportunity cost.  How many of these ‘best and brightest’ would have gone into engineering and science fields.  Our economy has shifted from making things to services.  I believe that is problematic in the long term.

      I have the same question about the law profession.  A lot of smart folks become lawyers.  Much of the law industry is a drain on the rest of society.  The numerous class action suits that only benefit lawyers and we ALL end up paying.  (and yes there are merits to the law industry but there is a huge downside).

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Nicely put, I find myself surprised by your response. Thanks for the well thought out reply.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Thanks.  I still looking for that elegant free market solution.  Same with the CEO pay issue — at least the lousy CEOs.

      • madnomad554

         About ten years ago, the stats on lawyer to citizen ratio was staggering. In Japan for example, there is a lawyer for every 5000 people, in the US, there is a lawyer for every 250 persons…there’s your class action.

        There was a time in this country when an 18 year old left home with a skill or craft handed down from their parents or grandparents. Something they could immediately go out into the world and make a living off of. Now a days, those same skills and crafts seem only possible by way of mass debt accumulated as the result of a 4 or 6 year degree.

        Yes the financial industry…whenever you have people attempting to make money off of money, you will always have the gap disparity that exists and will continue to widen.

    • Jane Hamilton

      We only have some many jobs/resources yet we import poor people by the millions. If defies logic that we then expect for everyone to magically be middle class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nini.diana.16 Nini Diana

    Did that caller just say that kids raised by single mothers are doomed? I can’t even respond to that. I am a single mother with a good job and a good relationship with my ex. Our daughter is lovely and amazing, does well in school, and has empathy for others, despite her own difficult situation. Those who have no idea what they’re talking about, should just keep it to themselves. 

    • IsaacWalton

      I hear you! My mother was single for a time and all of her kids are doing well. The caller is simply blinded by his own narrow view of the world.

      • gala1

        Aren’t we all? (blinded by our own narrow view of the world) :)

        We don’t have another’s point of view to judge the world by, and we judge all the time, whether we want it or not, whether we are conscious of it, or not.

        That’s whats called empathy – ability to imagine another person’s point of view, and make judgements from that side.

        I simply, cannot imagine, what it is like to make billions of money, not have to work, and like to fire people. Oh and call the rest of the people lazy victims who just want to do nothing and sit on govt assistance.
        Can’t imagine what that’s like.
        But maybe that’s because I have morals, and if I ever were in that kind of situation, I’d act differently.

    • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

      As the child of a single parent I know for a fact this is not true. The lack of income increases matching COLA or even remaining close to commensurate with high end execs has way more to do with these issues.

    • cre8meaning

      That man’s comment lite a fire under me too.  My ex and I have 3 kids.  They are doing better now that they don’t deal with their dad daily!  He was a “polluter” always negative.  Eldest attends a prestigious regional university on scholarship. Second is in the top 10% of his class, 4x letterman, baby is also in the top 10% of her class and a budding guitarist/vocalist.  I give them a lot of my time and attention when I’m not at work.

    • Jane Hamilton

      I agree! My sister is single mom and her kids are very successful while her two neighbors who are married and stay at home raised a bunch of losers. Marriage snobs love to diss single moms even though it is not true

    • mochajava13
  • IsaacWalton

    Thank you Jeff for countering the caller who is pushing the moral agenda…as if single parents can’t be successful or moral! If the norm is children born out of wedlock or into later split homes, then society must be ready to help. We cannot outsource compassion and the poor right in front of us. I’m sorry today’s society is not made up of the perfect leave-it-to-beaver families. One thing is certain, society will never improve if those that have refuse to give assistance to and create opportunities (jobs, health care, education) for those that need it. Who wants to be part of a society that only wants to help certain kinds of people. Not me.

    • gala1

      Uhm, that’s what GOP advocates – cut social programs!

      Social programs are there to help single mothers, and poor families and children and elderly and those who found themselves in a bad situation.

      And the republicans want to cut all those programs!!!!

      It’s all nice and great to talk about personal responsibility but until you improve morale and ethics in people, none of our problems are going to be solved. It’s just going to keep getting worse and worse.

      And when corporations are declared as PEOPLE, and they are LEGALLY ALLOWED to behave unethically, why should regular people behave otherwise? If corporations can walk away from their legal obligations, why should we not?

      And in my opinion, GOP are the most non-empathetic people out there.

      I think that was one of the worst decisions by the supreme court to declare corps are people.

      But, what can little ‘ol we change?

      Vote for ‘worse’ or ‘more worse’?! And depending on who you speak to, reps or dems, it’s the same argument!

      • William

         Perhaps, but Reagan called the EITC the best welfare program ever started…Bill Clinton always brags about reforming welfare and getting people off it and back into the work force.

    • Thinkin5

       Here’s an interesting article that goes against common belief. “What’s fueling Bible Belt divorces?”
      While
      the Bible Belt is known for its devotion to traditional values,
      Southerners don’t do so well on one key family value: They are more
      likely to get divorced than people living in the Northeast.Southern
      men and women had higher rates of divorce in 2009 than their
      counterparts in other parts of the country: 10.2 per 1,000 for men and
      11.1 per 1,000 for women, according to a new report from the U.S. Census
      Bureau released Thursday.By comparison, men and women in the
      Northeast had the lowest rates of divorce, 7.2 and 7.5 per 1,000, which
      is also lower than the national divorce rate of 9.2 for men and 9.7 for
      women. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-25/living/divorce.bible.belt_1_divorce-rates-lower-rates-marriage?_s=PM:LIVINGThe group reports that 33 percent of all born-again Christians who have
      been married have gone through divorce compared to 34 percent of
      non-born-again adults.Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/divorce-rates-high-in-southern-bible-belt-states-54539/#ChpkDsg1x7PO7Cj6.99

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    That 50 Year old woman caller WAS MARRIED when she had the three kids.

    The divorce left her as a single mother.

    So, lets not assume that all single mothers screwed up and had five kids with different baby daddies and that they are all terrible horrible people.

    I do however agree with the caller…  we have normalized having kids out of wedlock..  we’ve also normalized divorce… and both actions have bad outcomes for children.  We also do not promote remarriage which is a mistake.  We let single mothers make excuses for not getting remarried and we let single men make excuses for not marring single mothers both of which are unacceptable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      This is very true. Depending on where one lands after a marital split- on the richer or poorer side -the kids will still suffer. I have witnessed our “disposable culture” in hyper-drive over the past 30 years & it includes women & children as commodities to be “liquidated” when they are no longer considered worthy of one’s economic contributions. Men change their minds an awful lot, especially when they see some “greener grass” & have the money to grab it up.

      Women with kids are stuck, whether married, unmarried or divorced. Add the insanity of an expensive custody battle for every kid (usually, daddy wants the kids because he thinks it will save him some cash) and you’ve got a recipe for complete family breakdown.

      Middle-class folks are the worst offenders, in my opinion, when it comes to personal changes of hearts & minds which have a negative & permanent effect on their offspring. The rich are not as easily cast down- economically- post divorce and the poor had no extra “play-money” to begin with.

      • Thinkin5

        There are many websites for “extramarital dating”. It’s a business now. It costs money to have an affair and it’s very costly to divorce, but that doesn’t stop people who have the money. People always find a way to rationalize what they want. I think that it goes along with the acceptance of the “greed is good” culture of today.

    • Thinkin5

       I really don’t think that “normalizing”, meaning accepting, divorce and single parents is the reason it happens. These things did happen in the past. When people didn’t divorce but just endured a bad marriage, how was that better for the kids? I’ve heard people say that they wished their parents had divorced and not stayed together and made their home life miserable. That said, many times it’s economic pressures that break up marriages.

      • Call_Me_Missouri

        When more than 50% of marriages end in divorced…  clearly divorce is Accepted.

        Those kids that endured those terrible marriages were Baby Boomers.  Why don’t you ask them?  It doesn’t seem to me like things ended up too bad for them.

      • Markus6

        From what I’ve seen, 9 times out of 10, the kids are better off when the parents stay together even if they’d otherwise divorce. 

        Financially, I doubt there’s much of an argument. And being financially more secure reduces a lot of stress. And having two role models and two people to share the load is just huge. 

        However, in the cases where the parents can’t be civil together, where there’s real abuse, I’m with you. But I think it’s far too easy for parents to focus too much on their own problems and forget that they brought these kids into the world, so their needs come second.

    • Steve__T

      What I find missing from the discussion is single Fathers who have to raise their children, that have as difficult a time if not more.

  • Steve__T

    I hate this d#m disqus

  • Steve__T

      Pissst hey William WAKE UP!! your dreaming.

  • gala1

    I don’t understand why people are so eager to get their low wage and low skilled manufacturing and service sector jobs back!!! Let the Chinese and Mexicans do those.

    Why can’t we – Americans – concentrate on the white collar jobs? Science, engineering, arts, humanities?! We are so good at it! We have the infrastructure of colleges and universities already setup. We have an amazing opportunity to look forward.
    It is part of American spirit to get ourselves out of a pickle.

    Well, we found ourselves in a pickle. What are we going to do about it?
    Sit on our bums and wish for the old times to return? Or to get our strengths and put our heads together and get out of this, better and faster than anyone else would?!

    Can’t we find a niche in this global economy that we can fulfill with our skill set and knowledge? Thus by increasing our wages and job count via ‘well paid – intellectual’ jobs and ‘not-crappy’ manufacturing/service sector jobs?

    I just don’t understand.

    People’s desires for the old and comfortable – i.e. the return to manufacturing and service sector jobs is like a desire of the old Russians for a return of the old Stalinist regime.

    Because they remember IT being GOOD. The GOOD OL’ TIMES! So, they think that if only they get their manufacturing and service sector jobs back – Americans and America will excel and exceed!

    I think NOT.
    It’s think its sad and pathetic. To be holding on to the memories and harping on past.

    Grow up. Get an education. Get a job.

    We need to invest more in education, thus into skills and knowledge, into our young and old – learning, and developing their potential.
    Not into sitting on our bums and wishing to go back to work in a factory or clean chicken coops!

    • Yar

      Gala, your comment is like the cow cursing the grass, from the perspective, that grass only makes manure. Your understanding of the economy is so naive.  Grass harvests sunshine, the source of life for all.  Manufacturing and other ‘low wage’ jobs that you disdain are the very foundation for every high wage job created. Curse the grass, I would rather eat hay.  God bless the grass, the service worker, the farmer, the fruit and vegetable picker, the migrant, they are the source of life. Their toil is on whose shoulders we stand.
      You want eggs but think nothing of who cleans the coop.  You may someday find yourself in a soiled bed with no one to change your linens. 
      Just as in Luke 16:24 “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”

      • Steve_the_Repoman

        I would like to have dinner with you sometime

    • Steve__T

      ” I just don’t understand.”

      That’s obvious. But I find you post racist and naive, your the one that needs to grow up and get an education, an education about real life not that crap on TV.

    • mochajava13

      An education in the sciences that leads to a job as a scientist pays? That’s a joke.  A PhD from MIT in biotech makes probably about 35-45 a year, if they can find a job in the sector.  A lot leave the sciences (at least biotech) for other fields because it doesn’t pay.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/goodeedits Jennifer Goode Stevens

    How about a future show about greed? It, on all levels, is at the base of many of our society’s ills. Corporations and their officers want to make bunches of money to shelter in other countries while paying their workers as little as possible and squeezing the most out of them to satisfy their shareholders and their own wallets. Regular everyday folks buy bigger and bigger houses that they can’t afford. (Check average house size over the past century.) Bigger and fancier cars. TVs the size of refrigerators. Much of the U.S. is accustomed to a standard far, far above that which is truly necessary. Not that we all need to be in a van with a hot plate down by the river. And I freely admit to our family having more than we need. But our house is average. Our cars are both six years old (and we’ve bought both of them in the past two years). Our kids wear consignment-store clothes and we’re fortunate to have friends we hand things around with.  We garden. We make bread. We have our birthday parties in the back yard with a slip-n-slide and homemade cupcakes. Whatever happened to having what you truly need and saving the rest for your future and your children’s future?

    • Steve__T

       ” Whatever happened to having what you truly need and saving the rest for your future and your children’s future?”

      American Television

      • Minimalistbydesign

         Exactly! And unfortunately, discussions like this that proliferate the ideals of wealth over other forms of personal and family success — making all of “poor” by comparison. Frugality in America is synonymous with suffering and doing with “less” – not as it should be with intelligence and the ability to stand outside the crowd, to think for oneself and to get those things one really wants not what their led to believe.

    • GreeningBlueHillAveRoxbury

      That’s how I was raised, and it has worked just fine for us. Kids may grouse we don’t do cable, or have lavish vacations (we camp and kayak in New England), but we had enough saved to minimize college loans, and all got their crack at good four year degree institutions. We don’t eat out much at all and drive our cars into the ground. Just sayin’…

  • J__o__h__n

    There are two problems.  People are being pushed out of the middle class due to economic conditions and sociological factors and/or lifestyle choices.  People who are still in the middle class are struggling with high rents, high student loans, and depressed wages. 

  • Pingback: Upward Mobility In America Now «

  • gala1

    Being or finding yourself a single parent is a ‘one size fits all’ kind of situation.
    Different people come to that point by different paths.

    And judging someone for why and how, it just that – judging.

    And who are we, to judge anyone? Yet, we judge all the time, everything and everyone, including ourselves.

    Let that without a sin, throw the first stone.

  • jimino

    Despite the massive transfer of wealth to the investor class, which now has more money than ever to invest in private business, hopes of an improving jobs picture in our country are dismal.  One with knowledge of the facts would literally have to be a moron to cling to the belief that further enriching those at the top will create widespread prosperity.

    Our country’s economic policies have truly been redistributive in favor of the wealthiest.  You can argue about which policies are to blame, but can’t deny that is what has happened.  But I’m sure someone will.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Actually, it’s BECAUSE of the massive reverse robin hood redistribution that our once-amazing mobility has gone to zero. Hey, in oligarchies, the oligarchs stay oligarchs and the peons stay peons, and the whole righty agenda is building the oligarchy. 

      Isn’t it obvious? Cut taxes, bust unions, deregulate corporations, force US workers to compete with 3′rd world slaves under the smokescreen of “free trade”,  and you get what we got.

  • Thinkin5

    This changing/global economy and the vanishing middle class is a topic that should be being discussed everywhere in the news. I think that this should be brought up in the debates. It needs to be looked at in terms of decades not just the last 3 1/2 years. Keep bringing it back.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      It’s not the global economy, it’s our own home-grown class warfare.

  • jimino

    When did “the American dream” go from having a stable long-term job adequate to support a family living in their own decent home in a safe neighborhood with good schools to becoming fabulously wealthy at age 30 or, for that matter, at any age?  The very idea that we can all be as rich as Bill Gates or Mitt Romney, or even desire to be in any realistic sense, is a ridiculous view of what I have always considered the American dream.

  • jefe68

    According to one of the contributors to today’s show we should be prepared to do with less money and a lower standard of living. So how does this translate to my dentist, the shops where I buy food, to the internet provider and so on. Does this mean if my wages go down my dentist’ fees should as well? I bet he would not be amused. This kind of mind set is what’s wrong here, wages have been frozen for over 3 decades when you add in inflation. And yet for 50% of the nation and growing we are going to have to suck it up while 1% reap the rewards of being lucky enough to be in the investor class? In my opinion one only has to look back into history, and not to far back at that to see how that worked in the past. Not to well.

  • Grove

    It’s time to think “outside the box”!
    We have lived by competition from the beginning. It’s a new era. We have to begin an era of cooperation (in fact our future really depends on it).
    We need a whole new economic structure. It’s up to us to decide what that will look like. The old model simply does not and will not work anymore 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I think our old All-American economic structure, the one the right has dismantled, was just fine.

  • gonkers

    Off topic: Hey Worried…  your chance to buy Romney at 25% at InTrade is now. He’s dropped 10 points in the last week.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       How does it work?  If I put in $25 today and Romney wins I make $100 or is my payout dependent on the intrade on election day?

      I’ll take the former in a nanosecond.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3104912 Ronald Loui

        Yes, the former.  Please “put your money where your mouth is.”  And while you’re at it, tell the Muslim, Manchurian, Born-in-Kenya, anti-Detroit-bailout crowd to pay up.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Actually it was Obama’s publicist that claimed he was born in Kenya.  For 10 years.  Hmmmm.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Oh and GM did go bankrupt and they still owe us $25B.

      • gonkers

         Last week I was suggesting you wait for Romney to drop to 25%. I didn’t think it would be this soon. Because you’re my buddy I think you should wait a few more days for Romney to drop to 15%. At that point I might even place a longshot bet.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          If I wait until 15% I may be able to almost  double my investment.

          Hey, are there any more MSM faux ‘the economy is good’ polls coming out soon?

          You know like the one where consumer confidence increased 9 points in one month at the same time the Fed needed to inject billions in printed cash because the economy is tanking.

          I don’t want to put my cash out too soon you know.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Hey, I never tried that. Can you go short? Etchasketch could be better than my best short of all time, Dell, when the “boxmaker” was being priced like a technology stock :)

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hey, the dirty jobs guy, Mike Rowe is campaigning with Romney in Ohio.

    He had a open letter to both Obama and Romney about jobs and I guess Romney responded.

    Awesome.
     

    • jefe68

      Mitt Romney is not going to win, or so it would seem.
      President Obama is ahead in Ohio by about a 10 point lead.

      It seems to me that when the likes of Joe Scarborough start saying Mitt Romney is going to lose then one would think betting on him is a long shot.

      Have you seen the footage of Joe Scarborough putting his heads in his hands after Romney try’s in vain to get the crowd going? It’s really sad and pathetic. Romney should just hand the nomination over to Ryan, as he’s doing better with the base in the polls. If you right wingers can’t see this campaign for what it is, a debacle of epic proportions, than you are not being honest with yourselves.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Joe Scarborough?  LOL

        Ole Joe is still trying to recover from the beating he took from Bay Buchanan on the Sunday shows when she called him out for being a faux conservative.

        • jefe68

          Are you really this obtuse? Bay Buchanan looked and sounded like a fool trying to use scripted talking points. Joe Scarborough brought up some very good points as did David Brooks. Romney can’t connect to people and his campaign is getting pissed off and is lashing out at the pundits.

          He is also looking more like fool who can’t seem to get his talking points in order. It’s as if he’s becoming dumber as the days get shorter. For instance he said this last week:
          “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly,” he told the LA Times. “And you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.”

          What? Roll down windows on jet planes? Really? I will say this, Mitt Romney is a comics gift that keeps on giving.

          He’s losing this election and yes the polls in Ohio as of today put Obama ahead by about 10 points.

          With the way this economy is going Herbert Hoover could beat President Obama and he’s been dead for 48 years. That’s how lousy Mitt Romney is doing. The man has alienated woman, Latinos, Blacks, the youth vote, the only people left are middle aged white men. When some of them figure out he’s talking about them when he’s going on about the 47%, he’ll lose some of this demographic as well. 

          How can anyone not see this man is losing this and doing so in a big way?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             David Brooks is voting for Obama because he is impressed with the crease in his slacks.

            Nuff said.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Oh, they said Reagan was going to lose big in 1980.

            And guess what the same NYTIMES and CBS polls had Carter winning by 10 points.

            Reagan ended up winning by 11.

            LOL.

          • jefe68

            Obama is not Carter and Romney sure as hell not Reagan.

            Different time and election.
            I’m not willing to call this at this point, anything can happen. Say what you will the reality is Mitt Romney is an awful candidate. 

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             He’ll be a much better President.

            You have to admit the press don’t give him a fair shake.

          • jefe68

            Well you can’t actually say he does not deserve it.
            The man has been putting his foot in his mouth since he made that gaff in London.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             The London gaffe was very minor.  Please.

          • Moe Strausberg

            And now we are paying the price for electing an FBI stoolie. 

        • Gregg Smith

          That was great!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Do you really believe Obama will beat Romney by 10 points in a state where Obama only beat the hapless McCain by 4 points?

        An this after 4 years of Obama record has exposed hope and change as a fraud.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Yeah, but he was a hapless war hero and decent human being, as opposed to a hapless financial con man and chameleon.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            :’)

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Oh Tom.  I remember in a rare moment of honesty you admitted Romney was a decent human who cares for his fellow man and was a good Governor.

            I guess the political season brings out the worst in some people.

            Just like the Warren supporters who tried disrupt a Brown rally on Saturday.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Which romney? You have to cite the version number.
            It was terrible, those nasty warren supporters with their war whoops and tomahawk chops.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Were you offended?  If so, don’t tune into the FSU game on any given Sunday or you will be offended by 80,000  whooping it up.

            Political correctness run amok and faux outrage.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             And I’ve always said Romney isn’t a good politician but will be a great President.

            You seem to give Obama a pass on his numerous gaffes.  He would never survive the magnifying glass they are putting Romney under.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Gaffes? What gaffes? I don’t care if someone mispronounces or doesn’t use the clearest possible English. I do care if someone goes on a long class warfare rant.

    • gonkers

      Campaigning with Romney IS the ultimate “dirty job”. It’s one stench he might not be able to wash off!

    • jimino

      I trust you understand this singer/actor has never actually had to do these jobs to make a living.  And while were on this subject, I hope you also know that John Wayne really didn’t fight at Iwo Jima, or anywhere else for that matter.

      On the other hand, being backed by a pretend worker is a perfect fit for the Romney campaign.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         He sings too — now I’m even more impressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3104912 Ronald Loui

    This is the discussion the country should have been having for the past ten years…

  • Casey345

    I’ve heard economists quantify a tipping point after which the income gap in a country cannot sustain a middle class and it disappears. One economists pointed out this has happened in the 1930′s and just before our recession. Is this true?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    I disagree that the decline of the middle class and loss of upward mobility comes from some economic “act of god” that we’re powerless over, the “new global economy” or whatever. That’s the voodoo econ spin, to deflect attention from the righty class warfare.

    Far from being helpless over events beyond our control, “we” have simply chosen to screw the middle class and redistribute the wealth upward. WE eliminated progressive taxation, busted unions, deregulated the corporations, eliminated almost free tuition at great state universities, and said “OK, Great” to the Banes of the world when they shipped jobs overseas. Nobody in china forced us to let the romney types pay 13% tax rates. Nobody in china forced us to raise tuition at State U instead of taxing the rich.

    ps downward mobility has also vanished. A drooling idiot from a romney background is sure to have a great career, and will probably think “I inherited nothing. I did it all myself”.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/2HWY5M22FDMWEIEM6XDJVYE3HQ matthew

      People pay the capital gains tax (15%) when they invest in the stock market or in a small business. If this tax is increased then their will be less investment, which means less job growth.
      People will not risk their money and invest in a business if half of it will be taxed to the government.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Thanks, but there’s no need for more repetition of voodoo econ talking points.

        • GreeningBlueHillAveRoxbury

          TomK, that’s Bain, as in Capital or Consulting. While I agree with some of your points, we have also allowed our educational systems to become weak, and practically no performing in many urban centers or in poor areas. We have also all been motivated by cheap goods–we can choose to buy American but don’t. We also have the chance to support our kids through example but not everyone does. Finally, while I fully respect there was and still is a true need for unions, there has also been huge abuse like fattened salaries, overly restrictive work rules and unconscionable pensions. Those are compounded with excessive executive compensation packages and perqs. Bottom line is there is lots of blame to go around. Can the remainder fix things??

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I prefer Bane, as in the Bane of the workers in the companies they trashed.

            Unions got corrupt when they were on top, but they still supported the middle class. IMO we’re better off with corrupt unions than with no unions. 

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            Agreed. This isn’t Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand’s world was a response to the rise of the USSR and her father losing her business to collectivism.

            However, our own world turned out to be much different. The “John Galts” of the world were the ones ripping us all off, using their government connections to get interest free loans (that most of them didn’t want to pay back, btw), and then whining when we wanted to put in place rules that wouldn’t allow them to spread their filth around to every corner of our economy.

            Ironically, it works out to be socialism of the worst kind: corporate socialism. Solyndra was FIVE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE less than the absurd corruption going on in the investment community. So with all due respect, piss off. I’m not really interested in hearing about how 15% is too low a tax for investment. Let’s raise it to the same level as income, 35%.

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        Seems to me that we had higher capital gains taxes back in the day, but MORE investment and MORE job growth. We’re not talking about 50%, so don’t start with that absurd lemon argument and figure. Let’s say treating labor and capital as equal, since one without the other doesn’t work. Capital without labor is worse than useless, while labor without capital would find itself unsupported and unrewarded.

      • gonkers

        Nice theory… but all that’s plausible isn’t true.
        There’s been plenty of economic growth at HIGHER capital gains rates. Reagan in 86 pushed it up to 28% saying it was unfair to tax cap gains less than labor.

        And the low cap gains tax rate doesn’t distinguish between productive uses of capital investing in new technologies and some rich parasite living off stocks from, say Big Tobacco. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    LOL at the end. Make your point more succinctly next time, windbag. :-)

    • jefe68

      His point was well made, if you did not get it maybe it’s due to your immature nature.

  • Pingback: Detropia & the new American city « Jennifer Bruni

  • StilllHere

    As a for instance, what is criminalizing the coal production industry doing to middle class coal exploration jobs?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Don’t forget blocking a pipeline project that would create thousands of jobs.

      • jimino

        Actually they just want to re-route it.  Making it longer would create even more jobs, so you must be in favor of that.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I have no problem with the reroute by the state.  What I do have a problem with is the Feds taking 3 years.  We defeated the Nazis and  Japan in 3 years.

          Also, if you don’t believe the delay was timed coyly until after the election so Obama could raise millions from his green friends then I have a bridge to sell you.

          Look at the artificial delays of Seabrook.  Look at the artificial delays of Cape Wind.

          We are killing ourselves.

          Note:  I don’t support Cape Wind but only because they are forcing me to pay for it at 3x market rates.  If they wanted to risk their own money and bid for the lease then I would be OK with it — if they sold the power at market rates.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Please look up the mythical “job year”.

      • StilllHere

        No doubt, also Obama’s trying to prevent LNG exports.  More jobs down the drain.

        • gonkers

          Wouldn’t exporting American natural gas just increase costs for it back home and slow any move towards energy independence?

  • TinaWrites

    To the caller named Callie (sp?), from upstate New York, 

    My heart AND my admiration go out to you!  I hope you have a happier resolution than you may now be able to picture.  I’m sure that many, many listeners are thinking about you and routing for you!

  • cacwhatithink

    We need to focus more on the obvious fact that our jobs have  been lost to globalization and technology. We as a nation have got to stop going round and round about tax rates and welfare, and focus on the root of our problems. I don’t get why we don’t hear more about this!

    • Joseph_Wisconsin

       There is a book I would recommend to you if you are interested.  The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive by Dean Baker.  I agree we should be talking about such things, but it should have started at least as far back as 1990, when Clinton was claiming that “the service economy” would replace the middle class wage jobs in manufacturing that his trade agreements would kill.The principal reasons taxes and income tax rates are important is that the frenzy of income and estate tax cuts that the Republicans have managed over the last 30 years have produced big deficits that are a problem.  These tax cuts have not benefited anyone but those who received them and do not produce jobs.  More money in the hands of the top few percent just flows into the jet stream of world capital markets, there is no reason to anticipate that it will be invested in producing American jobs.  To address the problem of the deficits revenue is required, and the place to get it is from those who have it, those whose wealth and income has run away from the rest of Americans incomes. There are all sorts of government policies implemented over the last 30 years that have aided the loss of middle class wage jobs here and there are alternate policies that could help reverse that loss.  The problem is that almost all of these are the opposite of what benefits the wealthy investor class like Mitt Romney.

      • cacwhatithink

        Great points, Joseph. I totally agree and will take a look at the book. Another book that delves into this issue is “That Used to Be Us” by Thomas Friedman. 

        • GreeningBlueHillAveRoxbury

          Tom F has said many great things on this subject. How come our elected officials can’t find a way to make progress?!

    • Mouse_2012

      Trading with countries that have similar working and safety standards and creating barriers to entry for countries that use slave or sweatshop labor otherwise it’s a race to the bottom where whoever can exploit the target workforce the longest. 

  • Mouse_2012

    Jeff Faux was very informative and brought up some great points. Doug on the other-hand was an reflection of what to be expected from the Right

  • gonkers

    One might think that after lavishing some $15 trillion on ourselves the past 30 years that we refused to pay for, that we all might be living pretty high on the credit card hog. Ours is the Free Lunch Generation… so spoiled rotten many actually believe they’re overtaxed. In reality we set up our kids and their kids… and their kids to pay the bill. It’s intergenerational theft on an unimaginable scale. Hell, screw ‘em, they can’t vote.  

    So here we are 30 years into the grand Right wing supply-side, deregulation, irresponsible tax cut experiment and what did it get us? Even before the reckless deregulation destroyed the economy taking the world along with it… Bush sabotaged debt paydown, our jobs went to China, we got ourselves in an illegal war against a nation that had nothing to do with 911… and now social mobility is in reverse. What should we expect from a successful class war waged from above?  

    There is no right-wing Nirvana… except for the rich.

  • hearts4vacme

    They talk about not being arrested as a factor indicating a higher probability of making it, but no one even mentioned the war on drugs, its impact on poor and minority communities, or the fact that we have the highest rate of incarceration in the world.  We have a triumvirate of policies that together have destroyed the American dream:
    1.  Reaganomics:  The end of the Great Society, and the beginning of wealth redistribution trickling up.
    2.  The war on drugs:  the devastation of the nanny state’s prohibition of recreational drug use.  It criminalized ordinary people and created a powerful and violent black market, while not actually deterring drug use.  This alternative economy is now drawing in otherwise law abiding people who cannot make it in the regular market-place.  What can you do if you can’t get a job?  Grow.
    3.  Off-shoring jobs to Asia and union busting, both of which have served to stagnate or to drive wages down, and reduce opportunities.

  • Ivan D. Pereira

    Tom, very interesting show on the ‘middle class’. I was driving to Ottawa from Montreal, and it was clear until I got close to Ottawa, then signal faded. 

    Re. attached Bill O’Reilly T-shirt photo, do you ‘politicize’  kids in the U.S. from early childhood education now? This kid is from the ‘sinking middle class’ group, I imagine, and his pop is really upset, and the kid probably has a caption on the back: “Tom Ashcroft watches my back!” In fact, you should sell Tshirts like that and give proceeds to a worthy cause ! Yea, we should not hate anybody, but we should make an effort to be logical and search for practical solutions. Gunnar Myrdal, my mentor, used to say: if as a social scientist and an observer of society, you have not made a difference in the lives of people, you have not accomplished anything at all”. He wrote, as you know, “An American Dilemma”, and scholars in Black Studies Programs acknowledge his contribution as the first book that laid bare the discrepancy between the U.S. Constitution and reality on the ground in the deep South. He wrote that in the 1930s, and he risked his life doing the survey. The difference between your country and the UK and many other countries, is that in other countries the facial characteristics and accent divides people along class lines, a much more difficult barrier to overcome. In India, as you know (having worked there) people can often tell caste, etc., by facial characteristics. I think some U.S. policy makers seem to think that if we put the economy in the hands of ‘stock brokers’ and bankers who participate in only that type of risk taking activity, America will get the competitive edge. Basically, in part, it has been going in that direction policy-wise. Bankers come to Senate Hearings and they are treated with kid’s gloves, even as heroes. In one case, a Bush senior Cabinet individual was told by the Chairman, we know you have a plane to catch, etc., apologizing profusely for taking his time, when the question was where the the ‘tarp’ money of $300 billion go and vanish ! It was reported that he had gone on his knees and asked Bush for the money with no oversight, and that his assistant, Kashkari (pronounced Kashkury in India, but Cash-carry in Wall Street) should be given the money to give out as he saw fit ! Are we all missing something, as well as the money? - best wishes, - Ivanwww.guidepost21.blogspot.com 

  • Gregg Smith
    • Moe Strausberg

      It is frightening to me that after many years of FOX, Drudge and the rest of the Goebbels media people believe this preposterous stuff. 

      • Gregg Smith

        Is it fake?

        • Moe Strausberg

          If my reality says the Earth is flat it does not make the Earth flat. Nobody is going around Cleveland handing out cell phones and prepaid service contracts to poor people, that is reality. Obama is a Christian that is reality. Limbaugh is a hate monger that is reality. An obviously excited individual stated that the Obama campaign was was handing out cell phones to poor people that is reality. Believing the Obama campaign is handing out cell phones to poor people that is silly. The math alone should convince a sane individual of how preposterous the belif is.

          • Gregg Smith

            The program is a reality:

            http://obamaphone.net/

            The video link came from Drudge, I have no idea why you are prattling on about Fox or that harmless lovable fuzzball, Rush. And who said anything about Obama’s religion? You’re not making sense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1109065694 Garth Bean

             Don’t believe everything you see on the internet, it could be a 15 year old Sweedish kid for all you know.  The domain is privately registered so we can’t see who it is – the government does not do that.  Plus, if you read the FAQS you see the Obama phone is “nothing but a false rumor” .  You can find out more at urbanlegends.about.com.  If you are that gullible I bet you vote republican, the 80% fact free party.

          • Gregg Smith
          • gonkers

            That article proves what?

            That there’s NO “Obama Phone” program!

            We’re all waiting for your retraction… but we know all we’ll get are excuses

             

          • gonkers

            There is no “Obama Phone” program. Who ever registered that site prefers to remain anonymous

            http://whois.domaintools.com/obamaphone.net

            As for the program

            http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/

            SafeLink is run by a subsidiary of América Móvil, the world’s fourth largest wireless company in terms of subscribers, but it is not paid for directly by the company. Nor is it paid for with “tax payer money,” as the e-mail claims. Rather, it is funded through the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, an independent, not-for-profit corporation set up by the Federal Communications Commission. The USF is sustained by contributions from telecommunications companies such as “long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers.” The companies often charge customers to fund their contributions in the form of a universal service fee you might see on your monthly phone bill. The fund is then parceled out to companies, such as América Móvil, that create programs, such as SafeLink, to provide telecommunications service to rural areas and low-income households.

          • Gregg Smith
          • gonkers

            Love that Orwellian math claiming the costs doubled each
            year. The video claims costs were pretty steady at $800 million and exploded in
            2008 and “practically doubled” each year and by 2011 is the cost is… $1200
            million. Despite the deceptive graph, that sounds more like a 50% increase over
            4 years.

             

            Should they go after fraud… you bet. But… AGAIN, there’s no such thing as an “Obama Phone”.
            The alleged explosion in costs started in 2008 under Bush.

          • Gregg Smith

            Google is not knowledge.

          • gonkers

            Your humble retraction is noted even if not offered.

      • StilllHere

        Why tape was edited?
        Where’s the missing 2 minutes?
        She’s the one who believes it, I can’t.

    • gonkers

      The expansion of the existing program BEGAN UNDER BUSH! You know the guy who bragged about taking 5 MILLION tax payers off the tax rolls.

      • Gregg Smith

        Who cares? Bush loved throwing money at the poor. BTW, it was 6 million.

        • gonkers

          So when it’s PROVEN this phone program did NOT start under Obama… it’s “who cares”?

          BTW, it may have grown to 6 million being taken off the tax rolls, but the number being cited in 2004 was “5 million individuals and families”

          http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040110-1.html

          • Gregg Smith

            It was always “who cares”. The video was another in a long line of videos of people thinking Obama was going to make their house payment or buy their gas. The hospitals were flooded with people wanting free health care after he was elected. there were even viral spoofs about it.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TswMeHnh2cA

            If this was all Bush’s vision then it was still stupid. My guess is it was part of a farm or housing bill where Bush accepted pork to get his bill through a Democrat Congress. I would be stunned if this wasn’t a brainchild of the liberal majority. Doesn’t matter, the woman credits Obama. The narrative is set.

          • gonkers

            G wrote: “Doesn’t matter, the woman credits Obama. The narrative is set.”

            OF COURSE that’s the phony narrative the Orwellian Right needed to get the GOP base pissed off.

            The REAL question is how much support would the GOP get if it told the truth? Obviously you have no use for it, why would any other right winger?

          • Gregg Smith

            You don’t get it , do you.

          • gonkers

            Given your only response is a lame attempt to divert attention from
            what I wrote and make me the issue, I have assume you’re admitting the Right DOES have a phony narrative. That should come as no surprise since you’re here spreading it.

            Wouldn’t it be easier to just be honest about that?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NAQ3DAWTSNDWDUON7H2ZEBWLFA Robert

    People have to understand and except that their is no magic formula to making it out here. You have to have all the factors line up in your favor without the distractions that people who are advantaged and privileged in this country tend to avoid 9.5/10 as opposed to the middle and poor class even though they may be exposed to the same experiences. Isabelle hit the nail on the head. It does not matter in most instances if you play by the “imaginary rules”, If you don’t have connections that these people like the Romney s and others enjoy you are one disaster away from economic disaster! The caller Kaylee has the perfect example of this!

  • Regular_Listener

    Another excellent show.  But for the commenters below – shouldn’t you make at least some attempt to stick to the topic of the program?  Anyhow…

    I have a lot of sympathy for people who are struggling, who want to be middle class but find the golden doors closing in their faces.  There should be educational support and health care support, a lot of it.  But there should be personal responsibility too.  There should be an effort made to keep young people from having children out of wedlock, and to discourage them from having kids at all while they are barely able to support them.  A rapidly growing impoverished class is not a good thing for anybody, but no politicians will even say a word about it for fear of offending key groups of voters. 

    And for the caller named Kaylee, I commend her and sympathize with her.  I too know how hard it is, to find a good job or break into a new line work when you are in middle age and the economy is tough!  Hey, it could be worse, couldn’t it – you still have your family farm to call home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachael.webb.714 Rachael Webb

    Whats dying in this country is the idea of class mobilty. No wonder welfare and governement assistance is growing
    Exponentially, the drive and motivation of accomplishing anything and becoming whatever one dreams and works hard to be is slowly be drained out of the mass ideaology. The dream is gone! All I ever here and see on discussions like this is people slamming the “Rich” with undertones that are seemingly beleiving that “Oh I will never be rich anyway, so yes THEY should pay”.

    How better to continue squashing that dream by taxing the 200+ thousand a year even more. These are are the people keeping this economy and country going and now your going to penalize them for having the motivation, drive, and work ethic to make more and move up in this society. What are we telling everyone, especially the young with plans like this, “Oh don’t strive to make more money, you will just have to give away, better to just make enough to get by”. We are raising a new society of non-motivated people, who see the government as their caregivers, and who are going to have the mindset of just getting by. This direction scares me, becuase I am one of those persons who still believes in the American Dream, that I could be born in a one room shack with an outhouse, but if I apply myself and work hard I can accomplish anything. How do you think we got
    “Rich People” to begin with? And I know this dream from reality. My father was born into a family of nine children in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom project outside of Philadelphia. He struggled and worked his way up to owinng his own successful small business and, being able to put 4 kids and 1 grandchild through college. My dad was DIRT POOR with ZERO rescources, and nothing givin to him, he believed in the ideals of American and worked hard to acheive his goals. Now were seemingly saying that peole like this need to be penalized.

    Taking money from one group and giving it to another will not work! What happens when the group you are taking money from is fianlly beat down enough to inherit the same worthless non motivated attitude of the gorup that their money was givin to and decides “hey whats the point, if I make money I will just have to give it away, so I should just get on assistance as well.” With this system, we will soon run out of people to take money from, and then what?

    And then we have the idea of relativity, whos rich? and whos poor? When my dad was a little boy in the projects, the mailman was rich, In todays mindset if you would aksed him who should be taxed more, he would have pointed at him.

    How are we going to have the future Fords, and Googles, and Facebooks, etc.. if we are telling young people today that if you make to much its just going to be taken from you and given to someone else.

    This is a stagnant society killing ideaology! I guess our future entails a popleution of governement supported lazy people living in governemnet housing and eating governemnet cheese with zero motivation.

    Wow! whats happened to the American people, where is that confidence that built this country, the idea that you could make as much money as you wanted and be whoever and whatever you wanted. It seems we are now raising a society that doesnt believe they can ever be “rich” so why should anyone else!

ONPOINT
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