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Old 04-02-2008, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles Area
3,306 posts, read 3,333,339 times
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From reading forums (like this one) it seems the "middle-class is dying" meme and the "inflation is out of control" meme is getting very popular.

Is this merely the effect of the media? Are the ideas being pushed by particular interest groups?

Anyhow, I get worried when these ideas gain so much popularity regardless of the actual evidence. Inflation mania lends to price fixing and the supposed issues with the middle class lead to socialism. Both, scare me a bit.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:22 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,113 posts, read 10,178,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post

Is this merely the effect of the media? Are the ideas being pushed by particular interest groups?
No, it is not merely the effect of the media. The middle class has sowed the seeds of its own destruction starting in the 1960s. Nonetheless, it is in the interest of certain groups to have the media egg it on, sure, why not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post

issues with the middle class lead to socialism. Both, scare me a bit.
There are several roads to socialism, shirking individual responsibilities is one of them.

No need to be scared: societies, empires, entire civilizations come and go, and so it took some three/four hundred years for mainstream human history to come to the USA, no big deal really.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:48 AM
 
Location: America
6,979 posts, read 15,154,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post
From reading forums (like this one) it seems the "middle-class is dying" meme and the "inflation is out of control" meme is getting very popular.

Is this merely the effect of the media? Are the ideas being pushed by particular interest groups?

Anyhow, I get worried when these ideas gain so much popularity regardless of the actual evidence. Inflation mania lends to price fixing and the supposed issues with the middle class lead to socialism. Both, scare me a bit.
Real wages in relation to the price of goods has declined since 1998. This whole blame the media thing seems to be a popular theme amongst people who don't know or understand economics. Particularly economic forces at play in the U.S.A.

Another problem with people attempting to blame the media is, they don't seem to understand the statistical data the media presents in their articles. I mean, its not like they don't provide where the info comes from and its not like they are pulling this information out of thin air. Not only that, gas prices have increased, so has food prices, and they have increased a rate higher than yearly salaries which means a individuals income now buys less.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
No, it is not merely the effect of the media. The middle class has sowed the seeds of its own destruction starting in the 1960s. Nonetheless, it is in the interest of certain groups to have the media egg it on, sure, why not.



There are several roads to socialism, shirking individual responsibilities is one of them.

No need to be scared: societies, empires, entire civilizations come and go, and so it took some three/four hundred years for mainstream human history to come to the USA, no big deal really.
I have to disagree with you on the socialism thing. The British have universal health care as does most of Europe. They adopted it not because of a lack of personal responsibility. They did it because they are civilized countries that realized their people were in trouble. After WWII people were devastated financially and physically. These governments realized they needed to take care of their people or face serious health issues. Any country that does not take care of its weakest members of its society lacks humanity. they would be no better than animals in that regard. While there systems are not 100% socialism they have socialistic aspects to them, which is what I am trying to point out. To be honest, weather people realize it or not, America too has some socialistic aspects. Police force, k-12 education, Libraries, Fire fighters and the list goes on.

America's system doesn't work and to be honest it never did. That is why you have seen such extreme ups and downs in the economy and social issues. It takes a intelligent nation to really have a long hard look at itself and say "we screwed up, its time to rethink this". Pursuing a broken status quo only leads to stagnation and in the end social upheaval.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:07 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,113 posts, read 10,178,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Style View Post

I have to disagree with you on the socialism thing. The British have universal health care as does most of Europe. They adopted it not because of a lack of personal responsibility. They did it because they are civilized countries that realized their people were in trouble. After WWII ....
Actually European socialism has its roots in the Nineteenth Century, in lock-step with the development of industrialization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Style View Post
America's system doesn't work and to be honest it never did. That is why you have seen such extreme ups and downs in the economy and social issues ...
That's the beauty of it. If you want the sureties of socialism, then go to Europe. Yes, you can overcome the visa restrictions.

If you want an interesting combination of risk-taking on the one hand, but law and order on the other, then come to the USA, land of the free and home of the brave.

Now, if you want a real risky lifestyle, then go to Latin America or Russia. Yes, you can overcome the language barriers.

And don't take my word for it: the venerable The Economist a few weeks ago had an article on the very issue of the differences in riskiness in life among Russia, Europe and the US.

America was founded on risk-taking, it is at the core of its very being, just like God took a risk when He bestowed that creature with free will, the essence of creation.

Take that away, man is like an animal, take that away and the US joins the mainstream of human history in the sense referred to above.

Well, easy come, easy go. Individuals don't necessarily need an America for that.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:28 AM
 
5,092 posts, read 9,619,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post
From reading forums (like this one) it seems the "middle-class is dying" meme and the "inflation is out of control" meme is getting very popular.

Is this merely the effect of the media? Are the ideas being pushed by particular interest groups?

Anyhow, I get worried when these ideas gain so much popularity regardless of the actual evidence. Inflation mania lends to price fixing and the supposed issues with the middle class lead to socialism. Both, scare me a bit.
Even worse, Humanoid. It is real people. Saying real things to each other. egad. Real communication between real people that is NOT managed by a corporate media or directed by agenda group.

Less and less folks are listening or watching the corporate media now -- about like Pravda prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. Meida is mostly just speaking words telling US about Political Folks (McCain, Hillary and Obama) or trash (Paris, Madonna, and BradJolena)

I flip it on from time-to-time just to see who their advertisers are. Geritol, Viagra, Depends, and Prostate meds. Tells you who the only folks left listening (maybe) to the media shills.

Look around here. Mostly just real people saying things about their real life experiences. If you like the Corporate Status Quo, maybe you do have cause to worry. Dunno. The local (Dallas) newspaper now tracks this site (City-Data) for information and quotes.

So how in the world do you manage real people speaking real truth?

I see the counterpoints around here being brain dead phrases that are pretty much the equivalent of "A Chicken In Every Pot," or "We Have Nothing To Fear, But Fear Itself," or your routine about creeping Socialism.

Socialism is a lurking big hairy monster? Sorry but most of US have heard the nonsense in the form of Global Communism and Domino nonsense as well as the present routine about Global Islamofascism. All BS. All fantasy work product of the US of BS.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 20,635,955 times
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Inflation actually hurts everybody more than even a recession. Inflation robs you of your savings and your future.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: America
6,979 posts, read 15,154,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
Actually European socialism has its roots in the Nineteenth Century, in lock-step with the development of industrialization.



That's the beauty of it. If you want the sureties of socialism, then go to Europe. Yes, you can overcome the visa restrictions.

If you want an interesting combination of risk-taking on the one hand, but law and order on the other, then come to the USA, land of the free and home of the brave.

Now, if you want a real risky lifestyle, then go to Latin America or Russia. Yes, you can overcome the language barriers.

And don't take my word for it: the venerable The Economist a few weeks ago had an article on the very issue of the differences in riskiness in life among Russia, Europe and the US.

America was founded on risk-taking, it is at the core of its very being, just like God took a risk when He bestowed that creature with free will, the essence of creation.

Take that away, man is like an animal, take that away and the US joins the mainstream of human history in the sense referred to above.

Well, easy come, easy go. Individuals don't necessarily need an America for that.
Im not sure about European socialism, but my comment was specifically about health care. Do you know what month that economist magazine issue came out? As for leaving America, thats one way to do it. Others may love their country and see and feel a need to change this society, for the better. If I leave this country, I think it would be for the Arabian gulf, I know the language and the culture and the religion. Only thing is, they don't offer citizenship, so its a no go until they do. Also thought about Egypt but until they actually open up their political system, thats just a powder keg waiting to happen.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,897 posts, read 51,488,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post
From reading forums (like this one) it seems the "middle-class is dying" meme and the "inflation is out of control" meme is getting very popular.

Is this merely the effect of the media? Are the ideas being pushed by particular interest groups?

Anyhow, I get worried when these ideas gain so much popularity regardless of the actual evidence. Inflation mania lends to price fixing and the supposed issues with the middle class lead to socialism. Both, scare me a bit.
I can say firsthand that inflation is out of control. All I need to do is review my itemized grocery costs and gas costs over the past few years. It ain't rocket science, and I don't need a newspaper or tv broadcaster to tell me that.

The "middle class is dying" however, is a mixed bag. The "middle class," or to use an older term, "merchant class" has always been an ephemeral concept. The royalty, the wealthy by birth, and the poor and the untouchables all get fairly easy definitions and tend to stay within class boundaries. The "middle" class is that group somewhere in-between those extremes. The latter stages of the industrial revolution and unions moved many people from poor to middle class, and some merchants into the wealthy class. Now, with globalization and the reduction of the power of the unions and the movement of industry to other countries, many of those poor that were lifted into middle class and their offspring are sinking back, along with some of the merchants that didn't see the brick wall coming and change tactics. Demographic shifts, like recent movements out of New Orleans, Detroit, and Florida have also created hot pockets of localized disruptions.

There was also a failure of leadership. At its core is the failure of the governmental attempts to put poor and lower middle class people into their own homes and keep them there. The government encouraged that, expecting those people on the margins of society to be able to continue to pay mortgages during economic downturns; downturns that same government created by supporting the movement of their very jobs out of the country. Those actions have swelled the numbers of people slipping back into poverty. Can you imagine your father, when you were a teenager, encouraging and chiding you to buy an expensive car, and then cutting off your allowance once you had started making payments? That is essentially what the conflicting government sponsored policies of low cost loans to low income people and NAFTA and other trade agreements did.

The middle class is not dying, but shrinking back to the historic norm of highly paid tradesmen, merchants, some health care providers, and entrepreneurs. Factory workers are being left behind and the ranks are thinning further as others, such as teachers, care providers, firemen and police are seeing inflation erode their modest gains of the past decades.


Then there is the question of what really constitutes a middle class living. Back in the 1950s, a 1000sf ranch home was considered middle class. Owning a single car was middle class and owning two was upper middle class. There was ONE tv in a middle class home. The selection of groceries was limited, based on seasons and cost of transportation. Many rural folks had yet to get indoor plumbing and a telephone was likely a single shared line. Even middle class folks often had a few chickens, or maybe a cow, and gardens weren't a pastime, but a necessity. If you got cancer or had heart disease, you died.
That was the middle class.

Today's spendthrifts want to live a modern upper-middle class lifestyle, buying a house of 3,000 or more sf, having at least two new cars and latest big screen tv and computer and iPod and cellphone and granite countertops and the ability to send three kids to top colleges and take at least two vacations a year in exotic locations and have cradle to grave health insurance for every ailment with only $10 co-pay and no waiting. These people are NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, the middle class of the 1950s. Many of them are spoiled, narcissistic pretenders who have totally abandoned the lessons of thrift and prudence in deference to bling and bling bling and enjoying the snob status of hob-nobbing with the rich and ultra-rich. For those people, reality is becoming more real and they are finding themselves on the street. For aunt Maude and Uncle Joe, who own their little home, continue to raise a few vegetables and still only have a single tv and one car, and a small savings account and service sector jobs, it is belt-tightening time, but merely another part of life.

Is the middle class dying? Which middle class do you mean?
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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If the middle class is dying, it is due to hyperextension of their own credit rather than hyperinflation.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: America
6,979 posts, read 15,154,103 times
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Originally Posted by sean98125 View Post
If the middle class is dying, it is due to hyperextension of their own credit rather than hyperinflation.
when bread goes up from 1.99 to 2.99 in a year, if thats not inflation i dont know what is.
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