U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 08-06-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,406,781 times
Reputation: 14042

Advertisements

First off:



This is not me... I think.


OK, so I was thinking too much and debating elsewhere in the forum when I drew a strange parallel between the rise of "green living" and the fall of the middle class. The idea struck me... could the downfall of the middle class in this country be by design as an attempt by the elite to decrease our energy and resource sucking in preparation for a future world of already tight and ever-decreasing resources?

Thoughts supporting the idea:

The US uses a disporportionately huge amount of world resources, and the US middle class is doing the lion's share of the consuming.

World Oil Production is either very close (within a decade) or has already peaked, as per multiple sources.

The US middle class has seen ever-declining prosperity and increasing debt for nearly 4 consecutive decades.

Politicians speak all the time about the importance of the middle-class but do nothing practical to actually reverse the trend.

The elite already have everthing. What realistic benefit would they gain by looting the middle class any more?

Fiat currency is not wealth, Resources are. Fiat currency is "smoke and mirrors"... a tool to control and distribute/accumulate said real wealth that can be manipulated and tweaked relatively easy by those in power.

Duping a large number of people into accepting more debt than they can handle and taking huge losses everytime the the economy predictably tanks seems like a poor business model, unless you are using it to systematically limit and decrease the wealth acquisition of a large number of people.

"green living" and all it's assorted lifestyle choices (all far more spartan than consumerism) are being touted as a de facto religon, and encouraged strongly in many ways across governments, media and other social channels.

Global Warming is used as a scare tactic regularly despite there being no logical basis for it's claims.

The same kind of thing happened before, but in the other direction. Consumerism itself was a concious large-scale policy decision created out of the need/desire to take advantage of extra production capacity after WW2 and propel the USA to it's current status where we can realistically influence and even outright control the majority of the resources of the entire planet. It had the possibly unintended consequence of empowering the middle class by making us wealthy, and it made the elite wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of the turn-of-the-century robber-barons. It also had the unintended consequence of draining the world's supply of finite resources far more quickly than "the Man" figured, and has now set civilization up for a potential collapse.

So, could it be that everything put together is really the varied manifestations of a policy decision made at the highest echeons to prepare for a future world of tight resources, i.e. Keep the elite powerful and wealthy, while making the rest take the hit for the inevitable limitations of a finite world? And since the Middle class has been unwilling to slow down on their consumption despite all the urging, could it be our elite are now attacking us more directly to force us into lowering consumption by making us all poor again? Going along with my other thread (//www.city-data.com/forum/busin...ch-mostly.html) do they seek to return to a more or less sustainable social dynamic that benefits them most given the circumstances?

Whatdaya think?

Last edited by Chango; 08-06-2010 at 03:02 PM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-06-2010, 04:19 PM
 
5,409 posts, read 10,345,690 times
Reputation: 4483
you might want to study die-off theory.

Some of it at: BRAIN FOOD TABLE OF CONTENTS

I tend to view it as wacky.

But wacky folks can kill you as quick as those sane bad intent.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-07-2010, 11:32 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,211,395 times
Reputation: 4788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
The US middle class has seen ever-declining prosperity
How do you measure this?

If Joe-Middle-Class today chose to live the exact same lifestyle as people did four decades ago they could certainly do it with a much smaller percentage of their income.

Ditch the microwave, computer, blueray player, game console, etc. no monthly costs for cable TV, cell phone, netflix, high speed internet. Buy a smaller house, own one car per family instead of two, eat out less, travel less.

Are you really sure the middle class is less prosperous?
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-07-2010, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,787,344 times
Reputation: 27652
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
How do you measure this?

If Joe-Middle-Class today chose to live the exact same lifestyle as people did four decades ago they could certainly do it with a much smaller percentage of their income.

Ditch the microwave, computer, blueray player, game console, etc. no monthly costs for cable TV, cell phone, netflix, high speed internet. Buy a smaller house, own one car per family instead of two, eat out less, travel less.

Are you really sure the middle class is less prosperous?
I've ditched everything above except internet..I do have DSL..the first level up from dialup.

Yes, the middle class family is less prosperous.
My mother and father raised 5 kids on less than 50% of my current salary back in the 70's. I can afford 1 kid and still save for retirement.

BTW..when my father retired, they had saved enough to buy a nice little 1 bedroom condo on the beach in Florida..nothing fancy but nevertheless they were able to do all that on just my father working.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2010, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,754,443 times
Reputation: 7193
One forgotten point is the rewarding of the "Greatest Generation" that fought and won WWII. The saying to the victor goes the spoils so it was/is with those folk's that fought that war.

Some may poo-poo that idea but look closely at what followed that generation from the end of WWII to their deaths 60>70 years later. I can remember as a boy all the arguments that congress was spending their children's money in order to pay for all the jobs & improvements that supported the returning troops. The back of the Great Depression was broken by WWII or it would have lasted much, much longer than it did. So it is today...........
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,769 posts, read 2,133,213 times
Reputation: 634
~


Since the 1970s global birthrates have been decreasing.

Sometime this century global population will begin declining.

To offset falling birthrates, many first world nations began
massive third world immigration. But this is only a temporary fix
because birthrates are also declining in third world nations.

By elite design or not, the future of the planet is depopulation.

A declining population will free up natural resources. It will also
destroy the global economy as we have known it. This process
has already begun. No more ever increasing demand. No more
ever expanding markets. The future of the global economy is deflation.



~
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2010, 06:12 PM
 
286 posts, read 642,459 times
Reputation: 483
Unlikely.

One of the big breakthroughs in the last 30 years has been the rise of the affordable, powerful computer. Professions that exploit this technology produce a lot, so they tend to be very well-paid.

Unfortunately, in order to exploit the power of a computer, you need to be fairly educated. For people who never received that education, they have watched as incomes for top 10% have gone stratospheric. Meanwhile, their own career opportunities--mainly in manufacturing--have been whittled away by automation.

This trend will begin to reverse in the next decade. One of the major trends for the next 30 years will be software that bridges the gap between the layman and the computer. That is, if you want a computer to do a complicated task, you will tell it in plain English. The computer will then figure out what you mean. Right now, you need specialized knowledge and an advanced education to do this. In ten years, some high school education and a little training will suffice.

There is going to be an increasing push towards egalitarianism--whether we like it or not. On one hand, it means the playing field will be very level. But on the other, it means it will be very competitive. Being born with the right parents or getting some lucky breaks will mean increasingly little. Tomorrow will likely be a world without heroes or stars.

Last edited by mcredux; 08-08-2010 at 06:20 PM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-09-2010, 02:01 AM
 
28,717 posts, read 31,368,126 times
Reputation: 29826
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
First off:



This is not me... I think.


OK, so I was thinking too much and debating elsewhere in the forum when I drew a strange parallel between the rise of "green living" and the fall of the middle class. The idea struck me... could the downfall of the middle class in this country be by design as an attempt by the elite to decrease our energy and resource sucking in preparation for a future world of already tight and ever-decreasing resources?

Thoughts supporting the idea:

The US uses a disporportionately huge amount of world resources, and the US middle class is doing the lion's share of the consuming.

World Oil Production is either very close (within a decade) or has already peaked, as per multiple sources.

The US middle class has seen ever-declining prosperity and increasing debt for nearly 4 consecutive decades.

Politicians speak all the time about the importance of the middle-class but do nothing practical to actually reverse the trend.

The elite already have everthing. What realistic benefit would they gain by looting the middle class any more?

Fiat currency is not wealth, Resources are. Fiat currency is "smoke and mirrors"... a tool to control and distribute/accumulate said real wealth that can be manipulated and tweaked relatively easy by those in power.

Duping a large number of people into accepting more debt than they can handle and taking huge losses everytime the the economy predictably tanks seems like a poor business model, unless you are using it to systematically limit and decrease the wealth acquisition of a large number of people.

"green living" and all it's assorted lifestyle choices (all far more spartan than consumerism) are being touted as a de facto religon, and encouraged strongly in many ways across governments, media and other social channels.

Global Warming is used as a scare tactic regularly despite there being no logical basis for it's claims.

The same kind of thing happened before, but in the other direction. Consumerism itself was a concious large-scale policy decision created out of the need/desire to take advantage of extra production capacity after WW2 and propel the USA to it's current status where we can realistically influence and even outright control the majority of the resources of the entire planet. It had the possibly unintended consequence of empowering the middle class by making us wealthy, and it made the elite wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of the turn-of-the-century robber-barons. It also had the unintended consequence of draining the world's supply of finite resources far more quickly than "the Man" figured, and has now set civilization up for a potential collapse.

So, could it be that everything put together is really the varied manifestations of a policy decision made at the highest echeons to prepare for a future world of tight resources, i.e. Keep the elite powerful and wealthy, while making the rest take the hit for the inevitable limitations of a finite world? And since the Middle class has been unwilling to slow down on their consumption despite all the urging, could it be our elite are now attacking us more directly to force us into lowering consumption by making us all poor again? Going along with my other thread (//www.city-data.com/forum/busin...ch-mostly.html) do they seek to return to a more or less sustainable social dynamic that benefits them most given the circumstances?

Whatdaya think?
I think you're onto something there. But I disagree with this whole idea that since fossil fuels are finite, that somehow we have to suffer a reduced standard of living as a result. Renewable forms of energy have been deliberately held off the market and/or not researched until every last drop of oil is drilled from the ground.

I think the benefit the elite have from looting the middle class is ultimately to make people accept the idea of a one world government...Basically they want a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. What better way to get people to accept a global government than to have their national governments ineffective at doing things? Of course, the same people who created the problem will be peddling the so-called solution.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-09-2010, 02:04 AM
 
28,717 posts, read 31,368,126 times
Reputation: 29826
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
I've ditched everything above except internet..I do have DSL..the first level up from dialup.

Yes, the middle class family is less prosperous.
My mother and father raised 5 kids on less than 50% of my current salary back in the 70's. I can afford 1 kid and still save for retirement.

BTW..when my father retired, they had saved enough to buy a nice little 1 bedroom condo on the beach in Florida..nothing fancy but nevertheless they were able to do all that on just my father working.
That was partly the middle class' own fault. We bought into the idea that 2 wage earners were better than one. All that 2nd income ended up doing was driving up the price of housing and driving down wages.

Of course, prior to the 1970s, people divorced less and had kids out of wedlock less often, which resulted in more financial stability as well.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-09-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,406,781 times
Reputation: 14042
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
How do you measure this?

If Joe-Middle-Class today chose to live the exact same lifestyle as people did four decades ago they could certainly do it with a much smaller percentage of their income.

Ditch the microwave, computer, blueray player, game console, etc. no monthly costs for cable TV, cell phone, netflix, high speed internet. Buy a smaller house, own one car per family instead of two, eat out less, travel less.

Are you really sure the middle class is less prosperous?
It's all about power, influence, and the comparison of the distribution of weath during a specfic time and location, not just raw physical improvement.

The middle class is living better than kings in the middle ages did from a purely functional, material comparison, but today's middle class has about as much political clout and comparative wealth vs the elite as the average peasant did to his king.

Granted, we cannot just be imprisoned, tortured and/or killed by the will of the king... at least in theory.


Last edited by Chango; 08-09-2010 at 11:27 AM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top