Yes, the middle class has been disappearing. It started with the Reagan years when the tax code was written with breaks for specific companies. Some corporations received huge tax breaks while others had their taxes increased. It was described as “trickle down” economics which actually started to gush money to the top 5% of Americans. At the same time, the middle class, ever so slightly, began to diminish.
The economy had ups and downs over the years following the Reagan bandits (Savings and Loan bailouts) while the middle class continued to lose ground. During his presidency, George H. W. Bush made an announcement that we are now a “global economy”.
Next came NAFTA which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The idea of NAFTA was born during the George H.W. Bush years and it was Ross Perot that brought the voters attention to NAFTA and “the sucking sound” of jobs leaving this country. President Bill Clinton signed NAFTA into law and American companies began building factories in Mexico. This creation of manufacturing jobs in Mexico gave Mexicans the opportunity to earn a living wage. Over the years, these same corporations that provided a living wage kept lowering the wages of Mexicans to the point where jobs in Mexico are now poverty jobs in sweat shops. This decrease in income has fueled the drug cartels and has increased violent crime along the Mexican border. That’s a story for another time.
So far, we have special tax breaks for specific corporations and NAFTA. Then in the year 2000, the US Supreme Court appointed the rich man’s tool as president, George W. Bush. His appointment accelerated the loss of jobs by providing tax incentives for corporations to send jobs overseas. How unAmerican and unpatriotic. The Bush administration also lowered taxes for the top 5% of Americans, the very rich, while keeping taxes high for middle class Americans. Along with two wars, the Bush tax cuts created a huge Government deficit at the expense of middle class Americans. Since the birth of Reaganomics, the wages of the middle class have slowly declined or remained stagnant.
Here are 22 statistics proving the decline of the middle class…
#1) According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
#2) The number of Americans with incomes below the official poverty line rose by about 15% between 2000 and 2006, and by 2008 over 30 million U.S. workers were earning less than $10 per hour.
#3) According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
#4) According to that same poll, 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
#5) A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
#6) According to one new survey, 24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
#7) Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
#8) Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#9) For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
#10) In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
Read more and all the supporting data here…
The negative effects of the Bush years washed over from 2008 into 2009. It took eight years to destroy our economy and it will take at least eight years if not more to repair the damage done by the Bush administration.
President Obama’s stimulus package included a reduction in taxes for 95% of Americans. As a member of this 95% grouping, I received a tax refund this year, the first one in many years. My taxes increased during the Reagan years and this is my first tax break since then.
Trickle down economics is a joke on the American people. It only increases the income for the top 5% while the rest of us struggle.
One more thing about the George W. Bush years, job creation remained stagnant. For the first time in over 20 years, there were no job increases. As a matter of fact, by the end of the Bush years, the job losses were on the rise and at the same time, the rich continued to get richer.
What is the Republican plan for job creation? The Republicans still stand by their “trickle down” economics theory and they insist on continuing tax breaks for the rich while at the same time providing no tax breaks for the middle class. If given the opportunity, the Republicans would repeal the Obama tax breaks for the middle class. Don’t be fooled by their rhetoric because Republicans don’t have the welfare of the middle class in mind when they speak. It’s all about Wall Street, big banks and corporations with them.
Trickle down economics… how is that working for you? It’s working for the quitter, Sarah Palin and the cult leader Glenn Beck. It’s not working for their followers and their followers are like the Branch Davidians or Heaven’s Gate. They will do anything that their leaders, Beck and Palin, tell them to do, just like puppets on a string. These money machines (Beck and Palin) are only interested in increasing their income, not yours.
4 replies on “I’m Shrinking!”
I meant to come back and comment sooner, but here it is. I hope it’s not too long or too much of a rant.
Interesting that on the page of the linked article of the 22 statistics, a quick search of three words; manufacturing, unions, and labor, came up with zero for the first two, and three uses of the third, twice combined with the word pool, and none preceded by the word ‘organized’.
Whoever wrote this article, has 22 indicators of the problem, but hardly any causes or solutions.
The writer seems to want to blame government for passing rules and regulations, making it ‘difficult to conduct business’. Usually, despite their protestations, these always benefit large companies, by putting obstacles in the way of smaller competitors. So he’s/she’s against government regulation. Then he/she laments the same government won’t penalize businesses for leaving the US. So he’s/she’s for government regulation. Are you sure this person isn’t a teabagger?
I would argue that the ‘side effects’ are really the disease and not an unpleasant part of a cure. The major symptom of this disease is that corporations are no longer loyal to the US, and put their interests above the US. The very idea that US workers ‘have’ to compete is ludicrous. We are the customers! We could choose, as a nation, to limit access to our markets, if we could get our politicians to go along. I’ve started to see ads on tv for Mahindra farm equipment. Yes, it not only sounds like it’s from India, it is! Let them plow their fields with their tractors, and let us use John Deere and International Harvester, made right here! If they want to sell them here, then they have to buy the same number of ours. If that’s unacceptable, they can keep theirs, and we’ll keep ours. Call us in twenty or thirty years when your workers have rights and money to spend. That’s fair trade.
The writer of the article may be a Libertarian. You can’t argue against the fact that the middle class is shrinking.
Excellent post, Cats. 🙂
Thanks, Ms Z. That’s a high compliment 🙂