If the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, how does the middle class shrink?
Seems like more space is created and with population always increasing, seems like the middle class should expand, not shrink or disappear. Right?
We live in an era of rapacious taxation. Counting all levels of government, hidden taxes (including the cost of regulation), and mandated cost transfers, taxes in the US are between sixty and seventy percent of earnings, the same as in the social democratic societies of western Europe, which is now starting to fall apart under the burden.
Poor people do not have the ability to pay. The genuinely rich (who are not the those politically claimed by demagogic politicians not to be paying their fair share) have the ability to buy the tax code no matter which influence peddler is in power to avoid paying. The load always falls onto the middle class.
That is why the middle class in America is evaporating. It is being taxed out of existence, through direct and indirect levies, through the destruction and export of middle class jobs by excessive taxation, by the rising costs of goods and services driven skyward by regulation and the accumulated weight of taxes imposed at every link of the chain of supply.
Good answer, but scary. It sounds like the recipe for an empire or even a communist state. Hope you are wrong.
It's too late to keep the United States from becoming an imperial power. It now even treats the nation of America as an occupied colony. There is no such thing as a communist state, there are just authoritarian states claiming communism is the goal.
We ARE an empire ....it already happened. Guam, Hawaii, we control the worlds oil, we have the largest military....and on and on.....now after 911 we can destroy the competition under the guise of terrorism.
I always assumed that the middle class shrank because you became one or the other. You either dropped below the poverty line, for whatever reason, or you struck it big and entered the rich bracket. Though, I would argue it's unbalanced in favor of the middle class becoming poorer. A lot of things contributed to this including a languishing minimum wage, which isn't enough to live off of, and the outsourcing of millions of jobs to other countries. Americans are struggling to find jobs and the jobs they do find are paying them less than livable wages, so the number of poor people goes up. Add onto that things like student loan debt and the crash of the stock market, and we have a long climb back to the strong middle class.
This is very basic...and it amazes me that this question is even being asked, but I think it speaks to the level of awareness in our country....and in all capitalistic economies.
The rich are getting richer, not by making more .....but by cutting costs and receiving tax breaks. When the rich cut costs, they do so by either eliminating jobs and asking a worker to perform the work of two people while putting them on salary ....so they don't get overtime. Another way the rich cut costs is to outsource jobs....this is a nice way of saying, they fire everybody, close the doors, and ship the company over seas....where they can pay slave wages and destroy the environment.
NAFTA was a well orchestrated move to create regulation free zones where U.S. companies can pay shit, and pollute as much as they want ....while still reaping the benefits of being an american corporation.
Roosevelt( I think) warned that a CEO should never make more than 20 times the wage of the lowest payed employee....or we would be headed toward fascism. Well now some CEOs make over 500 times what the lowest paid employee makes.
Under Bush ...if you bought a vehicle that weighed 5,000 Lbs or more ...you could write off half the cost of the vehicle (saving those with disposable income tens of thousands)
Tax breaks are another way the rich are destroying the middle class. I pay around 25% of my income in taxes......how much do you think a millionaire or billionaire pay?
I urge you and anyone who reads this to watch the movie "Zeitgeist" it breaks down our monetary system. We operate under a system of debt. Read your money "this note legal tender for all debt" > There is no value to a dollar....because it is not based in reality anymore......the number of dollars used to be tied to the amount of gold in reserves....now it is simply created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve( a private for profit corporation)
It isn't a given that the poor get poorer, though that is what has been happening recently in America.
It isn't even a given that "population [is] always increasing." True, it has been at the global level, since about the 15th or 16th century. (The 14th century saw a serious crash in Eurasian population due to the "Black Death") But that increase is slowing and is projected to stop by late this century--and that projection doesn't include the possible results of environmental disasters which seem increasingly likely. (Most people think that climate change is a challenge for polar bears and seals--but the biggest effect will be the degradation of the security of our food supply. Note the effects of this summer's US drought on world food prices.)
So--returning to the question--the middle class shriinks when good, well-paying jobs go away, when living costs (including those for essential health care) rise drastically, and when the value of investments such as the family home is reduced or wiped out altogether. Any of this sound familiar?
Currently the middle class is shrinking because they are getting layed-off, thier homes are being foreclosed on and they are having serious problems finding good paying jobs.
I do think the primary reason is the Corporations are reluctant to expand because of Obamacare and it's unknown progressive burden as it has effect through 2018.
Even as our population increases and students leave college, the middle class will not grow if gainful employment is not found.
I also believe good jobs are affected by GATT/NAFTA, as Corporations having to compete with low wage countries, must outsource or use foriegn labor in able to compete in the American markets.
The middle class is represented by those who want to work, have an education and degree and seek gainful employment. They are losing that employment and it affects the size of our middle class.
The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer under the conditions I've outlined above. It is surely much more complex than a small address of these political/social issues can provide. Time and a strong cup of coffee could get the issues on the table during a meaningful conversation to this issue.
Yes, the middle class is shrinking because of downsizing, dissolution, & outsourcing of jobs/careers overseas. With the increasing computerization in the 21st century, some mid-level to low-level service jobs are no more. Those middle class w/ the applicable &/or upgraded skills are becoming upper class albeit lower upper classes while others w/o the applicable &/or upgraded skills are sadly becoming part of the lower classes.
The socioeconomic classes are becoming more fluid than ever. There are people from the lower, upper lower, working, & lower middle classes who are becoming wealthy either through education, savvy, talent, even luck while there are those who are upper, upper middle, & solidly middle classes who are becoming déclassé because of their low skill level, inability to have a decent work ethic, plain bad luck, & lack of talent/capability.
This society, more than ever, is based upon the survival of the most aggressive, most cunning, & smartest. One has to know how to successfully navigate his/her environment if he/she wants to be on the top of the game socioeconomically. One has to STUDY, LEARN, and KNOW how to play the corporate/career game & be familiarized with its culture if he/she wants to thrive corporately/careerwise. The corporate world is the law of the jungle with the most cunning surviving, even thriving while those with such savvy will be chewed, spat out, & sink, becoming the new poor.
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