There are Americans who contend, even argue that the government is going to save the middle class & uplift the lower class. However, in reality the middle class is gradually shrinking & the lower class is becoming an underclass. The only classes faring well are the upper middle & upper classes. The solidly middle class is shrinking because there will be no need for their jobs as such jobs will become increasing computerized or performed by artificial intelligence. Lower middle class will become automated or extinct. Jobs performed by the lower class are becoming very few & far between. However, the upper middle class will have jobs because of their advanced specialized education & the upper class will have the connections to get & the resources to create the most coveted jobs. In the future, only the upper middle & upper class will have the socioeconomic advantages while the solidly middle, lower middle, working, & lower classes WON'T. Your thoughts?
It's a matter of how you organize a society. Apparently, the society in the US and other countries favour a division in the upper class and the working class. Making the gap between the have and have nots bigger.
So, obviously, there is something wrong with how the laws are organized.
Imagine there was no tax on labour.
This would mean that labour would be cheaper for employers.
There are lot's of ways for a government to close the gap between the super-rich and the working class, creating a bigger middle class. The question is. Are they willing to do so?
"There are lot's of ways for a government to close the gap between the super-rich and the working class, creating a bigger middle class."
How? Assume a billionaire, and 100 million "working class" - if you confiscate 95% of that Billion in wealth and distribute it to the poorer, the Billionaire now has 50M and the working class has $10 more than they used to. There are some 600 Billionaires; that means some $6,000 to each of the working class if we confiscate 95% of what the rich own. Maybe it's just me, and I don't understand true wealth, but the difference between having 1B and 50M doesn't mean much. Either way the rich can still purchase whatever they wish and the poor can buy a cheap, used car - just as they could before "sharing" what the rich owned. Nothing has changed.
And to accomplish that society must decide that what others own actually belongs to society and forcibly take it from the ultra rich. A decision based on greed rather than morality, for there is nothing "moral" about taking what others own. Legally and ethically the term is "stealing", and making laws that say it is legal does not change the ethical end of stealing.
How? - To be honest Wilderness, I have no idea.
Probably we end up with two types of Homo Sapiens. The super-rich ones who can buy planets and the 99% who will do de slave work and being cannon fodder.
LOL I don't either.
But I do think that there will always be a divide. Not necessarily between super rich and slave labor, but between all peoples. There will always be a middle class (even the middle ages had that!), there will always be rich and there will always be poor.
And I also believe that while we can, and should, help those unable to dig out of poverty (even to the point of providing total support cradle to grave for the disabled) I do NOT believe that able bodied people need more than temporary help to overcome temporary setbacks. An injury, perhaps, or a natural disaster that could not be predicted (people intentionally building a home in a flood plain without provisions for the inevitable flood, not so much).
But we are at the point that over half of our people are considered "disabled" to the point they cannot provide for themselves. THIS I cannot agree with.
Pete, my late mother said this more than 4 decades ago-in the future, there will ONLY BE TWO CLASSES-the very rich & the very poor. The middle classes are disappearing......disappearing........
Isn´t it the other way around? Is it "moral" for the rich to contribute less to the roads, infrastructure, you name it, that was built and is maintained in the public interest. Rich pay less taxes (contributing a smaller portion of their earnings) to the public than the poor. Was supposedly a great achievement of the past administration. Now - who steals from whom?
"Is it "moral" for the rich to contribute less to the roads, infrastructure, you name it, that was built and is maintained in the public interest."
The rich contribute (as an example) a million dollars, the middle class a few thousand. That is not "less" no matter how you cut it.
Do you pay more for a loaf of bread when you buy one than the poor person? Do you pay less for that new car than a rich man would for the same car? Why should the rich pay more for the same benefit (a country to live in) than you do?
The only real answer is that you want more than you want to pay for (as a middle class taxpayer) and you have the power to force the rich to pay for it instead of doing it yourself.
The Rich are the Corporations, those who own them or control them.
The Corporations in turn control Congress and the Executive Office, along with Investment Firms and Banks. Also heavy influence from foreign nations like China and Saudi Arabia.
The job of the politicians, Congress and the President in particular, has been to keep this reality from the people making them believe, instead, that they serve the people... not the International Corporations and Foreign Nations.
Our system is particularly adapt at this, because it convinces a majority of the people (although I believe this percentage is at an all time low today) that their efforts make a difference when they vote Democrat or Republican, and it also gives them a "side" to blame for the government's faults and failures.
Very few people are out there saying it is the corrupt system that is the problem, that Democrat or Republican doesn't matter, they are two wings of the same bird, and that bird got swapped out long ago from an Eagle to a Vulture... that is feeding on its own people.
So... we are almost 30 Trillion dollars in debt... I can remember decades ago when we reached 1 Trillion how people thought it was a sign that doomsday for the nation was around the corner.
The problem is NOT that we don't tax the rich... the problem is that our government chooses NOT to focus the Trillions it is spending on putting people to work, on building infrastructure, on doing the things that in the past made this country the most industrious and powerful in the world.
Those Trillions go to bailing out the banks and investment firms, in giving oil companies and the military industrial complex more money than they know what to do with... it is corruption and it is rampant.
At some point in time, it is going to collapse in on itself and the country will be much diminished, and I believe that time is near.
The mantel of richest nation and global leader will be passed on to another.
... Democrat or Republican doesn't matter, they are two wings of the same bird...
and this bird is feeding from the Rich, from the corporations. So much, so true.
Wouldn´t it be a first step to have the bird (and its wings) no more being fed by the Corporations (the corrupt lobbyist system). How about having the bird nursing from tax payers money directly - money not having to make the extra miles via corporate lobbyism?
Certainly will require a change in the system. But could be a first step.
Anyways, this is probably more in the focus of the left wing of the democrats side of the bird (the AOCs and Sanders). While i am at it: Imho the US resembles a 4 wing bird. Democrats have their corporate and their social justice wing, Republicans have their corporate and their anti government wing respectively. Seeing this situation, chances are small for any real change. So this is all an academic rant, no more.
Eh. so it always is .People being people.
All I can say is that I am glad I believe in the ability of humanity to rise above their baser instincts, use their intellect and compassion to recognize an unsustainable situation, and take action to mitigate it.
Or, we can just throw up our hands and say, "No one will save you."
People must take responsibility & be accountable in their lives. Far too many people want other people to save them. Well, NO. People must learn to make intelligent choices & strategize. No one is going to save one but oneself.
True, but if our civilized society crumbles because we are too selfish and greedy to make changes to save it, no amount of individual strategizing and responsibility will matter.
and what would that crumbling look like or be the result of?
... selfish-wise and greed-wise?
Gmw. is speaking about individual responsibility. For instance, one person cannot afford to help another, if he does not have enough money to do so.
A lifeguard cannot save anyone if she/he is not in good physical shape. The lifeguard must eat healthfully and exercise, otherwise she could be pulled under and drown along with the victim. ( ... love that opening photo, BTW.)
Likewise, an individual must have enough food for himself and his loved ones before he can give some of what he has to others.
If some people cannot help themselves and end up thinking the government will bail them out, well that is mistaken thinking.
If these people have not figured out a way to work for a living then, what is one to do about them? We cannot enable their dependence on us or the government. It is not fair to them or the taxpayers who fund the government. Now, I am not opposed to the government giving people loans in time of need. They can pay back the government once they get back on their feet ... which they would do if they were at all patriotic.
In my experience the the poorer, the people are, the easier they share.
Helping the other is not a matter of money, it's a matter of mentality.
Really? Nope. The poorer the people are, the more cutthroat they are. Have you ever been in poor neighborhoods sir? Those "neighborhoods" are dangerous. There is a high incidence of robbery. Poor people rob each other. Also poor people resort to crime in order to supplement income. What world are YOU living in, Pete? It is the middle class who help each other, not the poor. The poor don't have enough for themselves, so they see the next person as a ........TARGET.
Rich people steal as well, they simply don't use a knife but a lawyer.
You do not steal from your neighbour. - or in other words, you do not rob a member of the same gang. You steal from tourists, strangers etc. but not from the people you know.
I was not talking about violence. This is a different subject.
I was talking about helping each other out. This is not a matter of money but a matter of mentality.
And I find so many strange excuses as not to help each other. As if helping each other is a dirty thing. As if you are a socialist when you give your neighbour a cup of milk for some pancakes.
But perhaps helping each other is too dangerous for a capitalistic system that wants us isolated. The same system that is getting rid of the middle class you mentioned.
Families willingly help each other. Churches and charities willingly help one another. People love to give to churches and charities because of the joy of helping others. Now, high taxation by the government for various programs designed to help the poor, has the effect of FORCING taxpaying citizens to contribute to them, but according to human nature, the individual citizen's natural response is, "If not my will, nope not gonna give." (And logically, those who are not in a position of providing for themselves and loved ones, cannot give to neighbors or others, willingly or otherwise.)
Helping others must be done according to one's actual self-guided, free-will according to human nature, (namely, the very overwhelming sense of free-will.) Who can deny that Freedom of Will and guiding ones own will is the absolute key to happiness?
Most intelligent people comprehend that overburdensome taxation enslaves us. While poor people are fine with the rich being dinged for their (the poor's) benefit, the rich, at that point, no longer want to help them. This unwillingness is due to the middle class and the wealthy, through taxation, FEELING, (yes I said that word) forced to contribute to the poor. Whereas, when not taxed, they would happily contribute to society in their own ways and of their own free wills and furthermore, and this is a big furthermore: would have the means to do so.
+100000000000000, what superb logic applied.
I think there are a lot of different concepts at play here.
Families willingly help each other. - Yes - people help each other within their community. But there is a border. Christians will not give easily to an Islamic cause.
So then there is tax. And tax you have to force. People will not pay taxes freely if you trust on their "Freedom of Will". Or on their good souls.
I just had a conversation with Wilderness and GA about tax, so I'm not going into this one now. The main point is that tax can be used in many different ways, depending on the political point of view.
Tax is like the law. if you don't have laws, society will be worse of as some people will have different "point of views" on what is good and what is bad....And traffic will be a chaos....
So, yes, taxations are forced. Just like laws are "forced" upon us.
And no, I don't believe that as when people are not taxed they will give money freely to causes. That's an illusion.
And to what causes? Some causes will be hugely popular, like the kitten society will get lots of money. But the experimental avant-garde free music club won't get a dime. So you will get popularism. The money goes to the cute girls and guys and the ugly boys and girls won't receive anything. Won't work.
Actually, people are always in need of something.
All we have to do is figure out where we can be useful to other people and find conducive ways to fit into society.
For instance, there will always be a need for people to build homes, businesses, roads and bridges, etc. and provide plumbing, electricity and goods / services. I think the future, as far as ways to earn a living, will always be dependent on the reality of the human condition.
We all need help and various items/goods all the time.
Nothing is easy in this life.
And that ends up being a good thing.
I think your statement is too generalized. Are you forgetting the service industry or are you lumping them in with the upper middle class because they are now charging such high prices? While there are a lot of sole proprietors, such as plumbers and electricians, there are also a lot of companies that hire technicians.
Since the demise of trade schools led to such a failure to a segment of society, trade schools are returning. A whole class of people who were forgotten in the 1990s is returning. These schools are turning out not only plumbers, electricians and HVAC workers, they are venturing into other specialized training like for the medical industry and restaurant industry like chefs. Today people who are not college material and sometimes people with degrees who can't find a career in their fields or who want a change to something more simple are being educated to make a living at serving others, many careers that AIs and robots can't handle or would handle poorly.
Having lived in a not-well to do area of town when I was a single parent, I saw a lot of people pulling themselves out of poverty and earning middle class livings after attending trade schools. (Well, if it breaks down, somebody has to fix it.)
I believe that we will find a welcome trend here. Maybe all is not lost.
Hmmm but there is more computerization than ever before. Even elementary technology is becoming computerized. Blue collar jobs are becoming a thing of the past. Jobs require more specialized & advanced education. There is the creation of A1s and robots who, with programming, will be able to do routine plumbing & electrical work. The only jobs in the future will be for highly educated & specialized STEM people. Things aren't what they used to be. Jobs are becoming more specialized, especially along computerized lines. Yes, the only people who won't be effected will be the upper middle & upper classes while the middle & lower classes will face downward mobility. Sad to say but welcome TO THE NEW REALITY!
" There is the creation of A1s and robots who, with programming, will be able to do routine plumbing & electrical work."
As an ex-electrician, often working alongside plumbers in the construction industry, I never saw even a simple computer used on the job site in 20 years. In the office, yes, but never on the job.
Having hired HVAC repairs several times in the past few years, I never saw a computer used. A smart phone, yes, and a little electronic scale, similar to a bathroom scale, yes. But no AI and no robots.
We are decades away (at a minimum) from a AI robot that can come into your home and troubleshoot/repair either a plugged up toilet or a bad outlet. Where are you getting your information that it is either here or on the horizon?
But I will say that both jobs require considerably more training that it used to. Primarily because of increasing regulation, but whatever the reason they do require more education. At the same time there is always an effort being made to simplify the actual work, making it possible to do more with less training. Different materials, different methods, etc.
I think you've hit the nail on the head, Wilderness. I also wonder how many people would be willing to let a robot into their homes to fix a stopped up toilet, especially after some of the run-amok movies.
As long as the education system keeps the trade schools within the norms of the work the students hope to do, I believe added education is acceptable. However, when guys and gals learning to work on HVAC units had to prove proficiency in English, history, and math above basic algebra, and earn a degree rather than a certificate, they lost the students. Some guys (and gals) I know don't mind getting their hands dirty, but they do mind having to learn about tenses, verbs, adverbs, etc. that they will never use in their line of work. It wasn't fair to see that flunking out of English kept them from attaining certification in their trade. BTW, I wonder if that robot Ms. Williams writes about will have proper grammar programmed in.
On the other hand, I've seen people complaining about having to take algebra, saying that they've never used it in their lines of work. I never used algebra in my writing or editing work either. However, it really came in handy when we were remodeling houses. At one time we owned an HVAC company, and we used it religiously to figure psi, cubic feet, and other technical stuff I've forgotten. I guess the robot or AI can do that while the repairman gets his hands dirty. I just don't see the service class of people going away.
I think you're right on the education; a "normal" degree just isn't necessary. On the other hand, communication, including written, is often necessary. So is math; as an electrician it was a shock to see new apprentices come to me unable to read a tape measure or add simple fractions. Math (up to and including algebra and basic trigonometry) is necessary in many of the trades. Smart phones, and the calculator included in them, help enormously, but an understanding of the math behind the calculations is still necessary. The ability to read blueprints and instructions (up to and including programming computerized controllers) is needed. So is the ability to fill out forms for the customer.
But it isn't easy. My state requires 4 years of classroom education (night class) plus 4 years on-the-job-training (8,000 hours) plus a difficult test to earn the "journeyman" label; until then (s)he is required to work only under the direct supervision of someone that has earned that label, and the journeyman can only supervise 2 apprentices.
Electrician may be the hardest to learn (not sure) but most of the trades require a good bit of education.
... and this education is actually a very good thing. Who wants a dumb electrician, plumber floor installer, construction worker, etc. in their homes?
We just need to learn how to educate children starting in preschool. Hint: Montessori schools or schools built on this philosophy which applies child psychology and science and other valid/valuable aspects of human development.
P "Yes - people help each other within their community. But there is a border. Christians will not give easily to an Islamic cause."
K- So the heck what?
P "... tax you have to force. People will not pay taxes freely if you trust on their "Freedom of Will". Or on their good souls."
K- Are you kidding? The "majority" votes for what we are taxed.
P "... tax can be used in many different ways, depending on the political point of view.
K- No, only the way it was intended.
P "Tax is like the law. if you don't have laws, society will be worse of as some people will have different "point of views" on what is good and what is bad....And traffic will be a chaos ... So, yes, taxations are forced. Just like laws are "forced" upon us."
K- "No, not in a democratic society. (You have to be kidding!) We agree to laws!
P "And no, I don't believe that as when people are not taxed they will give money freely to causes. That's an illusion."
K- It is human nature to aide those in need. Sorry if you do not believe in the goodness of human nature, but it is bigger than you.
P "And to what causes? Some causes will be hugely popular, like the kitten society will get lots of money. But the experimental avant-garde free music club won't get a dime.
K- Again: So the heck what?
P "So you will get popularism. The money goes to the cute girls and guys and the ugly boys and girls won't receive anything. Won't work."
K- Never heard of those clubs.
Sorry you think so lowly/negatively of humans.
Maybe that's the crux of (the new) American Liberalism: Hatred of their own species.
Or maybe there has been an alien invasion ....
and they do HATE us!
We totally need to educate children starting in preschool.
Hint: Montessori schools or schools built on Montessori philosophy which incorporates valid child psychology, science and other aspects of natural human development.
The Secret of Childhood
The Absorbent Mind
both by Maria Montessori who was about 300 years ahead of her time.
So, no this educational method is not "old fashioned."
"How about having the bird nursing from tax payers money directly - money not having to make the extra miles via corporate lobbyism?"
Yeah, if you can get taxpayers/voters/citizens to agree to do it, (pay taxes.) But can you explain how it would be advantageous to the taxpayers/citizens/voters, again?
You can proove me wrong, but i have the impression that most of "valuable" time of congressional members is spent to collect campaign money from mostly corporate/rich donors.
Make these "donations" illegal, fund them and their respective parties by taxes and your representatives are no more obliged to serve the donors, but to serve their constituents.
Anyways, this is how most of European countries fund their representatives. Certainly not without fault, but imho much closer to the people.
Makes more sense, then our government would not be controlled by corporate greed.
The people in the EU may actually have more control over their government (in some EU nations) than the people in America, though that may come as a surprise to many Americans.
The financial institutions and corporations own the Federal government and those in power in it, here in America.
Then again, the people in the EU have NO CONTROL over the EU government itself, they do not answer to the people, at all, they do whatever the heck they want.
Whether the EU can enforce their laws and decisions or not, is another matter, one I am not overly familiar with, nor care much to learn about, as the EU is not the global player they think themselves to be, with China and soon India surpassing them in global importance.
From Wall Street to Washington: Stop the bailouts and backroom deals and close the loopholes. Enforce the laws already on the books. The system is fine. The people are not.
The system is not fine, and it is not fixable.
I don't think people grasp the fact that the most powerful institutions are NOT the American government, not close.
International Corporations and Financial Institutions are far more powerful than our government, or the EU, that is why it is laughable when we see Congress call the Facebook or Google CEO in for a dress-down, it is all for show, Congress has no teeth because we are in a GLOBAL economy where these corporations can just move to any nation they want, they don't have to answer to the U.S, of A, Federal Government.... they are so rich and powerful they CONTROL our government.
Where as China, the CCP, CONTROLS its Corporations, and those Corporations are now the largest and most powerful on earth... therefore the CCP, China, is the most powerful nation on earth by far... and they have our politicians well under control.
I meant before modern developments. I meant the system as it was designed by the writers of The Constitution.
Without morals we are doomed. Any society without moral agreement is absolutely doomed. How could it be otherwise?
For instance, China under the CCP is a godless country ... out for its own domination of the world.
Doesn´t necessary have to be made illegal, the lobbying.
Do campaign funding with taxpayers money and the representatives don´t depend on corporate lobby funding, thus making them more independend and more focused on their constituents.
And put rules on campaign adds. Restrict use of campaign adds. These adds consume most of the funding, don´t they?
Taxes are not to be used for w h a t e v e r.
You have to get agreement that tax money will be used for this specific purpose.
Most will not be the lightest bit interested or in agreement, to the point they are willing to pay.
@gmwilliams Good points. A reminder that we must continue to learn and gain new skills. We should be self-sufficient.
No alien, God or anything or body is coming to save you.
Yes, you must be your own savior. However, there are those among us who expect, even demand to be rescued which is sad indeed.
The 4 top leading cause of death in the world
3. Medical error
4. Prescription drugs
Add them all up and it makes the medical profession the top leading cause of deaths.
The masses are going to trust these guys to save them from the covid, led by Bill Gate vaccines.
I trust holistic me and my holistic community.
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