Down But Not Out

In the words of Paul Simon we are “Slip Sliding Away”. Trying to keep the American Dream alive is no easy task. It seems as if the egg has cracked open and we can’t get the yoke back inside.  In fact it’s reported that a large percentage of the American population would prefer to live in a ‘Socialist’ country (CLICK HERE)

It’s not easy to achieve a high standard of living, and it’s even harder to maintain and sustain it.  Things have gotten so far out of balance that reaching for prosperity seems ‘impossible’ to acheive, (so many don’t even want to try). This fatalistic attitude towards prosperity seems to be the theme for far to many these days.  It is understandable however as the ‘Bad Examples’ of the 1% and all of the ‘Crony Capitalism’ distort and pollute the vision of actual Capitalism and Free Enterprise that has made America so great and Its people so prosperous.

Here are some quotes from a recent article by Charles Hugh Smith highlighting the struggle of the ‘Middle Class’;

Wealth concentration returning to ‘levels last seen during the Roaring Twenties,’ according to new research

“People tend to self-report viewing themselves as middle class, but by the standards of previous eras, they lack the basics of middle class prosperity”

“The ten primary drivers of the erosion of the middle class are:

1. The shifting of pension and healthcare costs and risks from the state and employers to employees

2. The decline of safe, secure high-yielding investments as central banks have driven savers into risky, crash- prone assets such as stocks and junk bonds

3. The decline of scarcity value in college diplomas that were once the ticket to middle class security. How Many Slots Are Open in the Upper Middle Class? Not As Many As You Might Think

4. The inexorable rise in big-ticket costs: higher education, healthcare and housing. Even as wages stagnate, these costs continue rising, claiming an ever-larger share of household incomes, leaving less to save/invest.

5. The transition from a stable economy with predictable returns to a financialized boom-and-bust economy that wipes out middle class wealth in the inevitable busts but does not rebuild it in the booms

6. The regulatory and administrative barriers to self-employment, forcing most of the workforce into wage-slavery and/or dependence on the state

7. The rising exposure of the U.S. workforce to highly educated, lower-cost competing workforces in a globalized economy

8. The decline of labor’s share of the U.S. economy: the slice of the pie distributed to earned income is declining

9. The share of the earned-income slice going to the top 5% is rising

10. The wealth of the middle class is tied up in the family home, a non-income producing asset prone to the wild swings of housing bubbles and busts

“By these standards, perhaps one-third of American households have the same security and assets as previous generations who identified themselves as middle class”

To read the entire article by Charles Hugh Smith (CLICK HERE)




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