The death of America’s middle class: Sky-high rent, second jobs, and 1% TV | Alissa Quart


So, we used to think of the middle class as
this safe category, it was 40-hour work weeks, pensions, people worked who were teachers,
professors, lawyers even. And now it’s a shakier category and that’s
why I called it the “middle precariat,” as in precarious. Now to be middle class you might not be able
to have a summer holiday. You might not be able to own your home. You certainly wouldn’t have two cars. What interests me is also we have this idea
of the middle class as this solid thing, and now it’s a shaky thing. We also have this idea in the middle of the
20th century of it as a hum-drum boring thing that we wanted to escape, kind of like Revolutionary
Road, Richard Yates; and now it’s everybody just wants to get into it, into the American
dream of the middle class that’s now so unstable. So one of the things that happened was unions
weakened. It used to be that 30 percent of employees
were in unions in the ‘60s, and now it’s seven percent in the private sector, and that’s
a pretty huge drop off. And at the same time you’re seeing a lot
of workforce become gig-ified or turned into freelance contingent, et cetera, not stable,
not with healthcare, not with the promise of security and long-term employment. There’s other reasons why the middle class
has been under siege. One is the concentration of wealth. Since 1997 the income of the top one percent
has grown 20 times the rest of us. They’re an “ownership class” so they
tend to own many of the corporations that are say creating the Uber economy, are hiring
people to drive part time or the companies which employee people at hours, which means
that they can’t take care of their children, hours in the middle of the night or odd hours
in the early morning as I write about that in my book. So that kind of wealth concentration also
empowers people to have multiple addresses and to not really invest in their neighborhoods. The fact that they’re able to pay so much
more than the rest of us for houses and apartments raises the rents and the cost of homeownership
astronomically in fashionable cities. Another one was one percent TV to describe
people, including myself, who watch shows like Billions or Downtown Abbey or even Mad
Men that sort of extol the wealthiest kind of ethically challenged wealthy people. There’s something about one percent television
that I find pretty harmful in that we are asked to identify—and we do identify—with
the very richest in this country rather than middle class people or struggling people. And that does show our ethical problems—in
Klieg lights, as it were. And I think one of the things that one percent
television does is it makes a case for the deserving ultra rich. Like these are people who are brilliant or
talented like a show like Empire with the hip-hop mogul, they could have terrible, terrible
values, “but they work hard,” and they have some kind of genius so they “deserve”
to have this excess and this wealth and be drinking champagne out of flutes. A lot of reality television shows work on
the same principle. Of course what exactly they’re doing that
makes them deserving is always questionable, but the shows are making an argument that
yes, they are the deserving ultra rich. And in fact our president I think is very
much a product of one percent television if we think about The Apprentice, which I think
started in 2004, and that was sort of venerating this kind of empty wealth and harsh edicts
to employees, “you’re fired,” and that in itself was the beginning I think of kind
of venerating that wealth without any criticism on reality television. So my book is very much about a divided society
where we’re just not in touch with one another. And one of the drivers of that is something
I don’t really write about but I work on in the organization I run called The Economic
Hardship Reporting Project and that’s spatial inequality, which is that people in cities
and in rural areas and all kinds of places are very divided from each other by class,
that it’s very stratified, and so you’re very unlikely now to run into people from
different walks of life in big cities. You’re far less likely than you were in
the past. I’m optimistic in certain ways because I’ve
started having conversations with people, partially around the book about self-blame,
about them saying to themselves “what’s wrong with me” and feeling stigmatized. And I feel like if this book achieves anything
or these conversations achieve anything it’s de-shaming people scrambling to stay in the
middle class, say “it’s not your fault; this is happening to other people.” The job numbers may look like they’re up
but first of all they often speak to how many jobs people are having, multiple jobs, which
is not a great state of affairs for a lot of people. People now have more jobs. Each person has more jobs than they did in
2016 like individuals; it’s up by two percent or something like that so it’s substantial. You can be looking at these job announcements
and you could be thinking what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I figure it out? Why can’t I get that second or third gig? But the point is, why should we have to have
all the side hustles? Why should we have to have second acts then
we’re 42? And so I’m optimistic that the conversations
people could have can start to bring about self-awareness, solidarity, a better sense
of themselves. And I’ve already heard from people saying
“I’ve read your book and it said ‘no stigma,’ and I told my husband when he couldn’t
get his second assignment as a freelancer—his second job, not his first job—‘no stigma.’” And to me that could be just, at least, instead
of a gloomy revolution, which as I write, kind of an emotional mini revolution where
people talk more honestly about their situation.

100 Comments

  1. Sorry Americans, you were busy partying and golfing all the while and all the people from china,korea,japan and India were working hard in school.
    Add to that Americans stopped to marry and have babies.
    Very soon Americans will be extict if they do not plan to exist.
    Everybody have opportunity to be Rich especially in America.
    I do not believe the age old sad tale that the rich stole money from the poor.
    my question is how can you steal from the poor ?

    If People are rich that means they worked hard to get thier unlike the poor , who always giving reasons to snub thier laziness.
    If you want to be rich plan study and work smart.
    Still i believe Americans are the smartest but acting dumb by allowing refuges into thier country.
    very soon the refugees will screw the country.
    They dont care as they are not patroits they are assimilating to take over.

  2. The rise of the 1% is due to cheap 3rd World labor and low wages… NAFTA born, corporate led and Government sanctioned. 40 million migrants gotta go!

  3. Millions of US manufacturing jobs went to the Developing world. All the unions wont change that in fact they will accelerate it with more demands on industry. High taxes on the wealthy will mean less investment and less jobs. Look at France it has high taxes on high earners and corporations and massive unemployment as a result as businesses are not created. America made the right decision voting in Trump as he is aware of these things unlike the Democrats and is trying to create a level playing field for US manufacturing workers.

  4. Here's a hint for all you 20 somethings who bemoan your poor job prospects over your six dollar cup of coffee; learn a fucking trade.

  5. The 1% isn't a problem, they have their money because they deserve it and made it themselves. Why do they owe you anything? Nobody is entitled to their wealth.

  6. Manufacturing moved out of the USA, constant cost cutting so Walmart can sell something $2.00 cheaper. We used to make nearly everything that we use in our daily lives. Pick up anything in your house and it all says Made in China or Mexico or any number of other countries. It used to always say Made in USA. Manufacturing was a middle class job that paid well and there were lots of jobs. The money earned in those jobs was redistributed to their respective communities when they purchased things also made by other members of the middle class, bought cars, homes etc….and it carried on like this for many years. Slowly moving hundreds of thousands of jobs if not millions overseas or south of the border was the beginning of the end. Now we have outsourcing of many computer related careers that all the factory workers who lost their jobs before were told to retrain for. It is not sustainable for us. Works out great for China though.

  7. It's not that difficult to succeed in this country. Work hard, save money, live within your means, and stay away from debt. Also, do not get a useless degree.

  8. people living way beyond there means and running up debt does not help either…instead of doing research and investing most will go and get a 400$ a month car payment and max out the credit cards and then ask why they cant get ahead.

  9. The NAIL in the coffin was in 2000 to 2006 hiking house prices 500% to a run up to the mortgage bubble, now the 1998 $90,000 house is $390,000 in 2018, after it ballooned to $590,000. The BANKS need to eat OUR principle costs due to the fact that the COST is actually FRAUD….. it is not rocket surgery. Obama / and co, let Goldman Sachs give that money to SAVE defrauded Americans to themselves. ie Theft.

  10. I know this is not going to be a popular statement (and is TRULY NOT meant to be a judgment in any way, merely a statement of facts and figures), but I think it must be said that the wholesale introduction of women into the workforce since the 1970s has greatly cheapened the value of labor. Couple this the with the fact that we as a nation have allowed millions of our jobs to go to other countries (for lower wages), it's no wonder that OUR wages have not kept up with inflation, and that we need to work multiple jobs or have two incomes in a household just to keep even.

    In essence we have double the number of people vying for fewer and fewer jobs – once the supply of ANY commodity (whether it be labor or widgets) exceeds the demand, the value WILL go down.

  11. I think more people will turn progressive and ask for government intervention on wages. When poverty reaches outrageous levels and no working people can afford the cost of living
    Which we are not far from now.

  12. "Unions weakened" Major red flag indicating lady is selling something. Can't count the number of econ and history books that specifically debunk this totally specious claim.

    Public sector unions suck up tax money. People say "oh we want big progressive taxes to 'share' the wealth," but that comes out of the pockets of orders of magnitude more middle class and would-be middle class people than supposedly "rich" people, the vast majority of whom are small business owners or professionals.

    The federal government has continued to artificially raise the cost of full-time employment, which is why there are far more part time and now contracting jobs, as part-time work has been getting more mandated benefits. It's basic economics – there's no free lunch. Federal government has also jacked up healthcare costs. Interestingly, wages have increased much more than inflation, but all of it has gone into higher insurance premiums or into taxes "paid by the employer" such as social security and Medicare.

    The concentration of wealth is another totally mythical concept. Longitudinal studies from both the IRS and flagship research universities have shown that the US is highly income mobile, and the higher the income, the more likely it is you'll drop down dramatically the next year.

    The 1% raising rents is a joke. Uber wealthy people are vastly outnumbered, and they tend to buy only super expensive properties. Rich people buying ski condos or beach houses has no impact on apartment or standard home prices.

    "1% TV" is harmful to people who think TV is a good place to learn anything. The idea that a particular kind of TV is harmful is just another iteration of the old-as-the-hills pattern of old people not understanding new things and blaming society's woes on them. Fox News and Hillary Clinton were strange bedfellows as they blamed video games for all kinds of crap back in the 90's.

    People who earn their wealth honestly, which is the vast majority of the wealthy, deserve it. There is no right to other people's property. Unless you'd like to like to allow others to help themselves to your salary at a rate determined by them and not you, you're a shameless hypocrite. Envy doesn't make you rich, and it makes you loath yourself if you manage to succeed. It's an unhealthy attitude more befitting of a child than an adult.

    It's kind of amazing how someone can supposedly be labeled some kind of expert on this shit without even a remedial understanding of the facts. This isn't secret knowledge – anyone can go read 50 economics books on labor relations, income inequality, and healthcare and come to a far better understanding.

  13. The odd hours was something I experienced; I also had a manager who would always do last second schedule changes that were very inconvenient for me (I had to leave that job). In addition to that, I've had end of the week notices that let me know there were 0-4 work hours available for me the following week-yes zero hours.

  14. Why don't you mention the break down of the family? Our daycare is free because it comes from grandparents and aunties. We live with our extended family. That was the norm during the greatest generation growing up. People now actually pay for more square foot per person because they are living in larger houses with fewer people in the house. Think about more than your socialist agenda (which I'm not completely against) because you're wrong think isn't big. The boomers, gen x and millenials have a lot things they take for granted.

  15. BLAME THE SELFISH CORPORATE CAPITALIST AND THE
    MIDDLECLASS SNOBS WHO SUCKED UP TO THE HAND THAT FED THEM NOW THERE FED WITH CRUMBS

  16. That’s because there are people in power that want to destroy traditional family life. They are using social and economic manipulation to do it.

  17. Step 1) Cut interest rates every year for 30 years.
    Step 2) Houses skyrocket in cost.
    Step 3) Profit!
    Step 4) When bubble pops get $Trillion dollar BAILOUT™.

  18. I think she is wrong the middle class is as solid as it has ever been. Median real wages have continued to rise as have wages at the 20 percentile.
    But what I agree has happened is NIMBY has drive up housing costs in the highest wage cities to an absurd degree allowing owners of existing housing to capture most the rise in income in those cities.
    Also at it's 1970's peak about 18% of USA workers worked in manufacturing and a little more than half of them were highly paid. Those jobs are almost all gone. But though highly paid those where not great jobs, it was boring, hard work so sad as it is that they are gone the lower paying jobs that replaced them at least are not as hard. When I worked in restaurants we joke that the one good thing about a low wage job is you did not care so much if you lost the job.
    My son took a job as an assistant plumber right out of high school within a few years he was doing great pay wise, so the skilled trades still doing quite well. He bought a very nice 2 bedroom condominium here for $44k. He saved him and add college money that he got from my father and paid cash. Why is so cheap because they let people build sufficient housing unites here in Gainesville FL. See here: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Gainesville_FL/price-na-90000
    So if you took all the income gains to the top 20% above the gains of the rest and spread it over the rest of workers you would raise the bottom 20% by about 25%. That would be great but not life changing.
    We could all live much better than folks in the 1970's and before if we lived more like they did. Here is a story about the poorest county in the USA (https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/nyregion/kiryas-joel-a-village-with-the-numbers-not-the-image-of-the-poorest-place.html) the folks there live middle class similar how people used to live.

  19. What happened is counter-revolution and the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Now that the international working class doesn’t have a military superpower on its side, the capitalist class no
    longer feels compelled to buy off large sections of the working and middle classes with various perks and goodies.

  20. The only force of good capable of preventing them to reach their dominance had to be brought under control. Get your family values together, motherhood first. If women quit their jobs and played their natural rolls by passing moral righteous humane values to the next generation instead of following Kardashians we may have a chance to see 40 hour work weeks living/family worthy incomes and a sense of a brighter future. Our number is the most intimidating attribute we got if we stay as families that care.

  21. big think: keep blaming the 1% for their success.
    because being successful is harmful for the community.
    because working smart, paying more tax than the rest of 99% is dangerous for the middle class.
    sounds like communism to me.

  22. In the 50's there were fewer people and more available resources. Now you have far more people competing for the same amount of limited resources. The demand is higher but the supply has not kept up with that demand ergo a reduction in the standard of living.

  23. How simplified this video is. Completely lacks economical and financial background. Seriously, your first argument was unions?

  24. Then we have the most powerful rhetorical weapon in the class warrior’s arsenal. It’s the old “richest 1 percent” phrase-grenade. Now far be it from me to meddle with the freedom of the press, but maybe we need a law which says that every time a newspaper or magazine uses that “richest 1 percent” line it also include a paragraph stating that these top 1 percent of income earners actually pay close to 38 percent of all federal income taxes, yet only earn about 17 percent of the income. Only a mind turned to gray goo by years of government education could fail to understand those who pay the most income taxes should gain the most from an income tax cut.

    There is some indication that people are actually tiring of the Democrat’s class-warfare tactics. After all, don’t most people hope to become rich one day too? And when they do reach those rarified income levels, wouldn’t they like to keep as much of the money they work for as they can?

    Well … not to worry. If the class-warfare thing doesn’t work, there’s always race.

    Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2003/01/16720/#WTPam5QEAKUVRsZ7.99

  25. what happened to them you ask??? well I'll tell you they became snobby morons who lost the art of thrift!! they became superficial dick waggers and no nothing morons they think a flower bed is a garden!!

    they run up credit cards they get big mortgages all in the name of keeping up with the Jones's… they lecture everyone on being responsible when in fact they have no idea what it means to be responsible and they get pissed off when one points it out to them!! they sold out for a credit score and a credit card they can't pay they bought up the bullshit lie that job secerity is real when it is not!! jobs are bullshit given that they are no better off now than they was 10 years ago yet they never shut up about work or working job this and that all the time always bragging about the hours they worked it is not because of pride for having the job it is all superficial via it is the only thing they have left to brag about these days as they continue to become more and more broke yet they always look for others to blame!!!!

    i like how in the last crash they wanted to blame the youth that couldn't get a damn credit card let alone a home loan for all the debt… collage debt ok but remember that ever since the late 90's plenty of middle aged have been hitting up the going back to school scene but no one talks about that!!!

    i like how the middle class at large say it's the poor folk's fault yet the poor don't get loans and credit cards!! they live in denial and allow everything to become a fad while blaming others yet they are the ones who blow the money and play the system of politics and go on pretending they are doing something great all the wile failing to see they are just merely repeating what their parents and grand parents have done!!

    also follow the money the living standard has been false for over 4 decades given we run on fake money to start with!! it was only a matter of time before it all fell apart!! of course the middle class will be the first to get on the local news and whine and ball about what they lost just like last time!! they are too good to be in the same boat as the rest of us!! they are getting a rude wake up call!!

  26. My Dads company Civil Construction made 50k turnover few days , that's 10 million turnover yearly . But he he has regulations to pay ,democrats taxing him 50% from his turnover ' pay expenses fuel ' office supplies ' material . You ate left wil 3 million dollars to pay 20 workers goes quick . My Dad earned $300,000nzd gross after Government took there huge cut . Left party are toast in Australia fk liars

  27. Endless wars and the FED cause a unstable economy and the deregulation of glass steagall (bill clinton) and shit trade deals. It's only going to get worse.

  28. Guess the US Census, Congressional Budget Office, Current Population Survey and IRS are just making stuff up, since their data says otherwise.

  29. so this is why my life sucks still with 2 masters degrees, I work zero hour contracts for an agency started by an 18 year old kid

  30. The organization Redefining Progress developed an alternative to GDP as a measure of the state of our society. The Genuine Progress Indicator included statistics on many aspects of individual well-being, concluding that genuine progress began to decline in the late 1970s. The reasons seem to be complex, but there is one powerful common denominator: the skyrocketing cost of land. Rising land costs certainly benefit existing owners of land, but at the same time impose greater and greater stresses on businesses struggling to compete in markets where prices are determined internationally. Young adults and low wage workers, unable to find decent, affordable housing near where jobs are available, must commute long distances to and from work.

    The problem of income and wealth concentration will continue to worsen until our systems of law and taxation are dramatically reformed so that the burden of taxation is transferred from income earned by producing goods or providing services is greatly reduced, so that the taxation of real capital goods (i.e., buildings, machinery and technologies) is greatly reduced, REPLACED by the taxation of land and land-like assets (e.g., frequencies on the broadcast spectrum, competition-limiting licenses, and take-off and landing slots at airports).

    Consider land for a moment. Land is provided to us by nature. Every parcel or tract of land has a potential annual value based on locational advantage or disadvantage. Some advantages are associated directly with nature, such as topography, climate, nearness to water, etc. Other advantages result from the aggregate public investment in infrastructure and other amenities. The annual rental value is, therefore, societally-created and has nothing to do with what an individual owner does or does not do with the land held. If this rental value was collected, the potential to profit by speculating in land (instead of developing it) would be eliminated. Land prices would come down, so that costs of housing and business facilities would come down.

    The political economist Henry George argued that moving to "rents" as the source of public revenue would result in a full employment society, one in which there was always a greater number of jobs looking for people than people looking for jobs. A full employment society is what is necessary to end the "squeeze."

  31. It’s over taxation. My husband and I had two cars but we couldn’t afford to pay the 380$ x 2 for our car tags every year. Our rent has risen 20% every year. Sales tax has gone from 4.25% to 9.95%. Gas tax has gone from 25 cents a gallon to 65 cents a gallon. Milk and basic food has risen a lot. Milk used to be 4.25 for a half gallon to 5.95 for half gallon. When I had ObamaCare my husband and I had to pay 560$ a month and had a 5,000 deductible. We couldn’t afford Obamacare anymore so we got punished with a tax charge. I went to Walmart to get some cleaning products, two small bags cost me 68$. I can go on and on. ITS OVER TAXATION THAT IS KILLING THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!

  32. You import 1 million laborers a year for 40+ years, what do you expect.

    Supply and demand. That's what happened.

  33. In the 1970s , a wave of young liberals. Bill Clinton among them, destroyed the populist Democratic Party they had inherited from the New Dealers of the 1930s. The contours of this ideological fight were complex, but the gist was: Before the 70s, the Democrats were suspicious of big business. They used anti-monopoly policies to fight oligarchy and financial manipulation. Creating competition in open markets, breaking up concentrations of private power, and protecting labor and farmer rights were understood as the essence of ensuring that our commercial society was democratic and protected from big money.

    The reason is that the HMOs, Big Pharma, Big AG, Big Banking, Wall Street, Federal Reserve, etc is afraid that Cuba's present form of governance will influence the U.S in the form of a REALISTIC FDR STYLED NEW DEAL! Such as banning all bans and suppressions of new medical discoveries that cures the actual diseases and not just their symptoms, having a local version of the original Hill-Burton Health Care Plan based on the FDR New Deal, their organic agriculture which was developed in a rush after the collapse of the Soviet Union using only organic natural genetic varieties heirloom seeds and rooted cuttings saved many from starvation, most especially in the cities where many cooperative organic farms were set up and the same cooperative organic farms were set up also around the cities outskirts also help a lot against starvation and malnutrition and diseases for they are also cultivating NATUROPATHIC MEDICINAL HERBAL PHARMACEUTICAL PLANTS ALSO!

    This aspects of Cuba scares the daylights out of Big AG and Big Pharma who are in cahoots with Big Banking and Big Wall Street and Big Federal Reserve who are all corrupt institutions. What really scares America is that Cuba is instituting a form of FDR STYLED FAIR TRADE FREE ENTERPRISE FREE ENTREPRENEURIAL CAPITALISM AND ECONOMIC COOPERATIVES IN ALL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AND INDUSTRIES WHICH WAS ONCE THE DOMINANT FORM OF ECONOMIC CAPITALISM UNDER THE FDR NEW DEAL PLAN IN THE 1940s AND 1950s.

    They also realized socialism is a failure and that only Regulated Fair Trade Free Enterprise Free Entrepreneurial Capitalism, AS OPPOSED TO UNREGULATED FREE TRADE CRONY CAPITALISM WHICH HAS REPLACED AMERICA'S ORIGINAL regulated Fair Trade Free Enterprise Free Entrepreneurial Capitalism of the 40s and 50s, will work. Because all they have to do is look at the Free Private Plots given to Soviet Era farmers by Joseph Stalin who used it as an incentive for Russians to join the much hated Soviet Farm Collectives which is the opposite of REAL AMERICAN REGULATED FREE ENTERPRISE FREE ENTREPRENEURIAL CAPITALISM IN THE FORM OF "COOPERATIVES!".

    In 1974, more than 2/3rds to 3/4ths of Soviet agricultural output came from this Free Private Plots which is a form of "Capitalism" There is a difference between "Collectives" to "Cooperatives". Collectives belongs to socialism-communism which is a failure, whereas Cooperatives belongs to an FDR styled New Deal-based Regulated Fair Trade Free Enterprise Free Entrepreneurial Capitalism which is a sounding success. But unfortunately the FDR styled New Deal-based Regulated Fair Trade Free Enterprise Free Entrepreneurial Capitalism which is a sounding success in the 40s and 50s was destroyed gradually in the 60s to test the socioeconomic waters of America and then the self-destructive platform was started by President Nixon when he signed the HMO Bill which gutted the original Hill-Burton Health Care Plan of FDR's New Deal!

    And then came in the 1970s , a wave of young liberals. Bill Clinton among them, destroyed the populist Democratic Party they had inherited from the New Dealers of the 1930s. The contours of this ideological fight were complex, but the gist was: Before the 70s, the Democrats were suspicious of big business. They used anti-monopoly policies to fight oligarchy and financial manipulation. Creating competition in open markets, breaking up concentrations of private power, and protecting labor and farmer rights were understood as the essence of ensuring that our commercial society was democratic and protected from big money.

    The LIBERAL DEMOCRATS has replaced the FDR styled New Deal-based Regulated Fair Trade Free Enterprise Free Entrepreneurial Capitalism which is a sounding success with UNREGULATED FREE TRADE CRONY CAPITALISM which President Reagan has encouraged in the 80s for he is unaware very much of the basic principles of economics and which is pushed further by Liberal Democrat Bill Clinton that made it even worse with a much worse policy of outsourcing that heavily damaged America's "FULL-SET SCIENCE-DRIVEN HEAVY HIGH-TECHNOLOGY MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING INDUSTRIAL BASE!

  34. What if the middle class were doing as well as the richest Americans in 2015? What would their annual income be? The answer: $156,318. Adjusting and indexing that now for 2019 inflation that figure will have to be 20% to 25% higher.

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/01/news/economy/middle-class-income/index.html July 1, 2015 by Tami Luhby @Luhby
    What if the middle class were doing as well as the richest Americans? What would their annual income be? The answer: $156,318.
    Haven't they learned anything from the past industrial history of America's socio-economic cultural revolution regarding Henry Ford and Thomas Edison who views money as a mere raw material that needs to be plowed back into their businesses while maintaining sufficient cash reserves not just for them for for their workers as well? I know too well about this for I am 92 years old and seen the degeneration of America's socio-economic cultural stability that started In the 1970s , a wave of young liberals. Bill Clinton among them, destroyed the populist Democratic Party they had inherited from the New Dealers of the 1930s. The contours of this ideological fight were complex, but the gist was: Before the 70s, the Democrats were suspicious of big business. They used anti-monopoly policies to fight oligarchy and financial manipulation. Creating competition in open markets, breaking up concentrations of private power, and protecting labor and farmer rights were understood as the essence of ensuring that our commercial society was democratic and protected from big money.

    In the years 1945 to 1985 the top decile of privilegentsia is rarely more than 7 to 8 times, after tax deductions, the incomes of those even on welfare relief. But when the top 2 to 3 percent, after taxes, had a living standard more than 15 times than those of the ordinary toiler, then that is when revolutions happens. The French revolution, the Russian revolution, The American revolution during Benjamin Franklin's time all happened when these income disparity becomes apparently transparent for all to see and is becoming worse day after day.. Now it is even worse, the very top CEO earns 500 to 1,000 times more than the shop floor worker and what makes it worse is that the very top gets the best lawyers to reduce his taxes by looking for tax loopholes and to pay lobbyist to rig the system more in their favor while the shop floor workers and the middle class is made to pay up for the tax loss by the politicians who are under the control of Wall Street banksters and CEOs to raise the taxes levied on the shop floor workers and middle class. But now the 99% knows this knowledge and knows that the economic system is unfairly rigged against them in order to cheat them of a decent middle class lifestyle standard and is rigged to destroy the social-economic-educational-cultural ladder to prevent them from climbing up to higher levels of social and economic success. But go back to the 1950s where the typical average family has 5 children, 1 Father and 1 Mother. So if a family of 2 children and 1 Father and 1 Mother is calculated and must earn $156,318.00 a year in 2015 and with taxes and other deductions totalling almost 50% of gross income then it must be indexed-adjusted to taxes and other deductions by multiplying it by 2 is $156,318.00 a year x 2 = $312,636.00 per family of 4 to compensate and indexed-adjusted for taxes and other deductions in 2015. For a family of 7 members which is 5 children, 1 Father and 1 Mother that's calculated at $312,636.00 divided by 4 family members = $78,159.00 per family member x 7 family members of 5 children, 1 Father and 1 Mother = $547,113.00 in 2015. Using the ratio of of every $01.00 earned by a shop floor worker to $08.00 earned by a top CEO within the time period of the prosperous 1950s up to 1963, then the shop floor worker will be earning $547,113.00 of gross income a year while the top CEO will be earning $4,376,904.00 of gross income a year. The 1950 to 1963 is considered the true time period for the 1 dollar earned at the bottom for every 7 to 8 dollars earned at the top. Because after 1963 the incomes were adjusted just to government theoretical inflation BUT NOT PRACTICALLY AT THE ACTUAL REAL COSTS OF LIVING IN REAL TIME AND IN REAL LOCATION ON A YEARLY BASIS UP TO 1985!

    UPDATED DATA FOR WAGES AND SALARIES TO BE AVERAGED FOR 2018. http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/01/news/economy/middle-class-income/index.html What if the middle class were doing as well as the richest Americans? What would their annual income be? The answer: $156,318. Why isn't the middle class earning $156,000 a year? Everyone knows the Top 1% have been killing it in recent decades, while most Americans have seen their incomes stagnate. But what if the middle class were doing as well as the richest Americans? What would their annual income be? CNNMoney asked the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning research group, to crunch the numbers. The answer: $156,318. Instead, the average household income of the middle class is less than half that: $72,036. That's up only 17% from 1979, when it was $61,542. (EPI defines the middle class as those in the nation's 20% to 80% income range, and used data through 2011. It uses Congressional Budget Office data, which includes gains from investments, as well as certain public assistance and employer health insurance.) The fortunes of the Top 1% and everyone else began to diverge in the late 1970s, when the richest Americans were earning $613,313. They have since seen their average household income skyrocket by nearly 150% to more than $1.5 million. There are several reasons why the Top 1% has done so much better, says Josh Bivens, EPI's research and policy director. These include tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of Wall Street and big increases in executive compensation. At the same time, the weakening of unions and the failure of the minimum wage to keep up with inflation depressed the wages of the middle class. "Intentional policy decisions in Washington and at the state level shifted bargaining power from workers to those at the top," Bivens said. Since 2011, the Top 1% has likely continued to prosper, Bivens said. A good chunk of their income depends on the stock market, which has done very well in recent years. Workers, on the other hand, have seen wages remain flat, despite the improving economy. If that is the gross income before taxes and other deductions that can amount to almost 50%, then it must be indexed-adjusted to compensate for that 50% taxes and other deductions by doubling it further to $312,636.00 per family 4 to 6 household members. But now it is 2018 and let's crunch the numbers again to compensate for inflation and taxes and additional deductions totalling almost 50% of gross income and round it up to 50% for inflation and taxes and additional deductions. But with taxes and deductions eating almost 50% gross income, let's double the gross income of $156,000 a year to compensate for the DAMN TAXES. DEDUCTIONS, AND BLOODY INFLATION! Doubling the gross income of $156,000 a year will make it at $312,636.00 (that's $78,159.00 per family member). For a family of 4 to 6 members that calculates at (4 members family) to $468,954.00 (for 6 members family) per family of 4 to 6 members that's $78,159 per family member for the lowest paid worker per year. Multiply that by 7 to 8 times for the average CEO that's (7 times) $2,188,452.00 to $2,501,088.00 up to (8 times) $3,282,678.00 to $3,751,632.00 per CEO per year.

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/01/news/economy/middle-class-income/index.html What if the middle class were doing as well as the richest Americans? What would their annual income be? The answer: $156,318. Why isn't the middle class earning $156,000 a year? Everyone knows the Top 1% have been killing it in recent decades, while most Americans have seen their incomes stagnate. But what if the middle class were doing as well as the richest Americans? What would their annual income be? CNNMoney asked the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning research group, to crunch the numbers. The answer: $156,318. Instead, the average household income of the middle class is less than half that: $72,036. That's up only 17% from 1979, when it was $61,542. (EPI defines the middle class as those in the nation's 20% to 80% income range, and used data through 2011. It uses Congressional Budget Office data, which includes gains from investments, as well as certain public assistance and employer health insurance.) The fortunes of the Top 1% and everyone else began to diverge in the late 1970s, when the richest Americans were earning $613,313. They have since seen their average household income skyrocket by nearly 150% to more than $1.5 million. There are several reasons why the Top 1% has done so much better, says Josh Bivens, EPI's research and policy director. These include tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of Wall Street and big increases in executive compensation. At the same time, the weakening of unions and the failure of the minimum wage to keep up with inflation depressed the wages of the middle class. "Intentional policy decisions in Washington and at the state level shifted bargaining power from workers to those at the top," Bivens said. Since 2011, the Top 1% has likely continued to prosper, Bivens said. A good chunk of their income depends on the stock market, which has done very well in recent years. Workers, on the other hand, have seen wages remain flat, despite the improving economy. If that is the gross income before taxes and other deductions that can amount to almost 50%, then it must be indexed-adjusted to compensate for that 50% taxes and other deductions by doubling it further to $312,636.00 per family of 6 to 7 household members.

  35. This is how it is today for college-educated professionals with school, home & car loans; I have not received a raise in 4 years despite all outstanding performance reviews. My spouse just got a 2% raise that does not cover the increase in cost of living. We are going further into debt to cover large expenses & living paycheck to paycheck.
    We are forced to live in a mobile home park due to housing costs. Childcare is $800 a month per child. We can't afford basic health care so medical emergencies are occurring, which affects our job, which affects are ability to pay for the costs of just trying to survive. This is the real "American dream"…the working class is getting poorer while the rich keep getting richer.

  36. Reaganomics made America great morons. Go enjoy socialists policies elsewhere, your in MAGA counrty! 😉

  37. Yet thousands of middle class Americans live on one income than 10 years ago with no welfare benefits. SAHM has almost tripled 🤔

  38. Uh … what did you expect to happen when so many people now work for
    corporations, and when the executives of those corporations take most of
    the profits to themselves, making 100, 200, o3 300 times more than the
    average employee? Stupid Americans … you say nothing, you do
    nothing, about it. Who's to blame for your situation, then?

  39. Thank you for this video. I have not yet read your book. But from this short introduction I learned I am very addicted to 1% TV. I never thought of it by that label but it makes sense. I grew up in the 80s & all the messaging was about aquiring wealth & status. All the music. Films. TV shows. The crash of 2009 wiped me out & my adulthood is less fun. I have a good attitude about life so it's still fun. But, please don't judge me for how much I miss money. I don't want to watch people struggling on TV I get enough reality just living my life. Sometimes I need to escape & fantasize that I live another life. And frankly TV & YouTube is the only vacation I can aford because I can't take even one day off from work or it will ruin my finances for a month. This video made me really think deeply, another hobby I enjoy, I'm going to watch it again & probably search for the audio version of your book online. I wish much success to you.
    ✌💖😊

  40. I am watching video after video of people that say they have no chance to get back into the middle class. I am here to tell you I have their chance. All they have to do is contact me, and I will give them the details. A big problem is the skepticism that is so rampant in this country. Not every thing on earth is a scam. My company is not a scam. My company is in business to be a solution to a very big problem in our country. I am available to anyone in the United States. I have a solution for your financial problems. Check it out and make an objective decision.
    Contact me today.
    James H. Hatland

    President

    J. H. Hatland & Associates

    [email protected]

  41. War or plagues is the only way to flatten out poverty, it will take another mass act of bioterrorism (killing few millions) or attacking electric grid to calm the raging inequality now. You cant overcome stupid humans and their greed, only death is the great equalizer 👍

  42. In 2019 99.9999% of people passively accept the concept of fiat (debt-based) money system….
    Lef that marinate for awhile…

  43. I got like eight bureaucrats riding on my shirt tail. Over half of what I earn goes straight to their fat dinner plates. This video is full of it. Our own fat lazy bureaucrats are eating everything in sight. war mongering pigs, all of them

  44. We should probably stop looking at the Dow Jones and the unemployment rate as indicators of economic health. The first only benefits those wealthy enough to have stock, and the second means nothing if the jobs have no benefits or security and don't offer a living wage.

  45. If people no longer join a union, the salaries will fall. Employers always have an excuse to lower salaries and always come down to the same …. America collapses if we have to pay more salary

  46. Produce anything in the west is very expensive. nobody can afford to buy it. they need gov support to produce it.

  47. Our company is rebuilding the middle class. Once in a lifetime a great opportunity presents itself in your life. We have that great opportunity. Contact me for details. Don't miss the train on this one. You may never get a chance like this again.
    No sales or MLM programs.

    James H. Hatland

    President

    J. H. Hatland & Associates

    [email protected]

  48. A 6:27 minute sob story with zero facts or evidence presented to back any of the claims made. Real median household income is at its highest level in US history today at $61k (it was only $49k in 1975). And this doesn't even take into account the fact that households have declined significantly in size since the 1960's due to fewer children and divorce. When measuring median income per household member, it has skyrocketed from $19,500 in 1975 to $34,000. And finally, the only valid argument that can be made for a "shrinking" middle class would be due households moving up into the upper middle class (i.e., those earning over $100k in inflation-adjusted household income over the decades). In 1967, for example, only 8.1% of households were in this upper-class category. Today, it's nearly 28%.

    As I watch the clip above, as well as scroll through the comments, I see lots of arguments based on feelings and emotions. Unfortunately those are in no way relevant in the face of facts.

    Sources: http://www.aei.org/publication/yes-the-us-middle-class-is-shrinking-but-its-because-americans-are-moving-up-and-no-americans-are-not-struggling-to-afford-a-home/; http://www.aei.org/publication/some-charts-from-the-census-data-released-this-week-on-us-incomes-in-2017-showing-impressive-gains-for-americans/

  49. What happened was the unions stopped working for the members, and started forcing socialist agendas. The unions protected dead-beats and screwing over good workers. The unions sacrificed others to get great pay advances for some, not for all. I know, I was a union steward for a while. It is good that these unions are GONE.

  50. Some valid points and some are a bit of a stretch. I can remember my grandfather talking about this topic. He remarked that buying power hasn’t changed too much, but the things we buy have shifted. $1000 for a cell phone, two cars instead of one, computers, TVs, swimming pools, jet skis. He had a decent factory job, a small house, one used car, and a happy existence.

  51. There are 2 types of ppl….1 will say, don't blame the rich, it's your own fault. 2 will say, we are in this situation, because of the rich.

    In reality, it's both. Problem with ppl in general is that they have very black and white views on everything.

  52. the government wants middle class gone why power and control.. they want poor and rich.. back in the knights and round table days 1200's etc kings and queens found that the super poor working building castles and serving them was dieing… and revolting because of how they were treated and were basically slaves.. so the work stopped or slowed and they coulnd get things they wanted done.. so they came up with a plan to make the middle class.. why.. let the leash out alittle give people land tax free so they can grow food and create industry.. then tax them more etc etc.. so the middle class thought they had it good when it was all a lie… see now the kings are still around they just changed form are no longer in public eye and call them self the elites and or government.. so they realized after 500 years that we are becoming to powerful so they want to push us back to the poor era infrastructure has been built already modern society is built so why not real in the reigns.. how you say.. by creating inflation in the 1900s uncle sam and elites said how do we get this power back but without causing concern or suspicion .. do it slowly over decades first create inflation.. so things go up and up and up.. then create land tax so if you dont pay on land you own out right you can still loose your home and the land remains to the king aka uncle sam.. so he can tax it and tax it and keep on making profit.. lets see how else oh lets raise gas and rent.. and we want more money so lets make the lottery… and lets be at war .. we been at war since 1776 not one day have we not been why profiiiiiiiiiiiiitssss how do you justify a budget or ask for more money or funnel money into secret programs or pay off under table deals like obama did with 300 million in a brief case to a guy in Saudi Arabia and get away with it… .. folks this life is a lie its all about the rich remaining rich and us renaming poor so they can control us.. they are slowly taking things away like guns and making so many laws… dont believe me google this shit… o

  53. GOOD VIDEO; YOU KNOW WHAT AMERICA; YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS INJUSTICE; YOUTUBERS I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT MOST OF THE GIFTED ARE "MIDDLE CLASS" OR BELOW THAT; I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT SOME THE SMARTEST PEOPLE GENIUSES ARE NOT BEING REWARDED; I'M SORRY BUT CARDI B IS NOT A GENIUS AND SHE IS ONE OF MANY WHO ARE GETTING WHAT THE REAL TALENTED PEOPLE ARE NOT GETTING AND AMERICA WILL PAY FOR THIS; THIS IS HAPPENING BECAUSE OF GREED; THE DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS IS THE DEATH OF THE USA; SO PLAY ALONG AMERICA; YOUR DAY IS COMING.

  54. People who pay rent and bills are sheep they are slaves to the system. They go to work everyday miserable and unhappy because the vast majority of their money goes to bills. Life is not about paying your bills and working for somebody else's money life is about experiencing new things and enjoying your time while you're here on this planet. The best way to do that is to live in a vehicle I currently live in a van I have over 30k saved I work a nine-to-five job and I'll be able to retire before I'm forty years old. I am not a slave to the system I am above the system you either choose to be a slave for the rest of your life or you choose to be free and enjoy the time you have. I have no goals to be rich I have no goals to have more than the next person my goal is to live simply and to see as many beautiful wonderful things this world has to offer as I possibly can.

  55. This is not just a problem in the USA, its a global problem brought about the capitalist greed to control all means of production globally, and increase profit.
    This is a GLOBAL ELITE CLUB, who's members do not care about National or State Boundaries, as they see the glob as their play ground. You like others need to stop isolating this problem to the USA or Canada, its the same in all Western Countries. These Cooperation have no loyalty to the USA or any other Country, only loyal to increasing profits, by exploiting its global work force, and natural resources of our shared Plant.

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