A Long, Steep Drop for Americans' Standard of Living
Think life is not as good as it used to be, at least in terms of your wallet? You’d be right about that. The standard of living for Americans has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the US government began recording it five decades ago.
Bottom line: The average individual now has $1,315 less in disposable income than he or she did three years ago at the onset of the Great Recession – even though the recession ended, technically speaking, in mid-2009. That means less money to spend at the spa or the movies, less for vacations, new carpeting for the house, or dinner at a restaurant.
In short, it means a less vibrant economy, with more Americans spending primarily on necessities. The diminished standard of living, moreover, is squeezing the middle class, whose restlessness and discontent are evident in grass-roots movements such as the tea party and “Occupy Wall Street” and who may take out their frustrations on incumbent politicians in next year’s election.
What has led to the most dramatic drop in the US standard of living since at least 1960? One factor is stagnant incomes: Real median income is down 9.8 percent since the start of the recession through this June, according to Sentier Research in Annapolis, Md., citing census bureau data. Another is falling net worth – think about the value of your home and, if you have one, your retirement portfolio. A third is rising consumer prices, with inflation eroding people’s buying power by 3.25 percent since mid-2008.
“standard” of “living” contests just seem to me like incessant dick-waving.
Like, a few people are frantically comparing dick sizes without ever stopping and thinking “hold on one second, does this even fucking matter? Does the size of my dick automagically determine how good of a person I am, how much fun I’m having, where I’m going in life, and how much sex I’m going to have? Is the D the litmus test for everything I’ve done, am doing, or will do?”
Global Competitiveness and Wages
Uploaded by AlexMerced on Jul 10, 2011
Alex Merced dismisses a lot of the “Labor First” Socialist talking discussing the implications of globalization and how we can either embrace it, and if we do it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice all of our standard of living.
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“Well, I think I'm very constructive and I'm a great optimist in life, otherwise I would commit suicide in view of the kinds of governments we have now-a-days. Because, for sure, they will take wealth away from the well-to-do people one way or the other, and from the middle class, they will take it away through inflating the economy and lowering the standard of living.”—Marc Faber - I am a true optimist in life.
Hi! had a libertarian question for you. I think that the problem I have with libertarianism is the philosophy includes no call for businesses to act responsibly or transparently. It, in fact, provides both an ideal environment for business to operate outside the interest of citizens and all the resources it would need to hide its crimes, misinform and otherwise take advantage. Gov't stands between those practices & people. It frequently fails, but I don't see how breaking the dam stops the leak.
Really? You think the government stands against the interest of citizens and the interest of business? Do you read the news? Do you see the fraud committed every day by big banks, big business, and wall street every day? All because of their partnership with government. None of which they would get away with in a free market since they wouldn’t be protected.
Let’s play a little thought experiment. Since you were probably talking about the “exploited” factory workers and such. You think in a free market everyone would be making less than a dollar an hour and working in extremely unsafe conditions.
So lets say Goodreasonnews (GRN) starts a business. GRN starts out paying his employees pennies and doesn’t give a shit about work place safety. By doing so GRN is making hefty profits. So entrepreneur MoralAnarchism (MA) see the profits you are making and wants to compete against you.
But to do so I’d have to steal some of your best and brightest employees. So how am I going to do this? By either offering them more money, a better/safer working condition, and just a better place to work. So I might not make as much of a profit as you are making, I’d still be making a lot and you’d be losing your best employees.
So if we both continue to make good profits, entrepreneur 3 will join the field and do the same thing I did.
In the end all 3 of us would have to offer more money, better/safer working environment, and be more responsible to the employees. Otherwise in the end no one will want to work for us if we are just going to exploit them. Sure these changes don’t happen over time but that’s how work place conditions improve. Not through government rules and regulations.
Now if GRN is making a nice profit and doesn’t want any competition he will donate money and buy politicians like in our current system. GRN and the politicians will right rules and regulations making it near impossible for anyone else to enter the market place. But since you have already made all your money you can afford to comply while no one else can. That’s how our current system works now.
Your argument is flawed from the beginning. If libertarian philosophy meant businesses could just exploit their workers for obscene profits wouldn’t all business owners, large corporations, big banks, and Wall Street all support libertarianism? So why do they support the status quo corporatist in the Republican and Democratic Party?
Use some common sense here.
In the Western Desi society, one’s standard of living is determined by whether they own a house or not. If you don’t own a house (instead you live on rent, for example), you’re immediately classified as ‘poor’.
My family does not own a house yet in Canada, and everybody is concerned about how I won’t get a rishtaa because of that. Whoever is going to judge my ability to be a good wife by whether my dad owns a house or not, is going to undergo a brutal beating.