2015: America Is About To Change In a Major Way: “Everything That Can Be Shaken Will Be Shaken”

Editor’s Note: We know things are getting worse. But how bad can they get? According to the information shared by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog in the article below, families across America are being systematically destroyed and the trajectory of the economic data suggests that it’s are only going to get worse. And though most people don’t realize it’s happening and continue to live their lives in passive oblivion, their lives will soon be shaken to the very core, as everything they have come to know as “normal” is torn to pieces. 19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed By Michael Snyder The systematic destruction of the American way of life is happening all around us, and yet most people have no idea what is happening.  Once upon a time in America, if you were responsible and hard working you could get a good-paying job […] Read More

2015: Why No One Can End Reagan’s “Dead Wrong” Voodoo Economics

The middle class creates rich people — not the other way around. Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, a highly visible champion of Seattle’s $15/hour minimum wage, wrote a piece in the Atlantic last month pushing on another front in the war against toxic income inequality. “Stock Buybacks Are Killing the American Economy,” he warned, and getting rid of them would be a tremendous boon to the economy. This latest front rebukes those who say that raising the minimum wage does little to address what ails the American middle class. First, it underscores the obvious: that battling against decades of bad economic policy must necessarily be a multi-pronged affair, with no single actionable to solve everything at once. But second, it starkly highlights how much of the problem can be traced to a single source—the profoundly misguided notion that giving even more money to rich people would produce prosperity for all. […] Read More

2015: SOTU: Is Obama’s New Progressive Agenda Too Little, Too Late?

Higher taxes on the wealthy, banks and stock traders. Free community college. Speedier internet service. Paid sick leave. Investing in science, schools and infrastructure. These were some of the initiatives President Barack Obama proposed in his latest State of The Union address. “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?” he said, opening the speech. “So tonight, I want to focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us. It begins with our economy.” But is Obama’s better-late-than-never wish list of progressive policies really better? Or is it little more than political theatre coming as Republicans have their firmest grip on Congress in years? Yes, it is pleasing when unruly Republicans have […] Read More

2014: 7 Things The Middle-Class Can’t Afford Anymore

Authored by Erika Rawes, The Cheat Sheet; originally posted at USA Today, Though there is some debate over the exact income a middle class household brings in, we do have an idea of who the middle class are — most working class people. Today’s bourgeoisie is composed of laborers and skilled workers, white collar and blue collar workers, many of whom face financial challenges. Bill Maher reminded us a few months back that 50 years ago, the largest employer was General Motors, where workers earned an equivalent of $50 per hour (in today’s money). Today, the largest employer — Wal-Mart — pays around $8 per hour. The middle class has certainly changed. We’ve ranked a list of things the middle class can no longer really afford. We’re not talking about lavish luxuries, like private jets and yachts. The items on this list are a bit more basic, and some […] Read More

2014: Job = Just Over Broke

If you are fortunate enough to have a job in America today, the phrase “just over broke” probably describes you.  Yes, there are a handful of jobs that certainly pay very well, but most Americans that work for somebody else are just barely making it from month to month.  More than half of all working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and more than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year.  That is an amazing statistic but it is actually true.  Once upon a time, anyone that was responsible and that was willing to work hard could get a good job in America. But now those days are long gone.  Instead, we live at a time when good jobs are disappearing and when the middle class is getting smaller with each passing year.  In some homes, the husband and the wife are both working multiple […] Read More

2014: The Decline Of Small Business And The Middle Class

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, The only way to not just survive but thrive as an entrepreneurial enterprise is to destroy fixed costs and labor overhead. It is not coincidental that the middle class and small business are both in decline. Entrepreneurial enterprise and small businesses have long been stepping stones to middle-class incomes and generational wealth, i.e. wealth that is passed down to future generations rather than consumed. As the headwinds to entrepreneurial enterprise and small business rise, the pathway to middle-class prosperity narrows. The Washington Post published a study that found U.S. businesses are being destroyed faster than they’re being created. While not exactly a surprise, it was sobering evidence that small enterprise is in structural decline: The decline of small businesses also hurts employment. Successful small businesses expand and hire employees. As small businesses close, jobs vanish en masse. I have addressed this systemic decline many times, […] Read More

2014: The Middle Class In Canada Is Now Doing Better Than The Middle Class In America

For most of Canada’s existence, it has been regarded as the weak neighbor to the north by most Americans.  Well, that has changed dramatically over the past decade or so.  Back in the year 2000, middle-class Canadians were earning much less than middle-class Americans, but since then there has been a dramatic shift.  At this point, middle-class Canadians are actually earning more than middle-class Americans are. The Canadian economy has been booming thanks to a rapidly growing oil industry, and meanwhile, the U.S. middle class has been steadily shrinking.  If current trends continue, a whole bunch of other countries are going to start passing us too.  The era of the “great U.S. middle class” is rapidly coming to a bitter end. In recent years, I have been up to Canada frequently, and I am always amazed at how much nicer things are up there.  The stores and streets are […] Read More

2014: 9 Of The Top 10 Occupations In America Pay An Average Wage Of Less Than $35,000 A Year

According to stunning new numbers just released by the federal government, nine of the top ten most commonly held jobs in the United States pay an average wage of less than $35,000 a year.  When you break that down, that means that most of these workers are making less than $3,000 a month before taxes.  And once you consider how we are being taxed into oblivion, things become even more frightening.  Can you pay a mortgage and support a family on just a couple grand a month? Of course not.  In the old days, a single income would enable a family to live a very comfortable middle-class lifestyle in most cases.  But now those days are long gone.  In 2014, both parents are expected to work, and in many cases both of them have to get multiple jobs just in order to break even at the end of the […] Read More