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A place to learn, mingle, and share

This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
Learn More:Saint Thomas More

Here's an interesting piece from The New York Times regarding how the American middle class has been doing in comparison to the middle class in the other industrialized nations. (Hint: It's not as well as we would like to believe.)

(I'm posting a NY Times article in a moment of weakness here.)


www.nytimes.com.

Apr 22nd 2014 new
(quote) William-607613 said: Here's an interesting piece from The New York Times regarding how the American middle class has been doing in comparison to the middle class in the other industrialized nations. (Hint: It's not as well as we would like to believe.)

(I'm posting a NY Times article in a moment of weakness here.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.h...

William:

I heard about this on the news and I was kind of skeptical. If this is not like
trying to compare "apples to oranges," then I don't know what is. There are
too many variables to consider: like taxation and inheritance, forced
transfer of wealth, and actual asset accumulation, not to mention free time
to enjoy life without working oneself too much, to be able to compare
different countries.

I am not sure what motivated this comparison.

Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) William-607613 said: Here's an interesting piece from The New York Times regarding how the American middle class has been doing in comparison to the middle class in the other industrialized nations. (Hint: It's not as well as we would like to believe.)

(I'm posting a NY Times article in a moment of weakness here.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.h...

No surprise here. We almost doubled the official federal debt since 2008, to more than $17 trillion. Unofficial federal debt (due to entitlements) is much higher, with some estimates surpassing $100 trillion. If we divide that estimated $100 trillion by 330 million people, that's about $300,000 for every person in the USA. Looks like we're bankrupt!

If that $100 trillion estimate is about right, the American Middle Class is the world's most indebted. :(
Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) William-607613 said: Here's an interesting piece from The New York Times regarding how the American middle class has been doing in comparison to the middle class in the other industrialized nations. (Hint: It's not as well as we would like to believe.)

(I'm posting a NY Times article in a moment of weakness here.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.h...

I have to mention that some of the things they mentioned in the article are
completely without merit. Wages of the unskilled in the United States are
low and should continue to decline as long as there is an abundance of
unskilled labor. It is simply supply and demand. And the supply is
outpacing demand because of illegal immigration. No one mentions
that or gives it any merit. They just talk about inadequate wages
being paid to workers. Wages could go down much more if supply
continues to increase.

They also mention that " educational attainment in the United States has risen
far more slowly than in much of the industrialized world over the last three
decades, making it harder for the American economy to maintain its share
of highly skilled, well-paying jobs."

They don't have that quite right. Educational attainment in the US has not
risen so much because higher education costs have become exorbitant
and jobs for graduates are just not there. (Only a few fields are in need of
more highly skilled workers.)

And if the American Economy was doing well,
it would be able to utilize highly-skilled workers and give them well-paying
jobs. It is the economy that is at the bottom of why Americans are not
doing well.

The most "inadequate" comparison the article tries to make is to compare
America to many European countries. Those countries are about one
tenth the size of America. Healthcare is easier to implement and
monitor. Immigration has been addressed by forming the Eurozone
and allowing any citizen of that zone to obtain employment in any
other country in the Eurozone. There may be a black market, but
at least skilled laborers can move to another country where there
are jobs at different skill levels without the whole Visa nightmare.

And taxation in Sweden is extremely high. They may get a lot of time off,
but each person absorbs the cost of those benefits at the expense of
very high taxation rates.

There are just too many variables to compare so many different size countries
with so many different laws and taxation policies. Not a good comparison
New York Times. Shame on You!!!!!!!!

Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) William-607613 said: Here's an interesting piece from The New York Times regarding how the American middle class has been doing in comparison to the middle class in the other industrialized nations. (Hint: It's not as well as we would like to believe.)

(I'm posting a NY Times article in a moment of weakness here.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.h...

I have to mention that some of the things they mentioned in the article are
completely without merit. Wages of the unskilled in the United States are
low and should continue to decline as long as there is an abundance of
unskilled labor. It is simply supply and demand. And the supply is
outpacing demand because of illegal immigration. No one mentions
that or gives it any merit. They just talk about inadequate wages
being paid to workers. Wages could go down much more if supply
continues to increase.

They also mention that " educational attainment in the United States has risen
far more slowly than in much of the industrialized world over the last three
decades, making it harder for the American economy to maintain its share
of highly skilled, well-paying jobs."

They don't have that quite right. Educational attainment in the US has not
risen so much because higher education costs have become exorbitant
and jobs for graduates are just not there. (Only a few fields are in need of
more highly skilled workers.)

And if the American Economy was doing well,
it would be able to utilize highly-skilled workers and give them well-paying
jobs. It is the economy that is at the bottom of why Americans are not
doing well.

The most "inadequate" comparison the article tries to make is to compare
America to many European countries. Those countries are about one
tenth the size of America. Healthcare is easier to implement and
monitor. Immigration has been addressed by forming the Eurozone
and allowing any citizen of that zone to obtain employment in any
other country in the Eurozone. There may be a black market, but
at least skilled laborers can move to another country where there
are jobs at different skill levels without the whole Visa nightmare.

And taxation in Sweden is extremely high. They may get a lot of time off,
but each person absorbs the cost of those benefits at the expense of
very high taxation rates.

There are just too many variables to compare so many different size countries
with so many different laws and taxation policies. Not a good comparison
New York Times. Shame on You!!!!!!!!

Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) William-607613 said: Here's an interesting piece from The New York Times regarding how the American middle class has been doing in comparison to the middle class in the other industrialized nations. (Hint: It's not as well as we would like to believe.)

(I'm posting a NY Times article in a moment of weakness here.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.h...

The smaller the middle class, the worse off any country is.

We all have our moments of weakness, William. We will forgive you this ONE time.
Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) Marianne-100218 said:

I have to mention that some of the things they mentioned in the article are
completely without merit. Wages of the unskilled in the United States are
low and should continue to decline as long as there is an abundance of
unskilled labor. It is simply supply and demand. And the supply is
outpacing demand because of illegal immigration. No one mentions
that or gives it any merit. They just talk about inadequate wages
being paid to workers. Wages could go down much more if supply
continues to increase.

They also mention that " educational attainment in the United States has risen
far more slowly than in much of the industrialized world over the last three
decades, making it harder for the American economy to maintain its share
of highly skilled, well-paying jobs."

They don't have that quite right. Educational attainment in the US has not
risen so much because higher education costs have become exorbitant
and jobs for graduates are just not there. (Only a few fields are in need of
more highly skilled workers.)

And if the American Economy was doing well,
it would be able to utilize highly-skilled workers and give them well-paying
jobs. It is the economy that is at the bottom of why Americans are not
doing well.

The most "inadequate" comparison the article tries to make is to compare
America to many European countries. Those countries are about one
tenth the size of America. Healthcare is easier to implement and
monitor. Immigration has been addressed by forming the Eurozone
and allowing any citizen of that zone to obtain employment in any
other country in the Eurozone. There may be a black market, but
at least skilled laborers can move to another country where there
are jobs at different skill levels without the whole Visa nightmare.

And taxation in Sweden is extremely high. They may get a lot of time off,
but each person absorbs the cost of those benefits at the expense of
very high taxation rates.

There are just too many variables to compare so many different size countries
with so many different laws and taxation policies. Not a good comparison
New York Times. Shame on You!!!!!!!!

Marianne,

I think I agree with you on almost everything here; for the sake of discussion, I will say that I agree with you on everything.

I think the point that the author is trying to make is that our middle class was once clearly ahead of the middle class in the other industrialized nations; today, that is no longer the case.

With regard to the coutries in the Eurozone, it used to be that the Americans gave up some of the quality of life issues those countries enjoyed (longer vacation times, more public holidays, well-built roads, a well-functioning public transportation system, et cetera) in exchange for the higher wages offered here. But if the Eurozone countries are enjoying the higher (or at least comparable) wages, the question then becomes, why would we give up those quality of life issues?

(Or, to put it more directly, why shouldn't the twenty-somethings here in America be trying to move to Switzerland?)
Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) John-96761 said:
If that $100 trillion estimate is about right, the American Middle Class is the world's most indebted. :(
I think the American middle class is the world's most indebted regardless of whether or not that $100 trillion estimate is right.

There are a couple of members here who have the finance backgrounds to correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that real wages in the US have either stagnated or declined since 1972, when we came off the gold standard. (I know there are pros and cons about us coming off the gold standard, which I'm not trying to speculate on here.)

A lot of the "wealth creation" in the country since then has been at the expense of either deficit spending or speculative investment bubbles (the dot com bubble and the real estate bubble).
Apr 23rd 2014 new
(quote) William-607613 said: I think the American middle class is the world's most indebted regardless of whether or not that $100 trillion estimate is right.

There are a couple of members here who have the finance backgrounds to correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that real wages in the US have either stagnated or declined since 1972, when we came off the gold standard. (I know there are pros and cons about us coming off the gold standard, which I'm not trying to speculate on here.)

A lot of the "wealth creation" in the country since then has been at the expense of either deficit spending or speculative investment bubbles (the dot com bubble and the real estate bubble).
William, you are spot on, for the past several years consumption is the largest percentage of our GDP. Wealth has been created by producing no tangible product and much of this wealth has been artificial,ie: the bubbles we have witnessed.
Apr 23rd 2014 new
Well compared to the middle class in Zimbabwe, I think I'm doing pretty good!
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