Curious Capitalist

Foroohar: America’s Real Economic Crisis Is Flat Wages

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Now that we have a working government, we also have a September jobs report. But I almost wish we didn’t. While everyone was expecting October’s report, which will reflect the government shutdown and debt-ceiling wrangling, to be bad, the September numbers show that even before the Tea Party decided to scupper what recovery there was, job growth was actually slowing. In the three months leading up to and including September, the U.S. economy was creating about 140,000 jobs a month. Six months ago, that number was 200,000, which is really the minimum we need in order to have a more robust recovery. Sure, unemployment ticked down a notch, to 7.2%. But that’s in part because the workforce-participation rate, which is a crucial element of economic growth, is so sluggish. In fact, at the current 63.2%, it’s the highest it’s been since women entered the labor force en masse in the 1980s.

If you don’t get more people working, you don’t have the sort of wage competition that encourages firms to raise workers’ pay. And if you don’t have higher wages, you won’t have more robust consumption spending (which encourages firms to hire; it’s a snowballing cycle). As I have written many times, the single most worrisome thing in the economy right now is that wages are flat and have been for five years now. You don’t have to be an economist to see that you can’t have a robust recovery in an economy that is 70% consumer spending when most people haven’t gotten a raise since the financial crisis began.

The Fed is doing everything it can to help and continues to throw $85 billion a month into the market in the form of asset purchases of bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Indeed, it may well be doing it for longer now. The Fed’s idea was to keep spending until unemployment goes below 6.5%. But many economists now believe that because the falling unemployment rate may not actually reflect the underlying strength of the economy, the Fed will keep the money spigots on longer, until unemployment is closer to 6%. Assuming Janet Yellen is confirmed as the new Fed head, that will almost certainly be the case — she firmly believes that monetary policy can help stimulate job growth.

(MORE: Jobs Report Tells Us the U.S. Economy Still in Desperate Need of Electroshock)

But I’m not so sure, at least not at this point. There is powerful evidence to show that the Fed’s program of quantitative easing (QE) was extremely effective at the beginning. It certainly boosted markets, but also helped to keep the money flow to the real economy from drying up completely in the wake of the crisis. But there’s also a lot of reason to think it’s just not working that well anymore. Stocks are up, but if you look at measures of money growth in the real economy, they are pretty much flat. The pro-QE argument would be that without the money dump, we’d be in far worse shape. It’s impossible to know. But there is research to show that QE exacerbates wealth inequality, since the rich benefit disproportionately from it. As a recent JPMorgan research report noted, households in the bottom 25% of the wealth-distribution curve hold an average of $90 worth of stock. The top 10% holds $290,000.

Ultimately, you need wages, not just stock prices, to go up if you want a real recovery. And in order to do that, you need businesses to feel that demand is rising so they’ll start spending. That’s why the latest debt deal was so destructive. The wrangling had already tanked CEO confidence months before the shutdown in October. Now the fact that the can has been kicked into early next year will ensure another quarter or two of companies sitting on their cash hordes, waiting to see which way the political winds will blow. One recent study by Macroeconomic Advisers found that partisan politics have cost us 2 million jobs over the past three years. If we had them back, maybe we’d all be getting a raise — and enjoying a real recovery — by now.

121 comments
jh1908
jh1908

No, the problem is not flat wages. It's a party economy that fast coming to an end.

For too long, all Americans have been living on borrowed time and money. It is what I call in my book, Return to Order calls  frenetic intemperance—"a restless and reckless spirit inside modern economy that foments a drive to throw off legitimate restraints and gratify disordered passions."

This frenetic intemperance is not specifically an economic problem but a moral and psychological one deep within the soul of modern man that manifests itself in economy.

shapiro.len
shapiro.len

commenting on this article of the absurd is.....absurd.

with millions of workers all over the world who will work for anything they are paid, and under any conditions,why should americans

get a fair shake from greedy capitalists at home. We have the worst distribution of income of any western nation,the most expensive healthcare system, mounting debt for college education, families in shelters, abandoned houses everywhere, crumbling infrastructure. America is a disaster of the 1% foisted on the 99%.

MacDonalds buys jets for executives but won't raise wages. CEOs get huge bonuses for nothing. Taxes go unreported and unpaid. We are a nation in decline- democracy is a memory of days past,when the electorate mattered. Now we have demagogues who preach cutting anything they cannot get their hands on.GW Bush wanted a private social  security system for the same brokers who swindled millions out of their homes. JP Morgan lies its way to billions in profits undeserved. A raise in pay for the average American would do little unless there is a basic and comprehensive plan to re-employ millions of americans,rebuilld America, stay out of foreign lands and disputes, stop bombing other countries and downsize the military dramatically.

we need a country of the people,by the people and for the people. You know, like all our former enemies- Germany.Italy,Japan. and all those little countries the Nazis occupied until americans showed up. Like the Dutch, Danes,Swedes,Norwegians,Belgians etc. We liberated them all and what do we have for it?

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

Welcome to austerity 101. The real threat is the not the national debt which is in line with the size of this country with a self administrating currency. The real threat is those who keep claiming it is the real threat. This economy needs demand side stimulation that it is being denied by discredited economic theory and self serving political antics and vest ruling class power interests. The debt scare is convenient because it is a self fulfilling prophesy if it is used to keep jamming the works with destructive austerity measures.

Onepatriot
Onepatriot

The small business community is bombarded by the chamber of commerce constantly telling them that they need to get rid of unions and lower wages to be profitable and stay in business.  This malarkey is easy for them to believe if they are not knowlegable  about the  economy as a whole. Workers spend their money.  Money flowing outwards comes around and back to them because it creates demand.  The unions create contracts which gives an employer stability in his workforce and employees then feel secure enough in their jobs that they can buy cars, homes, This then creates demand for more new cars, used cars and home supplies etc .  Simple but true. 

Until they quit listening to the Chamber of Commerce and start thinking for themselves, they won't understand, that like it or not, they are members of the economic community that benefits when we all do well.

what-do-u-know
what-do-u-know

"If you don’t get more people working, you don’t have the sort of wage competition that encourages firms to raise workers’ pay."

This is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen. Rising wage is NEVER due to more people getting to work. In fact, it's OPPOSITE is true. That said, it's the shortage of the type of skilled labor that would lead higher wages. Case in point, in the late 90s when tech bubble is in full swing, even a fresh CS grad with no experience could command starting salary of $75k-90k; but those days are no more. 

The other thing that the writer fails to point out, is that, quantitative easing is NEVER going to directly create jobs. QE is only going to push the rates lower. And who benefits from that? Those people who needs to borrow money. Supposedly, corporations, mortgage borrowers, banks, and some such. QE, in and of itself, only makes funds so abundantly cheap that encourages borrowings. But banks have tightened underwriting rules so much, that only the crème de la crème (yes, the top 1%, and by proxy, the top 10%) is able to borrow. Those in the bottom, those in need of a job (never mind one that doesn't see any wage increase for years), will not be able to benefit from it.

One would think, that a columnist like Foroohar should be able to discern these basic facts. I'm most disappointed to see that she can't even get these basic econ 101 right in the first place. 

gornisht
gornisht

The real problem is that Obama has clogged up the toilets which no longer work.

hjfiengo
hjfiengo

Flat wages. We are all aware of it but no one anywhere else wants to deal with it. All we get ios complaints about unions and the cost of labor.while the profits flow to the top and nothing to the average person in the US. Corporation decided 40 years ago to move labor offshore in favor of pennies on the dollar labor. They abandoned their own country and workers for bottom line profits. 400 people in the US control 98% of the money leaving the 2% to divide everything else up. The diversionary tactics are to blame everyone else for the problems. Government,  Immigrants, Gays, Taxes, Not believing in God, Democrats, Moderate Republicans, Obama Care, Those that are not considered American enough, "Hammock Swingers", The 47% You name it and they get a share of the blame.  We have the most productive employees in the world and they do not share in the fruits of the company's. Because of the fact that we have flat wages we have been provided the drug called cheap goods that are produced by exploited workers in other countries. This is a spiral of wages going in the wrong direction. I have been writing about this for 10 years. No avail but never deterred.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

2.1 Million jobs is what the cost of the GOP obstructionism has been to date. Thank your GOP politician accordingly

Fiscal Policy Uncertainty: Since late 2009, fiscal policy uncertainty has raised the Baa corporate bond spread by 38 basis points, lowered GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points per year, and raised the unemployment rate in 2013 by 0.6 percentage points, equivalent to 900,000 lost jobs. (Page 8)

 Discretionary Spending: Reductions in discretionary spending have reduced annual GDP growth by 0.7 percentage points since 2010 and raised the unemployment rate 0.8 percentage points, representing a cost of 1.2 million jobs. (Page 4)

 http://pgpf.org/special-reports/the-cost-of-crisis-driven-fiscal-policy

ghostcommander
ghostcommander

I believe the author made a mistake when she stated, "The consumer economy is 70%." the last I read was that it was 59%.
All the government programs-TARP, TALF, TGLP, HAMP, etc.. and Quantitative Easing has benefitted the top 10%, but has helped very little for the rest of America.

The total bailouts not including QE 1-4 was over $16 Trillion.(ZeroHedge) Now, consider the bailout for the homeowners that was $25-50 Billion.

You don't have to have 20-20 mental vision to see the problem.

klepzig50
klepzig50

The 85 billion in bond sales has helped but today there needs to be a change by 50% to 42.5 billion a month at two percent interest for expansion of American business interests.   I would suggest that each state gets an equal share with that broken down as 25, 25,  25, 25% to big business, middle business, small and start ups.    I wonder what would happen if each month every state had a billion dollars to rebuild business with. 

Protect_American_Jobs
Protect_American_Jobs

We STILL need to Stop ILLEGAL immigration!  They're not just doing jobs that Americans don't want.  Do they pay state and federal income taxes?  Don't get me  wrong most of these people work hard, but are a drain on the system if they don't pay income taxes, have healthcare coverage, learn the language or get paid  wages that are in line with their American counterparts.  We all know that the health care provided to uninsured illegals here in the states is being averaged  into our hospital costs and our insurance premiums, which have PROPORTIONATELY increased along with illegal immigration over the last 20 years?  These costs  are also being passed along to Medicaid and Medicare, which means that not only are they increasing our insurance premiums, but that we're paying for them again with our tax dollars.  Our tax dollars and insurance premiums should not be used to recoup the cost of healthcare given to illegal aliens, who shouldn't even be here in our country in the first place.

Just look around and you'll see who's doing 90% of the residential  renovations, construction and property maintenance jobs. That's certainly what we're seeing in the northeast.  These are not just jobs that Americans don't want.

The hiring of cheap illegal labor causes a chain reaction.  The contractors who hire cheap, uninsured, non-income-taxpaying, ILLEGAL aliens undercut the contractors who hire US Citizens or Legal immigrants.  Even if the contractor wants to continue to employ US Citizens or Legal tax-paying immigrants, they end up replacing their Legal employees with illegals just to be able to get the work.  Unfortunately unions and the old "that's not my job" union attitudes here in the USA have also contributed to this problem.

Also when these Non-income-tax-paying Illegal Aliens take American Citizens jobs they also are taking away the income tax revenue that those working American Citizens would be providing to our government.  In addition, the American Citizens who have their jobs taken away by these Illegal Aliens then have to be paid unemployment and usually have no healthcare insurance either because they can't afford COBRA, which adds even more to our deficit and further increases our healthcare costs.

I run a business that does it the right way and employs 20 US Citizens and 1 Legal Immigrant and I believe that the use of Workplace Raids is a perfectly realistic way to put a stop to this BS. Plus we should publish the  results of these workplace raids and fines to the public, so American Citizens and customers could see which companies are employing illegals.

Let's get the good productive illegal immigrants into the system and paying federal and state income tax or get them out and NOT Let Any More Come In unless  they come in as Legal Immigrants.  Make them apply for legal visas and or U.S. citizenship and if they don't, then get them out.  If they get rejected get them out or give them one quick appeal and if they still get rejected, then get them out.  And let's send the bad ILLEGAL Aliens back to where they came in and let's STOP ANYMORE ILLEGAL ALIENS from getting in. 

I also think we should start using our military to Start Keeping ILLEGAL Aliens Out.

Protect_American_Jobs
Protect_American_Jobs

While our politicians have been bickering for years like idiotic fools, China has been crushing the USA in a war that we don't even know we're in and without even firing a shot.

Bringing manufacturing back home to the USA is going to end up being not only a key to restoring our economy, but to maintaining our national security as well.

* Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues - We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

* Chinese firms and state agencies have been implicated in a host of hacking attacks, on targets ranging from leading industrial and technology firms, to the Pentagon and other US government agencies, to the New York Times, Coca-Cola and numerous other companies and industries.

* Oct 2012: The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said U.S. telecommunications operators should not be allowed do business with China's top network equipment makers because potential Chinese state influence on the companies poses a security threat.

* Also most counterfeit goods are produced and manufactured in China, making it the counterfeit capital of the world. In fact, the counterfeiting industry accounts for 8% of China's GDP.

On the US Department of Commerce's US Census Bureau website there's a graphic showing how our trade imbalance has gotten progressively worse over the entire period from 1989 to the present and how it's really accelerated at an increasely greater rate each year since 1999. We can thank our leaders and the WTO for that.

See for yourself: www(dot)census(dot)gov(slash)foreign-trade(slash)balance(slash)c0004(dot)html

It's gotten so bad that most Americans cannot even find any non-food products that were made in the USA anymore, especially when it comes to electronics. It has gotten to the point were we really don't have much of a choice anymore.

Our leaders are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself. They are NOT elected by the Global Market Place or foreign citizens!

Perot said it back in 1992 "Jobs getting sucked out of the country" - Many people saw it back then, but unfortunately too many people bought into the spin of "BS" that we were being sold. Seems that both parties were always able to distract and polarize voters with insignificant peripheral issues like gay marriage and abortion, which got most voters so caught up in the BS that they lost sight of the bigger picture.

We need our elected officials to Start Protecting American Jobs and do whatever it takes to start bringing back the jobs they let go. We need leaders who will actually stand up for the American people.

We need to bring manufacturing back to the United States of America and both parties are ignoring tariffs as a way to level the playing field, raise money and bring jobs back home. Let's guess why. Oh that's right, tariff is a dirty word. Hum, maybe it's that our so called leaders (political leaders) are beholden to the same people who are exporting our jobs.

I guess we should keep letting Corp Boards, Wall Street, CEOs and Foreign Lobbyists promote sending US jobs to countries where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. How's that been working for us?

The so called "Global Market Place" is not a level playing field. Companies may have made higher profits by "out sourcing", but they've been putting middle class Americans who are a good part of the world's customer base out of work. I'm not a lefty or member of any union. I run a business that employs over 20 people and produces products that are purchased by customers that do manufacturing and packaging. I'm just an average Joe, but I've been saying this for more than 15 years now. If I can see it, so can our so called leaders (political leaders) who are beholden to the same people who are exporting American jobs.

PatHudgins
PatHudgins

Static wages will not change anytime soon. Offshoring to less regulated enviroments, immigration reform, and high unemployment will keep a lid on wage increases.

The biggest factor tempering employment and causing lackluster demand is historical high cost, both for individuals and small business, at a time of deflated income. High cost eats the majority of individuals income just for the neccessities of life. And for small business, high cost has become a greater part of the income statemnet at a time of diminished income, so there is nothing left to increase compensation to employees, since high cost, which is hard to pass on, is demanding more of the income to cover.

High cost, due to the FED's policies and the financial institutions ability to manipulate commodities is the dam holding back the river of recovery. Add a dash of insane health cost to the mix and one can see why the car is stuck in neutral..

Protect_American_Jobs
Protect_American_Jobs

The ONLY REAL FIX for Our Country is to Raise Revenue by Bringing Back Jobs to US Citizens who Pay Income Tax.

For decades both parties have been selling out the bulk of the American citizens, who they're supposed to represent, by allowing the incursion of illegal aliens and the "out-sourcing" floodgates to open wider and wider without taking any sensible measures to stem the tide.

The Citizens of the United States of America need our elected leaders from both parties to start working together to actually start trying to fix the real problems in our country like "out-sourcing", illegal immigration, the out of control costs of health care insurance and our reliance on foreign fuel.

We need to make smart cuts, but massive cutting just puts more people on unemployment, which just depresses the economy even further.

Returning private sector jobs to American Citizens will provide income tax revenue to OUR Government versus our government having to pay unemployment benefits to those who would be jobless instead. We need leaders who will actually stand up for the American people.

The bottom line is that “Our Government” has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

We may have to pay a bit more for products made here in the USA by US citizens, but at least we'll still have jobs and a future for our children.

GraceMantyh
GraceMantyh

There is a major error in saying that higher workforce participation would = more competitive wages. Actually, increasing the supply of labor would result in lower wages, other things being equal. Wages would increase if either demand for labor increased or supply decreased, or improvements in technology occurred making workers more productive. You are correct, however, in saying that quantitative easing results in greater wealth or income inequality.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

You are allowed to learn a trade and start your own company.  You could become a plumber. I know i know, everyone goes to college now and expects to be treated with a cushion office job because they have a degree.  You could buy a lawn mower and start cutting peoples grass for 20 bucks a shot, and when you make money you can upgrade your tools.  i watched my poor friend do that and he's doing quite well.  he didn't expect government to help him and give him a better salary.  he was silly enough to have a goal and acheive it on his own.  CRAZY LOGIC he had

j45ashton
j45ashton

There has to be some step 1 that should be supported by most.  Why not close the tax loopholes?  Particularly big ticket items like off-shoring money?  Use the revenue to pay down the national debt.

FritzDahmus
FritzDahmus

Wages go "flat" when there are too many applicants for too few jobs. The crisis is still a slow growth World economy.

whodachoomer
whodachoomer

you cannot make future decisions based on yesterdays news.  this is how our monetary system has been manipulated since 1913.  Mankind cannot let the market handle supply, price, demand because he is genetically engineered to impose his superior intellect on the world.  As long as people want someone to take care of them there will always be some criminal hooligan who will step up to the plate and trash everything in their wake.

BobJan
BobJan

Americas Real Economic Crisis is the "CONGRESS". Congress is comprised of 535 people with no world experience except hob-nobbing with the wealthy. Congress is comprised of 535 people that think that a minimum wage of $7.50 is acceptable in this day and age. Congress is comprised of 535 people that are bought and paid for by the wealthy and corporations. Congress is the problem.

mentallect
mentallect

Until red state GOPers support their own best interests instead of the Koch Brothers and corporate interests, flat wages will continue.  Anytime decent Americans stand up for American workers red state loons fight against them, even if they are very poor with dead end jobs and a lifetime of low wages.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

For how evil corporations people say they are, you don't have to purchase anything from them, its not your duty to support them.  You can find some garage junkies and pay them with your own money to build you a car.  You can find some computer geeks to build your laptop, you can find some electronic nerds to make your cell phone.  You can buy a farm and develop your own food.  This would teach them evil corporations and how greedy they are for developing products as cheaply as they do to start making things more expensive because everyone deserves their fair share of the money that is earned by a company

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

@what-do-u-know The statement shows basic ignorance of the most fundamental law of supply and demand. Even for corporate pre$$ propoganda that is remarkably low.

BobJan
BobJan

@Protect_American_Jobs the uber-wealthy have the best Congress money can buy. After the votes are counted the voters don't count.

Protect_American_Jobs
Protect_American_Jobs

@PatHudgins

True - Devastating annual health insurance increases started crushing our business 12-15 years before President Obama was even elected. I didn't vote for President Obama, but at least he had the guts to take on the healthcare insurance issue in the first place - Although it would have been better if both sides could have worked together to come up with a better plan. I consider myself an independent voter, but going back to the Reagan days and with the only exception having been Perot, I’ve always voted Republican.  But I'm most angry at the GOP/TeaPots right now!

Americans don't care which side fixes it – Just fix it.

But please let's not forget that it was President Clinton who got us into bed with China in the first place. Nixon restored normal diplomatic relations between the US and China, but Clinton is the one who opened up the trade floodgates with China. Under Clinton jobs to China, Under Bush I & II influx of illegals/cheap labor into the US and jobs to Mexico/NAFTA - Bush started it and it was signed into effect by Clinton. I loved President Reagan because he brought pride and respect back to our country after those embarrassingly weak Carter years, but unfortunately his shortsighted economic policy sent us down the wrong path. Jeez and the wizards on Wall Street wonder why the American people aren't putting as much money into savings and their 401k plans anymore. Maybe it's because the shortsighted economic policies, from the 1980's to the present, have come back to bite the hands that feed them. I guess the thought of changing from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy of smoke and mirrors is working out just great? Not!

Wouldn't it be great if Our Elected Leaders Actually Started Working Together as AMERICANS for AMERICANS and AMERICA, instead of just bickering, stalling and posturing for the next election as democrats and republicans/tea-whatevers? Because the American People have had it with this unproductive BS! The way that both parties having been operating for years just stinks! Neither party has really been looking out for the best interests of the US Citizens who elect them and who they're supposed to represent.

It shouldn't be all about Democrats or Republicans/Tea-whatevers! It should be about Americans, especially our elected officials, doing the right thing for our country and its citizens. All the single-minded, left versus right, ideological one dimensional bull has got to go!

Our economic problems didn't happen overnight. It's been happening over the past 15-20 years, but the economy was kept going by middle class Americans tapping into the equity on their homes until they were completely tapped out. Both parties have sold out the bulk of the American citizens, who they're supposed to represent, by allowing the incursion of illegal aliens and the "out-sourcing" floodgates to open wider and wider without taking any sensible measures to stem the tide. Our leaders are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself. They are NOT elected by the Global Market Place or foreign citizens!

The Citizens of the United States of America need our elected leaders from both parties to start working together to actually start trying to fix the real problems in our country like "out-sourcing", illegal immigration, the out of control costs of health care insurance and our reliance on foreign fuel. Fix them together as Americans! - Because united we'll stand, but divided we'll fall.

The ONLY REAL FIX is to Raise Revenue, by Bringing Back Jobs to US Citizens who Pay Income Tax.

We need to make smart cuts, but massive cutting just puts more people on unemployment, which just depresses the economy even further.

Returning private sector jobs to American Citizens will provide income tax revenue to OUR Government versus our government having to pay unemployment benefits to those who would be jobless instead. We need leaders who will actually stand up for the American people.

The bottom line is that “Our Government” has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

We may have to pay a bit more for products made here in the USA by US citizens, but at least we'll still have jobs and a future for our children.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@GraceMantyh The supply for labor isn't the problem.  It's the demand that is holding down the participation rate.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

@GraceMantyh @GraceMantyh Workers are more productive than they've ever been mostly because of improvements in technology and wages have not increased. I'm no economist, but it's clear to see when the number one priority is to reduce costs, no matter how good profits may currently be, using technology in place of human labor will always take precedence. Doesn't exactly paint a bright future for workers does it.

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland  Seems as if you need to start a company and inform people of how to make a better life for themselves instead of preaching to the choir here. We don't care to listen to your complaining and bring down our days. Go do some good or shut the front door.

BobJan
BobJan

@FritzDahmus  wages also go flat when you have the federal government stand in and tell unions that the have no power to represent people.

whodachoomer
whodachoomer

@mentallect I wish it were that easy.  Industrialization is over and so are the good ole days of ' good wages'.  More and more people every day are fighting for fewer and fewer jobs due to this and robotization.  Trying to force yesterdays outcome on tomorrow isnt working, we will bankirupt the USA and lose our currency's reserve status

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@mentallect  Its the politicians fault that people are in dead-end jobs.  its not the parents of the kids who don't tell their kids to go to school.  Its the the responsibility of the self to try to improve themselves to make them more desirable to companies, its the responsibilty of the politicians to tell the parents of kids that by not working at all  you set a terrible example for your kids, whether you are making $20 an hour or $8 an hour.  Kid sees their parents busting their hump off making $8 an hour, guess how that kid will probably turn out, he will probably turn out as someone who wants to work harder and live better because he knows what true work ethic is.  But no, we live in a society where its "WHERE"S MINE" whether you deserve it or not, You are given "Where's mine" because you were lucky to be born in America

aztecian
aztecian

@mentallect it is true, the koch brothers are behind a lot of the destruction that is taking place in america.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

And look how many people can afford to buy a house now compared to back i don't know 30-60 years ago, how many people can buy a car now.  Its because those evil banks loan poorer people money now more than they did back then

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

here's a wild idea.  Live within your means.  Dont go crazy with credit card debt and you won't have credit card issues.  Those silly banks, they actually give you money so that you can buy a house.  What a WILD IDEA, all they expect you to do is pay the monthly payment that you agreed too.  Those EVIL EVIL EVIIILLLLLL men.  What a weird society we live in

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland  Or if you have enough money as some do, you can buy a few Congress people and they'll do whatever you want and say it's in the best interest of the US. We've got so many working poor on government subsidies because business refuses to pay a living wage.

j45ashton
j45ashton

@Realworldnonfantasyland Believe me...banks, insurance companies, credit card issues...just about every business in the financial community isn't passing their IT cost savings onto the consumer.  They're just pocketing the money.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@BobJan @Realworldnonfantasyland I do good, I don't tell people that the government holds them down and because of the government they will never be able to do anything for themselves and that the government makes them useless.  I tell people that if you have a "want to" inside of you, that you are able to make change on your own.  Keep being a hero and blame everyone else but ourselves for why we aren't good enough.  Hero's like you will make the world a better place

BobJan
BobJan

@mentallect @BobJan  Both sides kneel at the ATM machines of the lobbyists. After the votes are counted the voters don't count.

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland @mentallect  I thought for a minute there you were talking about the BILLIONAIRES who cry and whine when the taxpayers and cities won't build them a huge new sports stadium. And that's only the tip of the iceberg that we can see. What else do those 14,000+ lobbyists exist for but to elicit government benefits for their ultra wealthy donors. You need to learn how the money game works. It's called I'll give you some and you give me a lot back in return.

benjaminbaby
benjaminbaby

@aztecian @mentallect no blame on the unions? look at Detroit, highest tax rates in Michigan, not functional due to unions, did you know they still had a ferrier on the payroll, with no horses to shoe

jason024
jason024

@Realworldnonfantasyland which is part of the reason our economy tanked....are you not paying attention? 

But we digress.....most people can and will do all the things you say IF they are paid a reasonable wage. In many cases they are not.

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland  here's a wild idea. Why don't you call all the Universities, Colleges and places of higher learning and tell them to stop raising their fees incredibly high every year so people can stop borrowing to get an education. Or you can call the companies that these people work at and tell then to raise workers pay so they can afford to get an education. Same with health care costs. Call peoples companies to give them a raise so they can afford the health care they need. 35 years ago there was hardly any out of pocket expenses. Today everyone has out of pocket costs. So who's not living within their means???????????????

BobJan
BobJan

@benjaminbaby @3Dgman @BobJan @FritzDahmus  Why is it that the politicians are controlling the NLRB so that unions/people can't strike or organize. Why do the corporations so detest the peoples right to organize? That's the only way that wages were brought up years ago. You don't think for one second that a business owner is going to go out and give raises if no one says they want one. The owner has every right to be rewarded for his venture. And the workers have every right to try and collaborate for better wages and benefits so that they can also lead a life free of subsidies from the government. The government gives these subsidies to keep the people from rebellion, nothing else. An owner of a business that underpays and if there was no government assistance would either be burned at the stake or a strike would shut it down. And I know that there are more unemployed people to take that underpaid job but later on they'd do the same thing such as go on strike. People who work for an employer that pays a living wage don't qualify for government assistance. They pay taxes, there children go to school and then maybe on to college or a trade. They purchase goods they can afford and the cycle goes on. Those on assistance stay on and the cycle goes on. Years ago a widow with one child working at Bell Telephone could live in a home in a neighborhood and live a middle class life. Not today, everyone's part time with no benefits and if they have company sponsored health insurance they pay  $200.00 or more out of their paycheck a month not including their copays and deductibles. All that money is taken out of the economy just so insurance executives and hospitals can make Tens of Billions in excess profits. Yes sir, we've got the most expensive Congress money can buy. And they're bought by none other than the uber-wealthy.

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland @jason024   he creation of the Lifeline program -- which has now been dubbed the "Obama phone" -- during the Reagan administration was one of these attempts to ensure that the new fragmented and competitive telecom industry still provided the same public goods that the old monopoly did. Far from a government cheese handout, Lifeline was funded through a "universal service charge" on phone bills, and then administered by a private non-profit. While the distinction between a surcharge and a tax may seem technical, it was specifically selected to over a proposed welfare program — a straight-up handout referred to as "phone stamps." The Universal Service Fund was created to be a lean, nimble private sector beast.

The guys who came up with the idea for Lifeline were Republican Sen. Bob Packwood and Democratic Rep. John Dingell. The Reagan administration soon got on board, as The New York Times reported on December 27, 1983, in part because of "a growing recognition that the price of telephone service could become a 1984 campaign issue." Then other Republicans got on board -- Sens. John Heinz and John Chafee urged the Federal Communications Commission to "take concrete steps to ensure that local telephone companies offer lifeline programs designed to preserve affordable phone service," according to The Washington Post on September 15, 1985.

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland  My family went in a car and stayed at cheap motels. We ate at picnic tables on the side of the road. My family and I only went on vacations that we had enough money for. What other people do is their business and I just don't care. I don't care enough to tell them how to live within their means since it won't do any good.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@BobJan @Realworldnonfantasyland @jason024 Or because there weren't as many cheap options through airplanes that can take you across country on a 40 hour a week minimum wage one week salary.  Damn corporations don't make stuff cheap enough to be able to do

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland @jason024  Didn't go on vacations because either your Dad was cheap or just didn't like to go on vacation. Don't try and deprive people of vacation just because your a curmudgeon. Also a cell phone can be a Trac Fone with 1200 minutes for a year. That's what my wife and I both have. Stop complaining about everything and you'll live longer and happier.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@jason024 @Realworldnonfantasyland I guess I don't pay attention to the fact that our homeless people have cell phones.  I don't know, whats tanked mean?  My dad was a middle class family back in the 60's.  They never went on vacation because they couldn't afford it.  Now entire families go on multiple vacations a year.  Kids have cell phones, families go out to eat way to much.  There are ways you can figure out how to live and you don't need everything just because its out there for you to buy. 

Anna888
Anna888

@Realworldnonfantasyland so what about college graduates with degrees in economics, law, etc. who cannot find a job in their field and work instead at McD's? That's what really terrible about the current situation, is that even when you have a college degree you cannot find a decent job. And of course, if you have a job at McD than you're on public assistance - that's really nuts. 

Also, we cannot all be plumbers, or soon being a plumber would mean nothing, as everybody would do their own plumbing. 

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland @BobJan  well then how about being a conservative hero and help people get out of their dilemma. I'm retired and live a real good life. I was a trades person for 42 years and lived within my means. Of course it was a little easier to live within my means when I got raises and such as to offset higher prices. Something people don't get these days. I go to Florida for 2 months and have a classic car. And guess what, it's all paid for. Not everyone can have what I have and I can't have what everyone above me has. I'm happy in my own little world. I don't criticize those below or above me because I don't know their life circumstances and this is what gives me compassion for others. So get off your high horse and get on with life as it should be.

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland  Like I said in a previous post, you need to instruct people on how to live instead of being on these blogs complaining about everything. All talk and no substance.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@BobJan @Realworldnonfantasyland how about this.  You go to your local university and stay at home.  You can find a good college where you don't pay room and board for for $15,000 a year and that may be high.  Then the kid gets jobs to pay for his school instead of taking out loans that will be paid later. Yes you will still have loans, but you won't be in as terrible debt.  You don't need to go to college to have a good time, if you are worried about debt then work 40 hours a week and go through hell for 4 years.  Yes it sucks, but you are capable of doing that