What the Heck Happened to the Middle Class?

August 24th, 2012 at 11:22 am

Holding forth on this very important question over at MSNBC’s Lean Forward site.

Companion piece to this.

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2 comments in reply to "What the Heck Happened to the Middle Class?"

  1. Misaki says:

    >For full employment, you need a Federal Reserve committed to that goal as much as price stability, along with aggressive fiscal policy and direct measures of job creation when the market’s not delivering the goods.

    “Federal Reserve” = higher inflation target? And yet people are already buying bonds with negative real interest rates, and the rich are not holding back on their consumer spending. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/sales-of-luxury-goods-are-recovering-strongly.html

    The President has been trying to create jobs through fiscal policy. The public has not been willing to support this as expressed in elections, with the size of the deficit being the main concern. People MIGHT support job creation if it also involved higher taxes, since the deficit is seen as society’s concern while taxes are an individual concern… but this would involve explaining why financial profits are to be expected even if the government is not directly paying Wall Street most of that money, which probably no one in the government is willing to do.

    So we can expect the Republican party to have a fair chance of winning the elections at this rate; there have not really been any innovative solutions proposed by the administration during the last four years.

    So it isn’t getting better. Will you advocate a policy that will actually fix the situation in the form of working less?

  2. Nancy Cadet says:

    Jared, I enjoyed reading your post on MSNBC, and you are right in all that you pointed out so succinctly; one additional thing that that has also depressed workers’ wages, job security and advancement, ie, entry into the middle class, is the loss of unionized jobs, with the protections, bargaining power and stability that go along with that. We now see the politics of envy, with US non union workers brainwashed into saying to the small unionized sector that remains : ” we don’t have pensions any more so you shouldn’t either. ” they’re really collaborating in a race to the bottom.

    Civil service jobs have been a pathway to the middle class for educated African Americans and women of all races. Those jobs are shrinking too with the budget cuts at the state and municipal level , and with pay / hiring freezes in Federal jobs.