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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The End Of The American (Global) Dream Of The Middle Class?





Is it really the end of the American (Global) Dream? (Or for that matter: Greece, UK,Italy, Ireland,Australia, etc). After World War II our parents had expectations that their future would consist of a good paying job, a home for their family and a solid education for their children.



With a little help from the Government, Labor Unions and Hard working Americans the economy began to expand resulting in the growth of businesses, confident consumers purchasing an every expanding variety of goods/services and most of us smiling all the way to the bank. The quality of life for the middle class was shining brightly for a few DECADES.


 But so much has changed in 50 years. The Financial Institutions: Banks,Mortgage Companies, Credit Card Companies are gone or corrupted. Just think about the current Facebook IPO who won big: the small retail investor or the large commercial underwriters? The Public Unions are a shadow of their previous role and government is in a state of ineffective chaos. The economic and political divide between the wealthy and the middle class has grown and with it some of the American Dream seems to have died.


We have gone from a country of shared values to a country of my values (or else). So very :((((.   What do you think? As a job seeker are you ready to wrestle your way back to embrace the dreams of the middle class?


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15 Post a Comment :

Common Wisdom Suggests said...

"The American Dream" is exactly that, a dream and illusion which was specific to a 40-60 year period in the mid 20th century for Americans of European ancestry. Now we have returned to the economics of exploitation charterized by the majority of our history, slavery, serfdon and genocide only we are now based in a service economy instead of an agriarian one. Quickly review all of those movies from the 20's and 30's and pay attention to the housekeepers in the households. We have alowed ourselves to believe we have the same self interests as corporations and the rich and we and our offspring will pay the price for the remainder of this century.

Doug said...

This video makes me sick. The American dream is not about having the expectation that the government is going to make sure there are good paying jobs out there. The American dream is about the opportunity to create your own prosperity. America was never set up to become a socialistic society, but everyone buys into the fact they don't have to take personal responsibility for their own lives. Stop waiting on the government to do something for you and go out there and do it for yourself and your own family. This video is junk, don't buy into the fair wage argument. You have every right to go make a better life for yourself and not wait for your boss to give you a decent wage. The truth is that you are worth way more than any job will pay you.

Anonymous said...

Doug,
You are very naive. In western capitalism money influences public policy. Wonder why we grow corn that is converted to ethanol? $$. Wonder why we have cars and not trains and trolleys- automobile and oil companies. (fyi read history of Los Angeles Transportation). Wonder why USA Corps do not repatriate corporate profits. Government Tax Law. It is not about conspiracy theories it is about history. Study it and your arguments will be much more powerful.

Anonymous said...

Nice political video. But, how does it help me find a job?????????????????/

Ernie said...

Gee.. I thought the video was going to show how government investment in things like space exploration and the Arpanet technology (which lead to the internet)enabled this country to prosper. That was a positive unintended consequence.


I played by the rules and saw my 401K lose $250K and my home value lose another $300K. Why? because the government meddled and forced banks to loan money to people who could not afford to repay loans. A negative unintended consequence.

Collectively we should have the intellegence to know when when government should get involved. Why can't we figure that out?

Anonymous said...

Ernie,
I do not think it is the intent to help you find a job, but to perhaps think or act one way or the other.
BTW you should go to the home page and read some of the other great articles that should help your job seeking efforts at http://www.internsover40.com

Ernie said...

Oh, and by the way. The space program and the Arpanet.. Defense programs. The home ownership debacle.. a Social program.

AntiUnion American said...

What a load of crap! This Union sponsored propaganda piece is exactly what is wrong with this country. The Unions are in bed with the government and are applying a chokehold on growth. I can't believe this garbage was passed through to me via this blog. How irresponsible! If anything Obama has cozied up to the big unions, Wall Street whores and billionaire club to stick it to the hard working, non-union Americans. Get rid of the scumbag in 2012!

Anonymous said...

The dream is dying because people with the Obama mentality want to kill it. America was doing great before the liberal mindset took hold. Get rid of unions, handouts, and Obama. Lets get back to prosperity and happiness!

Anonymous said...

The facts are indisputable. The richest 1% are running the country, getting richer every day, and gaming the system like never before. And they do not have the interests of the other 99% in mind. Everyone else is going backward. Unless you win the lotto, you will never be rich! The chances are far better you'll be unemployed and homeless. When are regular people going to figure this out?

The last 20 years of unbridled greed led by wealthy people like the Bush family have put this country in a deep hole.

Socialism is not alive in the USA. That is fear mongering nonsense. The USA is a quasi-capitalist economy. That's why we have one of the worst health (sick) care systems in the world, our education systems is failing, there is no viable mass transit in 90% of the cities, and the housing market crash is just the latest bubble. Socialist countries have better health care, education, transit, environmental quality...

I too have worked all my life and played by the rules. My 401k and diversified investments have returned net zero after 30 years. Meanwhile, the CEOs, brokers and bankers got rich. Deregulation enabled the creation of "exotic" financial instruments and high risk practices. If the Fed had regulated the industry, or if the industry had regulated itself there would not have been another crash and I might be able to retire some day.

Quarterly corporate profits rule, CEOs have no connection to the company except their bloated salaries, and sending jobs overseas is standard business practice. I'm no fan of unions. I was once fired for not joining one. Unions were formed to offset one-sided and the often brutal practices of the ultra rich. Maybe unions need to make a comeback.

Anonymous said...

The article contained quite a bit of historical truth; also, it chose to skip the unions' finest hour- the heavy industry and mining strikes in 1890s - 1930s. There certainly was an element of socialism active in the society starting with FDR and it is certainly absent today. I'm not a socialist, but under which system was the little guy better off? Can't deny facts.

Everything Engagement said...

The problem was that the dream was funded by debt. The speed of growth in the standard of living was achieved as a result of increasing debt. Short term desires superceded common sense - and the banking industry grew fat on the desire for credit. For me it's interesting to think about whether the banking crisis was one of demand ie. consumers caused it, or supply ie. the banks drove it. Partly both I suspect.

I suspect the dream will never return but at best it'll be many years, because levels of consumer debt need to fall drastically before people will spend again. the penny has finally dropped that debt is a bad thing and the focus has shifted from buying more stuff to paying for the stuff we've already got. The best thing Govt's could have done would be to give every household a sum of money because. People would've used some of it to reduce debt and some probably to spend - thereby stimulating the economy at the same time as reducing total indebtedness.

Anonymous said...

This article needs spell checking(when was the quality of life for the middle class "shinning"?, fact checking, and reality checking.

Patrick Kilhoffer said...

Wow. Serious confusion about the nature of the problem:

The supply of labor has gone up and the demand has fallen. As a result, labor is less expensive.

Productivity rises ~1.6% a year. It takes fewer workers every year to get a certain amount of work done.

Women have entered he workforce in large numbers. Women in college now outnumber men. Nothing wrong with that, I think it's great, but it increases the supply of educated labor.

Illegals and outsourcing take unskilled labor jobs at minimum or below pay, increasing the supply of unskilled labor.

So both skilled and unskilled workers are seeing their wages fall as a direct result.

Who is safe? The higher skilled workers, the "1%". Through no fault of their own, they have additional skills and abilities and do not have other people taking their jobs, forcing down their pay rates.

Far from being a problem, it points to a solution for individuals.

Essentially, the day when a young person can expect their employer to tell them what to do and how to do it and get an above minimum wage job is largely over. The key to an above average income is to do what few are able/willing to do. You can make a good living, you just have to bring something to the table that others don't. If you have skills and others won't give you a shot, start your own company. If you don't have skills, teach yourself something useful.

As a society, we need to decide if it's ok for people in other countries to starve instead of taking our unskilled labor positions.

As individuals, we need to bring something to the table or accept that there are a lot more people sitting at the table now, and just showing up at the table doesn't count for as much any more.

Most people are going to complain about the incomes of the people who went in debt hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to college for ten years or risk their life's savings to get ahead.

And that's ok. We still need people to run the cash registers. It just won't pay much.

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