• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty

Verax

Disappointed in Trump
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
12,240
Reaction score
4,519
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey

Can't say I'm surprised by the numbers. The average American has been relegated to an expendable asset that is of little value. Sucked dry to make way for increased top level profits, they have little to no weapons or means to fight back. More and more the future of the U.S. looks to be one of two highly polarized and distant groups. In the top group you have those with an in demand, specialized skill set (doctors, upper IT specialization, lawyers), they will live something that looks like the American dream, the top 20%. Then you have the "average" American, the bottom 80% more and more will be in a living hell of limited income and options. This includes construction workers, all service jobs, basically everything that doesn't require some kind of college degree or highly specialized training, anything common is just another crap job. I can imagine this will seep into even some traditionally moderately higher paying, skilled jobs that are declining such as machining. Twenty-something bucks an hour for machining will look good for people making 10-15 and those kinds of jobs will likely be highly sought after thus bringing down their wages eventually.

The legendary U.S. middle class American dream has been demoted to the history books, seeya later, you won't be coming back.
 

paddymcdougall

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
3,032
Reaction score
1,687
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
And now the libertarians will pile on to say it's all the fault of the workers.

The fact that productivity has increased a lot faster than wages; that we have a growing income gap as the rich get richer; that are laws are there to help the richest; that the safety net is getting ripped to pieces. None of that will matter. They will blame the worker.

I agree, the american dream is dying. It's a shame, because I think our country works best when there is a strong middle class and not too big of income disparity.
 

Papa bull

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
6,927
Reaction score
2,599
Location
Midwest
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Conservative
It is all about sales. If no one is buying, you don't make any money. You can sell your labor to anyone you wish and if you can't get the money you think you deserve then you aren't marketing it very well or you are trying to sell it to the wrong market or it just isn't worth what you think it's worth or.... All three.

One thing is sure, whining about it means you haven't figured out that its up to YOU to sell better and that means you're not likely to do anything different and you're not likely to see different results.
 

Papa bull

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
6,927
Reaction score
2,599
Location
Midwest
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Conservative
And now the libertarians will pile on to say it's all the fault of the workers.

The fact that productivity has increased a lot faster than wages; that we have a growing income gap as the rich get richer; that are laws are there to help the richest; that the safety net is getting ripped to pieces. None of that will matter. They will blame the worker.

I agree, the american dream is dying. It's a shame, because I think our country works best when there is a strong middle class and not too big of income disparity.

The American Dream has always been out of reach for the uninspired and complacent who thought of it as the American Birthright. It is not a birthright.
 

ttwtt78640

Sometimes wrong
DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
90,117
Reaction score
53,751
Location
Uhland, Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
And now the libertarians will pile on to say it's all the fault of the workers.

The fact that productivity has increased a lot faster than wages; that we have a growing income gap as the rich get richer; that are laws are there to help the richest; that the safety net is getting ripped to pieces. None of that will matter. They will blame the worker.

I agree, the american dream is dying. It's a shame, because I think our country works best when there is a strong middle class and not too big of income disparity.

Examine that productivity angle just a bit. It is usually not the worker that became more productive by adding skills, but the tools that the employer provides to that worker requiring less skills. Consider a retail store, that used to have a simple cash register, a person to operate it (keying in the price of each item) and perhaps another to constantly inventory the stock for reorders and to stock the replacement items and affix price tags to each them. By using a computerized cash register that scans the product bar codes the cash register now does more work and the employees now do less work - yet productivity increased. The cashier no longer has to look at items and key in the prices, the inventory on hand is automaitcally maintained and the stocker no longer has to affix prices to each item placed on the shelves. ;)
 

Verax

Disappointed in Trump
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
12,240
Reaction score
4,519
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
The American Dream has always been out of reach for the uninspired and complacent who thought of it as the American Birthright. It is not a birthright.

Well now the American dream is out of reach of everyone except those with specialized jobs.
 

Papa bull

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
6,927
Reaction score
2,599
Location
Midwest
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Conservative
Well now the American dream is out of reach of everyone except those with specialized jobs.

It's out of reach for people who accept low-end jobs and never bother to do something more valuable. And people who engage in business for themselves aren't limited to what job some corporation needs filled. If you think the American Dream is taking some unskilled job at Wonder Widget plant, getting raises every year for no good reason and retiring with a fat pension 35 years later as floor manager of the bottle washing department; a position you arose to merely by showing up for work most days and staying there a long time, then you probably are right... your dream is dead.
 

Papa bull

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
6,927
Reaction score
2,599
Location
Midwest
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Conservative
Examine that productivity angle just a bit. It is usually not the worker that became more productive by adding skills, but the tools that the employer provides to that worker requiring less skills. Consider a retail store, that used to have a simple cash register, a person to operate it (keying in the price of each item) and perhaps another to constantly inventory the stock for reorders and to stock the replacement items and affix price tags to each them. By using a computerized cash register that scans the product bar codes the cash register now does more work and the employees now do less work - yet productivity increased. The cashier no longer has to look at items and key in the prices, the inventory on hand is automaitcally maintained and the stocker no longer has to affix prices to each item placed on the shelves. ;)

Yep, and it cost the employer a bloody fortune to re-tool but it pays dividends in terms of efficiency and it had better because there needs to be a return on the investment.
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey

Can't say I'm surprised by the numbers. The average American has been relegated to an expendable asset that is of little value. Sucked dry to make way for increased top level profits, they have little to no weapons or means to fight back. More and more the future of the U.S. looks to be one of two highly polarized and distant groups. In the top group you have those with an in demand, specialized skill set (doctors, upper IT specialization, lawyers), they will live something that looks like the American dream, the top 20%. Then you have the "average" American, the bottom 80% more and more will be in a living hell of limited income and options. This includes construction workers, all service jobs, basically everything that doesn't require some kind of college degree or highly specialized training, anything common is just another crap job. I can imagine this will seep into even some traditionally moderately higher paying, skilled jobs that are declining such as machining. Twenty-something bucks an hour for machining will look good for people making 10-15 and those kinds of jobs will likely be highly sought after thus bringing down their wages eventually.

The legendary U.S. middle class American dream has been demoted to the history books, seeya later, you won't be coming back.

The American Dream isn't handed to anyone on a silver platter. It also isn't a one-size-fits-all Dream.

Many are reaching their dreams, when they look at it realistically.

Now go and compare it to the 'dream' of other first world nations, and you'll see quite a difference...
 

ttwtt78640

Sometimes wrong
DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
90,117
Reaction score
53,751
Location
Uhland, Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Yep, and it cost the employer a bloody fortune to re-tool but it pays dividends in terms of efficiency and it had better because there needs to be a return on the investment.

Exactly. Yet many see that as somehow cheating the worker, as they cannot then demand equal, much less higher pay, for doing less work. The easier that an employee is to replace, the less that they will be able to (successfully) demand in pay.
 

Verax

Disappointed in Trump
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
12,240
Reaction score
4,519
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
It's out of reach for people who accept low-end jobs and never bother to do something more valuable. And people who engage in business for themselves aren't limited to what job some corporation needs filled. If you think the American Dream is taking some unskilled job at Wonder Widget plant, getting raises every year for no good reason and retiring with a fat pension 35 years later as floor manager of the bottle washing department; a position you arose to merely by showing up for work most days and staying there a long time, then you probably are right... your dream is dead.

You seem to have this illusion that the answer is for everyone to be chiefs. It doesn't work that way, the average American worker is a brave. Everyone can't be the boss, start their own business, top level management, etc. This is a story about the middle class, what part of that don't you understand? The middle class IS the low end job, the middle class IS the Wonder Widget Plant worker, there's nothing wrong with that and that is what most jobs are in the U.S. now.
 

Verax

Disappointed in Trump
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
12,240
Reaction score
4,519
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
The American Dream isn't handed to anyone on a silver platter. It also isn't a one-size-fits-all Dream.

Many are reaching their dreams, when they look at it realistically.

Now go and compare it to the 'dream' of other first world nations, and you'll see quite a difference...

Compare it with the 50's and 60's where the average man with an average job could support his family and live the American dream. Contrast that with now, wife and husband both working and living at near poverty levels.
 

ttwtt78640

Sometimes wrong
DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
90,117
Reaction score
53,751
Location
Uhland, Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Well now the American dream is out of reach of everyone except those with specialized jobs.

Indeed, since the specialized skill of asking "Do you want fires with that?" or "Welcome to Walmart" is not hard to come by. Our economy is now becoming more and more service based as other nations take on manufacturing and supplying raw materials, unencumbered by higher taxation, political correctness and the latest environmental craze. The open borders crowd now wants you to compete not only with imports from third world nations, but to compete with them for service labor right here as well. If Jose will gladly mow lawns for $20 then you will be hard pressed to keep trying to do so for $30. ;)
 
Last edited:

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
Compare it with the 50's and 60's where the average man with an average job could support his family and live the American dream. Contrast that with now, wife and husband both working and living at near poverty levels.

This isn't the 50's or 60's, it's a different world... try comparing apples to apples.....

US population, 1950: 150,697,361
US population, 1960: 179,323,175
US Population, 2010: 308,400,408
 

Verax

Disappointed in Trump
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
12,240
Reaction score
4,519
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
This isn't the 50's or 60's, it's a different world... try comparing apples to apples.....

US population, 1950: 150,697,361
US population, 1960: 179,323,175
US Population, 2010: 308,400,408

What does population have to do with anything?
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
What does population have to do with anything?

When you have a growing number of people, and jobs are simplified (reducing the need for physical workers) through technology, somewhere along the line the worker has to make themselves worth more to attain the same goals....
 

specklebang

Discount Philosopher
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
11,524
Reaction score
6,769
Location
Las Vegas
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
1/2 the population. Virtually no automation. One of the few manufacturing countries in the world. Those were "the good times".

I'll also venture that success was a little house and a Buick. Now it's a McMansion and a Beemer.

That figure, 80%, sounds unrealistic to me but anything is possible.

In 1960, the minimum wage was $1 per hour.


This isn't the 50's or 60's, it's a different world... try comparing apples to apples.....

US population, 1950: 150,697,361
US population, 1960: 179,323,175
US Population, 2010: 308,400,408
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
1/2 the population. Virtually no automation. One of the few manufacturing countries in the world. Those were "the good times".

I'll also venture that success was a little house and a Buick. Now it's a McMansion and a Beemer.

That figure, 80%, sounds unrealistic to me but anything is possible.

In 1960, the minimum wage was $1 per hour.

Personally, I'd love to see manufacturing come back, but so many feel the physical labor is beneath us Americans.

We've become spoiled, and too many feel that 'deserve' has replaced 'earned'.
 

Fisher

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
17,002
Reaction score
6,913
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
ImageP and I had this discussion awhile back about law as a profession in one of the economics forums--it isn't the first-class ticket to easy street it once was. I know lawyers whose take home are affording them about the same life a decent paying factory job would give them. It is an increasingly specialized profession under a lot of pressure from internet allowing people to bypass lawyers (things like legal zoom or free advice), non-lawyer competition in some fields like real estate closings and disability advocates who don't have to be lawyers, fixed depressed hourly rates and limits on maximum bills in areas like insurance defense & criminal appointments, limits on what is billable activities, and the overhead is pretty high. I have known quite a few lawyers to leave the profession because general practice just isn't profitable, especially in rural areas, and specialization is worthless in those areas.

The problem IMO is that too many people are unwilling or incapable of adapting to an ever changing marketplace, law or otherwise. We are not living in a world where you can likely do the exact same thing your entire career or even work for the same company for a decade. People who anticipate and prepare for changes will do well, and people who just don't care enough to even realize they have a shorter shelf-life than in the past for any given skill-set will continue to fall behind, experience extended periods of unemployment or underemployment, and otherwise struggle. We are in a 3 or 4 careers or more in your lifetime job market.
 

calamity

Privileged
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
160,900
Reaction score
57,800
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
The American Dream has always been out of reach for the uninspired and complacent who thought of it as the American Birthright. It is not a birthright.

Exactly. How many of those 80% who whine about being a paycheck away from poverty bother to take night classes, get a second job, cut spending, push hard to start a business during their off hours or do anything at all to better their prospects? Very few. Most Americans rest on their laurels, whine about how unfair it is, and watch the newest reality show which is probably something based on making fun of someone.
 

Medusa

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
39,861
Reaction score
7,852
Location
Turkey
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Other
some friends remind me of " let them eat cake " said by Marie antoinette

but they are more cruel than marie

they say " let them die "
 

Verax

Disappointed in Trump
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
12,240
Reaction score
4,519
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Exactly. How many of those 80% who whine about being a paycheck away from poverty bother to take night classes, get a second job, cut spending, push hard to start a business during their off hours or do anything at all to better their prospects? Very few. Most Americans rest on their laurels, whine about how unfair it is, and watch the newest reality show which is probably something based on making fun of someone.

You guys are missing the point, that IS what the middle class is, they are average. They are increasingly getting less and less for their contribution to the American engine. This is not an argument about how to get more or how to get rich. It is a story about what the average American's prospects are.

I imagine most of the people in this thread are average? Are you not?
 

Neomalthusian

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
10,483
Reaction score
3,101
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
And now the libertarians will pile on to say it's all the fault of the workers.

Actually libertarians are some of the only folks not looking for some class of people to blame about the whole state of the world.

The fact that productivity has increased a lot faster than wages; that we have a growing income gap as the rich get richer; that are laws are there to help the richest; that the safety net is getting ripped to pieces. None of that will matter. They will blame the worker.

Technology is improving very rapidly, and human population has grown very rapidly and continues to do so. Whose fault is that? Who should we get all mad at and "blame?" Tell me.
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent

Mason66

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
27,415
Reaction score
6,484
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
So now mínimum wage workers are 80% of the country?

Also please define the Word poverty as used in this context.

Who believes that?
 
Top Bottom