Party is over guys !

Posted: 28th July 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
Infect Teh Interwebs

The golden era is ending and Americans (and Europeans) are being shoved into the ovens. Nukes have gotten us nowhere since we ascribed to competition-based paradigm. Total dependence on foreign oil has gotten us all in shit creek. Slavish devotion to a ‘winner takes all’ paradigm has made us into, well, not the winner. America (and much of the democratic world) is truly and deliciously fucked. We all are screwed. We all have to contend with an out-of-bounds standard of living probably being halved in the next decade – and after that the fun only starts when robotics kick in in earnest.

Reprinted from here.


America’s Middle Class is dying and the stats prove it
Take off your hats and bow to your betters. It’s over – the noble American experiment I mean.

The American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer here at a historically unprecedented rate.

Once the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but that’s ending at a blinding pace.

The new ‘global economy’ means that middle class American workers have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and practically no regulations.

If the socialism the Tea Party is shouting about means anything in the U.S. anymore it refers to the golden circle of the super rich, who are profiting at unheard of rates whilst the rest of this nation suffers.

U.S. Corporations have grown massively rich exploiting third world labor pools, but middle class American workers have increasingly lost out.

Here are the statistics to prove it:

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are now in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 10 years ago. (Thanks George!).
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans. (Thanks George!)
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
• 61 percent of Americans ‘always or usually’ live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, U.S. banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth than all individual Americans put together.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.

The American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new ‘global’ labor pool. We’re becoming the Chinese and the Indian labor market.

The proof is all around us, the American Middle Class is dying – and once it is gone it will take decades to rebuild, if that’s even possible now, the way things are going.

Update
* 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.

* 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
* 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
* 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
* A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
* 24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
* Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
* Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
* For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
* In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
* As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.

* The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
* Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
* In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
* The top 1% of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
* In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
* More than 40% of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
* For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
* This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
* Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
* Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.
* The top 10% of Americans now earn around 50% of our national income.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kz7YUdy-Cg&hl=en_US&fs=1]

This process of attrition is irreversible. The only way this tide of bleeding can be stemmed, if the rich nations in the world would somehow be able to make the poor of the world substantially richer, VERY fast. As in – in ten years or so. Because – once this message sinks in really well with the dumb-ass segments of our societies (and especially the US) what do you think will happen?

These people will be OUT FOR BLOOD. It’ll be a quick abandonment from a ‘protestan work ethic’ suddenly favoring ‘rioting on the barricades’. All it takes to bring down this house of cards is a sharp, stinging incident that makes the frogs start jumping out of the hot water.

Update
* How unequal are we?
* The year america dissolved

As far as I am concerned the reason the USSR collapsed was two-fold – it wasn’t sustainable. It didn’t give people what it needed. It didn’t look at the constituents of the ‘whole’ and it ignored their needs, in a patriarchal manner. “The elite knew best, at the expense of the people”. Now how does this analysis relate to the US twenty-five years later? How does this relate to an in-control paternalistic upper class in the US ‘who knows best’ and holds most of the strings? Who is the new politburo of the US? In what manner is the US riven apart left and right, up and down? Is it still a society? Are they distinct winners and losers? … can this go on indefinitely? When would there be a breaking point, who would ‘rescind their faith in this collective’ and how would such a breakdown of trust look in the streets? Would there be a point when people would ‘rather watch it all burn’ than live life ‘making do’ ? What IS fairness exactly?

Am I a ‘dangerous revolutionary’ who ‘throws gas on the fire’ ? Am I instigating rebellion? Or am I calling it for what it is?

Is Obama the new Gorbachev?

  1. Serendipity Seraph says:

    If you mean by competition-based paradigm relatively free enterprise it goes us a hell of a long way further from “life brutish and short” than anything else ever invented. As you know, thorium based reactors could make us independent in energy and would produce electricity even cheaper than coal which is what most electrical power is produced from today. It is the matter of the will and money being spent to prove out the technology on gigawatt scale. We have enough of the stuff to last 10000 years.

    So I disagree the party needs to be over on energy. What I think is the most dangerous issue is the huge economic mess of massive debt and tons of derivative funny paper on top of it. I see no way out of that short of a huge influx of wealth which would almost have to come from exploiting off planet resources or from MNT. The only other option is to repudiate the entire mess and start with a clean slate like any other bankrupts.

    I don’t agree that global competition means a race to the bottom. That has not been the issue you make it out to be.

    Over 95% of US stocks used to be in the hands of 1% because only 1% understood or trusted stocks and the buying and selling thereof except for a very few periods of rampant credit expansion and speculation.

    Income growth has been pretty flat across most wages for a long time in real dollars. But that is not because of foreign competition particularly.

    Executive pay exploded correlating with massive increase of money invested in the market due to governmental changes in the US dumping everyone’s savings into the stock market through 401Ks and mutual funds. As a result the moment by moment price of a firms shares became a very crucial assets. Executives that could both play public stock opinion really well on short term basis and keep the company from totally imploding in the process became very highly prized. They are not paid that much because somehow they made a successful pact with the devil or because of foreign devils. And the trend started long before Bush.

    Now, post housing bust of course more people live paycheck to paycheck than in 2008! This is a surprise? They don’t have home equity piggybanks to fall back on and do have the credit debts from when such equity made them think they were more plush than they really were. Thank government policies of loose credit and leaning on the banks for two decades to make riskier and riskier loans that would then be bought up by the pseudo-governmental (now not at all pseudo-) Fannie Mae for that one.

    The top 10% have always earned 50% of national income AFAIK.

    Savings have been very discouraged in the age of artificial house piggy bank wealth and very low interest rates. Not a big surprise and not a fault of foreigners.

    We have become more of a service economy. That in part is a result of a lot of manufacturing moving off shore. But if it did not a lot of goods all people buy like clothes, appliance, furniture and so on would have been a great deal more expensive under what you consider fair US wage rates and thus the disposable income and savings of the majority of people would not have improved.

    The government wage rates and their pension structures are indeed a travesty. But progressives voted for those much more than Republicans and conservatives did.

    A lot of people are on food stamps and welfare because:
    ▪ government has nuked the economy;
    ▪ welfare has become self-perpetuating;
    ▪ the hump to get off welfare (break even point when working) is much harder to get past than it used to be.

    The poverty line is continuously moved up. I think it is at only a bit under $40K for a family of four today. But yes, the government has screwed the pooch. But most of this doesn’t have much to do with cheaper foreign labor.

    Your update chart shows that the top 20% increased their holdings by a factor of 10 since the 60s while the top 1% increased their by only about 33%. Hmm. Sure it says what you think it does?

    You can’t make the poor of the world substantially richer. Do the freaking math!

    And if the hordes attack like you keep claiming they will then they will die. And may take much with them. If you keep preaching that they have good reason to attack and many other voices say likewise then aren’t you pouring gasoline on the fire?

    • Khannea Suntzu says:

      Well, its a matter of faith. I think the rich are pretty smart – that’s why they are rich. The problem is most people who got ‘lucky’ also got pretty damn smug – not everybody fortunately, and you know who I would allude to.

      The point however is one of faith – every in history there has been ample evidence that as soon as you remove an stagnant elite from stubbornly continuing to consolidate its hold on available assets, then things get substantially better. This has always been a bloody sequence of events, often a few steps back to move forward.

      From a historical perspective, the French revolution was pretty good to have happened. It was a bloody time and what came after was pretty awful, but a world without it would have been substantially worse than it is today. The same with Rome – the end of Rome turned all of Europe into a continental dung-heap (though climate trends may have been the deciding factor in this transition) but I won’t miss Imperial Rome (and its slavery) for a bleeding second.

      Even Russia, the monstrous and often demonized example of plain horrible, was good from a historical perspective, even though it ravaged the country. The world is better off without Czars.

      The point I am making is clear – current macro-economic status quo is calcified because an elite has grabbed control and will bot relinquish it. There s nothing intrinsically different, perhaps in degree (and Noam Chomsky doesn’t even see much of a difference in degree, ftm) between our age and the inhumane tyrannies of the past. We smugly rationalize living of global slave labor on the most flimsy self-serving arguments of ‘allowing those monkeys to naturally emancipate themselves from third world squalor’, or ‘the superior are naturally meant to dictate terms to the inferior’ or ‘we shouldn’t rock the boat too much’.

      You know I am not interested in those arguments, by and large, from your perspective, I am not very smart, or fore-thinking, or just plain a troublemaker. That may be the case. Or other, I may also be ‘lateral thinking’ and ‘pretty desperate’ and ‘a revolutionary’. You figure it out what is the actual case here.

      My point is – the established economical status quo, especially in the US, but by and large in all current democracies on anger, enlightenment values, revolutions, progress and rebellion against dictators and repression and elites and tyranny. What makes you so certain that by now the systems we have aren’t the same ‘we know what’s good for you’ misery all over again?

      I am personally very sure that we can do a LOT better than the current situation.

      • Valkyrie Ice says:

        While I agree with your points Khanna, particularly the cycle of removal of “stagnant elites” there are too many ways to achieve this “revolution” without the massive bloodshed that marked many of the previous revolutions. We survived the Industrial Revolution with only scattered bloodshed, as opposed to wholesale slaughter of the various “Agriculture Barons”

        Will there be some victims, I’m quite sure there will be, and at present my chief candidates it’s going to be the CEO’s and WallStreet Exec’s who are doing such a wonderful job of painting gigantic targets on their backs, but there is a very strong likelihood that they will be “taken out” by means other than mounting their heads on poles.

        Yes, there is an enormous amount of “arrogance” in the halls of power by these “aristocrats” but there is one huge difference between now and the days of the French Revolution that most people seem to overlook.

        We have these people’s every move recorded, even if they think they can keep those records “secret”, sooner or later, their arrogance is going to bite them in the ass. It might take the GOP coming back to power to finally get the silent majority off it’s asses and actually letting the Government know that it works for the people not the Oligarchy, but like all “decadent aristos” they are making the exact same mistakes that their predecessors did, and getting sloppier and sloppier about covering their tracks.

        And there’s a new crop of “Aristo’s” megawealthy who’s fortunes are completely untied to the fates of wallstreet and industrial corporate monopolies that it’s not just a battle of the “poor” vs the “rich” but of the “non-material wealthy” vs “material wealthy”, so it’s more of 3 sided war than it has ever been in the past, which hopefully means this revolution will be as relatively bloodless as it can be.