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How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Discuss issues related to business, finance, taxes, investments, cost of living in different countries, etc.

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jamesbond
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How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by jamesbond » April 22nd, 2018, 3:35 pm

Interesting video explaining what happened to the middle class in the United States.

"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by jamesbond » April 23rd, 2018, 7:39 am

Here is another interesting video explaining how the middle class in America got screwed.

"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."

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Cornfed
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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by Cornfed » April 23rd, 2018, 10:07 am

See, it's all about the Jews. They just want to merge with or displace the white upper class. Maybe they will need some white guys as middle management. As far as the rest of us, they don't give a damn because they think they can replace us. So if we let this continue, then we and the whole concept of a middle class will go. But then the world will in fact go to shit, because it needs us. Will a tiny group of ugly freaks win the world and then destroy it? It seems so.

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by Adama » April 24th, 2018, 2:51 am

That's one thing that I always considered to be pretty inhuman, but I've known (of) people, including radio talk show right wing pundits, who advocate for offshoring of jobs, because "it helps the economy." Well no, but it does help the stockholders earn more money, at the cost of displacing millions of formerly middle class workers.
A good man is above pettiness. He is better than that.

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by MrMan » April 27th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Adama wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 2:51 am
That's one thing that I always considered to be pretty inhuman, but I've known (of) people, including radio talk show right wing pundits, who advocate for offshoring of jobs, because "it helps the economy." Well no, but it does help the stockholders earn more money, at the cost of displacing millions of formerly middle class workers.
Read Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Or just look up a video on these early economists on Youtube to get an idea.

Prior to them, merchantilists thought that for a country to be rich, it should export a lot, import a little, and collect gold.
That may make sense if kings tax exports and they need gold to buy ships. But if you think in terms of goods the people consume, that is not the best economic model.

Smith and Recardo dealt with simple models to illustrate their point. But if countries trade things they can produce efficiently with no tarriffs, both countries end up better. Suppose there were only two goods in the world, wheat and grapes. If England produced only grapes, it could produce 1 ton, but it could produce 10 tons of wheat if it put all it's land to wheat production. Suppos Portugal could produce 1 ton of wheat but 10 tons of grapes under the same scenario. It would make sense for them to specialize and trade with each other. Both countries would be richer in terms of having enough supply for everyone. Ricardo's model added to Smith's. Adam Smith also contributed the idea that members of a society specializing increases productivy, aside from his international trade contributions, and he is known for the 'invisible' hand idea, and the idea that all members of a market competing while working in their own best interest produces the optimal supply at an optimal market price. The 'invisible hand' of the market pushes prices to that optimal point.

The idea is humanity is richer if every country produces what it is best at, in terms of quality price, etc. If jobs are moving overseas for a particular product, the market is usually saying that other country is a better place for that product to be produced.

Many of the world leaders have studied economics and have been moving more toward free trade over the decades and away from protectionism, whch tends to end up with less production for consumers. Smith and Ricardo seem to be right looking at history.

A couple of weak points criticisms of these theories:

- New Trade Theory (Krugman)-- some industries (like aircraft manufacturing) naturally tend toward a few small players and it may make sense to protect a nascient industry like this to be the country that houses it.
- Security-- if there is a war, or even a trade war, free trade may end abruptly, and it may be necessary to have an established industry in a country. Food security is especially important. Outsoucing all food production is dangerous.
- When free trade isn't free-- Trump's criticism is that we have had few import restrictions with certain countries, but they restrict US products.
- Currency manipulation can make other countries seem like attractive markets. A country heavily in debt to other countries like the US may not be able to do much about this.

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by MrMan » April 27th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Typically, the purpose of a corporation is to make money for the shareholders. It is not, usually, to create a strong middle class or to give something back to the workers. A lot of people have an entitlement mentality.

If you take your hard-earned money and invest in a company so it can make money on you, shouldn't the manager try to make money for you? Should he think that the money belongs to all the workers, to keep the employed for life, to strengthen their skills, or even to make America great again? What about giving the profits to charity? He could give the money away to some charity that promotes sterilizing racists in Indiana. But that isn't his money. It's the investors money. He's taking the money of the silver-haired granny that invested, and spending it on the workers and a left-wing charity.

American workers have developed a sense of entitlement over the years, but this really does boil down to a lack of freedom as the nanny state expands it's boundaries. Let's take discrimination laws. On the one hand, I see the reason for laws against discrimination for things, like discrimation against blacks who were brought over as slaves and continued to live as a poorer class for a century after the Civil War before these laws started to be passed. But if you own a business, and the government forces you to hire someone because he is black or even if you aren't racist, and you just have to take time away from your business to create mechanisms to make sure that blacks get hired, that is taking away your freedom.

And now it has gotten really strange. You can not hire someone because he is ugly or he has bad breath, but if you refuse to hire him because he comes to the interview dressed as a woman or because he admits to being a certain kind of sex pervert, that's illegal. Getting special legal protection for certain sexual preferences is insane. And it has gotten to the point that there is a legal framework for requiring that kindergartenders hire pedophiles. How can we say that doesn't fit the profile of an 'orientation.'

And on the business side of things, there is now this shit toward the idea that companies are about giving to charity and giving back to the stakeholders. Now, that is just find, possibly even noble, if this was the stated company vision when the investors invested their cash. But if a CEO just decides to give grandma's (the stockholding grandma's) money away instead of his own to some less-than-desirable charity, that is an ethical problem. Give her the money and let her give it away to charity. And the money is supposed to go back to the shareholders, not to make the middle class strong, unless that is also in the interest of the shareholders. If the shareholders decide on a socially-focused company, that's okay. If it's in the vision from the get-go, great. Tom's Shoes had a social vision from the start, and that helped them grow, too.

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by CannedHam » May 1st, 2018, 10:57 pm

MrMan wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 6:19 pm
Typically, the purpose of a corporation is to make money for the shareholders. It is not, usually, to create a strong middle class or to give something back to the workers. A lot of people have an entitlement mentality.

If you take your hard-earned money and invest in a company so it can make money on you, shouldn't the manager try to make money for you? Should he think that the money belongs to all the workers, to keep the employed for life, to strengthen their skills, or even to make America great again? What about giving the profits to charity? He could give the money away to some charity that promotes sterilizing racists in Indiana. But that isn't his money. It's the investors money. He's taking the money of the silver-haired granny that invested, and spending it on the workers and a left-wing charity.

American workers have developed a sense of entitlement over the years, but this really does boil down to a lack of freedom as the nanny state expands it's boundaries. Let's take discrimination laws. On the one hand, I see the reason for laws against discrimination for things, like discrimation against blacks who were brought over as slaves and continued to live as a poorer class for a century after the Civil War before these laws started to be passed. But if you own a business, and the government forces you to hire someone because he is black or even if you aren't racist, and you just have to take time away from your business to create mechanisms to make sure that blacks get hired, that is taking away your freedom.

And now it has gotten really strange. You can not hire someone because he is ugly or he has bad breath, but if you refuse to hire him because he comes to the interview dressed as a woman or because he admits to being a certain kind of sex pervert, that's illegal. Getting special legal protection for certain sexual preferences is insane. And it has gotten to the point that there is a legal framework for requiring that kindergartenders hire pedophiles. How can we say that doesn't fit the profile of an 'orientation.'

And on the business side of things, there is now this shit toward the idea that companies are about giving to charity and giving back to the stakeholders. Now, that is just find, possibly even noble, if this was the stated company vision when the investors invested their cash. But if a CEO just decides to give grandma's (the stockholding grandma's) money away instead of his own to some less-than-desirable charity, that is an ethical problem. Give her the money and let her give it away to charity. And the money is supposed to go back to the shareholders, not to make the middle class strong, unless that is also in the interest of the shareholders. If the shareholders decide on a socially-focused company, that's okay. If it's in the vision from the get-go, great. Tom's Shoes had a social vision from the start, and that helped them grow, too.
Couldn't agree with you more, as someone who has a stake in two businesses and has seen this live in action to some extent.

If "giving back" and donating to charity were really always in the best interests of everyone, the shareholders would be taking all their dividends and capital gains and giving them away on their own. If a board member or executive really feels that profits should be used for anything other than generating more profit (via reinvestment) or return of capital to shareholders (via dividends/buybacks), they should (1) be shown the door and (2) write the check from their own personal funds.

Sure, if we're distributing money, we'll allocate a % to employee bonuses as those help maintain morale and reduce turnover. And maybe we'll thrown in $50-100 every once in a while to do things like buy girl scout cookie. But it's a small % relative to the money going towards those holding stock in the company.

Look what's happening to CalPERS (the CA employees retirement fund). You've got activist politicians and managers dictating how the fund should invest according to their political beliefs. See this bullshit and this insane shit going on. They're risking other peoples' money and livelihoods for the "cause" rather than ensuring sustainability of the fund.

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by MrMan » May 2nd, 2018, 5:52 am

I might be concerned if I had my money in a California pension. I don't think it is bad for them to keep their money out of certain gas companies that go against government objectives if they manage the funds responsibly, since there are many other investments out there. But wasting employees money to fulfill their own political objectives presents a big ethical problem.

One of my concerns with the interest on CSR, etc. is the fact that there are so many people with evil left-wing philosophies, who think that donating money to Planned Parenthood to murder babies is a good idea. I wouldn't want money from a company I own stock in to go to helping kindergarten boys think they are really little girls, or to sterilize all the people in Mexico or something like that.

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by jamesbond » May 2nd, 2018, 1:27 pm

This video is a few years old but it's very informative in showing how the middle class in America is disappearing.

"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."

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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by jamesbond » May 5th, 2018, 10:34 pm

There are more and more adults in the United States who are working in fast food. Even some college graduates are having to work in fast food because they are unable to find good jobs.

"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."

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Adama
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Re: How the Middle Class In America Got Screwed

Post by Adama » May 5th, 2018, 11:34 pm

I've said it before. It used to be you could go into Best Buy and see some younger women in their early 20s working as sales agents. Now if you go in there you're likely to see people in their 40s working there. Same with the mall.
A good man is above pettiness. He is better than that.

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