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Report: The Shrinking Middle Class State Of Affairs 2018

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Most Americans consider themselves part of the “middle class,” but no one can agree on what term that means. The problem? If sizing up the middle class is difficult enough, it’s even harder to say that circumstances within this group have changed. But they certainly have.

Includes a section :

A Fight To Preserve His Public Pension

Louisville teacher Matthew Kaufmann, 39, stands his ground.

Read more here

http://fortune.com/longform/shrinking-middle-class-state/

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After reading this above article I can now understand why saving can't always be a priority anymore. Survival is too immediate a goal much more it seems than when I was younger. But maybe not, I just don't know.

Here is a related article about shrinking pensions . I worry that teacher pensions are in jeopardy as a recession nears. Problem is majority of private industries and public pensions are underfunded. This poses significant risk to meet the obligation to pay the retiree's pension.   The kicker is that shrinking a pension is is perfectly legal.

 

https://www.fa-mag.com/news/retirees-thought-ge-would-take-care-of-them--then-it-didn-t-42448.html?print

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Wealth inequality is approaching levels we haven’t seen since just before the Great Depression. I view that as a moral emergency, but intellectually I wonder at what point does:

1. An economic system built on consumerism collapse because nobody has money.

2. People with nothing get pushed too far and we start seeing literal blood in the streets.

It sounds dramatic and ridiculous to say, but I’ve seen the stats and they’re no less extreme. Tens of millions face a lifetime of hopeless poverty and I’m surprised by how tame their reactions have been.

Gandhi led people away from an exploítative economic system and they lived minimalistically in a commune, farmed, and spun cloth to survive. When I think about the lives of low wage workers, I wonder if such an extreme step wouldn’t be a better alternative. It is scary, but I suspect I’d fundamentally reject the entire system if I were in their place.

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On 12/25/2018 at 7:29 PM, EdLaFave said:

An economic system built on consumerism collapse because nobody has money.

 

Free medical care for all  citizens would go a long way in making life a whole lot easier for everyone of these folks.  I have nothing good to say about how expensive higher education has gotten while universities build their empires at the student's expense. Hard for someone to get new skills to better themselves when they can't afford the cost.  Going into debt to do so often  puts them in an even bigger/deeper hole.

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Tony, when will I see your name on a ballot? Healthcare is a constant concern in the back of my mind and I’m a healthy 34 year old. It’s scary. 

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3 hours ago, EdLaFave said:

Tony, when will I see your name on a ballot? Healthcare is a constant concern in the back of my mind and I’m a healthy 34 year old. It’s scary. 

 I'm no socialist. I believe in a balance of capitalism and socialism. Going overboard in either direction has its consequences. I've seen the consequences of Socialism in Italy. Too much red tape and bureaucracy rule the day and lower wages and higher taxes are also a consequence but that is kind of now happening here without the benefits of socialism. It's time to give everyone here a fighting chance to succeed in life. Medical care for all would be a great step forward even though we are behind just about every other developed nation in the developed world. As a former teacher, I've seen this play out among my students whose families could not afford(no insurance) to see a doctor early on and who often were overwhelmed with bills once a serious illness reared its ugly head within that family. Even with employment, a family is suddenly thrust into poverty and debt. How can we expect folks to even consider saving for retirement?

My reluctance to buy into the FIRE  movement rest partly on the assumption that a serious illness would /could seriously eat through needed finances even with insurance.

 

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38 minutes ago, tony said:

Going overboard in either direction has its consequences.

You may be right in line with Dr. King’s economic thesis. So again, when’s your name going to be on the ballot?

"The good and just society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of Communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism."

"Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social. The kingdom of brotherhood is found in...a higher synthesis that combines both."

"We must ask the question, 'Why are there forty million poor people in America?' And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question you begin to question the capitalistic economy."

"I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic."

"There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward democratic socialism."

"We must honestly admit that capitalism has often led to a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged small hearted men to become cold and conscienceless so that they are unmoved by suffering, poverty-stricken humanity. "

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it understands that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

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52 minutes ago, EdLaFave said:

You may be right in line with Dr. King’s economic thesis

Wow, it must then be common sense because I certainly didn't know Dr. King said that and I'm no scholar. But why is common sense so uncommon among so many then? 

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In physics we’ve long been in search of a model that unifies what we see on a small scale (quantum) with what we see on a large scale (cosmos). A theory of everything as it is often called.

I argue King provided the theory of everything for humanity and customized it for America. It works in personal relationships, domestic policy, and international relations. He saw the interrelated nature of the world, which helped lead him to the conclusion that bigotry, economic exploítation, and militarism were interrelated triple evils and that these systems hurt everybody, not just the obvious losers. Then he imported Gandhi’s satyagraha as the mechanism for handling conflict and unifying people.

It was about making fundamental/radical changes to civilization; it wasn’t limited to segregation and voting rights. Sadly America has done its best to ignore his message and we’ve stagnated as a result. Every year like clockwork on MLK day, we’ve got famous/powerful people praising King as they actively opperate against his philosophy and vilify those who are still alive and working towards King’s ideals. It’s wild.

If you’re interested in a good read I can recommend two books that compiled King’s own words in a way that tell his life story and get at the heart of his philosophy. That way you don’t have to read thousands and thousands of pages of primary source documents all on your own.

...I wish teachers did a better job on this topic. I went through twelve years, 12 black history months, and every single one of my teachers failed me. 

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