3
   

Is there class warfare being waged against the Middle Class and the Poor?

 
 
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 07:04 pm
1. Is there class warfare being waged against the Middle Class and the Poor?

2. If there is class warfare being waged against the Middle Class and the Poor, please elaborate.
 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 07:34 pm
@Real Music,
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/01/the_gop_of_2017_is_the_most_extreme_party_coalition_since_the_civil_war.html
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 08:49 pm
@Real Music,
Sure looks like it.

The share of the wealth of the top 1% is expanding at the expense of the share of the middle class and poor.

http://i63.tinypic.com/15qx1qg.jpg
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 09:04 pm
@Blickers,
And it has to be stopped.
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 09:54 pm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/18/union-membership-middle-class-income_n_3948543.html
Quote:
09/18/2013 02:19 pm ET | Updated Sep 19, 2013

Middle-Class Decline Mirrors The Fall Of Unions In One Chart

By Caroline Fairchild

This week the Census Bureau reported the latest depressing decline in middle-class incomes during the so-called economic recovery. But it may have missed an important factor in this story.

A report on Wednesday from the left-leaning think tank Center For American Progress notes that as middle-class incomes have steadily fallen, so have union membership rates. The middle 60 percent of households earned 53.2 percent of national income in 1968. That number has fallen to just 45.7 percent. During that same period, nationwide union membership fell from 28.3 percent to a record-low 11.3 percent of all workers.

Put these two economic trends together, and a striking image appears:
unions middle income

Indeed, declining labor-union participation is not the only factor killing middle-class income growth. But increased union participation would likely mean more income for the middle class, the left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute argued in a 2009 report. Unions typically increase the wages of their workers while also raising pay for nonunion workers in industries with a strong union presence.

Higher union participation rates might also reduce income inequality. The U.S. has the worst income inequality of any country in the developed world, and the nation’s top earners continue to see their pay rise as median incomes fall. Union participation could counteract this trend, according to the EPI.

So why is union participation declining so rapidly? Private sector union membership reached a peak of about 35 percent of the labor force in the 1950s, The New York Times reports. Since then, labor unions have steadily become smaller as many states have rolled out new laws limiting union power.

Young millennials’ disenchantment with organized labor may also be an important contributor to its decline. From 2002 to 2012, union members ages 16 to 24 fell by 26 percent. That’s double the decline in union membership for all workers, according to Quartz.

That said, younger generations may have a good reason to be less than eager to join a union. Studies have discovered that during the economic recovery, non-union workers fared considerably better than union workers in fields like manufacturing and private construction. Also, during the 1982 and 1991 recessions, states with fewer union members were found to recover more quickly than states with a strong union presence.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 10:46 pm
http://www.alternet.org/story/152284/4_ways_government_policy_favors_the_rich_and_keeps_the_rest_of_us_poor/
Quote:
4 Ways Government Policy Favors the Rich and Keeps the Rest of Us Poor

While most Americans struggle in the face of the recession, the rich are enjoying the benefits of policies that redistribute wealth upward--and crying class war if we complain.

By Jake Blumgart / AlterNet

September 2, 2011

The rich really are different from you and me. There’s the obvious, of course: They have a whole hell of a lot more money. But just as important, they are able to preserve their wealth from the forces that decimate the earning power of your average American. While government programs for working or jobless Americans are under constant attack, the state frequently intervenes on behalf of the rich, or at least lets them keep their earnings, tax free (leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab).

Republicans in Congress, and to a lesser extent the Obama administration, seem to believe that austerity is the best way to deal with our recessionary woes (despite all economic evidence to the contrary). Instead of unraveling the safety net, voters should consider all the ways the government aids and abets the one class of people who clearly don’t need help.

1. Protectionism for high-income professionals, free trade for everyone else

Economists incessantly extol the importance of free trade. Opening up our markets through treaties like NAFTA and CAFTA results in a flood of cheap consumer goods, which we all enjoy. However, these policies further expose America’s workforce to overseas competition, accelerating the decimation of middle-class jobs. The wounds inflicted by globalization are often shrugged off as a sad, but inevitable, part of the process. Those who would try to preserve these jobs are denounced as Neanderthalic protectionists.

But while many Americans are forced into low-wage work with no benefits, our doctors are the highest paid in the world. (Every year the medical profession dominates the Forbes list of best paying jobs in the U.S.) How did this happen? They protected themselves from overseas competition. In 1997, a mere three years after NAFTA, the American Medical Association argued that licensing rules for American doctors were too loose and demanded that we greatly restrict the number of foreign doctors practicing in the U.S. Our political elites happily obliged. Five years later, the number of foreign medical students had fallen by half. Our immigration laws also preserve the privilege of the professional classes by banning the government from hiring foreigners in most instances and snarling those who want to work in the private sector in a staggering amount of red tape.

“Our doctors, on average, get paid twice as much as doctors in Western Europe and Canada,” Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said in a phone interview. “The income of high-end professionals is a cost the rest of us bear. Our wages are lower because whatever we take home doesn’t go as far if we pay our doctors $200,000 a year, where they’d get $100,000 in Western Europe.”

These government-protected wages also contribute to our grotesque health care costs that are far higher than those of any other developed nation. If we let people from India or China practice medicine here, we would have more medical professionals, pay them less, and pay less for health care. (Many professional workers are subject to the same principal, to a less extreme degree.)

“Most workers in the U.S. are getting paid the same or less as their counterparts,” Baker said. “If you don’t do the same for high-end workers, that’s class war. People have to understand they are being ripped off.”

2. Rich and own a big house? Here’s some money!

In theory, everyone should love the mortgage interest tax deduction. The lucky homeowner gets to deduct the interest on their mortgage from loans to buy, build, or improve her home directly from her income! (Rent is not deductible because renting, as George W. Bush helpfully explains, is unpatriotic.)

There's a catch of course. Rich people have larger mortgages and higher income taxes. Therefore, they get the most out of their mortgage interest tax deductions. Households earning more than $250,000 annually enjoy 10 times the remuneration of households with income between $40,000 and $75,000. Those homeowners earning $30,000 basically get nothing (check out the chart). Those without the income to buy a home, or who just choose to rent, are probably a bunch of impoverished Communists anyway, so they don’t get a damn thing.

Think of it like this: If you earn less than $30,000 a year, or you live in a big city and probably have to rent, your taxes are paying for housing for everyone else. But most of the benefits of the mortgage tax deduction go to rich people who, apparently, really need your money for that 8,000-square-foot McMansion. This is a system so blatantly unfair that everyone from Manhattan Institute economists to libertarian bloggers thinks the mortgage interest tax deduction is an incredibly regressive policy that should have been reformed years ago.

3. A sales tax for bread but not for bonds (or stocks or futures)

The stock market is the playground of the rich. 83 percent of stocks are owned by one percent of the population. Trillions of dollars are sloshing around in American stock markets, enriching the lucky few and periodically endangering the world economy. But the government gets nothing from this constant trading blizzard.

Sales taxes, which disproportionately hit low-income families, are in force across the nation. Taxes on financial transactions, which would disproportionately affect the rich, barely exist. There is a tiny financial transaction tax, generating $900 million annually, bankrolling the Securities and Exchange Commission. The New York Stock Exchange suffers under the yoke of tax that raises $14.4 billion a year, enough to handle New York’s fiscal deficit, with $4.4 billion leftover. Don’t fret though: The traders don’t pay a dime. It’s all rebated after they tally up how much they would be paying the state government, if anyone bothered to collect.

If New York would get $14.4 billion a year from its theoretical tax on financial transactions, think how much money the United States might make with a national tax. The London Stock Exchange currently operates with a tax for stocks (bonds, securities, and so forth aren’t covered) that pulls in $40 billion annually. The billions upon billions America could gain from such a tax would go a long way toward easing our budgetary woes. Instead, we are debating raising the social security retirement age and fundamentally weakening Medicare.

Wall Street claims such a tax would stall economic growth. “If you look at the seven fastest growing stock markets in the world, each and every one of them has a financial transaction tax,” said Robert Pollin, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute. “China, Singapore, South Korea—all the emerging markets have one. It’s not preventing these economies from growing. Having the tax is not a barrier to a successful financial market.”

Pollin argued a tax would disincentivize excessive trading for short-term profit, one of the causes of the economic meltdown. Short-term traders would get hit by the tax often while those who invest their money responsibly, and for the long term, wouldn’t have to pay much. (Last week, the National Nurses United union used the same argument when it lobbied 61 different Congressional offices in support of a financial transaction tax.)

4. Tired of payroll taxes? The wealthy aren’t because they don’t have to pay

When most people get their paychecks, income taxes are taken out up front, before they ever get their hands on the money. Not so the super-rich, that blessed class of executives, movie actors, big business owners, hedgefund managers, and star athletes. Through a variety of byzantine loopholes, they get to pay their income taxes years, if not decades, in the future. (There’s no interest on this late payment either).

“The biggest single way that the rich benefit from the tax system is that you pay your taxes before you get your money, they pay their taxes by and by,” David Cay Johnson, Reuters tax columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, told me. “This amounts to a loan from the taxpayers. You take $1 you don’t have to pay taxes on today, [invest it and] make 8 percent real return over the next 30 years, and inflation runs 3 percent. At the end of 30 years that one dollar is worth 10 dollars and inflation has eroded the value of the tax to 40 cents.”

But the federal government needs that money now and if they don’t get it from the super-rich (or from taxing, say, financial transactions) they’ll get it by borrowing. This borrowing adds to our debt, leading to conversations about “shared sacrifice,” which leads to massive holes in the budget, which leads to underfunded programs like the Peace Corps, community health centers, Pell Grants, and the National Park Service.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the ways our political system rewards the rich for being rich. Don’t forget all the moaning over ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which discounts the fact that the so-called “Bush tax cuts for the middle class” also help the rich and give them much more money on an individual basis. Or that many of America’s largest corporations haven’t paid a cent of income taxes in years.

There is little chance of these policies, most of which are tax-related, being changed to address the deficit. There is nothing harder to dislodge than entrenched privilege. This is especially true when one of the two major political parties refuses to raise taxes under any circumstance and controls a major policy choke point. (The unchecked torrent of money for lobbying and campaigning advantages the rich as well.)

Keep that in mind while you work until you drop, with little hope of Social Security-backed retirement. At least the rich will be able to enjoy the program: They live longer.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 11:41 pm




ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 11:59 pm
@Real Music,
I'm not clear on your point, and I don't mean that meanly.
Some of us may well need Meals on Wheels in the future, including me.
I doubt my immediate neighbors would not wish M on W could help. Likely all for it.

Is there some burgeoning hate of that help for people? Besides trumpies, that is?
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2017 11:59 pm
House republicans are looking to gut schools free lunch program

Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 12:04 am
@ossobucotemp,
Quote:
I'm not clear on your point, and I don't mean that meanly.
Some of us may well need Meals on Wheels in the future, including me.
I doubt my immediate neighbors would not wish M on W could help. Likely all for it.

Is there some burgeoning hate of that help for people?


The point is that this is another attack against the poor. Just one more demonstration of class warfare being waged against the poor.
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 12:20 am
@Real Music,
That's what I thought you meant with the opening post, but wasn't sure.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 02:34 am

Outrageous example of Corporate greed from Caterpillar



Corporate greed at Verizon
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 02:53 am

How to pay for tax cuts for the Rich (if you are a Republican)
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 05:15 am
@Real Music,
No.
There is a bankruptcy of the classical powers that used to kept balance in check.
Opinion and media noise have replaced common sense and scientific authority. Where there is noise and confusion Darwinism thrives.

We live in a Global world with a Global economic system but with local governments...it just doesn't work.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 09:19 am
@Real Music,
Real Music wrote:

House republicans are looking to gut schools free lunch program


Big deal! let the kids pack a sandwich and apple in their back backs plus a can of orange juice. Why the fuss?
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 11:50 am
https://www.quora.com/profile/Harlan-Didrickson/T-M-Mulligan-Essays/Protecting-the-Rich-Attacking-the-Poor-Thats-America
Quote:
How Entitlements for the Rich Cheat the Rest of Us

They're not 'entitlements' if you earn them. (Photo: Flickr/Charles Miller)
The word 'entitlement' is ambiguous. For working people it means "earned benefits." For the rich, the concept of entitlement is compatible with the Merriam-Webster definition: "The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)." Recent studies agree, concluding that higher social class is associated with increased entitlement and narcissism.

The sense of entitlement among the very rich is understandable, for it helps them to justify the massive redistribution of wealth that has occurred over the past 65 years, especially in the past 30 years. National investment in infrastructure, technology, and security has made America a rich country. The financial industry has used our publicly-developed communications technology to generate trillions of dollars in new earnings, while national security protects their interests. The major beneficiaries have convinced themselves they did it on their own. They believe they're entitled to it all.

Their entitlements can be summarized into four categories, each of which reveals clear advantages that the very rich take for granted.

1. Income: Mocking Our 'Progressive' Tax System

Americans who earn millions of dollars a year feel entitled to the same maximum tax rate as those making about $400,000 a year. Progressive taxation stops at that point. In fact, it reverses itself, with the highest earners paying lower tax rates. The richest 10% pay about 20 percent in federal taxes, and it goes down from there, with the richest 400 paying less than 20 percent. When all taxes are included (payroll, sales, state and local), the super-rich pay about the same percentage as America's middle and upper-middle classes.

Corporations feel entitled to lower taxes, too, having cut their income tax rate in half in just ten years. The companies that have benefited the most from public research have become skilled tax avoiders.

Some corporate CEOs feel entitled to total freedom from taxes, employing a noble-sounding strategy of a $1 per year salary to avoid federal income taxes. It allows them to defer all capital gains taxes on their stock holdings, which can be used, if cash is needed, as collateral for low-interest loans.

2. Wealth: Trillions in Financial Gains, Zero Tax

America has gained $16 trillion in financial wealth over the past five years, with 80-90 percent of that gain going to the richest 10%, for many of whom productive labor may have been limited to checking their online portfolios. America is gaining in wealth because of technological infrastructure and a deregulated financial industry that uses the technology to capture most of those gains.

There is no tax on all that wealth. Capital gains can be deferred indefinitely, and then another entitlement comes into play: the lower capital gains rate, purportedly meant to stimulate new business investment, but in large part failing to do that. The nation's wealth needs to be distributed more equitably among productive citizens, ideally by allowing everyone to share in the capital of companies that use our nationally developed technologies.

3. Financial Transactions: Trillions in Speculative Purchases, Zero Tax

As Forbes notes, the hundreds of trillions of dollars of speculative financial transactions constitute "a massive financial accident waiting to happen, yet again."

We pay a sales tax of up to 10 percent on boots and mittens for the kids, But not a penny of sales tax is paid on U.S. financial transactions, which may be valued as high as three quadrillion dollars annually, or over three thousand times the deficit. No sales tax is paid despite the high-risk nature of "flash trading" that can lose entire pension funds in a few seconds.

The trading industry feels entitled to tax-free purchases, claiming that even a tiny sales tax will decrease liquidity, or slow the economy, or constitute a sin tax. Yet it's an easily administered tax that has been imposed in some of the freest economies in the world.

4. Subsidies: Alms for the Rich

About two-thirds of nearly $1 trillion in individual "tax expenditures" (deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes) goes to the top quintile of taxpayers.

At the corporate level, tens of billions of dollars go in subsidies to the fossil fuel, fishing, and agricultural industries. Fossil fuel subsidies may be much, much more. The IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, and according to Grist, even this is an underestimate.

Cheated

There's more. A regressive payroll tax, an almost nonexistent estate tax, the lower capital gains rate on carried interest for investment managers, trillions socked away in tax havens -- all involve tax avoidance by wealthy Americans who feel entitled to their privileged positions.

Entitlements for the rich mean cuts in safety net programs for children, women, retirees, and low-income families. They threaten Social Security. They redirect money from infrastructure repair, education, and job creation.

And the more the super-rich take from us, the greater their belief that they're entitled to the wealth we all helped to create.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 05:58 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
And it has to be stopped.

Agreed. Who can stop it?
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 06:06 pm
@Blickers,
Quote:
Sure looks like it.

The share of the wealth of the top 1% is expanding at the expense of the share of the middle class and poor.

It seems like the top 1% has aggressively and successfully been eliminating the very existence of the middle class.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 06:51 pm
@Miller,
Quote Miller:
Quote:
Big deal! let the kids pack a sandwich and apple in their back backs plus a can of orange juice. Why the fuss?

Because in some neighborhoods the SNAP allotment runs out a few days early and the parents have to scrape by on little food for a few days. At least this way the kids get one solid meal a day.

Also, if excessive alcohol or drugs are in the domestic situation, the money might not be there for food. At least the kids' learning abilities won't be hampered by hunger.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Mar, 2017 07:38 pm
@Miller,
Quote:
Big deal! let the kids pack a sandwich and apple in their back backs plus a can of orange juice. Why the fuss?

What many of us take for granted is a lifeline for others. The class warfare being waged against the poor lacks compassion for the less fortunate.
0 Replies
 
 

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