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Posts Tagged ‘middle class’

Income inequality is getting worse in the United States, and some new data from Pew Research shows this to be true.

An analysis that weighs the U.S. against 11 countries in Western Europe shows that America holds the tiniest middle class, with just 59% of the United States’ population falling between rich and poor on the income scale. By contrast, 72% of the German population falls into that middle-income bracket — defined by Pew to be between two-thirds the country’s median income and double the median — as does 80% of the Danish population.

“Countries with higher income inequality tend to have smaller middle classes,” said Rakesh Kochhar, the associate director of research at Pew Research Center. The US rates 93rd worst when it comes to income inequality. That’s because the vast majority of new income in the United States is being redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, and because the rich control virtually all levers of government that determines income and wealth redistribution.

Tens of millions of US jobs have been exported thanks to Free Trade Treaties since 1990, for example. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower third world wages with no-benefits go straight from the pockets of the middle class to the super wealthy via higher corporate profits, soaring share prices, and surging dividends.

There’s one interesting wrinkle to the Pew data: While the U.S. middle-income segment is smaller than in European countries, it takes a higher income overall to make it into that group. The median income for a middle-class household in Italy is $35,608. It’s $44,000 in France and $46,000 in Denmark.

But in the United States, it’s $60,084. That, however, simply measures how badly income inequality has become in the US since income inequality in the US badly skews the data. Pew defines the middle class to be between two-thirds the country’s median income and double the median. The median is the midpoint. So if the highest earner in a nation earns $1.2 billion a year and the lowest worker earns $50,000, the midpoint is $599,950,000.

The median is the midpoint. So if the highest earner in a nation earns $1.2 billion a year and the lowest worker earns $50,000, the midpoint between the two is $599,950,000. Whereas, if the highest earner garners $1 million while the lowest worker earns $100,000, then the median income is $450,000. The higher income inequality, the more money it takes to get into the middle class. The less income inequality is, the less cash it takes to be in the middle class.

 

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h1-b-visa-workers

Computerworld reports that the University of California is outsourcing eighty IT jobs to an Indian corporation, HCL. US workers are now training their H1-B replacements. Note that H1-B visas are supposed to be given only when qualified Americans cannot be found to do a job in the USA.

The situation is really this; US citizens are qualified to train their H2-B replacements. This means the H1-B visa recipients are not qualified to do the job until they receive training from the US citizens they are replacing, who are sufficiently qualified to train their replacements.

In other words, the H1-B system is being used to undercut US wages and salaries. That is this program’s sole purpose. When a US worker has to train an H1-B visa worker to do their job it is the H1-B worker who is not qualified and the US worker who is.

One of the effected University of California employees wrote California US Senator Diane Feinstein, a person who was reported to be worth between $43 and $99 million in 2005. Her wealth and income has likely grown since then. Much of the growth is likely due to exporting jobs and outsourcing jobs to H1-B visa workers. When you push wages down, or export jobs overseas, the difference between the old higher pay and the new lower wages goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends.

Feinstein clearly has an incentive to say one thing in public and an opposite thing with private bankers.

Anyway, the US citizen IT worker wrote,

“The decision to move the University of California San Francisco datacenters from California to Washington was difficult to grasp. I saw several of my long time co-workers terminated, and my California tax dollars that go into the UC system being diverted to the state of Washington.

“The recent decision to outsource 17% of Information Technology to India based Company HCL has literally hit home. I am being asked to do knowledge transfer to a foreigner so they can take over my job in February of 2017.

“I am asking for your support in requesting an oversight with the Department of Labor in regards to the contract between HCL of India and University of California San Francisco. This contract will more than likely not save the University money, but it will definitely wipe out what is now a somewhat diverse workplace.”

According to Computerworld, “As a U.S. senator, Feinstein could have asked the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to review the situation. She could have also asked California’s governor to take a look at the IT outsourcing or contact the University of California directly — a public institution that also receives federal dollars — to ask why a partially taxpayer-supported university is moving jobs to India.”

Instead Feinstein did nothing, except respond with a form letter.

For more on this story, click the following link to Computerworld. Outsourced Workers Ask Feinstein for Help and Get a Form Letter in Return–Computerworld

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US Senator Bernie Sanders does several things right. One of them is to keep on his message, no matter what distractions the media throws his way. His message is simple,

1. The US middle class is being wiped out.

2. International trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership have shipped away tens of millions of American jobs.

3. The rich are getting wealthier at the expense of everybody else.

4. We need to overturn Citizen’s United, which overturned 100 years of legal precedence regarding campaign finance laws.

5. The corporate press is doing its best to keep American citizens ignorant of these and other issues, by focusing on missing emails, gun policy, gay rights, and anything else that will distract us.

5. We need to do something about all of these things and more.

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new_world

The US middle class has been shrinking for decades, but never as rapidly as under the Obama administration. 95 percent of all income growth since 2009 has gone to the super affluent. This means the uber wealthy now steal 37 percent of all income produced in the United States every year, compared to 21 percent in 2009, and 8 percent in 1980. And they’re stealing it from the middle and lower classes. They’re sucking the middle class dry because these rich folks have all the gold, which follows the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules. Check out the link below from the Pew Charitable Trust to see how much your senators and congressional representatives have robbed from the middle class and given to the rich. That’s what the rich pay them to do.

The Shrinking Middle Class Mapped State-by-State–Pew Charitable Trust

Take the case of Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. He is supposed to represent the people of Oregon, rather than the robber barons of Wall Street, but Wyden has led the fight to ship and create jobs overseas, as well as privatization scams. Wall Street Ronnie is no dumb dumb. He knows these things redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That shows whose side he is on in the war against the middle class. The senator has a 100 percent voting record for shipping and creating jobs overseas. He calls his efforts free trade treaties, but in reality, these deals are designed and negotiated by multi-national corporations to redistribute income, wealth and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent. The senator has also proposed measures to redistribute Medicare benefits from the 99 to the 1 percent via a privatization scams. He claims he is bipartisan, but he has never led a Republican to successfully support legislation that reverses his shameful income redistribution policies.

Wyden voted for NAFTA and every income redistribution treaty since. He’s the Democratic senator who led the fight in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income and political power redistribution treaty ever. The result of the senator’s work in the halls of congress are evident:

In Oregon,

  • 47.7 percent of all people live in middle class households as of 2013, compared to 51.4 percent in 2010. Rest assured, when the numbers are compiled for 2014 and 2015, the number of people living in middle class households will be less than in 2013.
  • medium income has declined from $50,251 per household per year in 2013, compared to an inflation adjusted $56,382 in 2000. Worse yet, the medium family income has declined. The senator has voted to redistribute that $6,000 a year to the 1 percent year after year.
  • Poverty is up.
  • The 1 percent now steal 37 percent of all income made in the USA, compared to 10 percent when Wyden entered congress over twenty disastrous years ago.

Luckily, people are organizing in Oregon because they’re fed up with the disastrous policies of one of Wall Street’s favorite employees, that’s Wyden.

Wyden is in a dominant position inasmuch as he and the local corporate propaganda machine hide his economic legislative record by extolling the virtues of his social issues. However, Kevin Stine, a Medford city council member is running in the primary against Wyden. Wyden’s disastrous economic policies, bad for Oregonians and good for Wall Street, have begun to come out and his position is not so secure anymore.

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After thirty-five years of globalization, most people in the world are still living a wretched existence by US middle class standards, according to the Pew Research Center. More people than ever before have entered the middle class throughout the world, which the US corporate news media will brag about, but definitions of middle class vary throughout the world, which the same corporate news media won’t tell you. So, for example, people living in poverty in Vietnam on $2.70 a day might be considered middle class if their wages double, which would mean those folks are still living a wretched existence by any standard, except now they’re considered middle class, by somebody’s definition.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis, “…though there was growth in the middle-income population (in the world) from 2001 to 2011, the rise in prosperity was concentrated in certain regions of the globe, namely China, South America and Eastern Europe. The middle class barely expanded in India and Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America.”

This rise in the third world middle class corresponds with a decline in the middle class in the United States, which the corporate news media won’t mention. That’s because globalization is a facade hiding the reality that free trade as is currently negotiated is nothing more than an income redistribution scam. Here’s how it works, and here’s how the researchers at Pew have been easily fooled.

One needs to earn between $6,000 and $25,000 a year to be considered middle class in China. See understanding-chinas-middle-class–China Business Review. In China, these people are free from such things as social security, free from overtime pay, free to suck in the world’s worst air pollution, free to drink among the world’s most polluted water, and they’re are often forced to work sixteen hours a day.

Do a little math. A person in the USA earning the federal minimum wage of $7.50 an hour working forty hours earns $15,600 a year, hardly middle class by US standards. The difference between middle class in the US and China is one of income redistribution.

When the US government signs a so-called free trade treaty, the result redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent because these agreements legally pave the way for US corporations to ship jobs from the US to lesser paying nations, like China. The treaties also pave the way for US corporations to create jobs overseas, rather than in the US, so they serve to discourage US job growth, and corporate investment in the USA. The difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower pay, in say China, goes straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and soaring dividends.

So, for example, a job paying $50,000 in the US may pay only $6,000 in China (with no overtime pay, and often being forced to work 16 hours a day). The difference between the two figures is $44,000, and that goes toward rising corporate profits, which in turn, goes into the pockets of the one percent via rising dividends and share prices. The US jobs losers get a few months of unemployment insurance, if they’re lucky.

In the meantime, as millions of jobs are shipped overseas, or created there when they would have been created over here in the absence of these income redistribution scams known as free trade agreements, the tax dollars that normally go to schools, fire, police, roads and other infrastructure, and our social safety nets, are being redistributed to the 1 percent with every job that is exported overseas. By the way, the BIGGEST EXPORT PRODUCT OF THE UNITED STATES IS JOBS.

These agreements weaken the Social Security Trust Fund because the people earning $55,000 a year are paying into it, and the people who steal their wages when jobs are shipped overseas, pay social security taxes on only the first $118,500 of their their $10,000,000+ income, which, coincidentally, violates the fourteenth amendment’s equal protection clause of the US Constitution.

However, narrow minded researchers and corrupt news media reporters influenced by corporate dollars will declare that free trade agreements are good things, and they’ll point to China’s growing middle class as their evidence, rather than the declining US middle class, as an example. And they’ll do this without mentioning that middle class in China means living a very subsistence life style at best, and being encapsulated with dire poverty at the worst.

So when the corporate news media reports on the growth of the middle class throughout the world, take it for what it’s worth, which is nothing.

A Global Middle Class Is More Promise than Reality –Pew Research Center

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US Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has come out against the Wall Street wings of the Republican and Democratic Parties by opposing giving Wall Street President Barack Obama Fast Track Trade Authority, which is known simply as Fast Track. Fast track would provide little debate over trade agreements, call for an up and down vote in congress over any trade agreement, eliminates any amendments to the agreement, and eliminates any filibusters in the senate when it comes to trade agreements.

The looming Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive income and political power redistribution corporate power grab falsely being marketed as a trade agreement by such Wall Street senators as Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, as well as the president.

The TPP is a knife into the heart of the middle class and the American dream.

On his website, Sessions gives five reason for his opposition to fast track.

1. Fast track consolidates power in the executive branch of government, although, while true, fast track cedes and consolidates federal political power to Wall Street investment banks, unregulated hedge funds, and other major corporations, through the president. This is why Wall Street senators Wyden, Hatch and McConnell are behind this boondoggle.

2 The TPP will increase trade deficits. Sessions seems to have a good understanding of this, although he doesn’t mention that the US trade deficit will increase because more US jobs will be shipped overseas via the TPP, and the products formerly made in the US will be exported from Vietnam to the US, and this will increase the US trade deficit.

Think about this; when was the last time you purchased something from a Chinese company? Probably never. But you have bought plenty of things “Made in China” by US companies like Nike, Apple, and Microsoft, just to name a few.

3. Ceding Sovereign Authority To International Powers.

4. Currency Manipulation. The biggest open secret in the international market is that other countries are devaluing their currencies to artificially lower the price of their exports while artificially raising the price of our exports to them.

5. Immigration Increases. There are numerous ways TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law—and precious few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening.

Check out Sessions website by clicking on the link below for greater explanations on why he opposes giving the president Fast Track Authority.
tr
http://www.sessions.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ID=955DBDEC-E383-4401-AC3C-4E5EE06E99D1

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In a move that elicited a collective groan from virtually all of progressive America, the Obama administration and congressional Republicans reached a deal on April 16 on so-called “fast track” trade authority. This is the legislation needed to ram new trade agreements through the US Congress with limited debate and no amendments. While it was a gut kick to the progressive movement, it was also a gut kick to grass roots Tea Party Republicans, and the entire middle class.

Fast Track is another way to rig the economic and political game against the 99 percent. Fast Track was championed by class warriors and Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell.

It was a gut-kick for labor unions and environmental, consumer, human rights and other groups that have long called for a change of course on US trade policy. Instead, the fast track legislation shows we’re still stuck in the same old failed model of the 1990s. The bill lays out trade policy objectives that elevate the narrow interests of large corporations and undercut efforts to support good jobs, the environment and financial stability.

Read the rest of this story by clicking on the link below.
Fast-Track: A Gut-Kick to the Progressive Movement.

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