Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The US Middle Class Is Dying

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So how's that economic recovery workin out for ya?
(snicker)
Hope'n'change.
Yea, you've got change all right. For the worse...
The american dream. Alive and well - in Canada:
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/american-dream-alive-well-canada-211401249.html
http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2007/05/useconomics-morton
=========================================== Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The Middle Class Is Dying
If you make more than $27,520 a year at your job, you are doing better than half the country is. But you don't have to take my word for it, you can check out the latest wage statistics from the Social Security administration right here.
But of course $27,520 a year will not allow you to live "the American Dream" in this day and age. After taxes, that breaks down to a good bit less than $2,000 a month. You can't realistically pay a mortgage, make a car payment, afford health insurance and provide food, clothing and everything else your family needs for that much money. That is one of the reasons why both parents are working in most families today. In fact, sometimes both parents are working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.
Over the years, the cost of living has risen steadily but our paychecks have not. This has resulted in a steady erosion of the middle class. Once upon a time, most American families could afford a nice home, a couple of cars and a nice vacation every year. When I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was middle class. But now "the American Dream" is out of reach for more Americans than ever, and the middle class is dying right in front of our eyes.
One of the things that was great about America in the post-World War II era was that we developed a large, thriving middle class. Until recent times, it always seemed like there were plenty of good jobs for people that were willing to be responsible and work hard. That was one of the big reasons why people wanted to come here from all over the world. They wanted to have a chance to live "the American Dream" too.
But now the American Dream is becoming a mirage for most people. No matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to achieve it.
And here are some hard numbers to back that assertion up. The following are 15 more signs that the american middle class is dying...
#1 According to a brand new CNN poll, 59 percent of americans believe that it has become impossible for most people to achieve the American Dream...
The American Dream is impossible to achieve in this country.
So say nearly 6 in 10 people who responded to CNNMoney's American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International. They feel the dream -- however they define it -- is out of reach. Young adults, age 18 to 34, are most likely to feel the dream is unattainable, with 63% saying it's impossible. This age group has suffered in the wake of the Great Recession, finding it hard to get good jobs.
#2 More americans than ever believe that homeownership is not a key to long-term wealth and prosperity...
The great American Dream is dying. Even though many americans still desire to own a home, they are losing faith in homeownership as a key to prosperity.
Nearly two-thirds of americans, or 64%, believe they are less likely to build wealth by buying a home today than they were 20 or 30 years ago, according to a survey sponsored by non- profit MacArthur Foundation. And nearly 43% said buying a home is no longer a good long-term investment.
#3 Overall, the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row, and it has now dropped to the lowest level in 19 years.
#4 52 percent of americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now...
"Over half of americans (52%) have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools."
#5 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 36 percent of americans under the age of 35 own a home. That is the lowest level that has ever been measured.
#6 Right now, approximately one out of every six men in the United States that are in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job.
#7 The labor force participation rate for americans from the age of 25 to the age of 29 has fallen to an all-time record low.
#8 The number of working age americans that are not employed has increased by 27 million since the year 2000.
#9 According to the government's own numbers, about 20 percent of the families in the entire country do not have a single member that is employed at this point.
#10 This may sound crazy, but 25 percent of all american adults do not even have a single penny saved up for retirement.
#11 As I noted in one recent article, total consumer credit in the United States has increased by 22 percent over the past three years, and 56 percent of all americans have "subprime credit" at this point.
#12 Major retailers are shutting down stores at the fastest pace that we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
#13 It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.
#14 According to one recent report, there are 49 million americans that are dealing with food insecurity right now.
#15 Overall, the U.S. poverty rate is up more than 30 percent since 1966. It looks like LBJ's war on poverty didn't work out too well after all.
Sadly, it does not appear that there is much hope on the horizon for the american middle class. More good jobs are being shipped out of the country and are being lost to technology every single day, and our politicians seem convinced that "business as usual" is the right course of action for our nation.
Unless something dramatic happens, it is going to become increasingly difficult to eke out a middle class existence as a "worker bee" in American society. The truth is that most big companies these days do not have any loyalty to their workers and really do not care what ends up happening to them.
To thrive in this kind of environment, new and different thinking is required. The paradigm of "go to college, get a job, stay loyal and retire after 30 years" has been shattered. The business world is more unstable now than it has been during any point in the post-World War II era, and we are all going to have to adjust.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-05/half-country-makes-less-27520-year-and-15-other-signs-middle-class-dying
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The middle class is doing just fine in the US, indeed quite well as many have been able to leverage their responsible financial habits to buy foreclosed properties and turn them into rental income and / or make other good investments.
What you are seeing is the growth of the stoner-dreamer class that is the result of a total failure in education and parenting in the last couple generations. These are the generations that have no marketable skills, are often saddled with huge student loan debt incurred for worthless degrees and have virtually no chance of ever rising above bottom end jobs.
The good thing however is that the ridiculous claims of the far left that higher education is the solution to all problems have been proven false. More students are now re-examining whether a particular degree actually has any value, what fields actually have jobs available, and indeed if a career in on of the "dirty trades" the left previously told them were worthless is actually a better and more enjoyable option.
The fundamental issue not just in the US, but globally is the fact that through automation and efficiency gains we are far past the point where most of the population was required to produce everything the population needs. Having one hundred fully qualified PhDs applying for every one job available is not a solution to anything.
There isn't any easy solution to this job elimination problem, banning automation and going back to the pre-industrial age isn't reasonable. Mandating a reduced work week to "split" existing jobs, i.e. a 20hr work week to effectively double available jobs is only a stop-gap measure.
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On Friday, June 6, 2014 10:26:14 AM UTC-4, Pete C. wrote:

Eventually most jobs will be replaced by automation of ome sort.
the day is coming most people wouldnt have a job, now how society will change will be fascinating.
Star Trek touched on this topic once. But provided no more info:(
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bob haller;3245193 Wrote: >

> change will be fascinating.

No, that's just not true.
Technology creates jobs by making it possible for us to do things we couldn't do before.
Don't you know that horses were replaced with internal combustion engines and electric motor not more than 150 years ago? While it's true that there are no longer livery stables and no one sells horse hair plaster any more, the number of jobs created by producing petroleum and electricity to power internal combustion engines and electric motors has replaced all the jobs lost with other work that wasn't possible before. Now, we have jet airliners that fly us across the ocean in a few hours, whereas before there were coal powered steam ships that took a few weeks.
Just about 30 years ago there was the very real fear that computers would cause mass unemployment as they replaced stenographers, accountants, bank tellers, cashiers, and a myriad of other jobs people were doing at the time. Everyone was concerned that they would be replaced with a hunk of silicon about a half inch square.
It turns out just the opposite happened. Stenographers were replaced with word processors, accountants were replaced with spread sheets, bank tellers were replaced with ATM's, cashiers were replaced with UPC codes, and yet we have less unemployment today than we had in the 1980's. The reason why is that computers have made things possible that we couldn't do previously. Now, you lay in a MRI machine as it scans your arthritic hip or knee and the result of that a computer controlled milling machine produces a perfectly shaped hip or knee joint that can be put into your body as a replacement for the arthritic joint. Before, people that had their hips replaced with titanium or stainless steel versions couldn't walk far, and walked funny anyway. NOW, people with artificial hips are having square dance nights to encourage other arthritis sufferers to have their hips and knees replaced too. It's that hunk of silicon that made all that possible.
Technology CREATES employment by making it possible for us to do things we couldn't before. A company like Netflix couldn't exist before there was a high speed internet. If anyone ever tells you that people are going to lose jobs because of a technological revolution, tell them "Sure, but for every job lost, ten will be created."
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"Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year"
Yeah, I expect that if you go by the tax returns people submit, that'd be about right.
:)
--
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Somewhere within the labs of Darpa or the CIA, I'm sure they've developed a bio-pharmaceutical capsule or pill that can be constructed to release a deadly compound to kill the person it's been implanted into. No electronics, no battery.
Think Snake Plissken in Escape from New York.
A capsule that can't be seen on xray or metal detector. Dissovable shell that can be taylored to disintigrate within the body with relative precision (1 week, 4 weeks, 3 months, etc).
Take such capsules, implant it into each of the 5 Taliban or Al-Qaeda high-ranking operatives that you're going to trade for Bergdahl during one of their no doubt many drug-induced interrogation sessions.
Release the operatives as part of the trade, and they drop dead at the prescribed time as the capsules do their work.
Islamic tradition means they get burried within 24 hours, with hopefully not much of an autopsy or sophisticated biochemical analysis of their bodies.
In the age of targeted assassination via drone with presidential sanction, this is not a crazy idea.
Do this, and in the future those islamic cavemen will think twice about the strategy of kidnapping to bargain for the release of their comrades held by the west.
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Why? They get martyrs afterall. In their mindset they are probably worth more the Taliban dead than alive.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

The martyr thing is mostly bullshit to them. They want us to believe they're as fierce as Klingons.
They don't do a suicide-bomb gig unless or until there's a payment plan lined up for their family to receive once they've done the deed.
Besides - they'd much rather die in battle - vs sitting on the toilet taking a dump (or some other mundane activity) when the implanted poison pill delivers it's dose. Nobody calls you a martyr when you die that way.
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ChairMan wrote:

They don't, the stoner-dreamer generations are part of the disposable generations that don't even comprehend that things can be repaired.
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nestork wrote:

Technology eliminates jobs that were once essential, i.e. manufacturing. The jobs that technology creates are mostly non-essential ones in areas that will implode when the real economic calamity hits the US. Netflix, and pretty much every other job tied to non-essentials which are mostly the entertainment industry will collapse when the bulk of the population is struggling to just keep themselves fed. Argentina 2001, then Greece, Cypress, Spain, Portugal, Italy on the way... it's coming to the US sooner or later. With the US being the economic engine of the world when it hits here everything else will collapse further and those in the aforementioned countries will be longing for the good old days of 2014 when things sucked but everyone wasn't starving.
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On Saturday, June 7, 2014 10:29:55 AM UTC-4, Pete C. wrote:

It's just nuts to claim that technology creates mostly non-essential jobs. That ignores the long history of technology going back hundreds of years. Are Boeing, GE, Intel, GM, etc jobs non-essential? Sure it's true of some, like say Facebook pr Netflix, but I don't even consider them a technology company, because they have no technology.
It's not so much technology that's the problem as it is that we've lost many jobs overseas. And IDK how you can prevent that from happening because countries were destined to develop and get to the point where they were serious competitors to the USA. At the end of WWII, the rest of the world was in rubble and the USA was an industrial power house. But you could see what was slowly happening over time. In the 60's, "made in Japan" was a joke, because it was pretty much cheap, inferior crap stuff. Within two decades they were building better cars than Detroit. Same thing happened with Taiwan and Korea. Now it's happening with China and India as they develop.
Netflix,

I agree, where we're headed isn't good and unless things change we could be in the same boat. Particularly troubling is how weak the US economy still is. We've had an aggressive stimulus package by the govt. The FED has had interest rates at zero for 6 years now. And yet the economy is barely growing. That should have everyone scared, but no one pays any attention. And the Democrats have now taken an extraordinary one time year, 2009, and are using that as the yardstick for budgets. We had a one time horrific deficit of $1.4 tril and they now want to pretend that because it's $600bil today, that's a great thing. In reality, that $1.4tril deficit wasn't really that large, because a lot of that was TARP, which was loans that were paid back, so the real deficit was no where near $1.4tril. And clearly 5 years into a recovery, to still be running $600bil deficits is horrific. How many more years do we have before there is another recession or some new economic shock that we don't see coming?
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nestork wrote:

You're being ridiculous. The MRI and the CNC making the joint have neither eliminated jobs, nor created them. There is a finite demand for surgeons, and once it's filled that's it regardless of how many you graduate who will not be able to find a job.
The non-essential jobs as I noted have been largely in the entertainment industry. When the economic calamity gets around to the US and people are struggling to just stay fed, exactly how many movie or concert tickets will they buy? How long until they drop their cable / satellite TV to put that $100/mo towards food and rent?
What happens to all the jobs producing the movies and TV shows, the concerts, the musicians now that nobody is buying their product? Those folks will be competing for any job they can get, and guess what, there won't be any because there is a surplus of population relative to the number of jobs needed to produce essentials like food, medicine, and the like.
Everyone knows full well the "starving artist" stereotype, when the economic calamity hits you'll be adding the staving musician, starving movie producer, starving animation artist, starving TV sitcom writer, etc. to the soup kitchen lines. Think this is nonsense, look back at the Great Depression, and then consider how much the entertainment world has grown since then to absorb those who could not find an essential job.
When the economic calamity hits, I'll be quietly running my little farm, feeding myself and my family and selling a bit of excess to those around me. I will not be going to see any movies, watching any TV or otherwise doing anything that will prop up those non-essential jobs. I expect millions of others will be doing the same to weather the storm.
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On Saturday, June 7, 2014 7:38:16 PM UTC-4, Pete C. wrote:

Are you claiming that there are just as many surgeons per capita in the USA today as there were in 1850? 1900?, 1950? 1970?
I don't have hard data, but it seems impossible to believe that with all the new procedures that technology has enabled, eg stents, bypasses, joint replacement, cataracts, plastic surgery, etc, that the number of surgeons today isn't substantially higher. And then you have all the jobs created by those creating, building, servicing all the advanced eqpt involved. All those MRI, CAT, dialysis machines, surgical lasers, etc came from somewhere. Why are you saying that a hip joint replacement product doesn't create jobs? It took engineers and scientists to develop the artificial joint. How much research and testing over decades was involved just to come up with it? It then takes workers to fabricate the one being used today, to run the CNC machine that makes it. It took more engineers to develop and design the CNC machine and more workers to build and service the CNC machine, etc.

When the economic calamity gets around to the US and people

Geez, there has always been an entertainment industry. Even in the depression, Hollywood and Broadway didn't close up. Sure, if times get really that bad, it will be affected. But do you have any evidence that the internet, cell phones, cable, TV etc all disappeared or even took really huge hits in countries like Greece? I'll bet they are still using their cell phones and internet.

The number of people making movies, concerts, musicians and the like is a tiny part of the ovreall economy to begin with.

You have it backwards. People don't create or expand businesses to absorb people who can't get jobs. They create and grow businesses based on demand for those businesses.

If and when things get that bad, sure, millions of people will probably stop going to the movies. And then there are the 250 million others who will still go to the movies or watch TV. Will Hollywood and NBC lay off some people? Sure. But so will Boeing, Intel, and Ford.
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Will free dish night at the movies come back? :)
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wrote:

Did I mention that the other day I bought a toaster... and they gave me a bank.
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Netflix is an interesting example. I watched a one hour doco about them and a few other companies. While in the early years, Netflix used people to empty and fill their red mailers, as soon as they could they developed robots to do the work. Oddly enough, it's cheaper for them to sort through ALL their DVDs every day with robots than it was to have humans access them like a librarian would, only dealing with disks that were rented that day.
Same with Amazon, who regularly takes flack for its dead-end, high stress warehousing jobs. As soon as Amazon can afford to, it automates it warehouse centers and in the process eliminates a LOT of jobs for semi-skilled laborers.
Despite all the hoopla about "lowering taxes on the ultra-rich" creating jobs, no such thing happened. Instead, large companies like Netflix automated their operations because robots don't demand holidays, don't get workmen's comp, don't get health insurance, don't go on strike, don't spread communicable diseases to other robot workers, don't complain about their workplaces, don't join unions, don't file lawsuits or grievances and can be sold for scrap when they finally wear out and no pensions need to be paid.
So much BS has been pumped out about why people aren't working that it's astounding, but fortunately some Republicans are beginning to realize that this is a serious national problem that long predates Obamanomics and isn't going to be solved by the Tea Party wing:
The Republican Case Against Republican Economics http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/opinion/edsall-the-republican-case-against- republican-economics.html
http://tinyurl.com/kj9fvb9
By THOMAS B. EDSALL
June 3, 2014
After the 2012 presidential election, key Republicans began to criticize their party's opposition to immigration reform and gay rights. But now party reformers are questioning something much more central: free-market orthodoxy.
In an article in the May 26 edition of The Week - "What conservatives don't understand about the modern U.S. economy" - James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute has issued an economic challenge to the right from the right.
Pethokoukis's piece is an assault on the economic manifesto that was put out on May 16 by a conservative group that included three icons of the right: Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, Senators from Texas and Utah, respectively, and Ed Meese, who served as Attorney General under Ronald Reagan.
"This tired GOP sequel stumbles in its macroeconomic analysis," Pethokoukis writes, noting that the manifesto contains "no suggestion the economy faces longer-term problems that predate Obamanomics." Pethokoukis argues that the manifesto's anti-tax rhetoric fails to grasp that "coping with America's rising elderly population will require a higher national tax burden in coming decades even with a reformed entitlement system." The conservative call for a balanced budget ignores the fact that "there is no evidence that markets fear a U.S. debt crisis." . . . "many conservatives fail to see the extent to which equal opportunity itself, a central principle of our national self-understanding, is becoming harder to achieve. It is a well-documented fact that, in recent years, economic mobility has stalled for many poorer Americans, resulting in persistent intergenerational inequality."
We've seen evidence of the "duality" of the right's position here where staunchly anti-federal types who swore they'd never take a handout are quite happy to get free/subsidized government-sponsored health care when their lives are at risk.
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On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 6:38:26 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

Taxes weren't lowered on just the "utlra rich", assuming you're talking about the Bush or Reagan tax cuts. They were lowered on all tax payers, nearly half of the people pay no income tax at all. And jobs were created, I saw it with my own eyes. Even Obama said it was true. That;s when he too was in favor of extending the lower rates, until he flip-flopped again and started his class warfare act. Now the libs have their high tax rates back and we have the struggling economy, barely growing. Actually it shrank 1% in the first quarter again, but you hardly heard about that, courtesy of the media that still cover for Obama.
Instead, large companies like Netflix

Don't confuse automation and technological progress with tax rates. We've had periods of rapid technology growth and low tax rates. You yourself tried to claim that the huge turn around in the economy under Reagan was just due to the PC. That's wrong of course, but you claimed it. And while it's wrong, that record setting economic performance created 20 mil jobs, dropping unemployment, while technology, automation, etc greatly increased at the same time.
Now because the libs have the economy screwed, don't buy Obama's nonsense that it's because of ATMs. He didn't tell us that ATMs were the problem when he told us that his $800bil stimulus and Obamacare were going to fix the economy. Now that it ain't working, he's just given up, which I guess is better than doing more of the wrong things....

Predates Obama? WTF? We had strong job creation under Reagan, Clinton and Bush. It's only in the last few years that we've reached a 35 year low in the labor participation rate.

Written by a real genius:
"The conservative call for a balanced budget ignores the fact that "there is no evidence that markets fear a U.S. debt crisis."
Wow, that's reassuring and sound logic. Did the markets fear the housing market collapse before it happened? Did they fear the Nasdaq at 5000 in 2000, before that collapsed by 70%? The national debt relative to GDP is approaching WWII levels. Back then, the US was the only powerhouse in the world, so it was manageable, but still risky. But then the future of the world was at stake. Today, with a struggling economy, those levels could finish us off, like Greece. Especially if interest rates rise from there near zero level. Meanwhile we run $600bil deficits and the libs claim that's great progress, when we never had a deficit anywhere near that prior to 2009. And we sure as hell never had a deficit anything like that 5 years into an economic recovery. Obama's taken the national debt from $10tril to $17.5 tril in just 5 years. And it's not very reassuring when asked what the national debt was on Letterman's show, he said he didn't even know....

The NY Times starts off with the assertion that these two are "Republican Party reformers". They aren't politicians, they hold no elected office, they are not party officials, they have no Republican following. I don't even see where either one has declared they are in fact Republicans. One is a journalist who writes economic columns, the other a former speech writer for Bush. What makes them Republcian party reformers? Good grief.
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nestork wrote:

What people want is one thing, what people can afford is quite another and when you have massive unemployment people without jobs can't afford anything and the few with jobs can't afford much.
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'Pete C.[_3_ Wrote:

That's ridiculous.
Both MRI machines and computer controlled milling machines fall squarely under the heading of "high technology", and yet the orthopedic surgeon that replaces an arthritic hip in a person with an artificial one so that they have normal mobility again can hardly be considered a "non-essential" job.
Commercial air liners are now being made from carbon fiber composites instead of metal because these new materials are stronger pound for pound than aluminum. That allows the airline companies to save on the operating costs of maintaining their fleet because their planes burn less fuel. Is that a non-essential job?
Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone. They allow people the ability to keep in touch with one another even though everyone is busy and on the move. That way if something comes up and plans change, people don't waste their time going places or doing things they don't need to. Is there anything non-essential about that technology.
Probably the single biggest factor in the democratic revolutions that have taken place over the past few years in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria are social networking sites that allow people who think alike to meet and talk with each other online. Social networking allows the free communication of people with others in and outside their own country, and that robs their governments of their greatest weapon; propoganda. The way a government gets it's people hyped up to go to war with another country is by telling lies about that other country. Social networking eliminates that tool because people in different countries speak directly with each other and can no longer be fooled by what they are being told. Witness just a few years ago when your US government said that prescription drugs imported from Canada weren't as safe as prescription drugs purchased in the USA. There was a lot of hoopla about that, and when a US Congressman decided to investigate the validity of that claim himself, he found it wasn't true. The powerful pharmaceutical company lobby in Washington was spreading lies.
The one thing that you can count on the future to be is unpredictable. But, as long as people are in charge of the future, our future is always going to be a better place to live than our past.
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On Friday, June 6, 2014 6:59:26 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

IDK what country you're referring to, but it's not the USA. The labor force participation rate is at a 35 year low. The main reason unemployment has come down in the last couple of years is that millions have just given up looking for jobs. Also, median family income has declined several thousand dollars in the last 5 years.
With regard to the claim that ATMs are causing unemployment, Obama himself tried to sell that one. I agree there is merit to your argument that you can't blame the advance of technology. But the problem is that decades ago, you could have a high school degree, get a job at US Steel or GM, and you'd have a good paying, secure job that gave you a middle class life. Now many of those jobs have gone overseas as countries like Japan, Korea, China, India, etc have advanced greatly and presented fierce competition. It's not just that GM doesn't need as many people to build a car today, it's that a lot of those cars are now built overseas. And while just about anybody could use an impact wrench on an assembly line, it requires a lot of skill to design, build, maintain robots. You could be a screw up until 30 and still get a job at GM in the 60s and make out OK. Today, that's much more difficult.
The

If anyone ever tells you that people are

If so many jobs are being created, why is the labor participation rate at a 35 year low, unemployment still high and why is median income dropping?
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