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Do The Rich And Powerful Want To Keep The Middle Class Down?



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8/04/2019

Do The Rich And Powerful Want To Keep The Middle Class Down?

By Financial Samurai 



The one thing I wondered when reading that100% of people who make over $500,000 are very happy is whether rich and powerful people WANT the middle class to stay poor. Popular media loves to report that money doesn’t buy happiness beyond a very average level of income. But it’s clear that the rich have successfully manipulated the gullible media into making us believe the rich are not safe and happy with their wealth, when they really are.

Part of the reason why I write is to highlight so many of the absurdities that go on in this crazy world. And for some reason, a lot of the absurdities have to deal with government-funded policies e.g.Have a $1,000 child tax credit per child if you make below a certain income level despite our reports saying that it costs $250,000+ to raise a child into adulthood. Thanks to conflicting signals, can we really blame some families for having five children and staying on welfare their entire lives?



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The happiness and income survey is anonymous and provides no incentives for participants to vote differently from how they feel. Therefore, it’s highly likely that a large majority of people who do make over $500,000 a year are much happier than those who make less. The only people who say money doesn’t buy happiness are those with no money to make themselves feel better, and those who have a boatload of money and don’t care about money anymore.

In order to feel rich, you must make or have more than the average. Even if you earn only $30,000 a year, you’ll feel rich if the average person earns $20,000 a year. But if the middle class grows more wealthy, then the rich won’t feel as rich anymore.

Given the rich and powerful like to mingle within their own circles, it becomes extremely difficult for the rest of us to get ahead in society because everybody just takes care of each other. A middle class person has to be an exceptionally brilliant, hard working, or lucky to move into the rich class where hopefully they’ll stay for a couple generations until the third generation wastes it all because they don’t understand what it takes to get ahead.


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GOVERNMENT INSIGHT ON THE MIDDLE CLASS

An old colleague of mine used to hold one of the highest positions of power in the US government. We’re talking direct phone call to the President. He told me that some of the powers to be purposefully wanted to keep the masses poor because it is easier to manipulate the poor. Furthermore, he says that the reason why many in government want to aggressively raise taxes on the rich is because tax policy is the best ways to control the rich. The rich have so many ways to elude government control. But it doesn’t matter how rich you are, if you break the law, the government can take everything away.

One of the greatest things that has happened over the past 20 years to reduce the power held by government is the internet. Now that the internet has made the transfer of information cheap and easy, no longer do people sit in darkness. Whole uprisings have occurred overseas thanks to the use of social media. Look at what’s going on in Hong Kong and in Egypt for example. The world is watching, so governments have to be more careful about eliminating people.

The government is still omnipotent, which is why I have to be careful with what I write online. But I do encourage all of you to continuously think about why the government wants things a certain way. Eventually, the government will come after all of us. When they do, hopefully you’ve developed multiple contingency plans.



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IT’S HARD TO CHANGE

On a consistent basis, I feel like an odd ball because I’m still stuck living like the way I did when I was in my early 20s despite no longer being poor. I feel I owe it to the FS community to share with you what some of the rich and powerful really think. Yet, I don’t want to betray anybody’s confidence either. I do know the rich want to be loved and admired just like anybody else. The rich are also afraid of backlash, which is why many of them stay fanatically private about their activities.

It hasn’t been my experience that the rich want to keep the middle class poor. The rich are the ones who donate significant amounts to education, disease research, and combatting poverty. I’m more wary of folks who have never been rich, and who suddenly come into power and want to be rich. The temptation to abuse one’s power for self-enrichment is often too great to ignore. I wish us all the best if such a person develops power over you.

Readers, do you think many rich and powerful people want to keep the middle class down on purpose to retain their wealth and power? Why do you think coups occur overseas? Why do you think governments try to censor what is said over social media, and the media in general? Does the government have your best interest at heart?

Photo credit: Ickbins, Flickr Creative Commons

Source: https://www.financialsamurai.com/do-rich-and-powerful-people-want-to-keep-the-middle-class-down/



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8/04/2019

America's Slowly Disappearing Middle Class

BY GREG DAUGHERTY

The American middle class, once the envy of the world (and occasional object of its derision) is shrinking, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The report, which looked at the U.S. and 11 Western European countries, found that in the nearly 20 years from 1991 to 2010, the portion of American adults living in middle-class households fell from 62% to 59%.

It defined middle-class households as those with incomes of anywhere between two-thirds and twice that of their country’s median disposable household income. In the case of the U.S., that meant a range of roughly $35,000 to $106,000 a year for a household of three. (See: Which Income Class Are You? for more information.)

The study didn’t consider other common markers of middle-class status, such as occupation, educational attainment or home ownership.


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Some Americans Moving Up, Others Down

“In part, the shift out of the middle class is a sign of economic progress, irrespective of changes in household incomes overall,” author Rakesh Kochhar, the center’s associate director for research, noted in the report. “This is because the outward shift is accompanied by a move up the income ladder, into the upper-income tier, in all countries with a shrinking middle class.”

But, he added, more ominously: “At the same time, there is movement down the income ladder in most countries with a shrinking middle class.”

While Americans’ 2010 median household income of $53,000 was the highest of any country in the study except Luxembourg, the U.S. also had the smallest percentage of people considered middle class and bigger bulges at the opposite ends of the income scale.


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Income Inequality Is on the Rise

“The American experience reflects a marked difference in how income is distributed in the U.S. compared with many countries in Western Europe,” the report explained. “More specifically, the U.S. has a relatively large upper-income tier, placed well apart from an also relatively large lower-income tier. This manifests not only as a smaller middle-income share but also as a higher level of income inequality.” (Read: Why the Middle Class Is Not Feeling the Wealth Effect.)

In the U.S., for example, 26% of Americans were classified as lower income, 59% as middle income and 15% as upper income. In Germany, those numbers were: 18% (low), 72% (middle) and 10% (upper). In Denmark, the difference was even more striking: 14 percent, 80 percent, and 7 percent, respectively.


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Middle Class Shrinking in Europe, Too

Although the U.S. may be the most dramatic example in some respects, it was not the only country to see a relative decline in its middle class. In fact, eight of the 12 countries studied reported declines.

Besides the U.S., the nations with declining percentages of middle class adults were Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway and Spain. Those with growing middle classes were France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the U.K. Germany saw the steepest decline, falling from 79% in 1991 to 72% in 2010. Ireland reported the greatest rise in that same period, from 60% to 69%.

Regardless of country, the decline of the middle class and the accompanying rise in income inequality, the Pew report noted, “present an adverse climate for economic growth. A relative decline in the incomes of lower- and middle-income families may create a drag on overall consumption in the economy, lead to excessive borrowing by these families or provide disincentives to invest in education.”


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Globally, the U.S. Remains Prosperous

However, put in an international perspective, the U.S. and Western Europe are still relatively well off.

“By world standards, the countries featured in this report are all high income,” Pew noted. “Middle-income households in Western Europe and in the U.S. are in the highest income tiers globally, and most lower-income households in these countries would be in the global middle class.”

For its report, titled “Middle Class Fortunes in Western Europe,” Pew analyzed data collected by the Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg. The center, in turn, draws on government data and other sources in many other countries, including the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.


The Bottom Line


The middle class in the U.S., as defined by median household income, is shrinking, with some Americans moving up and others down. Compared with 11 Western European nations, the U.S. has the smallest percentage of population considered middle income and the largest percentages in both the lower- and upper-income categories. (See also: Why the American Middle Class Is Shrinking.)












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