Rich Man, Poor Man: In the Modern Era, You'll Be Either One, Or the Other, Ultimately

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. This is a 2007 'Economist' article I came across recently.

    Notice the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph? Where it states that average pay of an executive has grown from 40x (in the 1980s) to 110x (in 2007) that which an average worker makes?

    That ratio has grown from 110x in 2007, to nearly 400x in the United States, in 2009.

    The middle class is getting slaughtered, probably being just half the size it was just 30 years ago, in the U.S.

    The top 5% of American Society (of which I am part), conservatively now control 80% of the nation's wealth.

    What we would refer to as 'middle class' in the 1980s, being comprised of people being able to afford a nice home in a safe, clean suburb, with clean and competent public schools, an effective police force, competent health system, owning at least two automobiles, with lots of vacation time, being able to afford college tuition for their children who choose to attend, proper health insurance, and the ability to retire comfortably at 55 or 60 - that % of the American Population is probably about 15% now.

    The working class poor, truly poor and the abjectly poor probably now constitute a combined 80% of American Society, and probably control less than 10% of the nation's total wealth.

    Look how much the statistics have changed in just 3 years (the article is two years old, but the stats are probably at least 3, and maybe 4, years old).

    This is the tale of the rapidly accelerating 'rich man, poor man' phenomenon unfolding:


    Globalisation and the rise of inequality

    Jan 18th 2007
    From The Economist print edition

    GLUERS and sawyers from the furniture factories in Galax near the mountains of Virginia lost their jobs last year when American retailers decided they could find a better supplier in China. At the other end of the furniture industry Robert Nardelli lost his job this month when Home Depot decided it could find a better chief executive in his deputy. But any likeness ends there. Mr Nardelli's exit was as extravagantly rewarded as his occupation of the corner office had been. Next to his $210m severance pay, the redundant woodworkers' packages were mean to the point of provocation.

    That's the way it goes all over the rich world. Since 2001 the pay of the typical worker in the United States has been stuck, with real wages growing less than half as fast as productivity. By contrast, the executive types gathering for the World Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerland next week have enjoyed a Beckhamesque bonanza. If you look back 20 years, the total pay of the typical top American manager has increased from roughly 40 times the average—the level for four decades—to 110 times the average now. …
  2. chvid


    This one pops up on Google news:

    I wonder just how far away from "class resentment" America is?

    At what level does the social inequality becomes unbearable and your society starts falling apart?

    Surely it is not just the number 110x or 400x.

    But at some point the majority stops thinking that you can make it by a little luck and lots of hard work and then an important "trick" stops working.

    I am watching America from distance everyday (by TV, newspaper, internet this and that) and you guys seem to closer than ever to a major disruption.