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Thread: If the economy is so great, why don't more people feel better off?

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    If the economy is so great, why don't more people feel better off?

    https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019...-middle-class/


    To the extent that current economic conditions are helping particular groups, the public sees the benefits flowing mainly to the most well-off. Roughly seven-in-ten adults (69%) say today’s economy is helping people who are wealthy (only 10% say the wealthy are being hurt). At the same time, majorities of Americans say poor people, those without a college degree, older adults, younger adults and the middle class are being hurt rather than helped by current economic conditions.

    When asked how economic conditions are affecting them and their families, nearly half of adults (46%) say they are being hurt, 31% say they’re being helped and 22% say they don’t see much of an impact. Overall, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say economic conditions are hurting their own families, but views differ significantly by income within parties.

    A variety of factors go into Americans’ assessments of current economic conditions, the most prominent being perceptions about wages and income, the availability of jobs and the cost of health care. Two of these three factors are also seen as having a significant impact on people’s own financial situations: 51% say wages have a great deal of impact on their household finances, and 43% say the same about health care costs. The overall job situation is seen as less personally relevant. Instead, 45% say consumer prices have a large impact on their own financial health.

    Sure, there are lots of jobs available, but the less skilled jobs don't offer enough money to pay the bills without extra help from either social programs or their families. And, there aren't enough people available who have the skills to fill the vacancies for the higher paying jobs.

    Two-thirds of lower-income adults (65%) say they worry almost daily about paying their bills, compared with about one-third of middle-income Americans (35%) and a small share of upper-income Americans (14%). The cost of health care is also a worry that weighs on the minds of many Americans, particularly those in the lower-income tier. More than half of lower-income adults (55%) say they frequently worry about the cost of health care for themselves and their families; fewer middle-income (37%) and upper-income Americans (18%) share this worry.
    Trump keeps shouting that the economy is great, when in fact, GDP is pretty much the same as it's been when Obama was president. Unemployment is low, but baby boomers are retiring daily in large numbers adding to the number of available jobs. Corporations were given huge tax breaks, but most of it was used for stock buy backs. It doesn't make senses to see so many people in dire need of financial help and wage increases, yet Trump is still very popular among his low class base. I get why the rich love him, if all they care about is having more money due to the tax break give to them by the Republicans. I just don't understand why so many lower middle class and poor people continue to support a man who has done nothing for them when it comes to their own financial needs. Very few of them own stocks or investments, so why should such things matter to them? Imo, Trump is a successful cult leader so it doesn't matter what he does, the cult will always be loyal. Or they will support him because they are so fearful of losing their guns or of having women's reproductive rights fully restored. Seriously, the cult of trump is the only thing that makes sense to me as to why so many adore this. man!

    I read yesterday that 40% of Americans still don't have 400 bucks for an emergency. I personally know several people who are in that situation, but only one is a Trump supporter.

    And, how did our perceptions of the economy become so partisan? Do facts not matter at all anymore?

    There are differences across parties, however, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to say current economic conditions are hurting the middle class (72% vs. 41%) and the poor (83% vs. 41%). There are also differences within parties. Republicans are particularly divided by income when it comes to views of which groups the economy is hurting. For example, about half of lower-income Republicans (49%) say the economy is hurting the middle class, compared with smaller shares of middle-income (39%) and upper-income Republicans (33%). Majorities of Democrats across all income groups say the economy is not working for the middle class (77% of higher-income vs. 79% of middle-income vs. 61% of lower-income).
    I guess that perception is all that matters. Who needs facts?

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I don't doubt any of the above statistics. I do finally have $400 dollars for emergencies after 8 years of post-collegiate career building, but I had to step over a lot of bodies and exploit some personal connections to get my foot in the door, and most of my graduating class was less lucky. I only know of five members of my master's cohort who have good jobs in their intended field, and the wreckage looks even worse for those who walked the baccalaureate stage with me. Of my friend group at that level, to my knowledge I'm one of just two who achieved the middle class, and the other had to retrain in another field before it worked out. Of those of us who have met any success maybe about half work for the government in some capacity - a class of workers specifically and routinely targeted for insult and abuse by the GOP and rightwing media.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Sure, there are lots of jobs available, but the less skilled jobs don't offer enough money to pay the bills without extra help from either social programs or their families. And, there aren't enough people available who have the skills to fill the vacancies for the higher paying jobs.

    That's not a Trump problem. That's a "you" problem. I don't mean you as in the OP. I mean "you" as in "the people who work those jobs."

    Get educated, learn a skill, and you can move on to the booming economy with better pay! Don't blame Trump for the laziness of some people.

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    But what happens if everyone does as you say and gets skilled in those jobs and the wages 1 go down because lots of folks can do them now and 2. There arent enough positions to go around for everyone to have one.

    All this talk about economics is simply vanity. There will never be enough of everything for everyone to have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BH View Post
    But what happens if everyone does as you say and gets skilled in those jobs and the wages 1 go down because lots of folks can do them now and 2. There arent enough positions to go around for everyone to have one.

    All this talk about economics is simply vanity. There will never be enough of everything for everyone to have it.
    Ideally, we would keep teenagers in the menial jobs like fast food and retail. Any adult working those jobs is either mentally handicapped or lazy. No other reason for an adult over the age of 29 to be working menial jobs. If you hit 30 and are not mentally handicapped but working a menial minimum wage job, you failed at life and life won't get any better. You'll have to work until the day you die.

    As I said before, I used to know a 40 year old working cashier at McDonald's and he would smoke a joint out back during his break and always complain that life is unfair and he needs more money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BH View Post
    But what happens if everyone does as you say and gets skilled in those jobs and the wages 1 go down because lots of folks can do them now and 2. There arent enough positions to go around for everyone to have one.

    All this talk about economics is simply vanity. There will never be enough of everything for everyone to have it.
    There isn't enough of "everything" because we don't live in a post-scarcity society.

    But that doesn't mean standards of living can't keep rising for the foreseeable future. You live better than royalty did 100 years ago and almost everybody in the developed world does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Sure, there are lots of jobs available, but the less skilled jobs don't offer enough money to pay the bills without extra help from either social programs or their families. And, there aren't enough people available who have the skills to fill the vacancies for the higher paying jobs.
    The low skilled jobs aren't meant for people who raise families. People should be developing skills as they move through life, which should take care of the last sentence too.


    Trump keeps shouting that the economy is great, when in fact, GDP is pretty much the same as it's been when Obama was president.
    That's not true.


    It doesn't make senses to see so many people in dire need of financial help and wage increases, yet Trump is still very popular among his low class base.
    It does make some sense. For one, the messaging. Over the last couple of decades, Democratic Party has embraced identity politics, talking about white privilege, wanting more and more mass migration, attacking police for shooting criminals and so on.

    If you are an underemployed former steel worker from the Midwest, and politicians keep harping how you have "cis-gendered white male privilege" you are likely to support a politician who doesn't.

    I read yesterday that 40% of Americans still don't have 400 bucks for an emergency. I personally know several people who are in that situation, but only one is a Trump supporter.
    Maybe all their money is in stocks and investments.
    Seriously though, if you have a retirement plan such as IRA or 401k, you ARE invested in the stock market most likely. But you can't touch those funds without incurring tax penalties until a certain age, and so you may be short on liquid assets a lot of the time. Same goes for having a house and a mortgage. You may have a healthy amount of equity in the house, but it's not exactly liquid.
    Last edited by Derec; 12-24-2019 at 01:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Life View Post
    As I said before, I used to know a 40 year old working cashier at McDonald's and he would smoke a joint out back during his break and always complain that life is unfair and he needs more money.
    Cutting down on his weed habit might help him save some money too.

    For those who partake: how much does a joint worth of weed go for these days? How much even fits in a typical joint or blunt? Half a gram? A quarter gram? I know weed is loose and doesn't weigh much per unit volume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Life View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Sure, there are lots of jobs available, but the less skilled jobs don't offer enough money to pay the bills without extra help from either social programs or their families. And, there aren't enough people available who have the skills to fill the vacancies for the higher paying jobs.

    That's not a Trump problem. That's a "you" problem. I don't mean you as in the OP. I mean "you" as in "the people who work those jobs."

    Get educated, learn a skill, and you can move on to the booming economy with better pay! Don't blame Trump for the laziness of some people.
    So your saying those jobs are not a necessary part of society and no one needs to do them?
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Life View Post
    As I said before, I used to know a 40 year old working cashier at McDonald's and he would smoke a joint out back during his break and always complain that life is unfair and he needs more money.
    Cutting down on his weed habit might help him save some money too.

    For those who partake: how much does a joint worth of weed go for these days? How much even fits in a typical joint or blunt? Half a gram? A quarter gram? I know weed is loose and doesn't weigh much per unit volume.
    This was back in 2005, so this guy must be 54 now.

    Anyway, I used to smoke back then but I was in the phase of quitting. He would let me take a hit or 2 from his joint. But, I remember he paid $30 for 3.5 grams. Once you have it, you can put however much you want into a joint. You can put all 3.5 in it or you can put 0.5 in it.

    That was a fun job I had for about 6 months before moving on. But, I would always try to steer the guy to go to learn a skill since he was still living with his parents. He would always say no.

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