Comments on: Modern capitalism isn’t working for the middle class Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: onlylogical Sat, 24 Sep 2011 06:48:47 +0000 @ DrJJJJ < I find your math puzzling. 9$ hr * 40 hours a week * 52 weeks in a year is only 18,720. That’s with no time off and full time employment. Now factor more than half of these workers are part time, so companies don’t have to give benefits and it goes down quickly from there. Now just where is the other 16,280 dollars a year you say minimum wage workers are getting? And don’t say it is in benefits, unless you walk into mcdonalds and ask the cashier what kind of insurance their job gets them. Unless you ask the manager they will probably laugh at you.

By: Etherman Sat, 24 Sep 2011 02:23:56 +0000 I agree with the general theme of this article, that modern capitalism isn’t working. However, modern capitalism is very different from free market capitalism and is really just fascism. While Greenspan and Bernanke may claim to be conservatives their policies have been very economically interventionist.

One should also be very skeptical of the Gini coefficient. When the value is calculated does it include things like employee benefits, welfare, government subsidies, etc.? The answer will depend on who is doing the calculation and will cause huge variations in the result.

By: rickhan Fri, 23 Sep 2011 20:53:44 +0000 The percentage of income/wealth spent yearly goes way down the richer you are. The amount of dollars out there has risen, not gone done–the problem is, it’s not being spent.
It’s common now for a large number of people to spend over 100% of their income just for basic necessities–they borrow because they don’t make enough.
We have a consumer economy. Lack of money being spent is closing companies and reducing profit. The tax cuts for the rich and corporate subsidies are obviously NOT creating new jobs. The money circulation is now stagnant.
Austerity measures are like telling a then, starving person tht he needs to diet and to reduce his need for food….

By: zotdoc Thu, 22 Sep 2011 14:08:14 +0000 I don’t think that the basic principles of capitalism are the problem. There is an increasing disparity in dollars, but in terms of access to labor saving devices and lefestyle items like plasma TV’s and diswashers, we are much more equal than 200 years ago, when these items would only be available to a king or prince. My beef is the definition of “rich”. It is fine for our president to speak of the disparities of jet flying millionaires and billionaires, but when you look at his policies they equate this with people who make $200,000.00 year. I make more than this, but I have no stockpile of wealth and so my income is all I have. I’m strapped to pay for my 3 college aged children much less fly around in a jet, not because of capitalism but because of our tax system. If Warren and I and everyone paid the same tax rate and could not wiggle out of it, the country would have enough revenue, we could all pay a lower percent, and the “rich”, as well as the “poor” , not just the upper middle class,would be paying their fair share for the govt services we all receive.

By: GLK Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:21:51 +0000 Business is the single-minded pursuit of profit. Business is not guided by conscience, empathy, or virtue. Business is, however, guided by the policies set by our Federal lawmaker’s whose main job was to protect it’s people from ruin. Pretty easy to figure out who dropped the ball.

By: Acetracy Thu, 22 Sep 2011 11:08:09 +0000 Capitalism itself is not the problem here. DUring the post war period up to Reagan, the middle class in the USA saw continued prosperity, as did most of war ravaged Europe and Asia. What happened in the 1980s that stopped the middle class advance? The US Tax Structure.

Huge tax give aways to the upper 1% has certainly fed the income and wealth disparity, but stagnant wages and stagnant middle class standard of living due to lack of job growth has more to do with how the US tax structure encourages speculation over investment.

The US tax structure on capital gains, futures, derivatives, real estate investment, etc. has pushed the US equity market into a day trading roulette wheel. What the US needs is a tax structure that rewards the long term investor and punishes the short term speculator: 80% cap gains tax on all trades held under 6 months, 70% under one year, graduate the tax down with longer holding period (i.e. over 5 years 10% tax). All derivatives should be taxed at 80%. Eliminate 1031 exchanges on investment real estate.

Until the financial wiz kids see that they are rewarded for long term investing, the US markets will remain a boom/bust economy which is obviously destroying jobs and the US middle class.

By: wmoore Thu, 22 Sep 2011 10:34:22 +0000 The US economic politics of the last 20 years have turned the US from a world economic leader to bordering on third world status and bankrupt.
Corporate American based multinational companies have caused this problem.
In their quest for ever increasing profits, corporate “leaders” have pushed for “free trade” agreements which allowed export of American jobs to China, India and other slave states to manufacture their products with $.80 a day labor.
These same agreements allowed them to bring these products back to the US and sell them to American citizens with no tariffs, thus maximizing corporate profit, while postponing the real cost to American citizens by increasing trade deficits which were just added to the national debt by our unscrupulous GOP politicians who sell US debt to China and other nations.
Corporate profits were protected from taxation by these same GOP politicians with loopholes and tax breaks, or by corporations keeping their profits offshore and not repatriating the profits back to the US where the money might actually “trickle down” to Americans.

Net winners = greedy corporate management and their paid for GOP politicians, the wealthy Americans who own large blocks of stock in these corporations, and foreign countries whose governments use their citizens as slaves.

Net losers = the American people (lost jobs, high unemployment, huge national debt)

Not surprising that the GOP is financed by these same corporations and wealthy robber barons, and that now the GOP’s main focus is to protect these corporations and wealthy individuals from taxation which might preserve what little social safety net Americans citizens have (SS and Medicare).
Instead the GOP wants to further cut taxes, and reduce “entitlements”, so the wealthy and corporate multinationals can get ever richer at the expense of future generations of American citizens.


By: Byanyothername Thu, 22 Sep 2011 07:28:28 +0000 I have been to a country whereby this process is complete, and it may surprise a lot of people. That country is the Philippines. There is no middle class to speak of, only the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor. The hallmark of the culture that I saw when I was there was the rampant and across the board corruption. If you were not tied to and kicking back to the government in some way, then you lived a subsistence life. Do you think that an exclusive distributor of JVC products is really needed? And enforced by law? Guns are illegal, but killings from guns are continuous. The police seek bribes in routine traffic stops … for safety? The connected and the political savvy are the ultra-rich. The rule of law is meaningless, for those of means. Is this what we want for America? Stop handing the government the right to control your neighbors actions and pocket book for his own good, or end up like the Philippines!

By: fromthecenter Thu, 22 Sep 2011 06:54:38 +0000 Dont be fooled into thinking that this is just a push of non-technical, simple accounting jobs overseas. High-tech I/T jobs have been flooding out of this country at an alarming rate. Large tech firms are paying for college and training in BRIC and other low income countries to continue the evaporation of the jobs that were to replace the lower end manufacturing jobs that they had already sent. There is no end in sight to what these CEO’s will do. The problem is, sooner rather then later… there will be no one making enough to purchase these same goods and services. But, of course by then their pockets will full.

By: breezinthru Thu, 22 Sep 2011 03:26:59 +0000 It seems as though a large block of the middle class is acutely aware that something has gone very wrong for them, but an equally large block of the middle class is not politically and economically astute enough to clearly define the problem and a solution.

The Republicans and Democrats are once again attempting to promote their views of the problem and solution. It will be interesting to see whose version is easiest for the middle class to swallow.