Comments on: In Milwaukee, an evaporating middle class Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:37:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: Liming_s Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:32:42 +0000 What happens here in Milwaukee seems to go against the American Dream. As long as you work hard you will be able to earn an affluent life. This might be available in the last century, but seems not so exact in today’s America. Capitalism distributes the resource unfairly. The rich occupy more resource and possess more and more wealth, while poor families cannot make their ends meet. The trends of capitalism might be eliminating the middle class. Middle class might be split into two parts. One of them would become richer and join in upper class while the left were classified as working class.
What the government does is to decrease the gap between upper class and working class. However it is not easy to make a balance. The government wants to make profits maximize. Thus it is important to optimize the resource. But usually, the optimal one is not the fairest one. Still they try to do the second distribution through policies like taxes. The rich pay more for their taxes so that government can transfer money to the poor through allowance, which, I think, is one of the reasons of the class warfare. The upper think that they have paid more and make up for the working class, while the poor families still can’t make their living. Because what the poor get from government are far from their need. They still live under the poverty line.

By: sharonsj Mon, 19 Dec 2011 17:34:13 +0000 @ajsfca con’t…

Less than 9% of the workforce is unionized, so blaming them is ridiculous–all you did was swallow Republican kool-aid.

There is almost no manufacturing left in this country, so decent jobs for high school grads are gone. You need a college degree or specialized technical training and that costs more money than kids have–because, after all, their parents aren’t earning a living wage. Pell grants helped, but those are being cut (mostly by Republicans).

And lest you think I despise only Republicans, I hate Democrats too. They are spineless sell-outs and we have a Congress that not only doesn’t give a rat’s ass for people, it doesn’t care about the country either. We need to throw out most of them and change the campaign laws–starting with Citizens United. After all, if corporations were people, we’d be putting them on trial for theft and murder.

By: gregfromOhio Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:36:04 +0000 I can only guess the OUTLAWING of labor unions in Wisconsin hasn’t worked like King Walker said it would.
If he and Wisconsin Republicans aren’t held accountable for their choices then Wisconsin’s population deserves what they have gotten.Thank goodness ,we in Ohio saw this for what it is a FLEECING of the Middle Class.By the way,Our State Employees ratified a 3 yr contract extension
at current rates.The Governor KING john kasich still balanced his 2 yr budget?

By: GoPackForever Sat, 17 Dec 2011 22:06:06 +0000 Actually a Milwaukee resident for twenty years and some of this is misinterpretation. Lets admit some of the shrinking middle class is because some people moved up the socioeconomic ladder. Also many middle class families have moved out of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County because they are so poorly run, tax burden is horrendous and the educational system is a nightmare especially in the City. So some of the “shrinking” middle class is “fleeing” to Ozaukee and Waukesha counties where education and taxation are more livable. Wisconsin in general has lagged in moving from manufacturing/farming to capital/technology industries and city/state government and sorry-unions have done little to help that. It will be Detroit soon unless visionaries intervene. At this point the only people who can afford to live in the City are the are the upper class and the lower class and the teachers who are forced to…

By: M.C.McBride Sat, 17 Dec 2011 21:32:07 +0000 A couple of ideas to add to the many good posts are tariffs on low-wage countries, and taxes on capital traders. As for the American education system which is also to blame, I would say change the education system so that it is about how to create products and services not how to be a teacher. All college graduates should be able to teach there chosen topics well, and there should not be a “teaching” degree or licensing of teachers. Furthermore, there should not be colleges for “lawyers” the law should be widely taught to everyone and user friendly. If the law is confusing it gets thrown out.

By: Tiu Sat, 17 Dec 2011 20:48:08 +0000 USA – the #1 baby eating zombie of century 21 will make more wars to absorb all the fit young zombies and make then useful to their multi-national resource extracting slave owners.
Search for this link and read the book. It’ll sounds completely wacko and is hard to swallow, but given what is going on around us it sadly makes sense. It’s written by John Coleman.

By: cadabra Sat, 17 Dec 2011 18:16:49 +0000 I think the article and comments are missing a very important point. The manufacturing jobs of the 1950s and 60s are gone forever. We need to devise a new type of economy that serves all or most of our people. The politicians don’t have the answers; the answers must come from us, and all we are doing is complaining. For example, in times of economic transition, one would think our schools would be producing the best students. But what is happening is our schools are failing, across social class lines. The number of “Americans” earning graduate degrees in the sciences and engineering has been declining. Our best colleges are filled with foreign nationals. Walk into any medical school and see who the students are. More than that, we are losing our creativity, imagination and insustriousness, and we are losing our ability to form supportive social networks to encourage economic, educational, and other kinds of development.

I wish the comments here were more expressive of innovative efforts occuring in people’s communities, ways in which communities were learning to work together effectively; ways in which children were being educated independently of the public and parochial schools; ways in which people were learning to improve their healthcare through better nutrition; ways in which human and economic resources were being leveraged for better advantage.

There are simple economic principles that can be applied. If a dollar is recirculated within a community three or four times the multiplier effect is huge. When one spends a dollar in a chain store (Wlamart, for example) that dollar disappears from the community. But when that dollar in spent in a local business, that local business recirculates that dollr to another local supplier, and so on. That magnifies the limited resources a community has. If people learned to work more effectively as teams, whether to puruse educational or business ventures, the impact would be huge. But instead, we seem to want someone else to initiate policies that will return us to the prosperity of the past, and it just isn’t going to happen.

By: jambrytay Sat, 17 Dec 2011 17:57:55 +0000 GSH10,

Your comment “We make very little here in the states” is wildly inaccurate.

Depending on whose study you believe, the US is the world’s number 1 or 2 manufacturer. The loss of manufacturing jobs has a lot to do with improvements in productivity which allows us to turn out more goods with fewer workers.

By: jambrytay Sat, 17 Dec 2011 17:50:06 +0000 I’m wondering how representative Milwaukee is for the nation as a whole.

I did a study of couple of years ago looking at long term household income data published by the US Census and it shows the middle and lower income groups have faired pretty well over the last 40 or so years.

The data shows the numbers of the middle and lower income households have gotten smaller and the numbers of the higher income households has grown over the same timeframe.

In 1967 31% of families were in the lower income group, by 2007, families in the lower income group had fallen to less that 25% of the total. the percentage of middle income households also dropped over this time period. in 1967, less than 6% of households were in the upper income group, by 2007, 20% of households were.

Ive not been back to their site to see more recent data, but the data will probably show a short term reversal, but the longer term view (the better lens to view and make judgements) is showing a steady improvement

By: beboris Sat, 17 Dec 2011 17:09:43 +0000 There must be a law that makes a direct connection between the size of compensation for the government workers (of any level) with the economic performance (read – average salary) of the entity they govern. How can the ridiculous arrangements be sustained that keep a California state worker salary above $100K/year (with about same size pension for MORE than life – that surviving spouse keeps obtaining even after the person’s death)? All that while the state is bankrupt and [revenue generating!] private sector’s salaries (let alone pensions) are nowhere near… Whelcome to the United States of Greece…