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    25 Signs That Middle Class Families Have Been Targeted For Extinction

    Michael Snyder
    April 18th, 2012
    The Economic Collapse
    Comments (96)
    Read by 8,334 people

    The middle class in America is being systematically wiped out, and most people don’t even realize what is happening.  Every single year, millions more Americans fall out of the middle class and become dependent on the government.  The United States once had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world, but now the middle class is rapidly shrinking and government dependence is at an all-time high.  So why is this happening?  Well, America is becoming a poorer nation at the same time that wealth is becoming extremely concentrated at the very top.  At this point, our economic system is designed to funnel as much money and power to the federal government and to the big corporations as possible.  Individuals and small businesses have a really hard time thriving in this environment.  To most big corporations these days, workers are viewed as financial liabilities.  Most corporations want to reduce their payrolls as much as possible.  You see, the truth is that most corporations want to be just like Apple.  If you can believe it, Apple makes $400,000 in profit per employee.  Big corporations don’t care that you need to pay the mortgage and provide for your family.  Their goal is to make as much money as possible.  And most of the control freaks that run our bloated federal government don’t care much about middle class families either.  To many politicians and federal bureaucrats, middle class families are “useless eaters” that are constantly damaging the environment with their “excessive” lifestyles.  In this day and age, neither the federal government nor the big corporations really have much use for middle class Americans, and that is really, really bad news for the the future of the middle class family in America.

    There are three key factors that are constantly chipping away at the middle class….

    -Globalization

    -Inflation

    -Taxes

    Labor has become a global commodity, and American workers are often 10 to 20 times as expensive as workers on the other side of the world are.  Middle class jobs (such as manufacturing, etc.) have been leaving this country at an astounding pace.  Competition for the jobs that remain has become extremely fierce, and this has driven wages down.  The following is from a recent article in the New York Times….

    But in the last two decades, something more fundamental has changed, economists say. Midwage jobs started disappearing. Particularly among Americans without college degrees, today’s new jobs are disproportionately in service occupations — at restaurants or call centers, or as hospital attendants or temporary workers — that offer fewer opportunities for reaching the middle class.

    As paychecks have stagnated, the cost of living has continued to escalate.  Middle class families are finding that their paychecks simply do not go nearly as far as they did before.  This is creating a tremendous amount of financial stress in households all over America.

    Meanwhile, our politicians are taxing the middle class like crazy.  Most people only focus on federal and state income taxes, but that is only a small part of the story.  As I detailed the other day, our politicians are taxing us in literally dozens of different ways and it is almost always the middle class that ends up getting hit the hardest.

    If America wants to be great again, it is going to need a thriving middle class.  But right now the federal government and the big corporations are gobbling up all of the power and all of the money and the middle class is shrinking rapidly.

    If current trends continue, eventually there will not be much of a middle class left.

    The following are 25 signs that middle class families have been targeted for extinction….

    #1 Over the past several decades, millions upon millions of middle class Americans have been systematically turned into government dependents.  Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages.  In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages.  Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.

    #2 Unemployment is at epidemic levels and the vast majority of the new jobs that have been “created” in recent years have been low paying jobs.  Of those Americans that do have a job at this point, one out of every four works a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

    #3 The “working poor” is a group that is rapidly growing in this country.  If you can believe it, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

    #4 Over the past several decades, the percentage of low income jobs has steadily increased.  Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

    #5 The way that our economic system is structured today, almost all of the economic rewards go to the very top of the food chain.  The following is how income gains in the United States were distributed during 2010….

    -37 percent of all income gains went to the top 0.01 percent of all income earners

    -56 percent of all income gains went to the rest of the top 1 percent

    -7 percent of all income gains went to the bottom 99 percent

    #6 Several decades ago, there was a much more even distribution of income in this country.  Back in the 1970s, the top 1 percent of all income earners brought in about 8 percent of all income.  Today, they bring in about 21 percent of all income.

    #7 As the middle class shrinks, the number of “low income” and “poor” Americans is rapidly rising.  Today, approximately 48 percent of all Americans are currently either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

    #8 Manufacturing jobs once enabled huge numbers of Americans to enjoy a middle class lifestyle.  Unfortunately, those jobs are leaving this country at a breathtaking pace.  Back in 1940, 23.4% of all American workers had manufacturing jobs.  Today, only 10.4% of all American workers have manufacturing jobs.

    #9 In the old days, any man that was willing to work hard and wanted a job could get one.  Today, there are millions of American men sitting on their couches at home wondering why nobody will hire them.  Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percentof all men in the United States have jobs.

    #10 The middle class is shrinking at the same time that America is getting poorer as a nation.  In the middle of the last century, the United States was #1 in the world in GDP per capita.  Today, the United States is #13 in GDP per capita.

    #11 Every year now, we see millions of Americans fall out of the middle class.  In 2010, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty.  That was thelargest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

    #12 The shrinking middle class is having a disproportionate impact on children.  At this point, approximately 22 percent of all American children are living in poverty.

    #13 In the old days, most Americans grew up in middle class neighborhoods.  Sadly, this is no longer true.  In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.  By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.

    #14 The concentration of wealth at the very top of the food chain is astounding.  Right now, over 50 percent of all stocks and bonds are owned by just 1 percentof the U.S. population.

    #15 When you concentrate too much power in the hands of the federal government and the big corporations, it is inevitable that massive amounts of wealth will become concentrated in just a few hands.  In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

    #16 There is nothing wrong with making money, but there is something wrong with a game where individuals and small businesses cannot compete fairly.  According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

    #17 When the number of poor people rapidly expands in a society, that is a recipe for social unrest.  At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

    #18 The hidden tax of inflation is absolutely devastating middle class families all over America.  Since 1970, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 83 percent of its value.  Any dollars that middle class families try to save are constantly losing a little bit more value every single day.

    #19 American workers that try to play by the rules find that they are constantly fighting a losing battle.  According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 droppedby 27 percent after you account for inflation.

    #20 In recent years, many middle class families have seen their paychecks get smaller.  Median household income in the United States has fallen 7.8 percentsince December 2007 after adjusting for inflation.

    #21 In recent years, many middle class families have seen many of their basic expenses absolutely soar.  For example, health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president.

    #22 Just turning on the lights and heating their homes has become a major burden for many middle class families.  Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

    #23 Just putting gas in the car has become a major financial ordeal for millions of hard working Americans.  The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has increased by more than 100 percent since Barack Obama became president.

    #24 Sadly, government dependence is now at an all-time high, and that is the way that many among the elite like it.  When Barack Obama took office, there were 32 million Americans on food stamps.  Now, there are more than 46 million Americans on food stamps.  In particular, an astounding number of children are on food stamps right now.  At this point, approximately one-fourthof all American children are enrolled in the food stamp program.

    #25 Many middle class families will not be in the middle class for too much longer.  According to a shocking new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, 200,000 U.S. households will use the money from their tax refunds this year “to pay for bankruptcy filing and legal fees“.

    Unless major changes are made on a national level, the middle class is going to continue to disappear.

    If you are playing the game the way that the system tells you to play it and you expect to live a middle class lifestyle for many years to come there is a good chance that you will be deeply disappointed at some point.

    Millions upon millions of Americans have done everything that the system told them to do and the system has still failed them.  They got good grades all the way through school, they went to college, they worked really hard, they stayed out of trouble and they gave everything they could to their employers.  In spite of all that, millions of hard working families have still lost their jobs and their homes in recent years.

    Do not trust that the system will take care of you, and you should not trust that the government will take care of you either.

    We don’t need the federal government to hand out more money to everyone.  Government handouts are already at record levels and the government is not even coming close to paying for all of this reckless spending.

    More government spending is not going to solve any of our problems.

    Instead, what we need is an environment where the size and power of the federal government is limited and the size and the power of the big corporations is limited.  We need an environment where individuals and small businesses can thrive and compete fairly.

    Unfortunately, neither major political party is going to move us in that direction, so there is not much hope for solutions on the national level any time soon.

    On an individual level, we can all learn how to prepare for the very difficult years that are coming.  It is imperative that we all work to become more independent of the system, because the system could fail at any time.

    If you have blind faith that your job will always be there and that the federal government will rescue you if the economy crashes then you are likely to be bitterly disappointed at some point.

    The truth is that our economy is slowly dying and the great American middle class is being systematically wiped out.

    Many of the things that worked in the past are not going to work any longer.

    You can choose to adapt or you can suffer the consequences.

    Our world is rapidly changing, and we all need to prepare for what is coming.

    Please Spread The Word And Share This Post
        name:     email:        details

    Author: Michael Snyder
    Views: Read by 8,334 people
    Date: April 18th, 2012
    Website: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

     

    96 Comments...

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    1. DieselDan says:

      First article I’ve read today and pretty sad it’s come to this!

      People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

      • KY Mom says:

        Made me think of this article…

        Obama’s War on the Middle Class

        “…One of the hallmarks of all socialist countries is the absence of an independent middle class. From the Bolshevik experiment in Russia to socialist Venezuela today, it is necessary for communist leaders to eliminate that class of citizens who are not dependent on government for their welfare.

        Political theorists from Aristotle to Locke understood that a truly independent and prosperous middle class was essential to the collective well-being of any society. The middle class has always, in every society, been characterized by qualities of social restraint and economic realism — a shrewd and skeptical conservatism that serves to restrain the grandiose plans of utopian revolutionaries and embittered reactionaries alike.

        Throughout its history American society in particular has been the beneficiary of an aspiring middle class whose efforts have created the world’s greatest democracy. It is an ominous sign that the political left, with the loyal support of more than a third of our population, is intent on its destruction.”

        (www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/obamas_war_on_the_middle_class.html)

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        • KY Mom says:

          People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

          • Auntie Commie says:

            @ KY Mom, this just about says it all.

            People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

          • durango kidd says:

            KYMom: Don’t get hung up on O’bummer. He is just a puppet for the GB’s and the Uber Rich. He is there to draw your ire and your fire.

            He is a false target. My peeps do not be blinded by your hatred of O’Bummer. O’Bummer is just a symptom. John McLame would be serving the NWO too!

            Look to the Globalists in power on both sides of the isle who have voted to curb American rights. They are ALL OUR enemies.

            When Patriots control OUR government again, and they will, These scumbags will be facing charges of TREASON.

            The penalty for TREASON is DEATH.

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          • John Q. Public says:

            As if getting rid of Obama will fix anything?

            The Social Justice of Christ the King demands:
            (1) just wages (enough for a husband to feed his family)
            2) just prices (not whatever the market will bear)
            (3) no usury (no profit on a simple loan of money).

            Distributism is the Christian “third way” alternative to the two “competing” Judaic systems (1) Judeo-Communism and (2) Judeo-Capitalism. As the financing of the murderous 1917 revolutions by the Kuhn-Loeb Bank (now Chase Bank) shows, Capitalism (thesis) and Communism (antithesis) seek and achieve monopoly of money and power for the same tribe (synthesis). Their Kabbalistic (satanic) dialectic (thesis-antithesis-synthesis now renamed “problem-response-solution”) has supplanted mostly (admittedly not perfect) peace and morality with mostly {FAR from perfect) murder and materialism—miserable lives and souls lost for an eternity.

            Distributism seeks the widest possible distribution of PRIVATE property so that just wages, just prices, and prohibition of usury (and its fractional reserve banking and other tricks of the looters) allow mankind the peace and full bellies to live moral lives.

            It is long overdue to prosecute, punish, and repatriate reparations for centuries of economic and genocidal crimes against humanity, to prosecute and punish the dynastic banksters, financiers, and their toadies and propagandists who have fomented conflict, wars, and slavery for their own aggrandizement.

            Punish the guilty; leave the innocent alone.

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          • John Q. Public says:

            Good timing for this blog explaining ONE of the reasons that Catholic Social Doctrine was frustrated by “Christian” rulers:
            http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/2012/04/christian-nobleman-court-jew.html

            Good timing for this blog explaining who supports the genocidal theorists:
            http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/2012/04/chabads-knuckleheaded-billionaires.html

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        • DomesticTerrorist says:

          Yep in the USSR they were called “kulaks”, in Cambodia they were massecred, etc.

          What they hate is something I’ll call the “middle class mentality”. For instance, I live below the poverty line. Although I qualify for them, I refuse to take any government “benefits” such as food stamps etc. I prize my independence. I don’t live in fear of voting for who’s best for the country because they might also take my food stamps away, I don’t get ‘em!

          One reason I live (happily) below the poverty line is I’m willing to step back in time a bit as far as living standards go; I do not need cable TV, a water heater, or a flush toilet to be happy. And because I am frugal, and some things I do pay well over $10 an hour, I can afford to have lots of free time to read, learn, invent, improve myself, etc. I like to think I’m an example of what’s meant when it is said that Americans all consider themselves to be middle-class regardless of income. It’s a mindset.

          And it’s like Kryptonite to despots and statist regimes.

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        • GrayFoxGreen says:

          Greetings Everyone!
          Let’s not forget the the “red tie” folks who demanded that we have “free trade Acts”,and 700 billion bailouts for the bankers,EVERYONE in Washington is culpable in the sad farce we can call “the FEDS.
          We can’t change what they did,but we can change what we do to cope with the results…..

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        • The Socialist/Communists want to eliminate the middle class because they are harder to control. But it is the middle class that buy all the stuff that keeps those companies running and making profits. Who will buy things or pay taxes when the middle class is gone?
          The environmentalists want to eliminate the middle class because they buy and use more stuff but it was this country with a strong middle class that pushed the government and the big business to clean up our air and waterways. In communist countries they used the air and water as sewers and did not care what it did to the people.
          This is all just to bring free thinking and free living americans under control and get us used to control. Otherwise we would never submit to giving up our nation to a one world government.

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      • durango kidd says:

        This article can be summed up in two words: “FREE TRADE”. This is the system by which the GB’s and Uber Rich are destroying America.

        Your America.

        Your jobs, your career, your education system, your family, your children’s and your grandchildren’s future.

        Free Trade has been sold to Americans as a FREEDOM by elitists like Lew Rockwell who gets his funding from the NWO, yet sells “Free Trade” as if if were free speech or another enumerated right under the Bill of Rights.

        It is not.

        It is a demonic system that is expressly designed to strip YOU of your wealth, and then your liberties.

        He knows it, too. Now so do you.

        Free Trade must be reversed and replaced with Fair Trade. What is Fair Trade? It is reciprocal trade where trade balances and imbalances are offset by renegotiation or tariffs.

        Free Traders like (Clark who is a shill for the NWO and Lew Rockwell) are spreading the propaganda of Free Trade and trying to make YOU believe that fair Trade is “mercantilism”.

        Nothing could be further from the truth. Check your pockets; listen to your heart and not the propaganda.

        The only way to restore fairness to America is to repeal Free Trade; which is the managed trade of the GB’s and Uber Rich controlled by GATT, NAFTA, and The WTO.

        The way to repeal Free Trade is to remove the Globalists from power. The way to remove Globalists from power is to vote them out of office. They FEAR loss of political power.

        The way to remove them from office is to throw your support behind NEW political structures populated by Patriots, like GOOOH, The Patriot Party, America First!, or The Constitution Party.

        Engage your managers or be enslaved by them.

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        • Who are You? says:

          I think free trade is like communism. In their pure forms, both would be great, but when practiced by human beings, both are a disaster. The ‘free trade” agreements sold to americans are universally lopsided against America.

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      • Hammerun says:

        What would happen to a Government if we decided we didn’t want to play anymore?

        Don’t ask how to get this started, just think. How do you engineer a collapse from our position? Beat them to the draw. They are only able to accomplish this with our labor, money and taxes. What if they didn’t have any and won’t get any more? Do you have any idea what would happen if (lets pick a number, say 100 million) said fuck you we aint playing? Take your taxes and stick them in your ass, take your policies. Laws and legislation’s and stick them too! What are you going to do, arrest and prosecute 100 million people? Good fucking luck! We will be dead by the time you get around to most of us. Maybe what we’re missing here is “just sit down”, quit don’t play the game anymore. If we are going to go through something like this, howsabout we go through it on our own terms by choice. This would be a rough nut admittedly but if what we just read is true it’s going to be a tough friggen nut anyway. Why not do it of our own choice?
        They would give up quick as soon as they got poor.

        Too many times the government has ran us, it’s time we ran it! This Bitch only works with our consent and participation.

        It “is” because we allow it to be, without us “its” nothing but a big gas bag.

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        • durango kidd says:

          Hammerun: If 100 million Americans said “fuck you” and refused to participate; they would be identified, divided, and targeted for punitive measures of one kind or another.

          Then the minority of Globalists in this country would have a free hand to enslave US. Isn’t that exactly what has happened by OUR complacency?

          The only way to resist this tyranny is to engage them politically. That’s their game. That’s their power base. That is what gives them legitimacy.

          It is also their weakness.

          If those 100 million Americans join a Patriot Party, supported Patriots for office with just a $100 donation; these traitors in power could be removed from office all over America and then indicted for Sedition.

          The penalty for TREASON is DEATH. The PTB need to get that message. Pass it on.

          Engage.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

          • Hammerun says:

            @durango;
            I don’t want to argue with you, we both have a point. “Identified, divided, targeted and punitive measures. Good luck, they don’t have enough employees. Here’s what it would be like. Example; how do you herd cats? Answer; you don’t! That’s what you do to them, do what a cat would do with an abusive owner.

            (The only way to resist this tyranny is to engage them politically. That’s their game. That’s their power base. That is what gives them legitimacy.)

            You said it, I didn’t. It’s “their” game. You can’t play chess if you don’t have an opponent. What gives them legitimacy is that we obey them and pay attention to their ramblings. Just knock the board off onto the floor, so much for the game. Besides that, you can’t deal with pricks like pelosi, reid, waters, waxman, obama. Look at Scott Brown, what the hell happened to him? That bitch rolled over quick. We need to look a little bit more closely at our future candidates. Tea Party or not.

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          • durango kidd says:

            HR: No you can’t herd cats, but that is not a fair analogy to sheeple! Cats are smarter :-)

            Not enough employees? Have you counted the number of armed federal agencies, troops, and private security companies?

            Don’t expect the PTB to move against all patriots, all at once. They will id leaders like Ted Nugent, or articulate dissenters like yours truly, and try to bring the power of their offices to bear upon these people.

            As for politics being “their game”, yes that is true as they have made it their game. But its OUR country, WE are the government, and they are ONLY managers.

            Managers can be fired and prosecuted criminally for malfeasance and TREASON. It only requires an engaged electorate to make it so.

            No shots. No violence. Only an enraged and engaged citizenry resolved to restore their personal liberties, who support and participate in these NEW political structures.

            My point is that WE must change the rules of the game, by introducing NEW political structures populated by Patriots who they cannot control.

            The Globalists control the game because they control both parties and make the rules to serve themselves.

            When Patriots, in new Political parties, take a major percentage (say 20%) of the seats in DC the rules will be different; the game will have been changed.

            That can happen by 2016.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

          • Dixon Jabuti says:

            If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so my children may have peace….

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      • Gods Creation says:

        Here is sign 26

        The banksters do not want a middle class and are actively stealing it’s assets without even bothering to hide it.

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    2. Mclovin says:

      I’ll 2nd that!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    3. Mclovin says:

      When they begin lowering Dick Clark’s coffin into the ground would it be appropriate to yell “10,9,8,7…”?

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    4. DieselDan says:

      Also like to add I have to agree with 20! Ive made about a third of what I made 4 yrs ago man Obama I hope we get a change!

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      • squirt says:

        I wonder if ANY prez. can undo what’s been done. Can our system be fixed after being abused for so long? Both parties are to blame for the shape our country is in.

        True, this has been going on for years, but Obummer hasn’t shown any concern what so ever for his part in all this for the last 3 years. We need a new Prez. who will be a leader, not a dictator changing the rules to suit his needs. And limiting our rights as citizens.

        We also need to clean house… literally. We need to get rid of the ol’ timmers, such as Reid, Pelosi, Feinstein, Rangle, etc., regardless of which party. We need new minds, fresh ideas instead of the same ol’ same ol’. There’s a bunch more that need to go….

        A new Prez., and maybe a newer Congress/Senate might be a start on the right path. I know most politicians are corrupt and power hungry but maybe with some new younger people that’s still “green” and open to ideas, we might have a chance.

        My definition of Hope and Change is nothing like Obummers.
        Mine is for the People, by the People, not the gov…

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        • Denny says:

          Consider RON PAUL

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        • Highspeedloafer says:

          All 93 senators who voted for NDAA need to go.

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          • durango kidd says:

            Indict these bastards, try them, convict them, and then give them the penalty reserved for traitors.

            The penalty for TREASON is DEATH. They need to think twice about what they have done and what they are doing.

            Turn-a-bout is fair play.

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        • Winston Smith says:

          The problem is that you would have to eliminate the two dominant parties that exist now. If you didn’t, then the new people would be co-opted into the old system. Right now, if you are elected to congress, your committee appointments are made by the powerful people who have been there for a while. If you want a good appointment then you have to play ball with them. Thus, power shifts far more slowly than it should and new ideas are stifled long enough to evaporate from the minds of the formerly principled freshmen. Figure out how to change that system AND elect people who are more liberty minded and you will be on the road to fixing the problem. Also, voting for Ron Paul is not an end unto itself, but a beginning. He’s only one man and we need another few hundred in order to truly bring about the radical changes we need to see.

          As to what liberty means, it means liberty from slavery to both the large corporations and banks and the government. It means a smaller, less activist military with a substantially smaller budget. It means eliminating trade agreements and laws that favor the enterprises of the well connected over the average person. In short, it means re-thinking the system as it sits now and dividing power more equitably.

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          • durango kidd says:

            WS: Yes the dominate two party system must be replaced because new people are co-opted by wall street and K street once they hit DC.

            90 million gun owners participating in new political structures and supporting them with only $100 per individual, can restore the American system of government to its rightful owners:

            US.

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          • Tomas says:

            Y, the problem is the mindset. Liberty minded leaders would have to just accept that they will have no power for up to 6 years in the senate. The House can be taken all at once and turned into a bastion of liberty. I don’t think that half the country needs convincing of this. The problem is the other half and of course the current power structure that has already shown over the past decades that it has zero morals. It will lies, cheat, steal and kill to get its way. The president, for example executes citizens and the crowds cheer him? Seriously? We would need liberty minded representatives in the majority in every single state? Is the will to finance and of course file all of the paperwork, multiple times (because it will get lost by tptb) in every state in the union there? I don’t know. The majority of us would like to just be left the hell alone, but I don’t think we can do that much longer because the current thieves refuse to leave us alone. I’m not sure what the answer is. Can a Ron Paul ignite a movement that is focused on liberty and treating America as it deserves on the world stage? Will this movement be able to confront the media lies that will be spread? Will the movement be able to address the concerns of the poor, black, and disadvantaged that liberals so love to use as a weapon against those who don’t think it is the governments right to steal our wealth and hand it over to others (after taking a cut for the bankers and uncle sugar of course)? Will a place like Chicago or Detroit, ever be free of the corrupt politicians? Or do we write them off as wastelands of despotism and cronyism? The Tea party started out, and still is, a legitimate idea, but look what happened. Belittled, called racist, tea bagged in the media, those elected under its banner vote like the rest of congress. What changed? Nothing. All it proved is that dc can corrupt anyone, if the hacks who were elected under the tea party banner weren’t shills to begin with. Politics is all about power. Money is secondary. A lust for power is what drives the current crop to office. How do we identify leaders who aren’t power hungry thieves? How do we keep our own in check once elected? How do we keep the movement from devolving into just another organization like the democratic or republican party? Will we force people to liberty? Will we arrest the guilty? Will we kill those against us if necessary? Who decides? Are we committed to rolling back every single law passed in the last 100 years? What to do about the supreme court? And 70% of the worlds lawyers? And 30 million illegals? The UN? NATO? It is a huge challenge that done half way will be worse than what we have today. Is,there a plan? Or just a desire, vaguely thought through?

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      • Chuckles says:

        I finally got a job after being laid off for 6 months, and I’m making the same thing that I was earning 6 years ago. Meanwhile food and fuel are much higher than they were 6 years ago.

        Hoax and Chains!!!!!

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      • I’m an independent technical contractor and have not raised my rates since 2006. In some cases, I’ve actually had to lower my rates just to keep a contract. Meanwhile, gas in 2006 was about $1.25 per gallon, a loaf of bread was about $1.50, a gallon of milk was just under $3.00 per gallon and our electric bill was less than half of what it is now. Since then, gas in my area is now $3.89 per gallon, bread is over $3.00 for anything worth eating, milk is almost $5.00 and our electric has more than doubled. Yet, my rates have remained the same and in some cases have been lowered.

        If this shit isn’t theft on the most grand scale, I don’t know what is. My story is not unique and there is no possible way I can continue this way for much longer. If I don’t raise my rates, I will have to close up shop due to a serious lack of funds. If I do raise my rates, I will lose more than 1/2 my business and be forced to close up shop due to a serious lack of funds. Either way, I’m fucked and it’s just around the corner.

        How many others are in a similar situation?

        How many of you have a small business on the brink, dealing with a catch 22 budget?

        How many of you will close your doors within the next year?

        I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I’m going to guess it’s probably somewhere in the 50% range at least. Possibly, the number could be as high as 75% of all small businesses are on the brink. What was once a thriving way to make an honest living for more than a decade for me, has become nothing more than a painful thorn in my side.

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        • AZ Ready says:

          JR, I hear you. It’s a struggle everyday to keep my doors open.

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        • MXLord327 says:

          I don’t own a small business but work for one, since 2007. When I started we had 125 employees, as of yesterday we were down to 45, but just laid off another 12 this morning. I can see furlough weeks and pay cuts for all of us still here right around the corner. My health insurance went up 45% at the beginning of the year, $165 a week now, and my mortgage went up $50 a month because of property tax increases. Even before all this, I was making less than I was in 1999. Great way to live, I guess I’m going to have to drop off the grid soon…..

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          • ncprepper says:

            same here, things looking bad, income way down, by at least half, property tax went up again which caused morgatge to go up, about $100.00 short per month on bills, selling everything (stuff) to get by, have put house on market (have about 3/4 poative eqity on my end) but market sucks the big one now. Hope to sell , buy some land and build self sufficient home, i pray that I make it, I know I will, I have no choice. my plan – No electric bill, no cable bill, no morgtage, no water or sewer bill, and build it myself mostly. I get to keep all that for myself left over fiat cash, and it will be converted to silver.hahahahahahahahahahahaha

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    5. Satori says:

      race to the bottom

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/caterpillar-inc-london-ontario-lockout_n_1214305.html

      http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/02/15/number-of-new-yorkers-earning-minimum-wage-surges/

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/45489425/Service_Sector_Leads_Boost_in_Job_Creation_Layoffs_Fall

      most jobs being created are in the service sector
      the pay is low and few if any benefits
      people are working just to keep a roof over their heads
      and beans and rice on the table

      welcome to the ever expanding world of the working poor

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    6. Be informed says:

      History repeats itself. Those that don’t learn from history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Again and again the bell shape that is suppose to be the economic structure of a well functioning country, becomes a hill like shape towards the very wealthy. It is not a sin to be successful. To exploit your own countrymen by selling off to the enemy (China) to get slave labour manufacturing goods is.

      Even with the robbing barons of the 19th century the money was still in the United States. When the money is now benefitting other countries, especially with those that have hundreds of ICBM’s aimed at the U.S. guess what? What has happened is that this selling off of the country is that the U.S. middle class has been degraded while the poor in other countries have risen slightly. A few select elistists that have control over this are the ones that have skyrocketed to unbelievable levels of power.

      Those in these power postions don’t care at all about what they do to people, the planet, their country, or anything else. If I was going to classify them as anything, it would be a beast. So what people are saying is the mark of the beast may not be too far from accurate. The only way you will be able to function, unless you can become self sufficient is to accept that mark and work for the beast. This is of course IF those in control don’t blow up the world or the planet itself doesn’t go through some upheaval.

      One thing about those elistists that history has also showed about the super powerful, they cannot share power. It is like putting a whole bunch of roosters into a confined space, you have a hell of a cock fight. These elistists that have raped the middle class and sold their country, committing treason, to the enemy still cannot get along with each other. Eventually they will go to war, just like the kings of the middle and drak ages use to. It is just human nature.

      God, people sure have not spiritually envolved much in thousands of years have they? :(

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    7. KY Mom says:

      So sad, but true. We have a small business. It continues to get harder every year, as the additional laws and regulations just increase.

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      • DieselDan says:

        I hear you four years ago I was able to employ 5 full time guys, with all the bs these days I’m struggling to keep 2 afloat!

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        • Merree says:

          I agree. I used to employ three people. Now I’m down to me and one other. He will be gone by the end of the year. (He’s a close friend and I’m helping him find an alternative income.) The regulations and expenses make it hard to afford employees. Not just covering taxes, but unemployment, workman’s comp, insurance, OSHA regs, on and on,… Plus the constant worry that the employee will mess up and get me sued or will find a reason to sue me.

          I had several employees who were fired for not doing their jobs. They went to the State and got weeks of severance pay plus unemployment. Sad to say, I learned my lesson. In the current climate it makes sense to avoid hiring and to contract with other companies to provide the same services. I guess the good side is that I work with a lot of independent small local businesses.
          I make it a point to work with local owned businesses over big corporations.

          One of my friends says that you vote with the dollars you spend. I try to vote for the small guys.

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          • WestVaFolks says:

            Merree – we do the same thing – patronize mom & pop stores & restaurants, hire local contractors for plumbing & electrical work, get gasoline/tires/oil changes from a family-owned service station which actually has bays (7 of them!) instead of a quik-mart. Hair salon, dry cleaner, hardware store, pet shop, greenhouse – all local businesses which have been in operation for years & whom we want to help keep up and running. If more people would use their dollars to support these folks instead of national chains and big box stores, think of the impact! Small businesses would start up and thrive like they used to! Instead of the big guys forcing THEM to close, they could force the BIG GUYS to close! Bwaaa-ha-ha-haaaa!

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    8. Public education, public food (stamps), public health care, I mean my God man what is next public xbox and iPhones?

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      • Dante says:

        If that’s what it takes to keep the sheep happy, sure. Pretty easy leap to make since they’ve already been pushing free internet.

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        • They’ve already got Phones for CoCo Puffers. Don’t have a link but they’re doing it. Giving away our money. Its the best way to kill a society: take the productive and demoralize them and take a big chunk of the labor force and give them free stuff so they continue to be lazy and dependent.

          Its a pretty good plan. But, like everything government touches, it will fail also. Just give it a little time.

          It will all fall apart and we’ll put it back together.

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          • y99 says:

            No question we’ll put it back together in some semblance of the past, it will be the death and destruction that from a psychological standpoint many Americans will need to work through.

            I cannot but think things are going to get bad beyond the pale; most will be in shock when it starts, but all better be ready if the goal is to survive.

            I would tell all to look up criminal gang activity within your AO, this will give you an idea of the first line of enemy forces.

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          • Ah work hard, save, invest, and the government can take it and buy the votes of those who don’t bother too….there are more of them – then you.

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          • durango kidd says:

            WE must move now to put humpty dumpty together again. Another generation of I phone users, DWTS viewers, and more products of a dumb down educational system who do not know their political DNA and it will be too late.

            Its up to US.

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      • Lee from La says:

        I think the public Iphone, or at least a cell phone, is already here. I remember seeing commercials that said if your income was below a certain amount, you were ENTITLED to a cell phone with (X) amount of minutes.

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        • WestVaFolks says:

          Hubby heard about that several weeks ago and almost went through the roof. Who in the sam hill do they have to talk to all day long that a cell phone is an absolute necessity? Do these people not have LAND PHONES in their homes that they can use???

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    9. Ahab says:

      The regime is creating a large pool of fairly competent, responsible, personally organized and permanently PISSED OFF people with little or NOTHING to lose, from the group that traditionally has kept most aspects of Amerikan society functioning. Not a smart move by any stretch of the imagination.

      Perhaps that explains why immigration and “refugee” resettlement programs are still going full blast despite the ongoing depression and mass unemployment. The regime knows there’s a war coming and that it will need foot soldiers to fight these (to it) superfluous and utterly disposable economic units formerly known as “Americans.”

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    10. Fred H says:

      When the government pays for everything thats communism and thats exactly what Obama is hoping so his plan will be complete. Uncle Ted is right.

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      • Lee from La says:

        Sad, no freedom of speech. Sure, Uncle Ted is outspoken (still the Motorcity Madman); but all he meant was we have to execute our right to vote and cut their heads off at the voting machine. Any right thinking person would have took his comments as such.

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    11. carynverell says:

      it is gonna get a whole lot worse….

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    12. squirt says:

      Some one needs to send Congress/Senate this article. Also Obummer needs to check out #21 thru #25 since these numbers have risen on his watch.

      So sad how times are changing. Now it takes both parents to work to pay the bills where back in the day, the father worked and the mom stayed home to take care of the kids.

      Thanks a lot Repubs/Democrats…. both parties are to blame for this mess. And Obummer too….

      “oh, but the economy is getting better” …..yeah right.

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    13. Auntie Commie says:

      What would Gen. George S. Patton do?

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    14. Mac

      Often overlooked is the creeping cost of utilities. I rent out a small house on my farm that is on its own connections to county services. While the rent has stayed the same at $600 the tenant now pays a “new” $75 a month water fee, a “doubled” garbage fee $45 for 2 cans, a “new” fire protection parcel fee (love california) of 210 a year or $20 a month, and a “increase” over then next two years for utilities of 16% (8% a year). So by my math my low income tenant just got a 25% increase in housing costs in just one year! And I didn’t raise the rents…. “Winter is Coming” – Game of Thrones…

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    15. Pete says:

      http://www.vdare.com/articles/national-data-march-jobs-natives-lose-immigrants-gain-in-a-dismal-month
      This guy has written tons on the problem, you won’t see that in the WSJ.

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    16. Frosty21 says:

      Wait for it. This is only a little of what I believe will get worse.The time’s are changing with the older people who are hard working thining out to say.the younger people of today just have “it”.Now don’t get me wrong not all are lazy.But I feel a greater % are and want to be lazy.I think or I should say believe when the SHTF.It not going to be any thing like we really think.Which make’s me just want to prep more.

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    17. Noname says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click to read it.

      Poorly-rated. What do You Think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

      • JustMe says:

        Agreed, we should live to live, not make money. It would be nice to think we could get by without money.

        But…How do people agree to the value of items? In a previous story on this site was the topic of barter. How do you and I agree to the value of a can of beans, if we both really want it? Without some kind of set monetary value, it would be hard to agree to the value, even barter value, of any item.

        It is not that money itself is evil, but the way it has been used to control us.

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        • Noname says:

          The money is not created by God.
          Money is the instrument to pervert the value of things.
          People’s brains are damaged by money.
          That’s why you even cannot imagine the modern world without money.

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    18. lil bit says:

      Wouldn’t the scarcity of the item decide it’s value, the 1st 100 items to disappear first would have the most value, wouldn’t they? If it was the last can of beans, it would hold much value. It would be up to whoever had the can to decide it’s worth.

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      • JustMe says:

        Yes, that is the classic economic “supply and demand” problem. The last can of beans would probably be pretty valuable. It may be, at that stage, that it can only be bartered for, not purchased with money. The owner of the can would potentially have a lot of power…

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    19. “Middle Class Families Have Been Targeted For Extinction”

      Weren’t those the same headlines back in 9th Century Medieval Europe?

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    20. http://globalcodeguild.com/

      Here’s what I am doing…
      I am pulling people together from across the nation. My guild is slowly growing.
      We will be using the Grails and Groovy language to build out our own companies.

      If you are a business or computer person please register with the site.

      BY COMING TOGETHER…WE ALIGN SKILLS WITH IDEAS AND HELP PROVIDE THE 99% OF US A BETTER CHANCE.

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    21. Auntie Commie says:

      Our country is being molded to be much like China, where an elite few, mostly Party Members and their families, hold power and the rest of us insects work to support The State.

      In Communisim the ONLY value a person has is what they give to support The State and Party.

      The Party will often refer to the middle class by animal names, as that is what they are to them. Castro calls them “worms”, the Chinese calls them snakes, dogs or insects and the Russians called them Capitalist Running Dogs.

      In many of these countries you would be murdered for your education, bank balance, religion, being able to read, wearing glasses, family name, or political views. Class warfare at it’s best.

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    22. Roland says:

      The post-WWII American Middle Class was mostly a myth to begin with.

      That so-called “middle class” was nothing more than a working class enjoying unusually high wages.

      But most of them were never, properly speaking, “Middle Class.” Most of them did not control their own means of production. Most of them in fact depended on employment provided by others.

      They got into the self-deceiving habit of calling themselves “Middle Class” because due to their unusually high wages, they were able to consume things that had traditionally been associated with the real middle class, e.g. higher education, overseas travel, urban home ownership, private vehicle ownership.

      But they were still nothing but a well-paid working class. And once the Cold War ended and the labour market got globalized, down went the wages of that so-called Middle Class. A lot of uppity commoners got reminded that in fact they are nothing but disposable employees competing for work in a very large world labour market.

      It started with the blue collar types in the 1980′s–and the white collar types did nothing but laugh. Since the 2000′s, even the white collars are getting it in the neck. And the blue collars, having been shafted already, naturally have no sympathy. The shoe looks good on that other foot!

      As for the taxes, of course the working class bears the brunt. In a globalized financial market, capital is much too mobile for governments to tax effectively. So no matter how badly the working “Middle Class” is squeezed, they will just get squeezed more and more. Why should the government ever stop squeezing? It’s not like the workers are revolting or anything. If a revolt does start, some workers will willingly hire out to help oppress their fellows. The usual.

      No other outcome is possible. After all, when capitalism gets fully developed, there are only two kinds of people: those who control capital, and those who work for those who control capital. That is the natural perpetual order of things. That is the way things are meant to be. Today there is only One Nice Big World Market. Exceptions are History, and History is Over.

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      • MXLord327 says:

        I don’t see a problem in working for an honest company making and selling a product or service that people want or need, and making an honest living to provide for my family. What is wrong with that? I don’t want to be king of the world, and I don’t think earning wages for my labor from a good company is inherently evil like you make it sound. Our definitions of “middle class” also differ – I think the working class IS the middle class.

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    23. wendy says:

      We will never hear these numbers on regular TV news

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    24. James says:

      Didn’t President Clinton do Sam Walton a big favor by normalizing trade with China. All of the items in Wal-Marts and other places that could have been manufactured in the U.S. (millions of jobs) are manufactured with slave labor in China. The American middle class will be bled dry and then be resurrected as Chinese peasantry. The U.S. military and government will then control with absolute authority as any middle class leverage will be gone and we will be back on a competitive footing with China. Dog eat dog, or maybe we’ll be eating dog, and I don’t mean hot dogs.

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      • ncprepper says:

        when i moved to NC, the local wallmart was buying socks from a N.C. manufacturer, i think Sam wanted to keep things in Amerika, when he died, everything came from Chinchin china

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    25. JRS says:

      Roland…What you say is true. But globalization is a Luciferian scheme. God never intended there should be a “One World Order”.Remember the tower of Babel from Genesis? This plan will ultimately fail.

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    26. scarecrow says:

      If a free man competes with a slave you will enslave the free man! I think this was penned by Karl marx.

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    27. CJMartel says:

      It is true, we are being crushed, from demorats and republicans, this is intentional. Remember when George Bush changed the bankruptcy laws? Remember how the changes only applied to “middle class” Americans, not to big banks or business? Where banks are too big to fail and we Americans are stripped of what little remains to us. There are times I’m amazed their hasn’t been an uprising of some sort of another, and I will not include the OWS, that is just a front for the communists!

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      • peteropolis says:

        I agree completely, where were the patriots when the bailouts happened, Why does Ron Paul comply with the system? He should be leading guerillas in the mist, not wasting time and money on “campaigns” Libertarian or not, its not going to work. These times are calling for something much more drastic. Even in Emerson and Thoreau’s day there was this call, again no answer…

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    28. Mr. Blutarsky says:

      The top 1% is growing because they keep paying off the government for favors and for deals that make them richer.

      I despise crony capitalism.

      If you can’t make it in business without bribing someone or helping a Congressman with his insider trading then you don’t deserve to be in business. You should be in JAIL.

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      • Auntie Commie says:

        Well said Mr. B, it’s the lack of ethics, not our republican system which is at fault. This was done thru a systematic approach known as “Demoralization” and according to ex-KGB agents is complete. It goes beyond normal human greed.

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    29. Random Tangent 1957 says:

      Inflation is rolling along . Had to replace 2 batteries in my Diesel truck
      Last week $259.00 , in 2009 same batteries cost me $179.00 .
      Purchased 2 front tires for truck , BFG TA Commercial grade last week
      $472.00 , three years ago $ 299.00 . Diesel fuel fill up last week $150.00
      3 years ago $100.00 . Anyone see a trend here ? Average the 3 here &
      You get nearly 50 % inflation in 3 years . How much has our paycheck
      Gone up in 3 years ?? Zero. Homeowners insurance bill just went from
      $900.00 to nearly $1,800 .00 a year . I am blessed to have a good employer
      And a secure job . I keep trying to prep & make a little progress every
      Week . While we all must keep abreast of changing world conditions,
      It is best to it let it get you down …..& just focus on your goals & preparing
      For the final act ! More rice. More beans. More Ammo ! It’s all good !

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      • WestVaFolks says:

        We’re with ya. When I rented a car 10 years ago the cost was $19.95 per day. Last week it was $51.99 per day PLUS an extra $17.99 PER DAY because I do not carry collision coverage on my 12-year-old car (BTW, I’ve been accident-free for 40+ years of driving). And now the rental company will not take cash or check up front – you must have a credit card or you cannot get a car! I said I’d meet them halfway -give them my card no. but not to charge it through because I would write a personal check for the total when I returned the vehicle. You should have seen the puzzled look on the young man’s face – priceless. A check?? What??

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    30. ThreeZeroEight says:

      I think I am on the lower end of the middle class, but I am unsure what is considered the middle class with these statistics. Is it “x” amount of dollars of yearly income? Or is it the amount of people on government assistance? I grew up poor, but not once did my parents request any kind of assistance to live a normal life. It can be done.

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    31. Random Tangent 1957 says:

      It is best to NOT let it get you down ….I need to proofread better !

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    32. Obtuseangler says:

      Good article, and spot on. A couple thoughts:

      When I was a young man those who didn’t go to college had the option of getting a good paying job in manufacturing or construction. Our government engaged in a variety of practices that had the effect of encouraging manufacturing to leave the country will lax immigration law enforcement drove down wages for domestic labor.

      Those on the dole by choice reduce the GDP and tax collections while driving up the tax burden on those who work.

      The accumulation of wealth at the top is a symptom of crony capitalism rather than an effect of free markets. If the feds had not bailed out the banks those elites would have been wiped out. The fed is nationalizing losses while leaving profits in the private sector.

      You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax. We subsidize sloth and tax productivity.

      If you are low income you get assistance to send your kids to college. If you are upper income you don’t need assistance to send your kids to college. If you are middle class and were stupid enough to save, you get to pay for your kids to go to college and pay for the kid sitting next to them in class to go to college. When I left Texas a student from a household earning less than $50K/yr paid no tuition. I know couples who chose to have one parent quit work, as the savings on college would be more than the salary earned by continuing to work.

      On a personal note, our household income is more in terms of dollars than my parents ever made. With the way prices keep going up, though, I picked up a p/t job and will probably pick up a f/t summer job so we stay in the black. One day at my p/t gig will fill my truck’s gas tank. We carry little to no debt, grow our vegetables, and fill our freezer with fish and game. We are more fortunate than most, I know, but I fear the trend.

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    33. enough is enough says:

      Mental illness is on the rise in this country. I see it every day. The daily life of today is causing most of this. The sad thing is children living with mentally ill parents is now causing the children to have depression, anxiety and they will suffer also.
      Not able to function in school and with other children. Then comes the medication and they get hooked. This is what is being done to our society.

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      • WestVaFolks says:

        IMHO, one BIG problem is parents living vicariously through their children. One young mother in our neighborhood told me she’s redoing her 5-year-old daughter’s bedroom into a Disney castle. Pink walls, pink ceiling, white four-poster bed with Disney princess EVERYTHING: sheets, pillow cases, comforter, curtains, nightlight, throw pillows, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. Pul-EEZE. GET A GRIP! I retired from teaching last year and can tell you children that age want to be LOVED and CUDDLED and SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH MOMMY! All this excessive over-the-top fantasy world stuff is horse puckey! (to quote a certain Col. Potter)

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    34. Sitka says:

      Stop being worried about what class you are in. You are giving TPTB power by letting them define you. Stop being such a consumer buying into everything they are selling you. Produce your own food, dig your own well, milk your own cow. If you are not trying to do these things, then you are just following their instructions they have laid out for you.

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    35. Shirley says:

      No worry. I’m not middle class any more.

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    36. Jim K says:

      Your facts are correct but your conclusions miss the real issue. Manufacturing seeks the lowest paid worker able to reliably do the work. Today that isn’t an American worker. The economy has shifted and the average American does not have the skills or education to adapt. Focus on REAL skills education and the trend will begin to reverse.

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