Is The Middle Class an Endangered Species Now?

The middle class is becoming an endangered species in America. According to the latest census data - half of the country is now living in poverty or just scraping by in a low-income lifestyle. And this problem is being made worse as conservative Governors cut funding to critical social welfare programs. A survey of 29 mayors around America found that 1-in-4 Americans in need of food assistance did not receive any help.

Since the banksters wrecked our economy - 4 million homes have been foreclosed on - and each year more than one-and-a-half million children end up homeless. Meanwhile corporate CEOs saw a 40% increase last year in their pay. And at 25 of our biggest corporations, CEOs were paid more than the entire corporation paid in taxes.

And the folks at GOP TV still can't understand why people are occupying the streets? It's the inequality, stupid!

Comments

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 10 years 41 weeks ago
#1

I think the occupy movement/middle class already has a list of demands, it was created by FDR and its his 2nd Bill of Rights.

Employment, with a living wage

Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies

Housing

Medical care

Education

Social Security

Would be nice to hear Thom discuss FDR's proposal on a regular basis. These proposals were written into the new constitutions of the countries America defeated in WWII, and they're doing just fine thank you very much.

N

jrsinton's picture
jrsinton 10 years 41 weeks ago
#2

There ARE too many lawyers in Congress. Lawyers aren't needed to draft legislation. They can be hired as staff to help finalize laws. It is clearly a conflict of interest for lawyers to to write legislation. How would you like your local school board to comprise 90% teachers?

dianhow 10 years 41 weeks ago
#3

Well said OWS is about Fairness . Having a Level playing field for all No special perks - corp cuts- loopholes for the Robber Barons while US wages & our standard of living tanks.

dianhow 10 years 41 weeks ago
#4

More lawyers in US per capita than ANY other country ! And it shows Worst ones are 5 Supreme Court judges who passed ' Citizens United' They are toxic to our country

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 41 weeks ago
#5

jrsinton- There are too many lawyers everywhere.

"Since the banksters wrecked our economy -"

We have to stop considering this occurrence as some sort of fluke which happened out of nowhere in favor of certain banks. It is an enemy which came upon us in the night.

To wreck the American economy is a big Scotland Yard size caper, and took years and years of setting up to bring us to our knees. We've talked over how these depressions, recessions, and meaningless wars have been an endless cycle since the beginning of banking in America.

Why do so many details slip the notice of IRS, bank examiners, the USDOJ and the FDIC? Why do these agencies respond to certain cases and let others sleep.? Why did the FDIC let WAMU executives off with a tap on the hand?

Why do the lion's share of failed banks merge into Wells Fargo #3511 or Bank of America #3510 ? Are we to believe that in 1933 when they became federally insured, BA and WF were in line next to each other to get consecutive Certificate Numbers?

This is a mathematically planned financial takeover which was to be consummated in three generations.

We better start putting our thinking caps on and start thinking like criminals if it is ever going to stop.

delster's picture
delster 10 years 41 weeks ago
#6

It's just not inequality in wealth, it's inequality in opportunity. It used to be said "only in america ". Well not anymore. I really believe if equal opportunity existed we see a great many of these elite monarchs

challenged and some upset. However if you have an exterprising design, concept, or skill, you have little to no chance of putting it out there without being crushed, stolen, or unfairly competed against by a Giant run by a meglomaniac recieving an unfair advantage through congress. I believe the evil deed has been sealed on September 11, 2001. Now folks like General Wesley Clarck have joined the conspiracy clan, not to mention some very well know physicist, etc.

JessieV's picture
JessieV 10 years 41 weeks ago
#7

I am one of those who has slipped into the low-income level. When I retired 20 yrs ago, I thought my income was adequate to carry me through the years. However, when I lost my house to foreclosure at the beginning of this meltdown....couldn't sell it during the 2.5 yrs it was on the market even though it was marketed at half price....my nest egg went with it. What is happening to our country is a travesty. Listening to the seven dwarfs "debate" the issues, I can't help but wonder what planet they're on....they're certainly not living in my world. I keep waiting for our president to step up to the plate to fight for us but so far Obama hasn't walked the talk which is one reason why this country is in such turmoil and has spawned the Occupy movement. None of us in the 99% feels secure. We want leadership but aren't finding it in Congress nor in the president. Is Bernie Sanders the only voice out there? I cajole my congress people to stand up and be counted but no one is listening. The response I get back is a form letter wayyy off the subject matter. Where are our Teddy Kennedys, Byrds, Wellstones? We're waiting...

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 41 weeks ago
#8

...and if kids arn't dumb enough? In California Govnuts Brown is doing away with free bus service for kids as part of budgetery cuts? How many kids do you think are going to make it to school now? What the Heck! take, take take, from those of us who carry the load! Yet give raises to fat cat admin? Man I love what this country has become. NOT!

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 41 weeks ago
#9

just at the mention of lawyers? In cali they gave a grip of them in upwards of 22% pay hikes as they dig deeper into my pocket so i can pay for my kids college. And funny how you mentioned "thinking like criminals" you are right! As far as IRS? As one in tax compliance the sheer amount of "paper" they have to deal with would boggle any mind, 20000 auditors to 150 million filers. BUt let it be known, this years tax update seminar brought light to the fact that the IRS as well as state governments will be diggin deep and perhaps finally going after the biggest cheaters.As in past rants just remember the IRS estimates 400-500 billion a year in lost revenue to cheaters and skanks. think of that. get that money and close all the holes in the tax code? we could be out of the hole in 10 years! Get 14 million americans back to work? we could be out in 5-7! Get corporations to pay their share? Out in 3!

bewildered1's picture
bewildered1 10 years 41 weeks ago
#10

There was about 79 years between Andrew Jackson closing the Second Bank of the US and 1913, the Federal Reserve. that is 79 years with Jackson's "pet banks" and Van Burens "sub-treasuries." In that 79 years, there were 20 recessions,panics, depressions.

when you have a bank failure, the bank has assets, but not liquid enough to cover demand deposits. So a run puts it out of business. The government solution is to have a bigger bank buy it, which is probably the only solution.

bewildered1's picture
bewildered1 10 years 41 weeks ago
#11

Germany, about 85 million people, has approximatey 48 billionaires, and the top of the list is old money. On the other hand, the US billionaire list is topped by Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Facebook, Google, Amazon. Does that sound like no opportunity.

bewildered1's picture
bewildered1 10 years 41 weeks ago
#12

that is a different strategy. I thought when you retire, the main residence should be paid for.

bewildered1's picture
bewildered1 10 years 41 weeks ago
#13

Did you see where this big company is leaving CA. $100 million in tax per year. Said buisness climate was bad.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 10 years 41 weeks ago
#14

I question if the demise of the Middle Class is the consequence of the greed of the One Percenters, or are they specifically targeting the Middle Class. After listening to House Speaker John Boener, and Senator Mitch McConnell, and all of the Republicans, I think that the answer is obvous.

tarheelnm 10 years 41 weeks ago
#15

Why doesn't Faux News get it? They get it! They are the GOP corporate-owned mouthpiece, an obscene melange of hacks, true believers, and the truly, truly evil.

tarheelnm 10 years 41 weeks ago
#16

Listening to Thom's interview with Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party last night, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. Here, finally, a candidate I could get excited about. Check it out.

S. Ann Cowart Lutzky's picture
S. Ann Cowart Lutzky 10 years 41 weeks ago
#17

Conscious purchases. All of the 99% (actually 99.9%!) must try to, whenever possible, make more conscious, effective use of our buying power: buy only from small local businesses and from farmer's markets and small local groceries; grow whatever food we can; recycle and buy recycled and used/consignnment goods; take public transportation; use cash instead of credit cards; and do not waste energy, food, clothing or other goods. We would transfer the flow of money to ourselves. These actions imply extreme life style changes, but the situation IS extreme and dire. We must also support the new amendment, introduced by Bernie Sanders, that ends corporate rights as people, and fight to end lobbying.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 41 weeks ago
#18

What do I think it will take for GOP TV to get it?... When it's advertisers do some marketing research and find out that just about everyone with even the slightest ability to think for themselves.... all comment about what a joke FOX is.....and as a result decide to pull their sponsorship....then FOX will get it!

Thom, I have to say, the facts and info packed in your seven sentences speaks volumes about the state of our union......fantastic!

Badams's picture
Badams 10 years 41 weeks ago
#19

Obama won't step up because he is just another one of your 1percenters. Hope and change? Where is it. He is a very, very weak leader. Sorry tohear about your specific situation. I wish you well.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 41 weeks ago
#20

How is drafting legislation a conflict of interest? Do you mean across the board? All legislation? Where does the conflict of interest lie?

We see that on the Supreme Court now with Clarence Thomas and his wife, who runs a very conservative organization, and Thomas (and Scalia) have appeared befire these conservative groups, but what legislation conflicts?

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 41 weeks ago
#21

I think one of the most important things about obtaining fairness is education. Funding schools from pre-kindergarten through college so it is affordable (why not free?) for everyone who wants to go and has the capability. I just read today (I think it was Dane Smith) who wrote that all young people need education beyond high school. Some would be vocational schools or 2-year degrees, and others 4- or 6- or more years of college. We live in a world where we need those skills, and people must have higher education to cope. Not just jobs. It's a complicated world and people need to get better education in how to be good, informed citizens. We obviously aren't doing that now.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 10 years 41 weeks ago
#22

This is nothing new, sadly -- just an extention of what we've seem startng a couple of months into the Obama administration. I won't belabor the point, but this is why "The Protester" (and yes, I'm including the rank and file of the Tea Party along with Occupy Wall Street) is Time's person of the year. Because there's no other recourse to correct this sad state of affairs other than taking to the streets, when the leaders are so far removed from both the people and from the nation's core values. Look at the Patriot Act -- it's unpopular on both ends of the political spectrum, and yet lawmakers routinely extend it. Look at the 2012 election. Don't like the idea of a president who wants to detain Americans indefinitely or order the assassination of citizens? Sure, you could vote for the only one candidate who opposes that, in Ron Paul, but Paul would carry a ton of awful baggage along with his flouride-frightened pals from the John Birch Society into the White House. Who wants that?

It's not the parties, or the president. It's the system, and it needs to be changed. "Thank" our cowardly leader, Barack Obama, for proving that for once and for all.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/?c=r

Badams's picture
Badams 10 years 41 weeks ago
#23

Freedom of expression. Isn't that what we are doing here? We all have our opinions and beliefs. I happen to be a very conservative constitutionalist. However, I do respect your opinions, and listen to Thom daily when driving home on Sirius 126 (I actually switch off every 15 min between the Five on Fox and Thom). Although I disagree with 98 percent of what Thom and many of his listeners believe, I find it interesting and greto that people are standing up for what they believe in. When it is all said in done, we are all Americans and must treat each other with respect and do kind unto others. There are very threatening issues that face us as a nation. I don't think blaming the rich for all of issue problems are fair. Why isn't anyone pissed that Albert Pujous just got aquarter of a billion dollacontract for playing a game? Why isn't everyone pissedoff at Tom Cruise when he makes $90 million a year. Oprah? Etc. all of these famous liberal actors whom are millionaires and billionaires are damn sure hiding theirmoney and taking advantage of tax loopholes. Don't hate the player, hate the game. The system is broke. I am not sure what the tax brackets are officially, but if the top is 35 percent, then they should pay all 35 percent. If you are "middle class" and are in the 28 percent bracket, then you pay 28 percent. Simple. You pay no more, no less. No tax return money. Regardless of my belief, I thank everyone on here for expressing themselves. Even though I am conservative, I appreciate your opinions and feedback. God bless us.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 41 weeks ago
#24

Great advice, I'm on board, barter too!

chiller's picture
chiller 10 years 41 weeks ago
#25

Here's my contribution to what I refer to as my, "War of Financial Freedom".

MAKE THIS GO VIRAL! For years we've been told to never touch our retirement savings. That was before we found out that crooked Wall Street banksters were using our 401k as their own personal pocketbook. Cutoff the supply of money they use against us each and every day...OURS! 2012 will be a very trying year for us all and we can all use a little extra cash. Just for 2012, go on line to your retirement provider and set your retirement contribution to 0%. You can change it anytime and it only takes a few minutes and key strokes. This will give you the extra money you'll need next year AND you'll be doing the country a favor by fighting back NOW!

chazzz77's picture
chazzz77 10 years 41 weeks ago
#26

I am afraid they got it it @ they also got us.What we are witnessing right now is the configuration of a one world order Which was inevitable with the introduction of the internet @ nuclear proliferation There will be a marginalization of wages through out the world Big brother drones everywhere.The good news is maybe when everyone has a peace of the pie there will be no wars.

NPTPETE's picture
NPTPETE 10 years 41 weeks ago
#27

The more I see the Democrats caving in to the demands and posturing by the representatives of the elite class the more I think the Dems are on the TAKE as well. Prove me wrong! It is either that or Chaney and Rove made sure every office in the democratic side has been bugged. I would not put anything past those criminals.. If you expose an undercover CIA agent and not be acused of TREASON and imprisoned - but incarcerate Mr. Manning under harsh treatment - then something is ROTTEN in politics today!

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 41 weeks ago
#28

Many Americans have to change their entire thinking and feeling!

Although I loved "High Society" (ya know: Bing, Satch, Sinatra, Grace Kelly) as kid, my next attack will be against this one. Why?

"High Society" is all about admiring the rich, mighty and beautiful. It is uncritical, stupid and undermined our values for decades! The music is nice, but on the whole this film is a pact with the devil. This uncritically admiring the rich, mighty and beautiful, is our American stupidity and downright insanity. It is a reason why average Americans manage to vote for GOP -- even if they're poor.

The greatest nonsense is the dictum: "America is the greatest country in the world." We're done, we're not great anymore -- downgrading ourselves to a 3rd World country. It'll probably take a lot more pain for the right wingers to get it -- a total ruin.... But never mind, I wanna convince the average American: to end the pact with the devil, we made after WWII. Because I don't want a total ruin.

My source, haven and oasis is the very socialist and critical Great Depression.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 10 years 41 weeks ago
#29

Unfortunately, I think violent revolution is the only way the people are going to be heard. History has shown that--current events in the Middle East support that as well. As long as those criminals feel safe and protected by purchased laws and a judicial system, they will continue to harm and destroy the middle-class. Why should they care if we don't like them?

Obviously, they are too stupid to see that they do well only when the rest of us who make up all their profit also do well. The only way change can be non-violent is to have a large strong committed group of people who are uncorruptible by money and power throw money out of politics and the voting/election process--or until every man and woman walks away from his/her desk or machine and shuts down commerce and hits the wallet of the wealthy and ignorant. Until that happens, force is the only way.

The Revolutionary Granny

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 41 weeks ago
#30

I am asking you to think- I know the answer to my questions, like a good attorney.. The FR is a private unregulated bank which controls the unregulated FDIC. The Head of the FDIC serves at the pleasure of the President. Our FDICHead Don Powell, appointed by Bush just prior to 9/11 was a construction loan specialist. The first bank he worked in failed after he left, then he went to work for the Shamrock-Amarillo Gang. He merged that bank into Wells Fargo before he left for his appointment, after cashing in on his soaring stock shares due to the merger.

The bank failures which have been used to loot the nation were almost all staged and occurred by awarding construction or industrial loans, especially railroad mortgages, to people who never pay it back. It is being discovered that some of the loan recipients have been allowed by certain banks to use the same set of securities to secure multiple loans for developing real estate.

On the Banking Time Line

1781

Charter of Bank of England renewed

First Bank of the United States, a private institution, was chartered by Bank of England in 1791.

1811

First Bank charter was not renewed by Andrew Jackson. Gee, why not? belonged to England.

1816

Second Bank of the United States chartered for 20 years (to 1836, leaving 77 years to the F.R.

1836

Westminster Bank (established 1836), agreed to merge (see Royal Bank of Scotland 2000). See Robert Fleming and The Denver & Rio Grande Western Ry, now controlled by Union Pacififc.

Jardine Matheson promoted the founding of Hong Kong and forced England's opium trade into China.

1891

American Bankers Association decided not to renew any loans as of 9/1/1894- following the Union Pacific Bankruptcy, 1893.

1893

The Union Pacific Railroad went into receivership; financial panic caused a depression;

1893-1913= 20 years

1913

F.R. Act

7/31/1914

New York Stock Exchange closed following a run on the Bank of England and decree of state of war in the German Empire by Emperor William

Pretty neat and tidy when you look back on it!

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 41 weeks ago
#31

Forget the right wing sociopaths -- they will never change. We have to care about people like him:

http://young-southern-baptist

"Why is it that everyone hates caring for the poor so much?"

This is his central--downright desperate--question. He thinks it's his moral duty to vote for GOP -- but as you can read over there: he's very unhappy in this role. It's obvious that he has goodness. It's just abortion that makes him struggle. We have to care about him! And there are more young Christians like him....

Pagg's picture
Pagg 10 years 41 weeks ago
#32

Now Republicans are using the spending bill to cut Pell Grants too. They want to keep American's dumb...who else is going to vote for them?

Badams's picture
Badams 10 years 41 weeks ago
#33

What is your suggestion for paying for these entitlements? We are not dumb, so that should offend many people. Why are they smarter in, say Japan? School is a focus for them. They are in school 243 days a year vs. 180 for US students. Too muc time off. That is why we lag behind. I know that PELL Grants have nothing directly to do with this, but it speaks to the "dumb" comment. We are raised at a disadvantage. Why dont we require schooling at the 243 days a year pace? One reason that comes to mind is that teachers in general would not want this and would use their unions to fight it without obscene pay raises. Before anyone says it, i am not anti-union or anti-teacher. I am stating this from my sister who is a teacher and an active union member. As far a college, one of the reasons prices are so outrageous was because of government grants and loans. Universities are stealing from the government, thus the taxpayers, because they can through these grants and such. Just one reason ut I feel one that carries a large deal of weight in the reason for high costs.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 39 weeks ago
#34

Violent revolution?

Granny, you need to stockpile a bunch of machine-guns. Foreseeing and considering escalation, you actually need tanks too and even rockets and aircrafts. The confederate army didn't make war on us with a few pistols, Granny. If ya wanna start a civil war, you'll need the whole scale.

Ya really wanna start the killing in this country that way, Granny? Or do you still think you can make revolution with slingshots? No Granny, your revolution would kill millions of your fellow-Americans!

Why don't ya play just with paintball guns, Granny -- and forget the whole thing?

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 38 weeks ago
#35
Quote Badams:Obama won't step up because he is just another one of your 1percenters. Hope and change? Where is it. He is a very, very weak leader. Sorry tohear about your specific situation. I wish you well.

I'm touched to tears!

This time you really got a fact. President Obama was wealthy indeed, before he got into office. You know, there're actually wealthy people who are not stingy. Remember that 1%er who publicly asked the President to raise his taxes?

The French revolution was very much initiated by aristocrats, who were for justice. Already during the 1600s some aristocrats discussed another system. The poor couldn't do much. Believe it or not, there have always been open and generous 1%ers.

I don't know whether you can tell eyes. Obama has goodness in his words and you can see the same in his eyes. Well, you're rather interested in money and not so much in humans. So you can't really tell Obama's character.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 38 weeks ago
#36
Quote Badams:Regardless of my belief, I thank everyone on here for expressing themselves. Even though I am conservative, I appreciate your opinions and feedback.

Oh yes, you're sooo generous: 'Welcome in Thom's forum. As a conservative I also welcome you on all liberal and lesbian pages.' And you're sooo happy we discuss raising your taxes. Thanks Badams!

Quote Badams:God bless us

But all the time you sound like those whom Jesus kicked out of the temple in Jerusalem.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
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