Is 'The American Dream' a fantasy for younger workers?

For generations, the American ideal has been that each successive generation becomes more prosperous and successful than the one before it. But unfortunately, that's no longer the case. A new study from the Urban Institute indicates that, while American wealth as a whole has doubled over the last 25 years, younger people have fallen behind as a group.

Today, people age 40 and younger face more financial insecurity, and have a much bleaker prospect for retirement than seniors today. And according to the study, the trend started long before the Great Recession – as income for younger Americans flat-lined in 1999. Younger generations have faced ballooning student loan debt, a slow economy, and a housing market collapse in addition to stagnant wages. Urban Institute experts say that a stronger job market and rising incomes would certainly help many younger workers, but the delay in wealth accumulation may have a lasting impact on their lives.

Ms. Mary McKernan, one of the study's authors, said, “it's a little bit of a tipping-point moment. If we don't address it today, they [younger Americans] might never catch up.” The war on unions, the destruction of a low-cost college education, and the lunacy of trickle-down economics has finally wiped out the possibility of a financially secure future for an entire generation.

The only way we can correct this now is through pro-worker economic policies. We can do this by bringing back good-paying manufacturing jobs. We can re-invest in our nation by providing free, high-quality, college education. We can help people struggling to pay down student loan debt.

We bailed out Wall Street, and huge stock market gains show the banksters are doing just fine. It's time to bail out the working people, so the next generation's “The American Dream” isn't just a fantasy.


pjsemail1's picture
pjsemail1 11 years 14 weeks ago

As a Friday usual, a breath of fresh Progressive air, with Bernie Sanders, then, BOOM, back the ZOO Animals. Thank GOD for Netflixs. Talking to ZOO Animals will always be fruitless, WHY??????????????????

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 11 years 14 weeks ago

Prosperity comes from the Earth and they're wrecking Her along with robbing us blind, so this is no surprise.

klentz's picture
klentz 11 years 14 weeks ago

The American Dream is still there for pretty much anyone who wants it. Its just different from what it was 20, 50, 100 years ago. We criticize Conservatives for 'living in the 1950's' then turn around and do the same thing. If there had been no manufacturing jobs for soldiers returning from WWII, then those who succeeded in those areas would have succeeded in different areas.

To say the American Dream is dead is to say to all those 'loser' immigrants waiting in line to get here (or not waiting and coming here anyway) that they might as well forget it because its gone. Most of them will get here, succeed (because they are better educated and motivated than we are) and end up hiring (for minimum wage) all those Americans who sat around crying about the American Dream being dead and did nothing about it.

Wa Wa - get over it.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 11 years 14 weeks ago

Resource, competition for resource,expanding populations competing for resource . Short of a pivotal point in which population growth is curtailed this situation can only go from lethal to more lethal. If a house in the suburbs isn't enough how about a house in the suburbs with a 2 car garage, if thats not enough how bout a house in the suburbs with a two car garage packed full of junk and toys with 2 cars in the drive way, and if that's not enough , and if every generation has to have it better than the last generation then how about ,------ how about----- , we come to our senses.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

klentz wrote ~ " If there had been no manufacturing jobs for soldiers returning from WWII, then those who succeeded in those areas would have succeeded in different areas."

Are you kidding me? When a plant looses the ability to produce, its flowers wilt and die. Eventually the whole plant dies. Our nation is no different.

klentz, if you don't mind my asking, what planet are you from?

If there had been no manufacturing jobs for soldiers returning from WWII, there would have been no WWII. It is the factory base of this nation that won that war. It is also the factory base that supported the one wage earner middle class for four decades as well as the baby boom and the greatest lender nation of the twentieth century. Quite frankly you are either an idiot, or drunk, or a drunken idiot from planet Zullo. It is people like you who are the problem with this country. Just because you're comfortable, everybody else problem must be their fault, right?

On top of it all, you have the audacity to call "better educated and motivated" immigrants 'loser's. Well you know what? I can't wait till all those losers do get here, settle down, raise family's and abundantly outnumber people like you so that you can take your rightful place with the loser bourgeois minority where you belong.

If the truth hurts ~

Wa Wa - get over it!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 11 years 14 weeks ago

A bail-out for the Working Class? Never happen: the American Dream, like the American experiment in constitutional democracy, is as dead as a roadkill possum.

What's happening -- what's been happening since 22 November 1963 -- is the methodical restoration of the traditional United States, the empire of sweatshop labor, slavery and genocide the plantation owners attempted to preserve via the Confederacy in 1861 and the capitalists re-imposed a century later by political murder. The litany of victims includes the names John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Fred Hampton, the dead or maimed at Kent State University, Jackson State College and the Pine Ridge Reservation, and let us not forget Karen Silkwood and in all probability Paul Wellstone as well.

And this time the capitalists are not motived just by their infinite greed. They are goaded by the looming environmental apocalypse they have brought upon us all, and they wish to ensure their own survival by enslaving those of us who are most exploitable for profit and exterminating all the rest of us. This is the real reason behind the war against the social safety net including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: the capitalists believe the more wealth they control, the greater tieir likelihood of survival.

Meanwhile their control of USian government at every level gives them power as absolute as anything they possessed under dictators like Hitler or Pinochet -- the zero-tolerance tyranny of which is ever more obvious. And with the Soviet Union dead, the Chinese Revolution permanently co-opted and the socialist alternative thereby eternally disarmed and neutralized, this new empire of sweatshops, slavery and genocide is forever -- that is, until our species becomes extinct.

In these circumstances the very best we can do is help one another locally in whatever small ways are possible. Anything effort beyond that will be crushed by the state.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Loren Bliss ~ Wow! My hat is off to you. What a well spoken, well thought out, and practical analysis of the situation. I especially like your final conclusion about local action and cooperation being the key action to pursue. I concur with every word.

You simply must contribute to this forum more frequently ~ if you can. Thanks!

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

Klentz is right things are not that bad. Maybe if young people didn't buy new cars, $500 cell phones, $200 jeans and maybe, I don't know got a part time job when they where in school. They wouldn't be in so much debt when they came out of school. Most people I know that don't have enough to retire simply spent too much.

to compare to the 50's and 60's when homes where 1000 sq/ft and there was one car per family to the over spending we do today is insane.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend wrote ~ "to compare to the 50's and 60's when homes where 1000 sq/ft and there was one car per family to the over spending we do today is insane."

You're so right Kend, the kids spend far to much today than they did in the 50's and 60's. That's the problem. It has nothing to do with the fact that you could get a great education back then for free. Damn those silly kids for wanting an education. What about that car and 1000 sq/ft home. It has nothing to do with the fact that a pretty good brand new car back then went for $1-2k and the price of that little house cost less than a brand new car does today. Thanks for sharing those brilliant observations with us. Stagnant wages, corporate greed, and run away inflation have nothing to do with the kid's woes. They spend money faster than they can earn it because they are spoiled and irresponsible.

Thanks for opening my eyes. You and Klentz have a clear vision of reality. Imagine how much clearer that vision would be if you could both pull your heads out of your asses.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

what is it that we are supposed to do about all the free stuff you want. The "reality" is there isn't enough money. Half of your population is living off the government Well 47% And 46 million on food stamps. Yet the ones working are financed to death From all the bright and shiney things there buying.

I guess I was way off when I saved up money for my kids education. I have never owned a new car for that reason. We got by.

are you really saying Americans are living within their means.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend ~ The vast majority of people in this country living off the Government are doing so as a direct result of the Government's mismanagement of the Nation's Trade Policies and insane Tax incentives for offshoring American jobs. Working people are "financed to death" not from squandering money on "bright and shiny things" but rather from trying to afford life's necessities--IE education, shelter, clothing, energy, transportation, insurance, food and health care. Since all these things are common needs it is perfectly reasonable to expect the Government to take a leading role in making as many of these vital human needs freely or cheaply available to all. The Constitution of this country calls it " provide for the general Welfare of the People." It is NOT the blame of the People for their financial woes today; but, rather the blame of mismanagement of the Government from the top down.

It is wonderful that you managed to save for your children's education by sacrificing. My parents sacrificed equally for me. I'm no stranger to living frugally. However, that was 30 years ago. It was possible back then for even a one wage earning family to sock away money on a regular basis and still live within their means. Today it's different. The average wages have not kept up with inflation for over a quarter of a century. There are no longer any means to live within. People live pay check to paycheck and are lucky if they don't have to borrow to get by. Any unforeseen expense can plunge the average worker into debt. After that, digging their way out is an uphill battle.

To answer your question, no, Americans are not living within their means. The economy is set up to keep that from happening; and, they are not getting the support to get by from the people we have entrusted with that task. It's not the People's fault. Kindly stop blaming the victims!

bobcox's picture
bobcox 11 years 14 weeks ago

Paraphrasing Adam Smith's first assumption in ":Wealth of Nations": "All Wealth cones from Labor".

The justification for this assumption, and raising it from an assumption to a postulate or an axium, concerns the fact that fallow land creates no wealth but land that is worked by labor creates wealth. Wealth is not created by inheritance but by people working and producing things which has greater value and therefore can be sold . The labor increases the value thing worked on. Henry Ford understood this when he put Adam Smith's principle of division of labor into skill sets and paying more than the subsistence level wage. The decline in the American worker occurs when labor became a commodity and coyld be displaced at will by non-producing individuals who just happened to have sufficient wealth to own stock or position in thge dictatorial system called CCapitalism.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

bobcox ~ Well said. Adam Smith was a personal hero of mine. "Wealth of Nations" should be standard reading in elementary schools. It was brilliant and he was as much a sociologist as well as an economist. I believe that the problems we face today wouldn't exist if Mr. Smith's works were more widely taught. Kudos bobcox!

bobcox's picture
bobcox 11 years 14 weeks ago

On August 23, 1971, Lewis F. Powell, later appointed toi be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote a memo to the then president of the U.S Chamber of Commerce outlining the steps required to change a society into a set of wage slaves. This included taking over the U.S government legislative powers by controlling the media, newspapers, magazinesm radio networks and television networks, and the U.S education system and Universities. These are the opinion makers and by financial power comtrolling the public by teaching that altruism is bad and that greed is good, thereby justifying the dictatorial power of wealth and position. This means that government powers, instead of beinbg for ALL the peoiple should be only for the few, the oligarchy, the one-quarter of one percent. I

f education at the prekindergarten through the doctorate levels are properly controlled to think and believe, bow down amd worship the golden calf, that nirvana is possible. Now we are finding out tat the government has been taken over, that education has been subverted, that thr people think it is useless to vote any different than what the popular media tells them, that intelligence is bad, those in power can do anything they desire. Those having sufficient cash could endow chairs in Law Schools, Plitical Science departments and Economics Departments in prestigious universities to promote ideas supporting their goals. They must ignore theological truths, philisophical truths, Economic truths and mathematical or logical reasoning if it promotes their ends.

Therefore they must control the Supreme Court so that laws against their position could be declared unconstitutional and those interfering with their gaining the necessary powers of government necessary to support their goals would be declared unconstitutional while those assisting the the oligarchical control would be declared constitutional by changing accepted definitions.

They have done that!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

bobcox ~ I must say you are on fire tonight. That Powell Memo was an education! Now I know why my most favorite teacher of Sociology lost his job as Head of Sociology at UCLA and ended up teaching in a local Jr. College; and, taught us from notes he wrote on a black board before class and had us copy them before the lecture. I always wondered how UCLA could let such a brilliant educator slip through their fingers. Now I know! I guess my gain was the students of UCLA's loss. I got a great education and more than my money's worth.

Your giving me quite an education yourself! Thank You!!

klentz's picture
klentz 11 years 14 weeks ago

'losers' is facetious, moron. You miss the entire point because you interpret even the slightest deviation from your own belief system to be "bad". You can blame conservatives for sabatoging the US education system (which they have), but blaming doesn't solve the problem.

And if the American Dream did not still exist (the entire point of the comment) why are outsiders lining up to get in? Because there are no opportunities? I think not. I think they look at all the whiners and complainers like yourself and say - "Wow - I can compete with that attitude and win every time."

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

A dream come true for the 1%! It should be noted that the richest 1 percents share of national income has more than doubled between 1980 and now. This has helped make us one of the worlds most unequal countries. It also should be noted that during this same time the top marginal income tax rate dropped from 70% to 35%.

This drop in tax for the rich has BRANDED the REPUBLICAN PARTY as the party of TAX INCREASE for the working class. Let me explain. We all have to live in a habitation somewhere which means you pay property tax, directly for home owners, indirectly for renters, but we all pay. So as the rich get tax breaks the revenue from the Federal and State Governments gets slowly choked off to the local goverments. This means all locally mandated school and county programs are faced with either insolvency or skyrocketing property taxes. Well guess what, it's been skyrocketing property taxes for most of us in the working class. You can thank REPUBLICAN trickle down economics for this. The rich get a tax break and you get forced off your property. It all sounds kind of feudal doesn't it? Buy a shack if your income is flat, because thanks to the REPUBLICANS, property taxes will not stay flat, and that's the REPUBLICAN BRAND. Slash the income tax for the rich, and tax the workers out of their homes. This way the rich can buy them and rent back to you. A win win for the 1%

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

Loren: Helping each other on a local level in small ways is actually how the Christians organized. Community outreach and collective social support, standing together against the Roman occupation, was really the initial motivation for this jewish splinter group. People came together for these reasons, not out of desire for more mythology.

Anyway In addition to your idea I would like to offer some century old strategies from a time when heroes of ours, guys like EUGENE V. DEBS stood up for social justice.

If the job creators continue to make all of us do more for less pay, and as a result unempolyment stays high and wages low, then workers across the country both unionless and those in unions can do the following.

"SLOW DOWN. The hours are long. The pay is small. So take your time and buck them all."

"4 Hours work for 8 hours pay puts more workers on the job everyday."

"SABOTAGE means to push back, pull out or break off the fangs of CAPITALISM."



Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

And you wonder why all the jobs are going to China.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

Good luck moving all those Walmart stores, fast food jobs, all those nursing homes, all those postal jobs, defense jobs, etc. etc. to CHINA. C'mon Kend, to begin with the Republicans bend over backwards in support of outsourcing, of course FOX doesn't tell you about that. Outsourcing is all about greed and lack of respect for the common man who spends his life enriching the unregulated individual who lacks self control. For anyone to feel good about creating unempolyment here while making lots of money off the misery of slaves in China, that person needs to surrender his American citizenship, and relocate to Beijing.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

It is a global economy. I think we are just going to have to get use to it. China is just one country we have to worry about. India and Russia are emerging rapidity and they want our jobs. I do agree with import taxes though we are playing with a unfair dollar. It pisses me off as a Canadian how the US hammers us with NAFTA with our soft wood lumber, beef, and other things we export then gives China a free pass.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 11 years 14 weeks ago

My whole life was an honest endeavor to succeed, to do well just have enough to get by, though upon reflection of past and current political events it becomes more evident that those political persons that dominate the law making are for the most part responsible for the high cynicism in a failed American dream. Please the media persons, Thom the exception, are key player that help all along to strangle that dream.

There by affecting the economics of living it is obvious politico people entrenched in today’s new “money is free speech” deliver a nomothetic wigger image sending a message that reflects a sham beyond any wild dream being only disappointing. The supreme beings of America in the highest court pounding out a preposterous declaration that money is free speech are insane. Beside only the five, not the familiar at Fox news five, but the Supreme five by appointment, appointed Bush to run America each time that developed each war Afghan and Iraq producing the cynicism America is embellished with today. This again establishing the cultural direction America is taking. Whereas the only way out and into a golden age for America is when America will banish the current Bush Cheney Republican party from all politics this time forward.

Democracy is failed in America right now, so with that said how could there be any reasoning to suggest that Americans can have an optimistic good possible wonderful dream. Here pointing out that word “usian”.

I never heard of it before and looked it up in the urban dictionary highly and likely similar to wiki developed by full time political combat people. But catchy and interesting that links to wigger and shortys. From my view it wreaks of sedition, an antithetical constitution, induce racial sluring, and billions in corrupt money that promotes the very destruction of the American society. The prefect Wahhabi algorithm to destroy America.

Shortys also in the links, being young black men introduced to the “system”. Some in deliberately deceived by adults to play out gang life styles. Yes the chemistry of the young person male or female is deliberately contaminated deceived, punked, and guided into a golden ratio of economic chains, a believe that torture is good, and military style weapons are the necessity of existence in a regular society, quick money at that young age is the most compelling that perpetuates the sadness currently blessing America.

There is a all bad dreams there is way out. Tell the truth Mr. and Mrs Media.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

2950-10k Wrote ~ "For anyone to feel good about creating unemployment here while making lots of money off the misery of slaves in China, that person needs to surrender his American citizenship, and relocate to Beijing."

Kudos my friend! I couldn't agree more. Once I had a chance to exploit the system by participating in this slave trade over seas. I gave up the life style I could have had with my College training for just the same sentiment you have expressed. I have never regretted it. I have a modest existence now; but, a very proud one.

As far as those who whole heartily and willingly participated in this slavery exploitation, they have already surrendered their human dignity and self respect to money--stripping them of their American citizenship after that would only be a slap on the wrist.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

klentz ~ My friend! Mexicans aren't coming here for the American Dream. Obviously you haven't toured Mexico and have no immigrant friends. (I'd be surprised if you have any friends; other than me, of course.)

The first waves of Mexican immigrants came here after WWII seeking a quick buck to buy property and businesses in Mexico so their family's could get ahead. That was the Mexican dream. When greedy local Mexican businesses learned that many families had members who were earning good money in the States they jacked up prices in the pueblos and cities to take advantage of the new revenue. Gradually run away inflation gripped Mexico. Workers in Mexico couldn't keep up with the cost of living; so, gradually, more and more family members had to make the ultimate sacrifice and move to the States to send enough money back to their families so they could have a decent existence. Now Mexican and Southern American Immigrants don't come here seeking an "American Dream"--they come here to support their families down there. If you ever want to take the time to go into a Mexican market here you might want to notice the huge line in front of the window of the money wiring department. It's usually right next to, or a part of the liquor department. Sending your hard earned money away to never be seen again and Alcohol go hand in hand.

So my friend you see, Immigrants aren't coming here seeking the "American Dream" myth. That's a load of crap. They come here because the same problem that exists in this country exists on Steroids in their country. Moreover, if we as Americans don't do something about this international monetary disparity, we can be assured that it will gradually get so bad everywhere--including here--that you will see a drastic fall in immigration. Perhaps even a decrease in Latin demographics as legions return home in droves. That will be the sign that American has turned into less than a third world country. At the rate we are going, we won't have long to wait. Just imagine a future where your children's family will have to share an apartment with two other family's. That's where it's going buddy. Don't say I didn't warn you!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 14 weeks ago

All three of you are touching a part of the Elephant, but all of you are too close to realize it's an Elephant!

You wanna know why they call it the American Dream???Because you have to be asleep to beleive it!

The American Dream used to be about Equal opportunity. It may be true that Generation X (my generation) has a bent perspective on reality...Then again we've just been do'in what we were taught.

I agree with what Oscar Wilde wrote a century ago regarding ; "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing".
ALL of us are in this together, and ALL of us are suffering.
And for those that want to buy into the silly notion that its 47% of the populations fault, or that it's the greedy ways of the 1%...To this I say 99%+1%= 100% accountability.
We ALL must change our ways of thinking if WE ALL want to resolve our economic woes and have a return to a robust economy, a prospering middle class, a shrinking of the poor class, and an increase in moral and ethical values.
The solutions are not partisan.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS Wrote ~ "You wanna know why they call it the American Dream???Because you have to be asleep to believe it!"

Well put NachoMAN!

I'd just like to add one thing. When I was growing up my father just started a typically decent paying middle class factory job. We rented a large one bedroom apartment that came with a basement and garage. We paid $56/mo rent and he earned about $250/wk. Minus taxes that means we paid our rent with less than two days of labor. By the end of the week most of the monthly bills were paid. The rest went for food and savings. That was in the sixties.

By the nineties, when I started out with my decent paying middle class service job, the rent for a typical one bedroom apartment was $800/mo. I earned about $400/wk. Minus taxes that means my rent was paid with over two weeks of labor. I had to scrimp and save every penny of the remaining week and a half wage to pay all my other bills and was quite fortunate to break even at the end of the month--NOTHING WAS SAVED!

That is a taste of the hopeless situation that today's kids face. I was very fortunate, I had an education that enabled me to get a highly skilled technical job. Someone working in the fast food industry could never afford my meager existence. It is a shame that the older generation of this country has managed to leave such a pathetic legacy to their children. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. The "American Dream" is no longer reality. It is a children's fairy tale with an unhappy ending.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

A elephant it is. What I have learnt from Thom Hartmann is we all have a different option of what the American dream is. I believe it is very much alive and well. We have more opperatunities here than anywhere else in the world. That's why people from all over the world are lined up to get into our countries but all I here is how bad it is.

I don't believe its the 47% fault. your law makers are the ones who let 10's of millions of immigrants in a year. Although it really is none of my business I think when you have 1 in 5 on food stamps why do you let so many more people into the country how are you going to feed them.

Generation X will be just fine. If the 60's hippies can make it anyone can.

Things will turn around in about 3 1/2 years when America elects a Republican. All the rich white guys will open their wallets and start investing again and you will be back on track. Besides all the rich baby boomers are going to be passing on and their kids are going to go on a spending spree. That is if the rules don't change and Obama takes all of the inheritance money.

I really wish I was a Liberal. It is a lot easier spending the money than being responsible enough to know there isn't enough to go around.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

~cont~ One other thing. This is not a popular comment, but if you think about it, you'll find it to be 100% accurate and extremely disturbing. Slaves had it better off than we do.

That's right. They had no freedom to be sure. They also had no savings. However, they were always 100% free from debt. They also had job security. At the same time they had housing, medical care, and food provided by their masters. They were also cared for in old age. Somethings that many workers today lack. Why, because their services were long term investments instead of hourly ones.

Consider that when you boast your "American Dream" myth.

Am I suggesting that we return to slavery? Absolutely not! I'm mearly using the facts of history to illustrate how bad the American lifestyle is today. When you rent a slave rather than own one there is less incentive to take care of it. Just like renting a car instead of buying it opens the door for all kinds of abuse of equipment. Why take care of the car? After all, if you break it, you just take it back and get a new one, right? The same thing is true of labor, make no mistake!

I might suggest a sophisticated mingling of the two economys--one that presents a vested long term interest in the well being of workers. I suggest contracted labor. Workers who perform hourly work and are free to leave at any time; but, who have written contracts with their employees that gaurantee certain rights and benefits as well as job security, wages and encentives for safety and jobs well done. Of course this sounds like a labor union. However, there is no reason that the government cannot intercede in the work place and mediate these contracts. After all, it is the government who must eventually enforce the terms of these contract anyway, right. Who better can administrate the negotiations on the part of the employees. The government also has a vested interest in the well being of the company as well. What better entity to protect the sovancy of the company against organized abuse of employee rights. Each company's body of employees can constitute a voting subcommitte in the entitiy that can draw up terms for their own contracts under the jurisdiction of the government entitiy.

This way, long term care for workers rights would fall on the shoulders of the government where it belongs. There is no greater "labor union" possible than We the People! With the government overseeing workers protection in the work place you can kiss good buy the days of immigrants taking away American jobs as well. That would be a natural consequence of this plan.

I also have a name for the Federal Organization that would perform these duties--The Workers Rights Administration. WRA for short.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

Slaves had it better off. are you still drunk from last night?

what part of the US are you from that it is that bad?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

DAnneMarc, I agree, we need Loren's insights as often as possible. That said, I'm sure many don't have a lot of spare time. I'm in that category, but I think any effort sharing ideas is time well spent.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

MMmmNachos wrote: We all must change our ways of thinking if we all want to resolve our economic woes.....the solutions are not partisan.

Bipartisan agreement on the economic facts is probably the sensible first step in resolution of our economic woes. But even if we get that far, can we get the right wing extremists to acknowledge what these facts mean for the 99%?

Let me briefly summarize what I think the important facts are. Worker productivity and corp. profits are both way up and Wall Street is setting records. Problem is wages are at best stagnant and unempolyment remains high. The concentration of wealth is more concentrated than ever in the hands of a few. As a consequence people don't even have enough money to buy Walmarts cheap stuff anymore.

An admission by the Republicans on what these facts mean would be admitting that trickle down economics sucks, and that aint gonna happen.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend ~ No, I didn't drink last night; however, being St. Patrick's day I am now drinking. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Cheers!

Slaves had it better off economically is right. I've put a lot of thought into this so please don't simply brush off the idea. To answer your other question, I'm from the Bay Area of California. Oakland to be precise. The poorer, middle class, area of Oakland. The conditions here by no means reflect the rest of the nation, however, they are typical of California. Since we have one of the largest populations in the country--growing every day--they are a valid petri dish to measure the state of the Nation--IMHO.

Don't misunderstand my comparison to slavery. As far as human and civil rights are concerned slaves had the worst conditions of any group in the short history of this country. Please allow me to clarify, there is no question about that fact. Economically, however, they were better off than any minimum wage earner today. Before you reply, ask yourself if you know any minimum wage earner--even one with two full time jobs--that has full medical coverage, a pension, and a house provided as part of his compensation. If you know of no one, I humbly rest my case!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Happy St. Patrick's Day. Hey I had couple green bottled drinks last night, just in case it matters to Kend. I was out with some friends and bumped into my neighbor, she's a postal worker and happens to be the district union rep. We a great time and ended up walking home together, she had a green St. Patty blinker light on her hat.... well anyway we didn't get run over! Hey I discovered another great rockin blues act last night. Their called the Hooten Hallers, check them out on youtube, trust me you'll like em.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

I live in Canada so everyone gets full medical coverage, a pension, and a house provided for them and I am taxed to death for it. I do get your point though Danne about the slaves but I still think you are reaching. I have never being in northern Cal but would like to someday. Here is the problem. Canada has less population than the State of California but a least 100 times the resources and we still are struggling to maintain these benefits I am just saying how are you going to do it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend ~ You raise good points Kend; however, I feel that my idea about government mandated extended labor contracts is a very good place to start. Maybe, if it doesn't work we can all move to Canada. Just kidding about the moving to Canada. Happy St. Patrick's Day Kend!

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

Danne, the problem is I am expanding to the west coast and hiring two more guys. If there was that kind of government involvement I probably wouldn't do it. It is risky enough already. We have to increase sales by 1.6 million just to break even. I could loose a lot of money. I think the left forgets that part it seems you only see when companies are successful There was so may days I left before my kids where up and got home after they where a sleep. 7 days a week. To have the government dictate how I going to run my business after all that risk and sacrifice I made would be unfair.

You all have a great St Paddy's day.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend ~ The government is not a labor union.This is why I suggest that they take the place of labor unions. They rely on corporate tax as much as individual income tax. They are the perfect broker for labor deals. Relax Kend! When I suggest something it usually takes into account all contingencies; especially those of the guiding financiers. In any event, it's just food for thought! Chew it up and see what happens. Personally, I'm always open to constructive criticism. Happy St. Patrick's Day. DAM.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend, Klentz ~ Join me in a toast. If nothing less that we all recieve as we sow. If only this, the future will be a better world. Cheers! Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 14 weeks ago


Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 11 years 14 weeks ago

Thank you, DAnneMarc. You want to see more of my work -- I'm as much a social-documentary photographer as writer (and always more comfortable with a camera than a keyboard), go to Outside Agitator's Notebook at

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

i had my grandchildren all after noon. But I can finally pour one. Cheers to the future. to you all

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

Kend: I've known good business owners and bad ones. I ran my own screen printing business for about two years and did fine sharing the profits with all involved. One common denominator I've always noticed with unsuccessful ones is they always blame the government for their failures. So I have an idea, why don't we just declare our democratic government null and void. We get rid of the social safety nets, no labor laws to follow, no taxation, everything gets privatized. How long do you think it will take before the billionaire with the, biggest army, the largest weapons, and the most money not only tells you how to run your company, he seizes everything you own? This type of world has existed all through much of what we call history, you should read about it.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 14 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: I not so sure about your comment, "slaves had it better than we do," but I have heard more than one person declare that prison would be a better alternative when contrasted to their impoverished lifestyles. In fact I believe some citizens have gotten arrested just to get healthcare.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 14 weeks ago

10K. I know we need government but the big question is when does it end. I am just saying I have to know the rules and they have to be fixed for at least a few years in advance to help a private company budget. Your current adminasrtration doesn't get this. They are constantly talking about change , you as a business owner must know how hard this is on a business. Obama doesn't get it. Just look at the fact that he hasn't put together a budget yet.

I will say it again I like a flat tax simple and fair for everyone.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 14 weeks ago

You is sooooo silly...You truely are.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 14 weeks ago

Loren Bliss ~ No! Thank you! I took a quick look and your web site and can tell you right now that We the People owe you a great debt of gratitude. Please, keep following your heart and doing what you do best. We will follow and do our best. May God Bless all those who you struggle to help and may God Bless you as well. You serve as an example to us all! Keep up the good work and thanks again!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 13 weeks ago

UNFAIR!?!?! Kend you ignorant bombastic prick!!!
...that being said, you do prove a point...To a capitalist, life is cheap and money trumps everything...including time with ones own family.
But I am sure you, Mr. Denim Tux, did it so your kids will have a better life! (sarcasim intended) And how let down you must feel, since as you have pointed out many times...Todays generation only complains, and doesn't want to sacrafice and work to get ahead. Gee...I wonder why!!!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 13 weeks ago

#38 ~cont~ Allow me to clarify my idea of the WRA ~ Workers Rights Administration. In a perfect world the government, with single-payer, social security, and subsidized affordable housing would be accountable for providing a great deal of basic human necessities for workers. This would considerably help companies maximize profits. Maximum profits are necessary to pay the taxes to cover the above services. The job of the WRA is to ensure that company's pay workers the best fair salary possible. After all, paychecks also provide taxable revenue necessary for providing the above services as well.

The government is the perfect entity to broker the labor deals because it has a vested interest in both sides of the table. Only this entity would be capable of preventing both sides from taking advantage of each other. That is what inevitably occurs whenever one side has the upper hand. The government will prevent abuse by pursuing the course that maximizes both pay and profit. They will ensure safe and productive working conditions and ensure that both labor and management go home on time and with a just compensation.

Of course, it must also be said that this plan will only succeed as intended after thorough Campaign Finance Reform is completed. Any implementation before that is complete would be a disaster!

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 11 years 13 weeks ago

The American Dream has become the American Nightmare. The Grand Experiment is on the verge of failure. The New Deal is over and The Raw Deal is back.

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