September 07, 2011

Productivity and the hollowing out of the middle class

Here's a must-read story by anybody who has the rich tell them that the rising tide is floating all boats that trickle-down works, etc. It doesn't.

Productivity changes here, abetted by technology and abetted more by outsourcing, means that, despite the cost of cheap games and trinkets from China, on the cost of things that really matter, many Americans are "losing the purchasing power race, as the chart shows.

College is going up the most, due to lessened federal and state aid, part of a neoliberal-to-conservative gutting of support for the system. (That's the one thing wrong with the article; it assumes college will produce salvation from this mess; how can it?)

Behind this is a larger set of discussion pieces on the future of America's middle class. James Fallows, when he's almost "liberal," you know that the series is "tilted," especially when it includes not-quite-nutbar (looking sane compared to all other George Mason economists) Tyler Cowan. (I don't get why allegedly real liberals ever turn to him for a favorable quote.

The real reality is that there's less and less middle class left. And that neoliberal Democrats, as well as the GOP, have helped make this a reality.

So, why are you still voting Democrat instead of Green? Or Socialist?

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