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Chart Of The Day: The Death Of America's Middle Class

Tyler Durden's picture


There is one chart that everyone should see that is part of Reuters' must read special series: The Unequal State of America: Redistributing Up - it is the chart we have said over the past 4 years is the only one that matters for America - that showing the flattening of America's wealth distributon Gaussian curve, aka the plunder and accelerating destruction of America's middle class, at the expense of the poorest and the wealthiest. This is nothing but the inevitable outcome of a co-opted, conflicted and controlled marionette government, which does the bidding of the wealthiest lobby powers (read corporate shareholders and Wall Street), partitioning the bulk of the wealth to the richest, while sending the scraps to the poorest in order to keep itself in power due to the power of the ever poorer, democratic majority. Alas, since there is never a free lunch, and since the Fed does not create wealth but through its currency debasement merely accelerates the transfer of wealth, someone ends up footing the bill? Who? None other than that part of the US population which made the United States of America the greatest country in the world, and is now watching it implode first slowly, then fast.

The chart in question:

How does Reuters frame this ever so critical topic that only impairs the ever more disenfranchised, ever declining middle class, and thus few actually bother discussing:

In the town that launched the War on Poverty 48 years ago, the poor are getting poorer despite the government's help. And the rich are getting richer because of it.


The top 5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., made more than $500,000 on average last year, while the bottom 20 percent earned less than $9,500 - a ratio of 54 to 1.


That gap is up from 39 to 1 two decades ago. It's wider than in any of the 50 states and all but two major cities. This at a time when income inequality in the United States as a whole has risen to levels last seen in the years before the Great Depression.


Americans have just emerged from a close presidential election in which the government's role as a leveling force was fiercely debated. The right argued the state does too much; the left, too little. The issue is now at the center of tense negotiations over whose taxes to raise and what social programs to cut before a Jan. 1 deadline. And the government's role will be paramount again next year if Congress takes up tax reform.


The federal government does redistribute wealth down to struggling Americans. But in the years since President Lyndon Johnson took aim at poverty in his first State of the Union address, there has been an increasingly strong crosscurrent: The government is redistributing wealth up, too - especially in the nation's capital.


The beneficiaries are not the billionaire financiers and celebrities who
have come to personify income inequality in the 21st century. Yet the
Washington elite are just as much part of the trend, having influenced
laws and decisions that alter the entire country's distribution of

Read more here.

In summary: crony capitalism for the wealthiest, scrappy socialism for the poorest, and everyone else (that soon to be extinct creature known as the middle class) left to fend for themselves.

Some other charts:




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Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:07 | 3076037 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

Gee, the same people who paid the politicians off to jimmy the tax code so they can keep more of the money they stole from the taxpayer through other means are now wealthier for doing so?  Who woulda thunk?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:12 | 3076066 JKearney3153
JKearney3153's picture

a tiding of things to come? (instead of zombies hunting humans, it's the middle class hunting gold owners)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:17 | 3076083 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Top 3 income earning counties in USA surround Washington DC.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:20 | 3076097 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I think you'll find that's where most lobbyists live.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:27 | 3076126 Crtrvlt
Crtrvlt's picture

and defense contractors 


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:43 | 3076167 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture


Lobbyists, defense contractors, government contractors in general, and federal employees (D.C., Maryland & Virginia are all full of teat suckers)...

New York City (especially Manhattan) & Washington, D.C., the two biggest welfare slums ever to blight the face of America.

But hey, only 1 in 7 EMPLOYED AMERICANS works for federal, state or local government, so let's get some more government hiring rolling along, amIright Paul "When Mars Attacks" Krugman?

Federal workers earning double their private counterparts


Thomson: Federal pay twice the average worker's
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:53 | 3076479 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

Federal wages FROZEN?  so what?  Haven't they hired 111 federal workers PER DAY at the old inflated wages FOR THE PAST YEAR?

Shouldn't the FEDERAL Employee wages be immediately CUT by 50%??

At the "frozen" rate, income parity will occur in 30 years (10 years after we go broke).


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:00 | 3076810 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Look at that graph again. It plainly shows an unholy alliance of the poor and Criminal Elite against the middle.  Are the rewards split "fairly?" Perhaps not, but that is not what matters.  What matters is the the votes of those who benefit from plundering the middle have been cast. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:21 | 3077083 economics9698
economics9698's picture

1.  Inflation.

2.  Federal payroll taxes.

3.  Immigration.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:23 | 3077576 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

Too many Hummer Homes built that need to be maintained. What do we do about that?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:59 | 3077235 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Most folks understand claw-backs when the concept is explained to them.  Corporate CEO pay, and such, are fair game under the circumstances where the money "earned" is recovered for illegal, lack of performance, or other reasons.  Odd how the same concept of claw-backs can be applied to the "wealthy" in the form of taxation is not considered.  Wealth transfer has been taking place for quite a while now, upward redistribution.  Just seen from that perspective, one wonders how it can't be equitable.  Just a thought.  If all these issues were easy, they'd be settled by now.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:05 | 3077545 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:46 | 3077998 e-recep
e-recep's picture

nice catch.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:28 | 3079519 marathonman
marathonman's picture

The middle class are caught in a nasty pincer movement.  The free shit/banker caucus on one side and the banker/warfare caucus on the other.  They are being cut off and overrun.  They will be wiped out.  FORWARD indeed.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:46 | 3077327 Seer
Seer's picture

Anyone interested in numbers that at least have something behind them (other than someone spewing stuff) can check here:

Even IF you hacked govt to ZERO we'd still have massive debt, aging demographics and declining resources.  Who are you going to blame then?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:11 | 3077554 quadcap
quadcap's picture


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:30 | 3077952 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

It didnt happend yeasterday,they had a long run.

Imagine if,no job were send to China,it would look a lot different.


And its not only US,no its the developed world 360,as some call it:



Where have all the jooobs gona,China picked them every one,when will they ever learn.

And it wasnt, the working class ,who send the jobs to China,one can argue,they//we loved it in the begining,due to short sight,here you can put in Edward Bernays,Lucky Punch/Strike?I smoke Camel when i am streesed,said the doctor,Regan just smoked Chesterfield?No?Oh yes sir?Consummerism!Oh another, ISM.

Like the first snow,chilling the nose is fun,but t,here is a price to pay,if you dont stop,first is for free.

So who,send the job to China,was it Rothschilds,since they are so deep in to weatherstations over there,why would that be!

Behold the great pensionfunds?Would they hold the workers money?

Well to save the Danish Banks,240 billion was released from the pensionfund,they just forgot to tell it,and remember its a tiny contry:

I blame them!!!The wizzard from Oz!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:32 | 3079539 marathonman
marathonman's picture

That's why the debt will either be hyper-inflated away or defaulted.  And government will never go to zero.  There are too many grifters relying on that system to let it fail completely.  The aging demographics will take care of itself eventually and the declining resources issues are over-stated.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 06:30 | 3077850 847328_3527
847328_3527's picture

Not all Federal employees' wages were "frozen":


General Motors workers could get up to $30,000 in bonuses under new UAW contract (updated)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:08 | 3077385 prains
prains's picture

Ladies and Gentlemen


It is no longer a whodunnit!


We all understand it's the Oligarchiancorptocraticcronybankster with the chequebook in the closed door boardroom. No more clues required.


The question is what are you going to do about it ?



Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:06 | 3077643 r3phl0x
r3phl0x's picture

Duh, I'm going to take it like a little bitch, and buy an iPhone6!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:51 | 3077690 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The middle class did it to themselves.

They've been brain dead for at least a century.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 02:11 | 3077701 Seer
Seer's picture

It depends...

It depends on whether you're employed by one of the controlling interests or not, or whether you are in business for "yourself" and peddle to the controlling interests.

If neither of these then your income should not be the deciding factor on whether you are brain dead or not.

Just saying...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 05:13 | 3077798 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Oh, fair go sport, you have not had television that long.......

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:40 | 3076183 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

And with the fixed income wages frozen with low interest the rich will soon get their money too.

Trickle down poverty.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:30 | 3076133 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

The federal government does redistribute wealth down to struggling Americans. But in the years since President Lyndon Johnson took aim at poverty in his first State of the Union address, there has been an increasingly strong crosscurrent: The government is redistributing wealth up, too - especially in the nation's capital.

President Lyndon Johnson was one of the worst and did the opposite of his inauguration speech by combining the Social Security Trust Fund with the General Fund of the Federal Government. This act served to mask the growing percentages of military industrial complex spending and other growing percentages of government agency spending.

We need to separate the SS Trust fund from the General Fund now.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:33 | 3076153 adr
adr's picture

Or we must remove the SS trust fund completely, deleting the ability for the government to steal 15% of a working man's paycheck under the guise of returning it later as a way to live in retirement.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:47 | 3076221 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are under some delusion that the employer would remit to the worker the 7.5% coming from his end...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:59 | 3076266 adr
adr's picture

That was never part of your wage to begin with, but a cost of actually hiring someone, like company paid health benefits. I would gladly allow my company to retain an extra 7.5% in order to gain back that same percentage.

There are good companies that migt use the aggregate savings to actually hire more workers. The base salary at my private company is $35k for an account assistant. We pay $55k plus benefits for a key account manager. I can tell you that if I put a job ad out there, instead of doing personal recruiting, I would have a line 10 miles long outside my door.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:24 | 3076902 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

If you think your company would contribute even more than a small fraction of that back to their workers whether in direct pay or in retireements benefits, your crazy. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:46 | 3078129 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

I dont care if they give it back.  Keep it for all I care.  It is my employers money.  I make a fair wage at my employer.  If my boss can keep more of his money, great.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:28 | 3076375 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Id rather my employer keep his 7.5% than give it the to the gov.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 04:24 | 3077767 nc551
nc551's picture

That is your 7.5%.  Your employer factors in all of the cost of hiring you into your wage... you'd get every dime yourself that they have to spend on you.  The total cost of of all that stuff is your actual wage potential.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:51 | 3078144 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

It aint my 7.5%.  I get paid a fair wage, or I would have quit.  The gov mandates a employer match of 7.5% SS taxes.  I pay 7.5% and the employer pays 7.5%.  It is a tax.  If my employer can keep more of his money great.   From your post, you believe if the goverment gives a tax break to a company, the company should shovel it right back to the employee, or else not get a tax break?  You are a socialist commie. 


And if you think all money going to SS is not a tax, rather contribution to future distributions, "who is being naive now Kaye?"

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:23 | 3076654 AlamoJack
AlamoJack's picture

IT'S NOT an illusion.  When the free market reigns, that's what happens. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:24 | 3078620 BorisTheBlade
BorisTheBlade's picture

Well, it seems as of now there is a free market for middle class and communism for super poor and super rich. I wonder what happens when extremes are done canibalizing middle class through taxes and wealth redistribution.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:38 | 3077295 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

Tax incidence, look it up. You are the delusional one if you believe that the price elasticity of labor is highly inelastic and the price elasticity of demand for all goods and services is highly elastic. Producers can offload the majority, if not all, of their tax burden onto their employees and customers.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:51 | 3077339 Seer
Seer's picture

I tend to agree.  It'll get there: but, when it arrives you'll find that that situation is about as ugly as the current one (we'll find out what WORK really means then).

Most humans throughout history knew nothing of "retirement."  And, well, that's pretty much the way it is today too.  And with growth turning negative one would be a fool to predicate one's life on some sort of "retirement."

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:46 | 3076210 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

LBJ also did two other things that gave him a Budget Surplus in his last Fed  budget.


1st, he extended the Federal Year,which have ended on June 30th 1968 to Sept 30th 1968.

Are first and only 15 month Federal Year.

2nd,he and Congress added a 10% surcharge on Federal Taxes owed for the 1968 Tax Year,which gave the Feds a $500Million surplus for that year

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:29 | 3076134 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

Unfortunately, most think that more government is needed to save the middle class. The reality is that it is the federal government and the Federal Reserve that is actively destroying the middle class.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:59 | 3077361 Seer
Seer's picture

No, the Fed and the govt are unable to keep it propped up anymore.  Consider that it's the middle class that provides their protective buffer; do you really think that they deliberately want to lose the shield?  The growth paradigm that has allowed there to be this middle class protection is ending.  TPTB know this and, well, they're going to circle the wagons until it's all over.  Go ahead and eliminate TPTB and see if you can restore a middle class on the backs of huge debt levels and declining resources.

At some point we've got to admit that this System (which is more than just the Fed and the govt) is failing and we've got to move along.


The Making of Middle-Class America
When the French aristocrats Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave Beaumont toured the United States in the 1830s, both were struck by the degree of equality and social and physical mobility they witnessed in the American people. While each oversimplified, America's agrarian economy, cheap and available land, and voting laws did promote a certain equality relative to Europe. In the same era, however, the American industrial revolution was shaping a middle class and its institutions. The various embargoes of the early part of the nineteenth century caused many artisans to bring in and manage apprentices and lesser-skilled help; the rise of factories created a similar managerial class. Factories, of course, could not be homes also, and as a result more people began leaving home to go to work and cities began to divide into industrial and residential areas, which further broke down along class lines. Women were left at home, and the "woman's sphere" and cult of domesticity began to take hold. Childhood was also transformed in this era, as middle-class couples married later and had fewer children. The cult of domesticity often dovetailed into or crossed paths with other movements of the time, such as the Second Great Awaking and reform crusades including temperance, abolitionism, and women's rights. Other reformers included utopian communities, which were often, but not always, religious, and voluntary associations.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:15 | 3077560 brettd
brettd's picture

Middle class replaced by government class.

Think Italy.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:23 | 3077571 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:31 | 3076143 nufio
nufio's picture

thredjacking but.. does not this chart show that the middle income people have moved to the high income and low income groups? and tilted more to the high income group?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:33 | 3076160 nufio
nufio's picture

maybe if they adjust for real inflation the bars on the lower end will be taller.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:37 | 3076170 CPL
CPL's picture

Yeah, we've all heard of those record breaking Xmas bonuses in the past thrity years.


You like real estate?  I have this bridge in brooklyn...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:33 | 3076149 ratso
ratso's picture

Doesn't anyone find it odd that the death of the middle class correlates so well with the destruction of the unions started by Regan and followed upsince then by right wing zealots like Grover Norquist and the tea party crazies.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:39 | 3076182 akak
akak's picture

Yes, I find it odd.

That is assuming that you are "it".

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:25 | 3076677 AlamoJack
AlamoJack's picture

It's another of govt's ploy to degrade income so that illegals can benefit.  I am a right to work guy, always have been in TX, but I can read the handwriting on the wall.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:05 | 3077374 Seer
Seer's picture

WTF would the govt want people earning less?  You earn less then you pay less taxes!  The govt wants MORE!

Your logic sucks.  I suppose it's due to xenophobia.

The handwriting on the wall says this: you've got too much debt; your job (if you have one) is likely meaningless in that it's not something that the future wants; you're old and unfit and unable to do physical work.  Thought that the party would last forever?  Sucker!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:06 | 3077546 prains
prains's picture

damn hellnation dem dere illegals, doh!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:37 | 3077666 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

feck you no prains...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 02:16 | 3077709 Seer
Seer's picture

Apparently more people believe that the govt wants us to pay LESS taxes...

It appears that xenophobia (knee-jerking emotions) trumps logic.  Turn off the lights...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 07:27 | 3077879 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Apparently you don't understand that the government serves the corporations and that they want to flood the labor markets to bring down the cost of labor. There is a reason we import so many H1B visas, while thousands of Americans that can do the job sit on unemployment, or worse yet live on savings/foodstamps and welfare.

Also if you observe what Obama does instead of what he says, you could see that he continued the Bush tax cuts through the end of this year. Why would he do that if he wanted to collect more in taxes? It's all about pinning the new taxes on who you want to pay while enriching your friends. How much did GE pay in taxes last year?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:31 | 3076705 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:41 | 3076192 adr
adr's picture

or that the Unions became part of the left wing control apparatus and are nothing more than an enrichment tool for union bosses and politicians.

Today's Union workers are part of the most unproductive sectors of the economy. Working less hours for greater pay, while producing the least amount possible, as cheap as possible in order to work for the shortest time possible, as to end up taking home the greatest amount possible in the form of a pension to no longer work, yet make as much or more than a person still working.

Unions had a pupose, but once they were co-opted into becoming a political tool, they lost their relevance. Today a Union pensioner is no different than a ghetto welfare queen. The real economy can't survive with them.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:12 | 3077393 Seer
Seer's picture

"Today's Union workers are part of the most unproductive sectors of the economy. Working less hours for greater pay, while producing the least amount possible,"

And what do you consider to be "productive?"

Lots of grocery workers are unionized.  You think that They don't work hard?

Blasting workers and blasting unions are different things.

Unions were always about CONTROLLING WORKERS.  Most people have it backward.  FDR helped the fascists by promoting unions.

The formula is always the same: concentrate power; concentration of power = FAIL!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:03 | 3077030 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

ratso, failing to use the proper punctuation for ending a question, asked:

Doesn't anyone find it odd that the death of the middle class correlates so well with the destruction of the unions started by Regan and followed upsince then by right wing zealots like Grover Norquist and the tea party crazies.

When you say that Regan started the destruction of unions, what particular time period are you referring to? Was it during his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury (1981 to 1985) or while he served as Reagan's White House Chief of Staff (1985 to 1987)?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:18 | 3077567 brettd
brettd's picture

Unions were dying long before RR came along.

(See the launch of VW, Honda & Datsun in the 60's & 70's...aka:  Competition).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 02:17 | 3077711 Seer
Seer's picture

The downward spiral started in 1971 when the US essentially declared bankruptcy (and realized that it's oil exports had peaked).  No matter how you slice it it's kind of hard to overcome these two things.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:51 | 3076995 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Someone will figure out how to leverge that density,

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:45 | 3076759 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change.

Jamie Foxx - I like killing white people in movies.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:11 | 3077057 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Yeah, I heard that on the radio while flipping through stations. I think it was on the Mullah Michael Savage show.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:08 | 3077547 prains
prains's picture


assuming you're white i don't see the problem

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:48 | 3077680 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

feck you no prains....

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:29 | 3076926 game theory
game theory's picture

Real estate prices in DC area suggest that DC is draining the whole country dry while devaluing the dollar and telling us all that we owe our freedom to their munificence.  

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:19 | 3077415 Seer
Seer's picture

Always the same, isn't it?

Rome.  Moscow.

THE core failing is in stimulating growth (which isn't sustainable) in order to prop up a group of elites.  This requires expanding resource extraction/collection: eventually the wall is hit where the price becomes too steep (locals won't give precious resources away) and war happens (and wars never seem to pay for themselves).

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:17 | 3076088 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

It will only get worse.  I noticed a couple of years ago that the illegals (20 to an apartment) were displacing the blacks in the Virginia suburbs.  Going third world, or maybe Calipornia.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:33 | 3076156 CH1
CH1's picture

Yeah, let's blame the brown people! That'll fix things fast!

Maybe we can round em all up and ship em out! That'll make us feel REAL powerful!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:44 | 3076204 adr
adr's picture

show me the city that went brown or black that looks better, with a more vibrant economy than it did before the invasion. And no, a more vibrant drug trade does not count as economic progress.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:31 | 3076369 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

The reason is the welfare state.


Texas alone proves your wild assertion false. But I'm sure you didn't really have any facts, just talking out of your ass.


"Let's blame anyone but the Bankers!"

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:48 | 3076461 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

"show me the city"

"Texas alone"


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:04 | 3076523 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

Yes because Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston are not large cities...


Which each have growing, strong economies while maintaining a steady stream of immigrants.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:10 | 3076848 Goner
Goner's picture

I could not really find a good source for this so if anyone has a better one, please share. While I agree with both of your general points. I think most know Texas is a little different than the rest of the US

I only looked at the first two (Austin and Dallas) and while they may maintain a steady steam of immigrants. The makeup as a whole of neither city is not changing much.

Austin in 2000 had 65.36% white -

Austiin 2010 had 68.3% white-,_Texas#Demographics

Dallas in 2000 had 50.83% white -

Dallas in 2010 had 50.7% white -

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:39 | 3076955 Just Ice
Just Ice's picture

Site I like to use for city centric data:

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:12 | 3077059 AGuy
AGuy's picture

With all of the people leaving CA for TX, I wonder if TX will be transformed from a capitalist state into a socialist state. I have no idea why TX has blocked iimigrants from CA yet.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:25 | 3077432 Seer
Seer's picture

Ever wonder whether you're mistaking the symptoms with the problem?

It's about sustainability.  How fucking long do you think we could continue with the two (white) people per 2,000 sq ft homes?

Rent in cities tend to be outrageous (thanks to the high-rent rollers).

Cities are, by their very definition, unsustainable as they require importing from the countryside.

I suppose that people can continue with their xenophobia if it makes them feel better.  It won't, however, change reality.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:09 | 3077550 prains
prains's picture

show me the city that went brown or black that looks better


your toilet bowl for one

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:02 | 3076285 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I was referring to income inequality, the SUBJECT of the piece, but yeah, the great unwashed problem works as well.

By the way, scientists have determined that smoking crack is bad for primates.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:22 | 3076093 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

It seems the only way to get rid of the filth in Washington DC is for the congress critters to die of old age. Thank God Senator Inouye D-Hawaii is no longer crawling around the planet and infecting our lives.

The 74,000 page IRS tax code needs to be thrown in the trash. Yeah, like that will happen.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:29 | 3077442 Seer
Seer's picture

And you're one stupid motherfucker if you think that TPTB aren't just going to restock.

But, hey, it's great to look like one of the boys and spout off all sorts of hatred, doesn't it? (it's the only time I've seen you garner more green arrows than red)

"The 74,000 page IRS tax code needs to be thrown in the trash. Yeah, like that will happen."

And what are you personally doing to move this forward?  Fucking talk, talk, talk... fucking pussies.

I am quite certain that the "tax code" will one day vanish.  It will do so due to complete collapse (due to collective opulence- read "due to totally unsustainable standard of living").

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:01 | 3077917 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

You seem to be a liberal trying to disguise yourself as an anti-government poster. GFY.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:05 | 3076297 Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner's picture

Jack Welch is the worst offender.  He not only ran the biggest fraud operation in history - that was bailed out after he left but he can also take credit (well done Jack) for bribing officials to change the laws so that GE could pay ZERO tax on billions


And btw Jack - your wife earns every penny when she lets your wrinkly old carcass get on top of her (or does she strap it on and get on top of you?)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:26 | 3076373 vamoose1
vamoose1's picture

ten  hat  tips  to  you    if  i  ever   regrettably  met  the  sawed  off  little  grifter  id  kick  his   wrinkled thieving   ass  into   boston  harbor  with  a   hyperbaric  frozen  boot

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:21 | 3076348 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

The middle class is dying out?

What a shocker.

I guess that's what happens when all the jobs are off-shored.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:37 | 3077463 Seer
Seer's picture

Look around you at the stuff you buy.  Tell me this, what is responsible for most of its manufacture, people or robots (automation)?

Most of the jobs that left the U.S. never landed on foreign shores.  Most of the jobs were replaced with automation.  Anyone who has had any real experience with corporations making major changes will KNOW that that is the point in which they tend to introduce a lot of labor reduction means.

People don't see this sucker play coming.  Corporations will all of a sudden look all patriotic and be coming back (dragging their robots with them, and the handful of human jobs as well).  Well, they're be doing so because the govt will give them all sorts of tax breaks- read "paid to come back."  It would be somewhat OK if not for the FACT that most will end up being kicked out of the foreign countries that they're operating in due to trade wars.  And when there really are no significant increases in jobs, then who will we blame.  Oh, sorry, I got a bit distracted with my iCrap (built by robots), what was that you were saying?...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:00 | 3077530 calltoaccount
calltoaccount's picture

NOT "at the expense of the poorest and the wealthiest"-- but to the benefit of the poorest and the wealthiest.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 07:13 | 3077871 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

And now they are after their guns.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076039 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sacrificed at the altar of corporate greed....

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:27 | 3076125 adr
adr's picture

Not corporate greed, Wall Street greed. There used to be corporations that used thier greed to produce better products and recruit better talent by paying more in wages. Sadly these corporations have been hunted to near extinction by the Wall Street public stock apparatus.

Functioning corporations have been replaced by zombies kept alive through fresh government cash injections, so they feed on the general populaton instead of turning on the people who created them.

Eventually it ends because there will be a point in time when the food runs out, and the zombies must eat each other.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:42 | 3076195 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yeah, it was Wall St. that offshored our manufacturing base...

And it was Wall St. that caused corps to spin off their pure R&D units (you know the ones that came up with a lot of the fucking goodies that formed the basis of the economy 20 years down the road, Bell Labs, Xerox Park etc...)

Yeah Wall St. was a bunch of shysters but you are being a tad myopic...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:53 | 3076242 adr
adr's picture

The corporations that sold off our manufacturing base and spun off R&D did it in order to increase share prices to reward shareholders, specifically those who sat on the corporate boards. The death of the private corporation killed American productivity. It has become nearly impossible for a new private corporation to compete, unless you have secured venture capital fo en eventual IPO.

So yes it was Wall Street. The IPO engine has destroyed more American jobs than any other force in history. Which has also created more concentrated wealth than any other time in history, other than the Monopoly period of 1875-1910.

While the end of the period dominated by Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc gave rise to the true American middle class. The end of the Wall Street era will result in the destruction of the middle class, and the new society of peasants and nobles.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:10 | 3076286 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Dude, you must have been sleeping..

Uncle Miltie told us that greed was good and the Corporate Officers  lined their pockets...

Why don't you google about how many pension plans were looted to pay the pensions of the officers....

The middle class came out of WWII not the Gilded Age... Look up the historical GINI ratios for the states, the New Deal and WWII leveled the field (see the figure)

Edit: cleaned up the figure link

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:28 | 3076918 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Exactly.  adr acts if Wall Street is the only sector of the economy that has political clout and lobbying power & influence.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:42 | 3077484 Seer
Seer's picture

Oh, there's good greed and bad greed?


As long as there were shareholders who demanded growth the companies HAD to grow.  Think about all the "returns," the "pensions."  And then think about the fact that those closer to the actual physical resources that go into making products would have a better advantage in the longer-term.  This was ALWAYS going to break down just as it has.  Build up, from "success," and then the weight (call it the "big ship syndrome" if you like) would bring it back down.  And now that so many are burning through limited resources we're finding that growth just ain't possible any more.

Yeah, some companies probably met their demise prematurely, but the hollowing out is because most of the stuff that we're seeing isn't going to be around in the future.

Economies of scale in reverse.  Production of most things is going to drop like a rock.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:07 | 3076041 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Warning:  You may only bitch about yoonions and other racially endowed (poor) USAers. 

Global elite targeting STRICTLY VERBOTEN.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:30 | 3076142 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

" the expense of the poorest and the wealthiest" ??? WTF -- the expense of the wealthiest?  They've done nothing but benefit.  Need an editor?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:52 | 3076240 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Relax, Tyler just got carried by his own figure of speech... what was meant was "to the benefit of".

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076043 rosethorn
rosethorn's picture

These are key metrics that the FRB and administration are ignoring.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076044 Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson's picture

Jon Corzined bitchez!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:55 | 3076252 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Cop: Where is Whitney, Jon?

Jon: Dunnow! She just vaporized.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:13 | 3076054 pods
pods's picture

The government teet flows gravy, but there are only so many teets.

Who could be surprised that the locale which re-elected "The bitch set me up" mayor would have statistics like this?

One big cancerous mass smack dab in the middle of our vital organs.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:11 | 3076568 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

i was a teat once...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:27 | 3077256 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

New 'teets' keep popping up all the time, from what I've seen (TSA, HS,)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:12 | 3076056 HD
HD's picture

20k a year the new middle class. The dumpster behind Arby's the new retirement villa.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:05 | 3076295 adr
adr's picture

I remember in college we used to go to KFC at 11:00 and wait out back. The manager used to give us all the leftovers that would have just gone in the dumptster. But then there became some sort of policy that the maager could no longer give out food. Something about us actually paying for food if we knew we couldn't get it for free.

The problem was we were freshmen on a meal plan and none of us had money. So KFC just threw away hundreds of dollars worth of food every night.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:54 | 3076477 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Exactly the same argument you see presented regarding piracy not being a victimless crime... 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:48 | 3077495 Seer
Seer's picture

Still far above the majority of humans on the planet.  4+ billion live on $3/day or less: my wife is from an area that is closer to $2/day.  Kind of puts things in perspective.

Manage your expenses wisely.  Concentrate on those things that really do matter (are essential for life).  Spend more energy adjusting for the future that you want (be real with your expectations else be horribly disappointed) and less on bitching and blaming others...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:11 | 3076057 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:31 | 3076147 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Everything is Obama's fault.  Repeat until exhausted.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:58 | 3076272 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Obam's Razor: Among competing agendas, the one providing the most lobbying wins.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:12 | 3076058 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Why do jobs matter for the poor? Under $30k a year it isn't worth working anyway.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:14 | 3076078 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I hope the poor doesn't find this out, for the government's sake.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:42 | 3076197 SeattleBruce
SeattleBruce's picture

Have you seen the food stamps and disability rolls lately?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:45 | 3076209 Ballin D
Ballin D's picture

The poor already know.  Its the students and young people you need to worry about.  Once they learn that welfare pays better than entry level work there will be a major shortage of baristas and McDonalds employees. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:09 | 3076560 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

muammar? is that you? i thought you were dead!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:48 | 3077616 mwarden
mwarden's picture

you better tell the usda to stop spending millions (of tax dollars) advertising SNAP to potential eligibles, then

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:54 | 3076486 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Actually, there are quite a few places in this country where a $30k/year job is incredibly sought after and can lead to a very, very comfortable lifestyle...  especially if there is a second wage earner in the household.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:50 | 3077501 Seer
Seer's picture

Jobs?  Well, "jobs" is what the industrialists brought to us in order to prop themselves up.  For billions of humans on the planet WORK is essential.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:13 | 3076069 foodstampbarry
foodstampbarry's picture

Intended global depopulation bitchez.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:13 | 3076072 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

No doubt that if you eliminate all those evil unions, the corporations will flow all the excess profits right back down to the workers and thus save the middle class.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:30 | 3076141 HD
HD's picture

Wait...why is my new Twinkie made in China?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:35 | 3076151 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Because the executives will make more money by paying Chinese workers $1 per hour and they aren't allowed bathroom breaks.

Consequently, despite the $1 per hour wages, the price of the product will not reflect this new low cost of production. You'll pay the same for what costs them a fraction of what it used to to manufacture.

Great deal for you huh?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:41 | 3076193 HD
HD's picture

It's a great deal if you enjoy the taste of Chinese dissidents in your cream filling. It's oppressively delicious!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:13 | 3076319 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

That's because the dollar is way overvalued and the yen is way undervalued.  China has a huge GDP and is becoming increasingly wealthy.  They build everything while we fight for govt. handouts and blame the rich.  At some point when the USD implodes and it corrects, you will see the average wages in China exceed the wages in the US.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:22 | 3076351 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

yes, please, lower the value of the dollar even more so we can all feel the joy that comes with paying $15 for a loaf of bread and $25 for a gallon of gas.

isn't that what the bernanke means by "wealth effect"?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:35 | 3076406 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Bernanke's wealth effect means we'll all be rich but can't afford anything.  All they can do is keep printing at this pont.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:08 | 3076554 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

the yen and the dollar are going to is the pound, the euro and the yuan..that means you should else

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:59 | 3077634 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 03:39 | 3077759 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and those you hold dear

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:30 | 3076930 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

This is a ridiculous oversimplication for how currencies work and are exchanged & valued against one another.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:00 | 3077531 Seer
Seer's picture

If the USD implodes it'll mean that the US is basically no longer an importer of Chinese goods.  There goes China's main market.  And at that point, having scaled up infrastructure to build shit that the people there cannot afford, China will be sitting on a BIG contraction- not thinking that this is signaling "wage increases."

Also keep in mind that China is a heavy importer of energy.  Now that they have more and more people hooked on autos it's going to be hard to continue to subsidize the fuel.

China's a ticking time bomb.

Before all is said and done China will end up with the record for being the biggest to do the rags-to-riches-back-to-rags cycle in a short amount of time: Iceland probably wins in the small category (honorable mention to Ireland).

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:30 | 3076144 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture


Union Membership rate / Middle Class Share of aggregate income

Does anyone see a trend?

Surely a glance at a chart of corporate profit trends in that same period of time will display the exact opposite trajectory.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:33 | 3076152 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Don't cloud the issue with unecessary facts.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:43 | 3076196 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Facts are for commies, fags, and other pussies.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:23 | 3076892 Goner
Goner's picture

Ice Cream causes Polio also

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:13 | 3077559 Seer
Seer's picture

A peak ALWAYS occurs.

I don't believe that this is necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship (between economic groups) so much as it's a sign of a system in decline.  Many here are "preparing" while others are not (and may not believe they need to- the missed the starting gun); those who missed might look at those who were preparing and claim foul play in just the same way we're now looking at the TPTB and crying fowl.

In no way am I trying to dismiss the ugliness.  Just trying to point out that we all have the same basic human nature in us.

Even if we were to level things out we'd still be playing the game of "perpetual growth on a finite planet," which would place us headed over the growth cliff.

Change is happening and there's nothing that anyone can do to stop it: and as I often do, I promote taking action toward moving yourself in a direction that's more suited for the future (no, I'm not going to spell out what that is- it's not my job [but if you're grounded in the fundamentals of Food, Shelter and Water then you're not likely to fail]).

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:20 | 3076343 besnook
besnook's picture

if .gov would just subsidize the wages of all labor up the middle management paid for by the fed printing press the usa would be on top of the world for a thousand years with all the money trickling down to the job creators in senior managemnt, share and bond holders and da banksters.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:23 | 3076073 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

All effects of globalization, including the Wealth Effect

In practice US Citizens are getting poorer, but the statistic includes "World Citizens currently residing in the US" that skew the top percentages

and before you think "oligarchs" and so: even doctors are part of it when they have clients from all over the world because they are the best

even Hollywood actors are part of this group, and of course CEOs of international companies - in the same way as their HQ employees or even the makers of commercials for global products like Coca Cola or Facebook

Or the pushers of their stocks and the providers of global reserve currency liquidity and their Connected Instruments

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:42 | 3076198 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

"even Hollywood actors are part of this group"

FYI: 90% of the active members of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) earn less than $5,000 per year.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:54 | 3076482 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Did you compare them with - for example - their collegues from Bollywood?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:48 | 3076981 Acet
Acet's picture

Here in London (UK), being an actor (screen or otherwise) is one of the worst paid specialist professions there is.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that only 8% of actors have regular work (and by that, I mean basic acting work, not stardom). All those anonymous people doing one-off secondary characters that just appear once in TV Series are actually trained actors, usually with an acting degree and (here in the UK), the student debt that comes with it.

As for Hollywood, there's a saying that half the waiters and waitresses in LA are actors.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 03:34 | 3077756 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and for every X number of lowly paid actors there is one star that rakes in with movies that are viewed globally

to get back to my point: for the wannabe actors on the stage their "pond" is local, for the stars it's global

it's a tale of two worlds: globalization

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:15 | 3076076 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Meh...whatever....pump the DOW a couple more hundred in futures and all will be well.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:15 | 3076077 tawse57
tawse57's picture

I want this crash to come but, after years of waiting, I have all but lost hope now. I can't see how anything other than printy, printy will occur.

If the markets far they just stop trading the shares falling or the entire market. I can't see how there will be any correction... and, in the meantime, hundreds of millions of middle class Americans, Brits, Europeans, etc, are being screwed.

I daren't think what the affects of these economic policies are on people in Africa.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:26 | 3076119 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

I agree, I think all of those in power (banks and politicians) got a little taste during Lehman/AIG/GM and won't go there again.  Under the saving the world mantra, printing will never cease again ala Japan and it truly will be a race to the bottom when the ECB joins the fray formally probably by summer.   Even Japan which should be devaluing the yen by 33% has decided to go the stealth way vs. the shock way and to inflate their way to oblivion.  Thus the markets will be up another 15% next year short of huge earthquake in Tokyo, LA or NY or war in the Mideast...about all I can see that would derail this ridiculous ramp party.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:26 | 3076121 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Well 'the markets' also aren't 'everything', or really even 'anything'....just wait until the morning the FED suddenly seizes everyones pensions and 401K's...declares gold illegal to posess unless you're a bank, declares guns outlawed. What do people think theyre just doing this for FUN? Or, pumping stocks and bonds up is some kind of 'end game' in itself? Total bullshit....they're moving real fast now and I dont believe for a second theyre just happy trading their own Bernank Clownbux, they're going to take this whole thing down to rubble and it wont be long off at all.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:39 | 3077603 Seer
Seer's picture

I agree with the trajectory.  I don't, however, think that it's something that they desire, if they really had a choice.  Stability/status quo is what enables them to retain their positions of power; and, really, it should be clear that they pretty much own and control everything anyway.  The ONLY reason for any big change is because they see that the System cannot continue- THEY aren't the reason for the system failing (nor is any "left" or "right" paradigm*), they're just able to alter the speed.

* Not as long as the foundations are laid with a grow-or-die premise.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:17 | 3076084 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

The market will crash......but it probably will take a generation to do so.

The money managers and the bankers and the corporate assholes will finally wake up one day and realize 90% of the people who buy their stupid shit, are in debt and completely out of money.

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