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The Changing Face Of The Low-Wage Worker In America

Tyler Durden's picture


Climbing above the poverty line has become more daunting in recent years. NY Times reports that the composition of the nation’s low-wage work force has been transformed by the Great Recession, shifting demographics and other factors.


Via NYTimes,

More than half of those who make $9 or less an hour are 25 or older, while the proportion who are teenagers has declined to just 17 percent from 28 percent in 2000, after adjusting for inflation, according to Janelle Jones and John Schmitt of the Center for Economic Policy Research.


Today’s low-wage workers are also more educated, with 41 percent having at least some college, up from 29 percent in 2000. “Minimum-wage and low-wage workers are older and more educated than 10 or 20 years ago, yet they’re making wages below where they were 10 or 20 years ago after inflation,” said Mr. Schmitt, senior economist at the research center.


"If you look back several decades, workers near the minimum wage were more likely to be teenagers — that’s the stereotype people had. It’s definitely not accurate anymore.”

Read more personal stories of the "recovery" here.


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Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:50 | 4567873 Bonapartist
Bonapartist's picture

Deflation- it's why QE will never end.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:55 | 4567909 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Deflation in what?  The "price" of useless shit you don't need to survive?  Sure, why not..

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:59 | 4567935 centerline
centerline's picture

Wages for one as per this article.  Candle is being burned from both ends - which is why the 'flation argument in any classical economic sense becomes really confusing.  Even the term stagflation is disingenuous.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:59 | 4567937 Bonapartist
Bonapartist's picture

Still paying $2 a gallon for milk and $1 for a loaf of bread or a dozen eggs.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:02 | 4567950 centerline
centerline's picture

eesh, not me.  Food prices have gone nuts (eating is sort of a necessity of course) where I am.  Flat screen TVs on the other hand are dirt cheap (but not very tasty).

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:06 | 4567960 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Try iPads. They're delicious with a red wine vinaigrette.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:37 | 4568417 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

ipad smoothie ftmfw


see 'will it blend'

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:46 | 4568132 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

Food prices are still high for me too.  But I buy organic farmed local foodstuffs.  

I do grow some vegitables, and that saves me a silver coin a week, maybe.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:52 | 4568189 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:05 | 4567961 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Right, where?  on base maybe.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:06 | 4567970 Bonapartist
Bonapartist's picture

IL- nice to be close to food sources

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:10 | 4567990 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

IL is a food source?  LMFAO! how those fields looking this time of year?

Fucking troll.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:21 | 4568029 Bonapartist
Bonapartist's picture

laugh all you want fuckface- but those are the prices I pay. ass-eating is still free so you have that going for you.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:22 | 4568044 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

If you really can find food that cheap... well, it isn't really food so much as "food substitute."

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:29 | 4568079 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

haha $1.99 on some fucking yoohoo or something?  chocolate milk flavored drink.  for the record- cheapest gallons I see in Columbus are $2.50 (but you've got to go to wally world for that shit- fuck that).  $3.29 at giant eagle.  The good organic shit will run you $5-6+ (difference is apparent, just not worth it since we go through 5-6 gallons a week at our house- try raising hockey players)

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:44 | 4568143 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

The rBST from the cows milk you are feeding your hockey players is going to make them muscle heads now and grow them bitch tits later.  You remember Bob?  Bob had bitch tits.

What is rBST?

Bovine somatotropin (BST) is a protein hormone naturally produced in the pituitary glands of cattle. Monsanto developed a recombinant version, rBST, by using a genetically engineered E. coli bacteria. Sold under the brand name “Posilac,” it is injected into cows to boost milk output in the short term. This practice is coming under increasing scrutiny. rBST is also known as rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone).

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:09 | 4568590 Flagit
Flagit's picture

there are a few producers that have started printing on the label the product does not contain Bovine.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:45 | 4569173 zuuma
zuuma's picture

Hmmm... So lemmeesee...

If I start chugging lots of BST-laced cow juice, I'll put on a righteous set of bitch tits. Correct?

Which means that after a few short months of said chugging, I'll be able to lock my doors, pull my shades, kick back on the recliner to some good midget porn and stroke, rub & fondle MY OWN lucious tits?

WOW! Awesome.

What's the downside?


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 19:33 | 4569979 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

His name is Robert Paulson.

Just avoid any support groups.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:41 | 4568136 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, we got it, keep swiping the EBT loser.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:31 | 4568095 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture


Bread has been rising! Cool can check by region too. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:21 | 4568042 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

You can buy a mansion in Detroit on that kind of salary..... 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:36 | 4568123 Overfed
Overfed's picture

The part of FEMA region X that I live in is surrounded by dairy farms, and milk is $4/gal. Quality bread is $3 on sale.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:08 | 4568284 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I think our Glorious Leader, Bath House, is surrounded by evil people who won't tell him the truth. If we could only get word to him about these prices, he would save us!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:03 | 4568260 wtf1369
wtf1369's picture

I call bullshit.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:04 | 4568926 Peanut Butter E...
Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:59 | 4567937Bonapartist
Still paying $2 a gallon for milk and $1 for a loaf of bread or a dozen eggs.

Milk is already $3 a half gallon and it's also $2 for a dozen egg, I'm at MD, USA. Tell me were you live were things are so cheap.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:57 | 4569233 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

What are you buying, and where? Certainly not in the typical grocery store.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:22 | 4568351 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

Deflation?  Based on what?  The government formula?  I guess no need to worry when minimum wage is increased?  Or...

You can lose more purchasing power because miniumum wage is the government's wage control.  Make people think they are earning more while stealthing them with energy and food inflation.  QE is the inflation plan in this Keynesian system.  Deficit spending and wage controls.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:51 | 4567880 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

We aren't quite to China's levels of slave labor, but the globalists are getting us there.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:53 | 4567896 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, this has been the plan since 1971 (maybe even 1913).

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:03 | 4567954 SelfGov
SelfGov's picture

Some see a global conspiracy.

All I see is a second law of thermodynamics.

Both of those years are pivotal years in resource production too.

UK Coal production peak occurred in 1913.

US oil production peak occurred in 1971.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:06 | 4567971 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  However, it still does not address the issue of a chosen few printing money and handing it out to their friends...

tick tock motherfuckers...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:15 | 4568013 centerline
centerline's picture

Now turned into a complete lawless free for all.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:49 | 4568174 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The sorry state of America is caused by ever increasing government weeds crowding out private sector crops.

A successful formula for destroying economies for thousands of years. We need more government to finish it off.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:24 | 4568693 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

Lawless for them (their version of true liberty, free to be criminal) but not so lawless for what we might euphemistically call citizens of the United States. Those not in the elite are buried  a dozen times over in prohibitions and directives. On top of that, our hyper-enthusiastic militarized police forces are more than happy to kick doors down, and surveill their ways into charges that pit you agains the full force of the government and their lackeys in the press.

No longer the Rule of Law, but man are we ruled by our masters. Hayek predicted this, it is apparently inevitable since Adam ate the apple.   

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:39 | 4568429 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

" However, it still does not address the issue of a chosen few printing money and handing it out to their friends..."


Yes, it's remarkable how there's always someone to point the finger at something else.  The old magicians's distraction technique.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:13 | 4567999 centerline
centerline's picture

I tend to lean towards putting a check in the box that is labeled "all of the above."

One of key concepts that deserves repeating is that money does not care much about nations or the people.

Cheap energy, in my opinion, is what has propelled this current cycle of the human experience through the proverbial ceiling.  Population growth, globalization, social complexity, etc. would never have reached current levels without it.  All it takes is one glance a historical world population chart and the essence of this current ponzi scheme is really damn clear.  The "growth" is real and therefore the inevitable "contraction" will be real.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:41 | 4568135 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Unless there is a quantum leap in technology soon, cheap energy will be a thing of the past. That's the one thing that gives me hope vis-a-vis a global government. Very soon, it will be far too costly to project power around the world. Prepare for disunited regional governments. And war. Lots of war.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:49 | 4568170 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

I've been wondering if the despreate move into Ukraine by NATO was due to a sharp fall in recent months of oil produced by oil rich and dollar positive Nation-States.  Here's looking at you, Saud.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:22 | 4568348 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Here's looking at the price just rising over $100 again a moment ago.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:03 | 4567955 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Americans must worker much harder to compete with the Chinese (to lower the cost of their labor).

It always makes me laugh to hear that we must improve public education in order to compete.

Ha. Ha.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:44 | 4568449 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

It always makes me laugh to hear that we must improve public re-education in order to compete.


there, fixed it for ya

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:52 | 4568488 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

No, I think you mean de-education.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:09 | 4568587 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

I love the expression, "Some things are so stupid you must be educated into believing them."

This is why regimes used to occupy 20% of workers time with correct thinking class. I.e., educating the masses.

And hence the reason for ever more, ever longer education.

The old Congregational church I used to sit in had plaques on benches donated by 1800's sail captains. Lots were early 20's. First mates off China at age 17. At sea at age 14.

Now everywhere I see yuppie moms in the SUV,engine running at school bus stops a 100 feet from the house. Precious cant walk or stand in the rain. Pathetic, and sad. I don't know why they aren't wearing safety helmets and ratchet strapped to the bus seats with mouth guards.
supose that is next.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:37 | 4569123 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"It always makes me laugh to hear that we must improve public education in order to compete."

The parking lot of our grammer/middle school (less than 800 students) is full-to-bursting with mostly-new cars of "employees", and there are fewer students each year because of graduation and no replacements due to real estate bust and foreclosures.

In IL, public employees are stampeding to double-dip second public jobs to pad their paychecks and benefits.  In "middle class" districts school curriculum is propaganda, forget about actual education.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 16:44 | 4569404 scrappy
scrappy's picture

To save money I have been buying silly putty, and just stare at the plastic egg.   Just doing my part for the woar effort.

History of Silly Putty

One of the most important resources needed for World War II war production was rubber. It was essential for tires (which kept the trucks moving) and boots (which kept the soldiers moving). It was also important for gas masks, life rafts, and even bombers. Beginning early in the war, the Japanese attacked many of the rubber-producing countries in Asia, drastically affecting the supply route. To conserve rubber, civilians in the United States were asked to donate old rubber tires, rubber raincoats, rubber boots, and anything else that consisted at least in part of rubber. Rations were placed even on gasoline to hinder people from driving their cars. Propaganda posters instructed people in the importance of carpooling and showed them how to care for their household rubber products so they would last the duration of the war.



Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:54 | 4567902 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

No, they will have us all blown to pieces long before ...  ;-)

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:58 | 4567930 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

North America was just an experiment for them to create a new type of modern day slave. 'They' dont give a flying fuck about us.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:35 | 4568111 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

We aren't quite to China's levels of slave labor, but the globalists are getting us there.

You CANNOT 'compete' in a rigged game.  Chinese workers are far closer to serfdom thant those in the West.  No real worker protection laws - toxic chemicals, air, lousy and unsafe working conditions (example: explosions form aluminum dust in iCraap factories).   Long hours and no choice about it.  Worker suicides and more.  China is where the West was at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution - a Dickensonian hell for many workers.  You can't compete against THAT - nor should you WANT to (unless you're one of the multinational execs making millions from the 'savings').

Henry Ford raised the wages of his workers on assembly lines to cut high turnover levels - and the assocuated costs of training new workers.  He ALSO managed to create new customers for his products - workers who could now AFFORD to buy cars.

We're now in a reverse trend - an endless pursuit of the cheapest opossible labor (EXCEPT at the top where executives are GROSSLY OVERPAID for the amount of work they do).   The problem is that workers can no  longer even afford the cheap crap from China - even WITH government assistance.

The few remaining workers are overtaxed to pay for the benefits given out by government - which ALLOW companies to underpay workers while those at the top UNDERPAY their 'fair share'.  The 7 Walton heirs are worth more than 40% of ALL Americans yet Walmart underpays its staff most of whom are kept on 'part-time' status whie collectign government aid in the form of Food Stamps and Healthcare.

The West committed economic suicide with 'Free Trade'.

Perot and others saw it coming but BOTH the Democrats and Republicans continue to push it.  All that TARP money should have had a requirement to repatriate JOBS - instead Banks and Wall Street continue to ship them overseas.  DP and Call Centers, now Accounting functions....... government is complicit in the destruction of the working class.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:54 | 4568171 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

I was 10 years old during that 92 election.  I remember getting the impression from the adults that perot was a joke.  fucking stupid assholes.  I figured out very quickly after that I was smarter than 90% of the adults around me.  Still took me to about age 30 to figure out why though...  owe some of that to ZH.  I forget what I was searching when i first discovered ZH.  but i was glad to know i wasnt the only one wading through this bullshit

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:03 | 4568538 Tale2cities
Tale2cities's picture

Not all of us. I voted for Perot in 1992 and 1996.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:17 | 4568329 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

If you really wanted to 'shake things up' in the US, you would go after the 5 data centers Walmart has in the US.  Effects would be profound and almost instanteous given how lean they run inventories nowadays. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:50 | 4567881 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

And THAT is how you get down the unemployment rates.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:51 | 4567882 PlusTic
PlusTic's picture

Ah, the fruits of globalism.  It has succeeded wildy - as designed!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:52 | 4567886 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

Economists have the gaul to call this a recession when it is giving the Great Depression a run for its money.  Economics as a study issued by degree at Universities across the United States of America should be sued for fruad.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:08 | 4567979 corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

gaul is France.  Are we speaking French today?


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:20 | 4569013 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"Economists have the gaul to call this a recession when it is giving the Great Depression a run for its money.  Economics as a study issued by degree at Universities across the United States of America should be sued for fruad."

How about guillotines instead, for conspiratorial lying.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:53 | 4567891 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Completely O/T, but no doubt of interest to some at Zero Hedge, Nobel Prize winner Dr Paul Krugman (recently a well noted member here) is to speak this evening here in Lima about "Competitivenss", of course he is epaking to prospective MBA students and their professors.




All of Peru welcomes Dr Paul Krugman in his efforts to make his version of Keynesian economics work as well in Peru as it has in the USA.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:57 | 4567923 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Good idea. Why not try to fight fire with fire? Wait ... I forebode there was a reason ....   ;-)

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:04 | 4567959 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

We can only hope that he boards the Peru version of MH370 for his return flight.


"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone"

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:09 | 4567985 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture




His name was Dr Paul Krugman.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:10 | 4568603 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

God help Peru.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:53 | 4567892 youngman
youngman's picture

Its called survival....its work and it pays..and it buys me food...good enough for many people...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:53 | 4567893 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture

The "War on the Middle Class" is clearly a success.   Not so much the "War on Terror" or the "War on Drugs" ..."War on Poverty"...

Jeesuz! How many are there?  Fuckit..Wake me get to "War on Government"

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:55 | 4567912 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

You really think you are capable of such long hibernation?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:28 | 4568717 Intoxicologist
Intoxicologist's picture

It's the USA Mulitplex Theater of War.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:53 | 4567898 centerline
centerline's picture

Leading indicator of where the economy is really headed.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:54 | 4567907 g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture

It would be more interesting to see those three charts of those not working.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:56 | 4567916 Charles Nelson ...
Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

any retard can go to some college.  As long as they sign their name on the dotted line and promise to pay back the loan over 50 years @ 9% interest. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:07 | 4567958 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

I have a friend that works for the Canadian Government. In order to get the job in question he needed a Ph.d in his field.  So, he bought his Ph.d on line through some degree mill for a grand or something nominal. 

He got the either they did not check...or they did check and found out it was the same alma mater for all of the applicants. 

This is how to go to school, kids. 


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:26 | 4568062 pitz
pitz's picture

The tragedy is, people with the fake degrees (or nearly fake degrees, ie: low-grade correspondance schools that basically sell PhD's based on shoddy "research") still get a huge salary increase in the government.  Anyone who tells you the government is a meritocracy in Canada is simply lying.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:34 | 4568109 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

NYT, hmmm, I would hope they at least stated, that the current policies of our government just have not had enough time to work(it takes decades), or, not enough debt has been created..or not enough regulations have been written, or enough imported workers legal and illegal( per gates )have been let in. or perhaps we just don't pay enough taxes (ala buffett)..

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:56 | 4567918 headhunt
headhunt's picture

There is no unemployment, no inflation, no deflation - it is a workers paradise.

Oh sorry, I thought I was in Russia.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:57 | 4567922 RadioactiveRant
RadioactiveRant's picture

Don't worry, we all will be soon.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:01 | 4568240 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

No, Cuba or Venezuela!


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:59 | 4567936 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I suspect that an article about the evils of raising the minimum wage will follow this shortly? You know...just to keep up with ZH tradition on this issue.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:06 | 4567974 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

I used to manage a fast food restaurant.When the minimum wage was raised say by a dollar the good employee's who were making more than minimum wage would not get a dollar,they would get 50 or 60 cents.If they raise the minimum wage the same thing will happen,it's ike taxing the good employee's.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:48 | 4568167 RSloane
RSloane's picture

I have great news.  A lot of minimum wage jobs will be replaced by automation engineering within the next two decades. Won't it be nice to know for sure that the food you just ordered in the drive thru has not been pissed on by a disgruntled worker because that worker will be long gone? Feel better now?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:00 | 4568238 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

McRobots! Coming Soon!

I'm leaving for the Crimea.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:22 | 4568346 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

No it won't and there are much larger and deeper issues affecting US fast food chains than worker wages and potential to automate.  Automation is definitely an increasing issue on employment but also completely overblown too in a host of areas too especially in auto transport, food services, and care of the elderly. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:29 | 4568078 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That's a lot of fucking words merely to state, "I don't understand math."

Minimum wages are a solution to a symptom of a problem (currency debasement), not the problem itself. You can raise minimum wages all you like (and as often as you like), but you will NEVER keep up with the debasement fueling the fiat ponzi.

Why would you try to solve a problem by adding further stress to the illegitimate system that spawned it?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:06 | 4567968 corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

I am SICK AND TIRED (kudos to Hillary!) of reading ABOUT A GREAT RECESSION! (screeching)

This aint no recession but a depression masked with the fine/almost fine covering of extended unemployment benefits, welfare and EBT cards.  Why doesn't someone just admit it and recognize the reality like I do.

Our middle class is savaged.  Minimum wage jobs are even hard to find.  You have to work almost 80 hours to even get a salary which covers rent, car payments and food plus utilities.

Don't give me this great recession shit.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:46 | 4568154 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Don't give me this great recession shit.

The top 20% are doing fine.    There's no recession at all, and never was one, for the Elysium Class or the Elysium support class.   

People have to stop think in terms of one economy.   We've got two separate economies:  the Trash Class economy and the Elysium Class economy.      We don't blend the Canadian economy together with the USA economy, we shouldn't do it with the Trash Class and Elysium Class.    


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:26 | 4568345 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

NARA; agreed.  As has been said elsewhere, a few areas (I would suggest including the San Francisco Bay Area ) are seeing a Renaissance for perhaps 15% of its population and stagnation, stagflation and slow descent for the rest.  

It's like the fed is cutting a swathe through water and 85% are rolling under; but some fish are remaining on the outskirts actually getting a boost from it.

Small businesses are being choked out of existence.  What remains of the middle class has been priced out of homes by the Chinese influx and the nouveau riche iKidz.

The fed must pursue an inflationary path and few can pay for it at street level.

The fed is a metastisizing tumor.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:32 | 4568393 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  The fed is a metastisizing tumor.

Not just the fed tho.    The religion of perpetually increasing debt (it really is a religion) enables the Fed.

Unfortunately,  those who are against perpetually increasing debt "argue" with the "debt priests" in terms of economics (a graph battle of semi-autistic males).  Economics is bullshit.   What matters is the moral outcome of any religion.  Who wins, who loses OVER time.   The OVER TIME concept is incomprehendable to most humans.  Which is why religious concepts are so hard to defeat. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:09 | 4567976 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

I am not sure how you define 'poverty' anymore since I often see massively overweight EBT'ers slide out of their Escalades parked in the handicap Walmart parking space and waddle into the store...coming out a couple of hours later with a cart overflowing with ribs, chocolate, butter, beef....and so on.

Slide back into their Escalade and drive off .... they seem top be pretty well fed imo.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:14 | 4568012 corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

at least they're buying real food as opposed to cheetos, fritos, "diet" soda and other convenience foods.

perhaps they'll die early from unhealthy habits

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:57 | 4568219 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

You can get some of my "go dark" pills cheap on the internet, soul brother!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:24 | 4568353 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Good to see the 'Welfare Queen' myth is alive and well on ZeroHedge.  Yeah lots of Escalades in a WalMart parking lot or in any poor neighborhood area. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:09 | 4568588 corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

obviously you don't work where i do

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:10 | 4567991 Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

I have a typical "corporate America cube" job... a Masters degree....

I was just looking at home prices in my city. Typical house in the area where most jobs are range from $300k-$400k. If you want to commute a 1.5-2 hours a day, then $200k-300k. As a single income, one needs $100k-$150k a year to reasonably afford one of those homes... which I certainly don't make....

Why is it I feel like I am living in the poverty level when I have a "typical" job? How is it people afford these homes????

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:21 | 4568039 hankwil74
hankwil74's picture

You fool.  You go get a mortgage, make a few payments, then stop paying but stay in your house.  The banks are so backlogged you'll be living rent-free for years before the banks realize.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:22 | 4568043 Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

Ah, and here I thought I was supposed to live ethically and do the right thing... :(

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:35 | 4568112 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

designed system to force you to become a debt slave because you are underpaied;  that would be inflation the fed would not like. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:38 | 4568129 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  I was supposed to live ethically and do the right thing

Ethics are for dumbasses. 

The smart-n-savvy people create bullshit for the dumbasses about why "living ethically" is the "right thing to do".

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:45 | 4568153 Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

Sorry, didn't see a /sarc tag there so have to down vote you.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:55 | 4568210 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

because he probably wasn't being sarcastic.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:57 | 4568217 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

I wasn't being sarcastic. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:52 | 4568187 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Money behavior used to be a yardstick of morality.

But when it is printed from thin air and handed to failing banks to make them unfailing banks, how can there be morality in it?

One entity creates a substance from nothingness, with zero effort.  It lends that to another entity.  Then it demands that second entity repay it, with interest, at some level of pain and discomfort.

How can there be any morality in that?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:14 | 4568317 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  How can there be any morality in that?

Economics and morality don't mix.

The problem with "Keynesianism" isn't that it doesn't work.     It does work, and works fantastically well; as anybody who got rich off of Big-MIC, Big-Road, Big-Water, Big-Airport, or the rest of the "shovel ready" scams can testify too.

The problem is WHO benefits, and (much more importantly) who benefits over time (after repeated iterations of the "Keynesianism").  

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:55 | 4568193 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Hey, I found these pills that make your skin go dark. Then I got a permanent and went to the FSA HQ and signed up. Dudes, I am making 60K a year in my new identity and have a Cadillac SUV and a 250K$ home! We have steak and lobster for dinner every night! The dog gets hamburger every day! Next we got a big-screen TV, 6 feet long! And a sound system! We all have EBT cards, including the dog.

Have to go, I have some extra money for the lottery!

Ciao, bitches! Black Power!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:08 | 4568242 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

So the problem is "those people" living off welfare but not the "patriots" living off of:   Big-Ag, Big-MIC, Big-Road, Big-Water, Big-Airport, Big-Energy, Big-Ed, Big-House, Big-Fin, Big-OldFart, Big-OldFartHealthcare, Big-AntiDrug, & Big-PoliceState ?

How many "patriots" are driving their Chrysler 300 fat tire hemi dick mobiles paid for the Big-Corp welfare loot?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:27 | 4568365 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

The reason for the federal deficit is elderly transfer payments (Medicare, SSI, Medicaid whose single biggest expense is assisted care for the elderly) and military spending that is over $1T when you really pull out off the military-related items including things like VA, DOE (more than half of their budget is to maintain and deal with US nuclear arsenal), etc



Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:46 | 4568457 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Nice to see this simple FACT gets thumbs down time and time again on ZH.  When this blog first started, it has a more invested-oriented crowd and focus with some great commentators. Time is long gone though unfortunately. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:04 | 4568555 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Time is long gone though unfortunately.

It's an OldFart pessimist club now.  And those with "outsider fear" OCD. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:21 | 4568041 centerline
centerline's picture

lol.  Keep asking those questions.

I do this all the time in front of the wife.  Freaks her out.  Especially when the truth comes out, little by little.  Lots of folks are leveraged to the hilt... living on credit.  If done right, in the right environment, the game can be played for quite a long time.  Is about flow (cash flow) not stock.  But, when the cash flow stops - shit hits the fan really quick.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:49 | 4568169 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Those pricey homes are reserved for the FSA, Holmes.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:19 | 4568034 hankwil74
hankwil74's picture

The woman in the article is "broke" but has an iPhone and is worried about paying her son's cellphone bill next year even if he gets a full scholarship.  It's funny what is considered "broke" these days.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:23 | 4568047 pitz
pitz's picture

High skilled Tech workers in the apparently "hot" Silicon Valley economy still earn less than police officers that didn't invest even so much as a dime in their own education. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:29 | 4568084 B2u
B2u's picture

Yo no hablo ingles...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:47 | 4568160 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

"By wielding my pen and phone, I now declare Spanish to be the Official Language of America!



Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:30 | 4568086 B2u
B2u's picture

Yo no hablo ingles...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:36 | 4568119 phat ho
phat ho's picture

No tengo trabajo....


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:43 | 4568147 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

no tengo dinero......

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:47 | 4568156 phat ho
phat ho's picture

wengo tengo

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:36 | 4568122 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Survival of the fittest, bitchez!!

It's a bitch when you find out you're just another one of "those people".

(And, get a goddamn 4th job you lazy losers,  I work for a living.   I don't have time to sit around all day complaining about the best goddamn country in the goddamn world!).

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:07 | 4568276 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Why work at all?  Work is for dupes, and you know it.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:09 | 4568288 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

It is kinda overrated. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:46 | 4568155 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

It's too late for some of you ZH'ers who neglected to grab a $100k student loan and get that hard-earned diploma:


HOUSTON Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against two purported “academies” that falsely claim to be accredited educational institutions.

The Harris County district court’s order stemmed from an enforcement action filed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office against Houston-based Lincoln Academy and its affiliate, Brownstone Academy. In addition to the two so-called academies, the State’s enforcement action also named the academies’ directors as well as five related entities as defendants.


According to court documents filed by the State, Lincoln Academy and Brownstone Academy offer two fraudulent online education products to customers nationwide: high school diplomas and General Education Development (GED) degrees. The defendants market their education programs in online advertisements, claiming that the so-called academies are legitimate, nationally accredited home schools. Under Texas law, however, neither Lincoln Academy nor Brownstone Academy qualifies as a home school nor are they authorized to provide GED testing. The State’s investigation also found that the purported accreditor – National Home School Accreditation of America – is not an accrediting institution at all but merely a website the defendants created to confer an air of legitimacy to the so-called academies.

The State’s investigation also revealed that Lincoln Academy and Brownstone Academy impose no educational requirements on their students.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:51 | 4568186 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Need a breakdown by gender as well.

Expect more women than men at minimum wage, but probably not much changed from 1979.

It is a depressing set of stats in any case.

But even WORSE is any more detailed set, and the WORST of all would be wage trends 1979 to the present for STEM workers.  Using accurate inflation figures STEM wages are about 1/3 today what they were circa 1979.  Even using government deflators it would come out around 1/2.  Not *average* perhaps, but senior levels.  The thing is there WERE senior level salaries back then, and today, not really.  Today all STEM workers get about $100k, hardly matters if you're the bottom of your class from Podunk College with no experience or Summa PhD from Harvard with thirty years experience, or anything in-between.  Maybe $100k isn't starvation, but a senior level engineer or scientist circa 1979 would have been getting more like $400k in current Obamabux.  Not rock and roll wages, but more than the garbage collectors and DMV clerks make, and the $100k really isn't more, not in the big city.

1/3 or less of 1979 wages.  Ugly.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:05 | 4568267 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Obamanomics: The progressive socio-economic system in which low-skill, part-time, entry-level jobs are turned into lifetime careers.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:12 | 4568304 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

Minimum wage is the government's wage control.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:33 | 4568396 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

I don't understand on here where people want free market capitalism and the want a society where there is a robust 'middle class' in the US.   Doesn't remotely work that way and never did in US history.

Free market capitalism in its purest unadultered form is about going where the cost of production is cheapest and the maximize net profits.  That's it.  Overwhelmingly majority of people wouldn't like that world though since a lot of people simply have no economic value to society (old, handicapped, mentally incompetent/incapable) or will barely eek out more than survival-type existence. 


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:36 | 4568412 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  I don't understand on here where people want free market capitalism

It's VERY simple.  Free market capitalism - survivial of the fittest - would allow the superior people to prove-once-and-for-all, without interference from the government, to prove absolutely that "those people" are inferior and should be eliminated.

It's NOTHING more than that.  

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:42 | 4568444 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

there is always some form of centralized-hierarchy in even a tribal, localized society.  It is just part of how humans are hard-wired and partially out of biological necessity (humans alone by themselves simply don't make it). 

There is just constant pissing & moaning on here and generalized ranting about how we need a wild form of 19th century American capitalism again (get rid of income taxes, Fed, return to a strict gold-based monetary standard) and yet the same people then miss & moan about the lack of a middle class. 

Try to tell/reason with that them it simply didn't exist in post-bellum 19th century American but they don't care about.



Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:58 | 4568508 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: wild form of 19th century American capitalism again

Yes, but don't forget that EVERYBODY loves the Big-Gov socialist scam they got rich off of:  THAT'S not socialism, i'm entitled to that free medical care!

Most of the survival-of-the-fittest morons are just pissed that they can't kick "those people" anymore.   As the human brain is just a bullshit machine (all human brains), the bullshit generated by the survival-of-the-fittest brain is that "those people" are "winning" because "we" aren't "competing" fairly and if we were "those people" would be beaten.

It's simple human bullshit.   All politics (and religion) is just bullshit (stories) created by sociopaths and repeated by dumbasses.  

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:52 | 4568490 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

Agreed.  I have respect for libertarian theory.  But a lot of libertarians seem to habitate a fantasy world...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:57 | 4568524 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Libertarians are like socialist.  They can't comprehend that the assholes don't play by the rules.     And there's ALLOT of assholes in the world, which is why socialism and libertarianism is a fantasy.

There only screwISM.   Nothing else.   The rest of the ISM's are just words created by semi-autistics trying to explain a confusing reality infested with extroverted assholes the semi-austistics can't comprehend.    Reality is like a sci-fi novel to them.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:46 | 4568453 Mr Giggles
Mr Giggles's picture

Can not create enough worth while jobs, business model based on fraud, pillfering rife. Trust is evaporating, globalisation is ending me thinks. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:50 | 4568479 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

I'd agree and a question of there being a flash point and a large WW3-type conflict again or more regionalized trading blocks/power brokers.  More of the later because it is almost inevitable that a larger event would inevitably go nuclear at some point even if limited in nature.

If you look at the various 'Nuclear Winter' scenarios, it would take about 100-150 thermonuclear warheads being denonotated simulatenously to kick up enough dirt/ash that we would experience at least a minor 'Nuclear Winter' type event which would affect at least 1-2 growing seasons globally. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:05 | 4568550 sschu
sschu's picture

So if I read this correctly it seems age and education level are less correlated to wage than previously.  The question is why is this the case?

This may be true, here are some potential causes:

- Social dysfunction, drugs, crime, etc

- Willingness to work

- Skill - if someone does not continue to develop, but spends much of their free time watching Oprah.  The example is the 47 year old that cannot use a computer.

- FSA - there are enormous government incentives not to work, but if that changes somehow, you start at the bottom again

- Job hoping, unstable work history - who wants to hire someone that has worked 10 jobs in the last 5 years?

- Productivity/value of the job - if the job is worth $10 to the owner, then that is the wage.  To require more wage eliminates the job.  

I am sure there are other reasons, but there are good jobs available right now, finding employable folks is a real challenge.



Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:07 | 4568572 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  I am sure there are other reasons

Like 50% of the population are below average?

There are good job out there, especially in my Elysium Support Class area.   We've got lots of job openings. 

The problem is:  are there jobs for the bottom 50%.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:20 | 4568657 sschu
sschu's picture

are there jobs for the bottom 50%

Yes, that is a valid quesion.  But it is a mistake to assume the "bottom 50%" is static.  People can work to make themselves more valuable, many people do not want to do this or are told by our culture (like the friend below) that they are fools for trying.

You want a good job, make yourself (in)valuable.  It can be done.  You own it.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:14 | 4568628 corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

does one define employable as being younger than 62, 60 or 58?

what is a good job?  one that pays 100 k or more like i used to make before downsizing and losing everything?

live the republican fantasy life. carry on.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:15 | 4568632 dogismycopilot
dogismycopilot's picture

This is the most fucking depressing story I have read on ZH.

I am sorry it is true.

This makes me sad.

Damn you new world order to hell

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:18 | 4568991 all-priced-in
all-priced-in's picture

So do these graphs  just show --

Fewer 16-19 year olds with any job - the jobs they use to do are now snapped up by older people.

Fewer people with less than a HS education have a job - people with more education have decided to move down and take those positions.  

Same thing with the race baiter graph - maybe white folks have moved on down into lower pay jobs.

You really need to show the actual NUMBER of people in each group for each time period - not just the %.


When you have fewer high paying jobs - older, more educated people TAKE what is available - the real issue isn't the % of low wage jobs filled by different groups - it is THERE ARE FEWER high paying jobs.






Wed, 03/19/2014 - 18:47 | 4569853 scrappy
scrappy's picture

It will only get worse until we stop bowing to the fake Corps.

 * Slavery by Consent - The Story of Your Enslavement *

What to do you say, I have the answer for all of you.


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