Walmart And Amazon Know The Terrible Truth: The American Middle Class Is Dying

Authored by Daniel Lang via SHTFplan.com,

A lot of people were probably thrilled today about Amazon’s latest announcement. The online retail giant has revealed that they are going to reduce the cost of Prime membership, which provides free shipping for more orders and unlimited streaming for many shows and movies. But it’s not just for anyone. The reduced rate will be reserved for low income households.

Customers normally pay $10.99 per month or $99 per year for Prime subscriptions, which offers free two-day shipping on many products as well as access to streaming video and music services.

 

Now anyone with a state-issued debit card for government benefits can get Prime for $5.99 a month.

 

The aim is to make “savings more accessible” to everyone, according to spokeswoman Julie Law. She adds that delivery could make life easier for customers who may not have reliable access to transportation, and that Prime gives members discounts on essentials like diapers.

 

Amazon(AMZN, Tech30) already has a well-heeled customer base, according to analysts. With this program, it hopes to pull in more low-income shoppers.

It sounds like good news, but it’s really not. Not when you look at the bigger picture. Consider the fact that Amazon Prime memberships were originally targeted at high income earners. In fact, 70% of households that earn more than $112,000 per year have Amazon Prime memberships, compared to just over 40% of lower middle class households. It’s less than 25% among households that take in less than $25,000 a year.

If you haven’t guessed what I’m getting at, consider what Walmart is doing. The retail giant and chief rival of Amazon, has long been considered the shopping outlet of choice for low income families. But recently, Walmart purchased another Amazon rival known as Jet.com, which markets to high income earners.

So, whatever happened to the middle class? Why aren’t these massive companies focusing on attracting middle income earners? Isn’t the middle class the perfect demographic for retail outlets? Though they aren’t rich, they still have a decent amount of disposable income, and there are so many people in the middle class that surely their collective disposable income outweighs both the rich and the poor right?

Unfortunately that’s not the case. That’s why the recent moves made by Amazon and Walmart aren’t in fact, good news. It’s a sign that the middle class just isn’t what it used to be. It’s been hollowed out by decades of economic malaise.

The two retailers’ strategies of aiming at the furthest ends of the income spectrum highlight the widening gap between wealthy and poor Americans and the disappearance of what was once the most sought-after class of income-earners in the country.

 

“This is absolutely symptomatic of a deteriorating middle class, or at least what we used to consider to be the middle class in America,” Stephens told Business Insider.

 

When Walmart was founded in 1962, the middle class in America was thriving.

 

“From postwar to about the late 1970s, you wanted to be in the mid-tier of retail. That is where everybody was making a fortune, including Walmart,” Stephens said.

 

“Then from 1980 onward, you wanted to pick a side, because it started to become clear that the middle class was evaporating.”

Walmart and Amazon know the terrible truth about our economy and our standard of living. The middle class is dying. It makes more sense for big companies to cater to the rich and the poor, because there aren’t as many people in the middle class as there used to be. It’s more profitable to make a few bucks off each poor person, because their are millions of poor people, and it’s more profitable to make millions of dollars off of a handful of rich people.

But people in the middle? Sure, they have some disposable income, but they’re a dying breed.

Comments

jaxville Pure Evil Thu, 06/08/2017 - 18:28 Permalink

  You hit the nail square on the head.  Our standard of living has been in decline since the late 1960's.  All the gains in productivity that should have benefit all have been stolen by the financial sector.  When turning us into debt slaves and robbing us through inflation of fiat wasn't enough, they stole our jobs by having our governments (which they own) sign on to treaties exporting production. 

In reply to by Pure Evil

sixsigma cygnu… Jim Sampson Thu, 06/08/2017 - 17:23 Permalink

"It was relocated to China."That's exactly correct. In order to hide the inflation from all the money printing, .gov had the great idea of letting companies produce crap in China for dirt cheap and sell it here. No inflation right?  So now everyone here is poor and jobless, but can afford cheap crap at Walmart thats all made in China. Nothing to see here, courtesy of Bill Clinton. Clinton Signs China Trade Bill into Law http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=82426

In reply to by Jim Sampson

Miss Expectations sixsigma cygnu… Thu, 06/08/2017 - 17:44 Permalink

And...Tuesday, February 07, 2006Farewell to Dan River Mills Almost unnoticed, the Dan River Inc. textile mill slipped quietly under the waters of the global economy. Dan River was best known for its bed-in-a-bag comforter, bed skirt, and sheet sets. It’s hardly news when a U.S.textile mill ceases production, but this time it feels personal. Virginia-based Dan River filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2004, and emerged from bankruptcy a year ago, only to be purchased by an Indian firm this year. The small paragraph in The Washington Post (Metro Section, January 15) read like an obituary: “Plant Closing to Cost 500 Jobs.”Gujarat Heavy Chemicals, which bought Dan River last month, plans to idle the Virginia mill and move the remainder of production overseas where it is cheaper. Maybe U.S. labor and environmental standards will be applied, but how will we know? As with Timex, Pfaltzgraff, Levi and others before it, the brand will survive but the American jobs will not. There will still be Dan Rivercomforters and sheets, but they will be made in China, India, and Pakistan. I wonder if consumers will even notice? In March, nearly 500 former Dan River employees will line up at the unemployment office and I will keep reading labels and looking for products still made in USA.http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/blog/2006/02/farewell-to-dan-river-mills…

In reply to by sixsigma cygnu…

Endgame Napoleon GoinFawr Thu, 06/08/2017 - 17:34 Permalink

It is NOT free market capitalism. It is target marketing to the womb-based socialism market.

Notice how the single, childless ABAWDS, Able-Bodied Workers Without Dependents in Department of Human Services lingo, with low productivity and making $25,000 or less per year, are the friggin' poorest, with Amazon not bothering to market to this group that is "less burdened" by the costs of raising children.

That is because they know that single, childless people have to pay everything -- from unaffordable housing to food -- on the low wages alone, with kick-in-the-head tax returns of $300 or less.

Whereas, those mommas and immigrants on welfare/taxfare have the following:

1) The low wages from the jobs that they dominate in bully cliques of absentee moms.

2) Free Section 8 housing or an amount off per child in mixed-income apartments, which are nicer, safer apartments than I can afford with a college degree, four licenses and twenty years of job experience, but then, employers often prefer to hire these unlicensed and frequently absentee mommas who have unearned income for sexual intercourse and reproduction that makes it easier for them to accept $9/hr wages.

3) Free EBT food, like $450/month for a momma of two.

4) Monthly cash assistance in the same per-child amount for children born within the time restrictions, assuming they name the children's father(s) to DHS staff.

5) Energy assistance.

6) Child Tax Credit / tax-cash welfare of between $3,337--$6,269 that the mommas can spend on whatever they want, including Amazon products, with many currently spending it on trips with boyfriends.

7) Daycare assistance, which makes it nearly free for many "working families" despite the constant harping on this issue by womb-based feminists.

8) Help from charities, almost all of which focus their efforts on "working families."

9) Help from live-in boyfriends who list mom or grandma's house as their residence so that single momma won't have to count their income against her expenses at the Department of Human Services, with the immigrants not counting the many adults who split expenses in their households, either, including multiple mommas with free stuff from Uncle Sam in many cases.

10) Help from grandparents with grandbaby fever, making it easy for the poor, beleaguered single momma to afford a new SUV on top of her $800 tattoos, trips to Floroda with her latest boyfriend, etc. Check out the parking lots in mixed-income apartment complexes and tell me I am wrong.

It only makes sense for Amazon to get in on this pay per child. But single, childless people who vote for politicians who kick them in the head, time after time, in the tax code, in the welfare system and in the rigged, womb-centric workforce are crazy.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans are childless, single, over 40 and more lilely to vote than people in the copulation/reproduction age range, with many of them struggling to pay all bills on $25,000/year or less, hence their low participation in the Amazon club.

These mom absenteeism-clique workers can also leave work whenever they want, taking off whole mornings, whole afternoons, whole days, whole weeks and even whole months with zero repercussions, giving them plenty of time to coordinate pick up of Amazon purchases delivered to their homes. Single, childless people who never miss a day of work and meet the sales quotas every month will be FIRED for even five minutes of that without the shield of the productive-womb cronies in these momma-backscratching jobs.

So, yes, Amazon will do well with that, and I guess it is better for them to get the money than for tattoo parlours to get it, although they are little, independent businesses. I guess it is better for Amazon to get the money that Uncle Sam and the U.S. Treasury Department dole out to reward sexual intercourse and reproduction out of wedlock, as opposed to the $96 million in CA welfare that went to out-of-town hotels and casinos. They are a major tech employer for one thing. The nice "working families" might spend their money on more things for kids at Amazon, rather than on gambling and hotel rendezvous.

One thing is for sure, U.S. politicians will keep on punishing low and moderate-ncome citizens without wombs, those with wombs who refrain from sex and those whose sexual intercourse does not lead to reproduction in every single policy they make. It likewise hurts the single moms, when their wombs no longer generate kids, leaving them with nothing other than the low wages from temp, part-time and churn jobs.

Membership rate -- 25%

https://www.google.com/amp/losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/11/19/cbs2-inve…

https://www.google.com/amp/www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/23/louisian…

https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-kansas-law-limi…

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.bangordailynews.com/2016/03/10/politic…

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2015/04/07/politics/kansas…

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/3827136/kansas-welfare-…

In reply to by GoinFawr

Son of Loki Endgame Napoleon Thu, 06/08/2017 - 17:41 Permalink

Very very good summary. I agree with it completely. The poor saps working are not eligible for any of the FSA benefits while welfare queens, illegals, immigrants, etc get everything for free, even state tuition in many states including California and Texas, while hard working taxpayers fund it!It would be so refreshing to hear something different for a change like, "Here's a tax break for hard-working middle class Americans" or how about, here is a discount for middle class Americans.But no. The Working Donkey only gets whipped harder.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

GoinFawr Endgame Napoleon Thu, 06/08/2017 - 23:17 Permalink

None of which has anything to do with importing cheap crap, made by even cheaper labour, from China and driving middle class jobs out of America.Or, was your point that China has a more robust capitalist system than the US?psFWIW whenever I can I will choose, even if it costs a little more, to purchase a product manufactured in the US over one built in China when available, so long as the quality is comparable (which, in my experience, is pretty much a given), because of (some of) that list you took such great pains to denigrate. Problem is: that's just me!Ironic, hunh?

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

any_mouse rent slave Thu, 06/08/2017 - 18:07 Permalink

But, but, the USA encourages speculation on Unicorns. Is that not enough?

Maybe because Sports is just corporate entertainment with predetermined outcomes to distract the masses. Like politics.

How did the uproar over New England's deflated footballs compare to the uproar over the Patriot Act, or the follow on NDAA, Executive Assassination of Americans without due process?

Cam Newton's last play came under more scrutiny than US involvement in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, et al.

Witness the outrage from Cleveland fans when Le Bron moved on. They think the athletes have loyalty to fan devotion? Fans worship sports stars. They could give a shit, it is just a way to make tons of money, have sex with many white coal burners, and laugh at the white guys who worship you.

Opiates of the masses come in a variety of forms.

"Opiate of the masses." They even said that out loud and the masses didn't get the big picture. Everything is a production to keep you unaware and inactive.

"Skynet became self aware."

The masses become self aware and activate a shutdown of the system.

That is their nightmare, their terror.

In reply to by rent slave

Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer rejected Thu, 06/08/2017 - 19:55 Permalink

Yes...I do remember as a child of the 80s the "Buy American, the job you save may be your own."  I remember this campaign vividly...on TV...on bumper stickers put on American cars' chrome bumpers.  When we used to head to the mall to buy clothes, I used to check the labels to buy American but....many were "Made in Vietnam"  I was like whoa...didn't we kill them gooks for sport and now we're buying shirts from an old enemy?  It didn't register at age 8.  However, knowing what we all know now....it certainly does.   Now its all China practically, let alone 'nam.  Don't you love the smell of getting jewed in the morning?

In reply to by rejected