Saturday, July 24, 2010

How to Save the Middle Class

Today I read the headlines, and here is what I read:

The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking.
by Michael Snyder.

The middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world.

It turns out that our politicians and business leaders didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations.

Here are the statistics to prove it:

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.

• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck.

• 66 percent of the recent income growth went to the top 1% of all Americans.

• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.

• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.

• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009.

• Now banks own more residential housing net worth than all individual Americans together.

• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

• The bottom 50% of income earners now collectively own less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.

• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

• More than 40% of employed Americans are now working in low paid service jobs.

• For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps.

• A garment worker in China makes approximately 86 cents an hour, in Cambodia 22 cents.

• Approximately 21% of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line now.

• The number of millionaires in the United States rose 16% to 7.8 million in 2009.

• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

The American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new "global" labor pool, competing with very low wages.
There are now about six unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of "chronically unemployed" is absolutely soaring.

The truth is that the middle class in America is dying -- and once it is gone it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild.
Click here for the full article.

To know the State of the Union, look here:
Building a Progressive Economic Vision

Einstein once said "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." and John F. Kennedy told us "Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man" - and the freedom of man is in danger now with our middle class disappearing.

Listening to both, Einstein and Kennedy, we have to find something new, something unheard of, and we have to do it by ourselves to save the Middle Class - or to reestablish our Middle Class.

Many of us have been happy when the hard and dirty jobs were gone by automation, but then the typewriting jobs were gone, the gas filling jobs were gone, the shops around the corner were gone, to name a few. Big chain outlets helped to cheaper products, and computers helped everybody to do perfect writing by himself.

We are not the only ones in this world hit by Globalisation. People in other countries have the same problems. May be we should look around a little bit, how they are coping.

People in other countries often have one attitude in common: Solidarity.
Can you imagine that people of a little village started to work together to build their own Renewable Energy Power Plant?
Yes, they did. The little village Burgjoss in Hesse started last year, and they are remodeling the whole village now. They reduce their dependency on oil and they give their young people an opportunity to stay. Solidarity saves their day.

What else is coming up in the old world?

More and more people are recognizing that all these problems with diminishing jobs and prosperity are connected to the free flowing money - money that would help to sustain our community is flowing to foreign countries - jobs are moving out, too.

Global Economy - we are not the winners. But we can gain ground with local economy, but how?

People prefer to drive half an hour to get things some dollars cheaper. How is it possible to reverse the trend? Telling the story that local economy is good for us all is not enough.

There is a cure, which helps to sustain and rebuild local economy and, at the same time, helps against these financial Wall Street disasters: A local currency.

And the great thing is, some courageous people started local currency here in the United States:

Communities print their own currency
to keep cash flowing

Local Currencies have their own names: Detroit Cheers, Ithaca Hours in New York, Plenty in North Carolina and BerkShares in Massachusetts.

You will find plenty of information about local currency
on the Internet.

Don't wait that mainstream is saving you. Educate yourself, speak with people, and take a step to Solidarity and local currency.
You cannot save the whole world, but you can save yourself with the Middle Class of your village or town.

Local currency is only valid local. That means the local currency you have will go to local shops.
Local shops then will buy at local producers. Money starts flowing locally. People start buying locally because they recognize the benefit. Read about local currency and you will learn there are a lot of benefits coming up with local currency. The desperate times we are living in need courageous people. Be one of them. Speak with others.
Become a local currency community.

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