Baff wrote:If you describe 50% of Americans as the poor, then we don't have to worry about the poor.
If however you described homeless people with no jobs, no homes and no money as the poor instead, we would have to start worrying about the poor again.
Poorer is not to be confused with poor and needy.
50% of Americans do not need charity. So no one needs to waste time worrying about that.
If 50% of Americans were poor, then "the poor" would not be ignored by any political party in America but instead as the largest demographic of a democracy, this would be the centre ground all elections were fought on. They aren't, so it isn't.
I think the key to this one is the too loose a definition of the word poor.
45.8 million Americans are on food stamps.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/0 ... 74344.html
58 percent of all jobs created during the past two years paid $13.83 an hour or less while just 22 percent were in the "midwage" class of $13.84 to $21.13 an hour, even though that group lost 60 percent of the jobs during the recession.http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/201 ... ood-stamps
"The unemployment data is not really telling us the true story of how many people are underemployed," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. Food stamps are "a good indication of how the income of the work force has stagnated and more and more people are applying for food stamps." If unemployment were calculated the same way as it was in 1930 the figure would be 19%
Job creation is lagging new entries into the workforce, and wages of newly created jobs will add to downward pressure on overall spending.
Unused industrial capacity is at record highs, both in the US and globally. New capital investment won't be a major factor until investors see people ready to start spending again - the last thing they need are new factories sitting idle.
It all comes down to private debt, not government debt. The middle class and small business has been deleveraging for half a decade. The amount they spend on all forms of debt service will preclude spending on consumption (other than the minimal basics).
According to Steve Keen, the deleveraging process will take another decade (at current rates). There won't be any significant job growth until
one of two things occurs: a) another financial crash wipes out the current debt and creditors are forced to write down, or b) the current snail's pace of private debt paydown reaches some kind of reasonable level that allows people some breathing room.
Want to bet on which of these alternatives will pan out? Hint: I wouldn't be betting too heavily on b).
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.