2014 July 26 Saturday
Even The 75th Percentile Going Down In Net Worth

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;. From 2003 to 2013 even the 75th percentile in net worth have suffered a decline in net worth.

The 75th percentile is down from $302k to $260k. The 25th percentile of net worth is currently $3,200, plus or minus whatever is in the Penny Jar.

I've warned about this in many previous posts: You are either going up or going down. Do not be complacent. Middle class areas are shrinking. if you do not want to go down find a way to go up.

On the Left innate inequality of ability and inequality of effort are denied. The people who make these arguments are fooling anyone who wants to be fooled (and that includes a lot of people)./ In the New York Times no less, economist Joseph Stiglitz shows his delusion by taking a very Marxist line: Inequality Is Not Inevitable. This guy won a Nobel Prize in Economics. I guess that prize doesn't mean much.

The hey day of the US middle class was about the first 25 years after World War II. We are way past that peak. We are also past the peak of US as number one world power. Anyone reading this still think we can return to former glory? I'm not seeing it myself.

Have you altered your life path in the last 10 years due to the shrinking of the middle class? Plan to alter your path in the future?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 July 26 07:51 PM 


Comments
Wolf-Dog said at July 27, 2014 11:47 PM:

The countries that do not have a trade deficit are the ones who escape the fate of the American middle class.

The solution is obvious. Don't count on shale and fracking methods to balance the trade deficit because these resources will also run out in a couple of decades. A serious industrial policy is necessary.

Wolf-Dog said at July 27, 2014 11:48 PM:

The countries that do not have a trade deficit are the ones who escape the fate of the American middle class.

The solution is obvious. Don't count on shale and fracking methods to balance the trade deficit because these resources will also run out in a couple of decades. A serious industrial policy is necessary.

Dan said at July 28, 2014 7:49 AM:

Conservatism wins!

The central pillar of the modern progressive and liberal religion is that 'it gets better' all the time. The arrow of time and the arrow of progress are supposed to line up. This center of the progressive faith has two major implications:

1 -

All the absurd and harmful sediments accreted onto society over recent decades are all blessed by a religious belief that the future is better than the past, and therefore all these changes must be part of progress.

2 -

Continuous progress of civilization is something to believe in, in the place of old-time religion. Old-time religion says to look forward to the next world because this world has pain and disappointment.

But if the future is instead worse than the past, then #1# modern 'progress' might actually be what decay looks like, and #2# you can have the hope of old time religion or no hope at all.

Dan said at July 28, 2014 8:17 AM:

The alarming thing is that starting in 2008, the federal government undertook a massive program to repair private balance sheets by taking great debt onto the federal balance sheet. That is the premise of Keynesianism. The Federal government was supposed to be able to cut back on spending after, since private balance sheets would then be strong.

What is a (financial) hedge against long term economic shrinkage? Gold?

I think very durable goods are a hedge. In this sense, China is making much better choices than we are, assuming their construction holds up. Decently built infrastructure can last many decades, and while we experience schadenfreude on news of Chinese building collapses, I think most of their buildings are just fine.

Probably the best thing America could blow its remaining wealth on is (a) non-oil energy sources, such as hydroelectric dams, breeder nuclear reactors, coal-to-oil plants and storage systems for solar, and (b) eugenics programs and an intelligence-valuing culture in the hopes that posterity can git-er done.

Jim said at July 28, 2014 10:16 AM:

America is morphing into a Third World country with astonishing speed.

destructure said at July 28, 2014 10:55 AM:

Since 1965 the government has flooded America with people from 3rd world countries whose average IQ is in the mid 80's. The academic and economic performance for them and their children has been exactly what you'd expect from a population with that IQ. Simply having them in the country would drag down the average even if it didn't affect the success and prosperity of others. However, it makes it much more difficult for others to succeed as well. The reason is synergy -- you have to have other people (employees, businesses, etc) in order to operate. If the average person is dumb it limits what smarter people can achieve as well.

Detroit said at July 29, 2014 8:26 PM:

"What is a (financial) hedge against long term economic shrinkage? Gold?"

And ammo.

McNeil said at July 31, 2014 4:57 PM:

-True and complete separation religion and state. Keep all organized religion closely monitored so that all indoctrination stays inside their temples and out of schools.

-Keep kids away from police, judges and psychologists. A kid really has no business with them. Restore parental authority. Children belong to their parents not to the state, unless the government is ready to feed, clothe and house them. This should include parental right to let their kids skip school once in a while if they see fit and without having to explain anything to anybody. Stop the use of medication indiscriminately on energetic healthy children.

-Bring back accessible higher ed. Free? Even better. Why should a student find a limit on free education at the end of 12th grade? That limit sucks away all motivation in students for continuing.

-Married mothers with young children should stay at home taking care of them, cooking real food for them, welcoming and listening to them when they come back from school, guiding them, helping them with or at least checking their homework, taking care of the administration of the house and family.

-Market places where people can buy products brought daily and fresh by local farmers and producers, like fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, dairy. People should have the right to sell, buy and produce localy. This would make us less vulnerable and more independent from the government and other corporations.

-Universal medicare for everybody who works, paid by each and every employer and/or federal taxes.

-Build and restore children's parks, sports fields, courts, pools, leisure centers and any other options for them to choose from before going to the mall to shop and get fat. Restore children's play and maybe even allow some frolicsome mischef in them, thus avoiding all the legal and judicial drama as if they were criminals just for being children.

-Do away with all forms of torture whether legal or illegal, specially against children. This might imply kicking most, if not all the psycho Catholic clergy out of the country, a.s.a.p.

-Loosen up the grip the state has on teenage sexuality and tighten it a bit on some forms of pathological pornography. Educate them on their freedom to sexualiy, never on naive absurdities like abstinence.

There are more, but I just thought I'd mention a few.

Neil McNeil said at July 31, 2014 5:02 PM:

@ destructure

High IQ means really nothing if the education and the infromation you nurture it is faulty.

Neil McNeil said at July 31, 2014 5:04 PM:

-nurture it with- that is. Sorry.

destructure said at August 1, 2014 12:42 AM:

"High IQ means really nothing if the education and the infromation you nurture it is faulty."

People are driven by psychology not reason. Psychology is half genetic and half environmental. So you were half right.

James Bowery said at August 1, 2014 10:58 AM:

"Have you altered your life path in the last 10 years due to the shrinking of the middle class? Plan to alter your path in the future?"

Only one thing matters to those of us who are fully human, hence take responsibility for outcomes:

Evolutionary direction.

What is the evolutionary direction? Is it desirable? If not, how can it be changed?

Its pretty damn obvious the evolutionary direction is toward greater group integrity and away from greater individual integrity. Ultimately, this is what "inequality" serves: Specialized function of whole organisms within evolving hyperorganisms. This is why the trend toward inequality is so inexorable.

This is regression to pre-sexual multicellular organisms hence undesirable.

"Transhumanism" isn't the answer since it doesn't do anything to forestall the dissolution of the individual into the group -- indeed it accelerates it.

Matthew said at August 1, 2014 11:10 AM:

"Its pretty damn obvious the evolutionary direction is toward greater group integrity and away from greater individual integrity. Ultimately, this is what "inequality" serves: Specialized function of whole organisms within evolving hyperorganisms. This is why the trend toward inequality is so inexorable."

I agree with your point here. The problem seems to be that the entire political spectrum pushes towards this direction of inequality. The left promotes greater inequality under the guise of promoting egalitarianism. The right and the libertarians say that inequality and hierarchy are good and promote individualism, and thus promote greater inequality accordingly.

outsider said at August 1, 2014 11:59 PM:

I would be more encouraged if Africa could at least build WW1 era biplanes by itself. It's not only an IQ issue, but a deeper social one.

Neil McNeil said at August 6, 2014 9:02 AM:

"People are driven by psychology not reason."

Some are, not all and some of the time, not all. Sometimes we all are driven by reason, just as sometimes we all are driven by emotion. So you're also just as right.

Willy's said at August 6, 2014 2:57 PM:

Agree with outsider. Not everything in society outcomes has to do with IQ.

@ destructure...
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.


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