At 10/10/11 07:18 PM, adrshepard wrote:
No, it isn't, unless you can identify the mechanism behind it.
Very true. Shortness of breath and a pain in the arm mean nothing, unless they are indicitive of a heart attack...
A lot of the "inequality" and decline of the "middle class" has to do with outsourcing manufacturing jobs.
Again, 100% agreed. Sure, there has definitely been some corporate greed involved in the process, but at most it amounts to maybe 1/4 of the reason.
Decades ago, someone could earn a middle class income with only a high school education, thanks to union wages and a lack of foreign competition.
I would actually add in a consumer habit section here. Consumers before the 1990s valued quality. They were willnig to shell out 25-50% more money in order to get a quality product. These quality products came from American factories. (As all outsourcers have learned, 3rd world labor makes 3rd rate products.) There used to be a sizeable mid-level consumer market. People either had the money to buy expensive luxury, to buy quality goods for a higher, but reasonable price, or buy cheap goods for cheap. Now that middle market has disappeared due to the consumer ace to the bottom (what I like to call the WalMart effect). You either have the money to buy luxury, or you buy super cheap, thus forcing manufacturing into cheaper locales.
Now, you either need a secondary education or have to be really, really good at a trade to be middle class.
Even then, the value of a bachelor's is dropping like crazy. Everybody and their dog has jumped on the college bandwagon, thus saturatin gthe market. Today's Bachelor's is equivalent to yesterday's Associate's, and today's Master's is equivalent to yesterday's bachelor's.
Sure, they're trying hard now. But they weren't trying hard when they had kids out of wedlock with no reliable income to support them, or when they went to prison for a few years on a drug charge and are on probation, or when they didn't study in school.
I know. I've worked with poor people for years. 95% of the time it's their own fault that they are working-poor. It's all due to poor decisions they made at various points in life.
That fact, while true, is also quite misleading. How many of the white collar class ahven't had similar mistakes? Not that many. The difference is that when you have a stronger wealthier suport system, you have the luxury of a few mulligans. Someone from a lower class family has only 1 mistake and they're done. Someone from a middle class family has 1-2 mistakes before they're done. Someone from a wealthy family has a HUGE number of fuck ups before they are done.
They do. The labor market takes care of that. Any other definition of "fair wages" is divorced from reality. People with little to no job skills are replaceable, and shouldn't be paid very much.
I am not convinced that a 100% free market is even close to 100% fair. In a true free market nepotism is more important than skill, and profit is more important than nepotism. It sound like a pretty idea that the free market would do what is best for itself, but remember, the market is run by people, prone to high levels of greed, favoritism, and bias. If you don't believe that, just say so, and I'll drop some truth upon thee.