• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

Is American Poverty Getting Worse

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
17,030
Location
Toronto
Basic Beliefs
That I'm God
Just read an interesting article about poverty in America

The Evidence Pours In: Poverty Getting Much Worse in America

One of the main pro-Trump arguments is that despite all of his other shit, at least the economy is doing well. If the data in this article is accurate, that's not actually the case. Particularly, what it says about what's behind the historically low unemployment rate. If that's what they mean when they say "unemployment is low", that doesn't really count as a positive.

Is there anyone more versed on economics than myself who can parse out the actual state of the US economy?
 

EvoUK

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
109
Location
London
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
At least we're beating you at something:

It took a UN envoy to hear how austerity is destroying lives

Over 12 days, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights is touring not Bangladesh nor Sudan but the UK. And what Philip Alston has discovered in the fifth-richest country on Earth should shame us all. From Newcastle to Jaywick, he has uncovered stories of families facing homelessness, of people too scared to eat, of those on benefits contemplating suicide

[...]

Over the weekend, I asked Alston whether he heard any echoes between British experiences and the testimonies he heard last December while investigating Donald Trump’s US. “In many ways, you in the UK are far ahead of the US,” he said. He thinks “the Republicans would be ecstatic” to have pushed through the kind of austerity that the Tories have inflicted on the British.
 

untermensche

Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
24,504
Location
Here
Basic Beliefs
magic mood ring
The question is: What to do?

The thing that created a large middle class in the US were unions.

Healthcare needs to be unionized. My sister is an RN that is part of a union. She will get a pension and better drug coverage than Medicare D.

Many sectors down to fast-food workers need to be unionized.

That is the only hope to try to drive some of this incredible wealth that has been generated over the last decades to trickle downward.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,402
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
That [unions] is the only hope to try to drive some of this incredible wealth that has been generated over the last decades to trickle downward.

Gee, I have an idea; how about starting by taking back the 1.25 trillion dollars that Cheato gave to his donor class and spending half of it on "the bottom"? Provide more low cost housing, education, food & nutrition, medical services etc, and spend the other half on urban and rural infrastructure projects? Infrastructure projects could employ a lot of people who don't have a PhD in hedge fund management, and improve everyone's lives... including those of the donor class. I don't know why they never thought of that.

ETA: The infrastructure laborers can unionize as soon as enough is accomplished that they can visibly justify it.
 

Bronzeage

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
7,493
Location
Deep South
Basic Beliefs
Pragmatic
As Edmond Blackadder said, "Disease and poverty stalk out land like two giant stalking things."

That was true in 1813, but today, the two giant stalking things are inflation and interest rates. Most people feel comfortable and optimistic about the future, just as long as the present conditions seem stable. If there is a sharp rise in interest rates, which means housing sales will drop, and adjustable interest rate mortgage payments rise, along with a general increase in prices, that's when people will get worried about poverty.

Until then, it's someone else's problem.
 

scombrid

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
838
Location
Florida
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Grandfather was a Republican. Worked 44 years in the yard. Came up through the apprentice school and started a family in the middle of the depression. Great pension and great health care plan in retirement. He knew the United Steelworkers played a big role in his compensation. Of course the war hit and things really took off at the yard when it switched from private builds to government contracts culminating in the purchase of the yard by Northrop Grumman. The taxes on the top end that paid for all that government spending in the 1950s when the interstates were built, the Army Corps of Engineers was fucking up all our waterways for navigation, and the war machine really got cranking.... Maybe the multinationals should be paying for some infrastructure investment in addition to better compensation of the plebes.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,210
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
That [unions] is the only hope to try to drive some of this incredible wealth that has been generated over the last decades to trickle downward.

Gee, I have an idea; how about starting by taking back the 1.25 trillion dollars that Cheato gave to his donor class and spending half of it on "the bottom"? Provide more low cost housing, education, food & nutrition, medical services etc, and spend the other half on urban and rural infrastructure projects? Infrastructure projects could employ a lot of people who don't have a PhD in hedge fund management, and improve everyone's lives... including those of the donor class. I don't know why they never thought of that.

ETA: The infrastructure laborers can unionize as soon as enough is accomplished that they can visibly justify it.

Kamala Harris, possible presidential candidate for 2020 has been promoting this idea. I suspect this would be part of her platform if she ran. It might even become a Democratic party plank if it catches fir in people's imaginations.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,189
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Just read an interesting article about poverty in America

The Evidence Pours In: Poverty Getting Much Worse in America

One of the main pro-Trump arguments is that despite all of his other shit, at least the economy is doing well. If the data in this article is accurate, that's not actually the case. Particularly, what it says about what's behind the historically low unemployment rate. If that's what they mean when they say "unemployment is low", that doesn't really count as a positive.

Is there anyone more versed on economics than myself who can parse out the actual state of the US economy?

This is blasphemy to the Trump religion. You should be burned at the stake!
 

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
17,030
Location
Toronto
Basic Beliefs
That I'm God
This is blasphemy to the Trump religion. You should be burned at the stake!

Not a risk. I live in an over-regulated socialist dictatorship and people here aren't allowed to light fires in an urban environment without a proper permit, which wouldn't be issued if the applicant lists religious reasons for it.

Trump can't do nothing to me.
 

Underseer

Contributor
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
11,413
Location
Chicago suburbs
Basic Beliefs
atheism, resistentialism
So? If those middle class serfs are becoming poor, then that must be because they choose to be poor. If they didn't want to be poor, they wouldn't be poor.

Now shut up while we pass another round of tax cuts for the elites. If we make the aristocrats even more fabulously wealthy, they will trickle good jobs all over us. My future depends on giving more tax cuts to the elites, so you guys better stop your Class Warfare.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,095
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
The US economy as a whole is doing moderately well. However, as the OP points out, the gains are not evenly or equitably shared. Nor is this any sign that any future gains will be more progressively spread out since the GOP, conservatives, libertarians, and the dupes of all 3 are adamantly opposed to any sign of "redistribution".
 

Derec

Contributor
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
21,835
Location
Atlanta, GA
Basic Beliefs
atheist
One of the main pro-Trump arguments is that despite all of his other shit, at least the economy is doing well. If the data in this article is accurate, that's not actually the case. Particularly, what it says about what's behind the historically low unemployment rate. If that's what they mean when they say "unemployment is low", that doesn't really count as a positive.
But the low unemployment rate is being used by the Left to argue that me should take in the uneducated caravaners even if they are not legitimately seeking asylum. Can't have it both ways.
 

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
17,030
Location
Toronto
Basic Beliefs
That I'm God
One of the main pro-Trump arguments is that despite all of his other shit, at least the economy is doing well. If the data in this article is accurate, that's not actually the case. Particularly, what it says about what's behind the historically low unemployment rate. If that's what they mean when they say "unemployment is low", that doesn't really count as a positive.
But the low unemployment rate is being used by the Left to argue that me should take in the uneducated caravaners even if they are not legitimately seeking asylum. Can't have it both ways.

The unemployment rate should be used accurately - full stop. If it's not a good indication of the labour market, then it shouldn't be used as such.
 

PyramidHead

Contributor
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
5,080
Location
RI
Basic Beliefs
Marxist-Leninist
The US economy as a whole is doing moderately well. However, as the OP points out, the gains are not evenly or equitably shared. Nor is this any sign that any future gains will be more progressively spread out since the GOP, conservatives, libertarians, and the dupes of all 3 are adamantly opposed to any sign of "redistribution".

That's the key takeaway, I believe. It's possible to acknowledge that the economy is good by certain metrics that matter to a minority of financially-minded people, while continuing to be a failure from the perspective of virtually everybody else, even though most are employed and the destitute only number in the tens of millions.
 

untermensche

Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
24,504
Location
Here
Basic Beliefs
magic mood ring
Well, it looks like that Wages line is starting to creep a bit upwards at the end of the graph. I'd suggest cutting social security and medicare so that poor people don't start to get too full of themselves.

It also looks like wages slowly dropped from Q2 2017 to Q2 (mislabeled as Q3) 2018.
 
Top Bottom