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Author Topic: Almost 80% of US workers live from paycheck to paycheck. Here's why  (Read 193 times)
Hydrogen
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July 30, 2018, 10:43:52 AM
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America doesn’t have a jobs crisis. It has a ‘good jobs’ crisis – where too much employment is insecure, and poorly paid

The official rate of unemployment in America has plunged to a remarkably low 3.8%. The Federal Reserve forecasts that the unemployment rate will reach 3.5% by the end of the year.

But the official rate hides more troubling realities: legions of college grads overqualified for their jobs, a growing number of contract workers with no job security, and an army of part-time workers desperate for full-time jobs. Almost 80% of Americans say they live from paycheck to paycheck, many not knowing how big their next one will be.

Blanketing all of this are stagnant wages and vanishing job benefits. The typical American worker now earns around $44,500 a year, not much more than what the typical worker earned 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Although the US economy continues to grow, most of the gains have been going to a relatively few top executives of large companies, financiers, and inventors and owners of digital devices.

America doesn’t have a jobs crisis. It has a good jobs crisis.

When Republicans delivered their $1.5tn tax cut last December they predicted a big wage boost for American workers. Forget it. Wages actually dropped in the second quarter of this year.

Not even the current low rate of unemployment is forcing employers to raise wages. Contrast this with the late 1990s, the last time unemployment dipped close to where it is today, when the portion of national income going into wages was 3% points higher than it is today.

What’s going on? Simply put, the vast majority of American workers have lost just about all their bargaining power. The erosion of that bargaining power is one of the biggest economic stories of the past four decades, yet it’s less about supply and demand than about institutions and politics.

Two fundamental forces have changed the structure of the US economy, directly altering the balance of power between business and labor. The first is the increasing difficulty for workers of joining together in trade unions. The second is the growing ease by which corporations can join together in oligopolies or to form monopolies.

By the mid-1950s more than a third of all private-sector workers in the United States were unionized. In subsequent decades public employees became organized, too. Employers were required by law not just to permit unions but to negotiate in good faith with them. This gave workers significant power to demand better wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions. (Agreements in unionized industries set the benchmarks for the non-unionized).

Yet starting in the 1980s and with increasing ferocity since then, private-sector employers have fought against unions. Ronald Reagan’s decision to fire the nation’s air-traffic controllers, who went on an illegal strike, signaled to private-sector employers that fighting unions was legitimate. A wave of hostile takeovers pushed employers to do whatever was necessary to maximize shareholder returns. Together, they ushered in an era of union-busting.

Employers have been firing workers who attempt to organize, threatening to relocate to more “business friendly” states if companies unionize, mounting campaigns against union votes, and summoning replacement workers when unionized workers strike. Employer groups have lobbied states to enact more so-called “right-to-work” laws that bar unions from requiring dues from workers they represent. A recent supreme court opinion delivered by the court’s five Republican appointees has extended the principle of “right-to-work” to public employees.

Today, fewer than 7% of private-sector workers are unionized, and public-employee unions are in grave jeopardy, not least because of the supreme court ruling. The declining share of total US income going to the middle since the late 1960s – defined as 50% above and 50% below the median – correlates directly with that decline in unionization. (See chart below).



Perhaps even more significantly, the share of total income going to the richest 10 percent of Americans over the last century is almost exactly inversely related to the share of the nation’s workers who are unionized. (See chart below). When it comes to dividing up the pie, most American workers today have little or no say. The pie is growing but they’re getting only the crumbs.



Over the same period time, antitrust enforcement has gone into remission. The US government has essentially given a green light to companies seeking to gain monopoly power over digital platforms and networks (Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook); wanting to merge into giant oligopolies (pharmaceuticals, health insurers, airlines, seed producers, food processors, military contractors, Wall Street banks, internet service providers); or intent on creating local monopolies (food distributors, waste disposal companies, hospitals).

This means workers are spending more on such goods and services than they would were these markets more competitive. It’s exactly as if their paychecks were cut. Concentrated economic power has also given corporations more ability to hold down wages, because workers have less choice of whom to work for. And it has let companies impose on workers provisions that further weaken their bargaining power, such as anti-poaching and mandatory arbitration agreements.

This great shift in bargaining power, from workers to corporations, has pushed a larger portion of national income into profits and a lower portion into wages than at any time since the second world war. In recent years, most of those profits have gone into higher executive pay and higher share prices rather than into new investment or worker pay. Add to this the fact that the richest 10% of Americans own about 80% of all shares of stock (the top 1% owns about 40%), and you get a broader picture of how and why inequality has widened so dramatically.

Another consequence: corporations and wealthy individuals have had more money to pour into political campaigns and lobbying, while labor unions have had far less. In 1978, for example, congressional campaign contributions by labor Political Action Committees were on par with corporate PAC contributions. But since 1980, corporate PAC giving has grown at a much faster clip, and today the gulf is huge.

It is no coincidence that all three branches of the federal government, as well as most state governments, have become more “business-friendly” and less “worker-friendly” than at any time since the 1920s. As I’ve noted, Congress recently slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Meanwhile, John Roberts’ supreme court has more often sided with business interests in cases involving labor, the environment, or consumers than has any supreme court since the mid-1930s. Over the past year it not only ruled against public employee unions but also decided that workers cannot join together in class action suits when their employment contract calls for mandatory arbitration. The federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2009, and is now about where it was in 1950 when adjusted for inflation. Trump’s labor department is busily repealing many rules and regulations designed to protect workers.

The combination of high corporate profits and growing corporate political power has created a vicious cycle: higher profits have generated more political influence, which has altered the rules of the game through legislative, congressional, and judicial action – enabling corporations to extract even more profit. The biggest losers, from whom most profits have been extracted, have been average workers.

America’s shift from farm to factory was accompanied by decades of bloody labor conflict.

The shift from factory to office and other sedentary jobs created other social upheaval. The more recent shift in bargaining power from workers to large corporations – and consequentially, the dramatic widening of inequalities of income, wealth, and political power – has had a more unfortunate and, I fear, more lasting consequence: an angry working class vulnerable to demagogues peddling authoritarianism, racism, and xenophobia.

Robert Reich is chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and was secretary of labour in the Clinton administration. His latest book, The Common Good, was published earlier this year

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/29/us-economy-workers-paycheck-robert-reich

....

80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck could partially explain why more consumers haven't bought bitcoin:

The majority of workers are unable to collect sufficient disposable income to invest in crypto currencies.

This could mean that future economic improvment, better job markets and wage hikes could be correlated with a rise in the userbase and crypto holdings. That's assuming that 80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck is preventing many who would like to buy bitcoin from purchasing due to monetary and wage constraints.

Also note this piece while containing good info and a good historical overview was authored by a berekeley economist in liberal california who could be resorting to FUD to mislead people into unfairly blaming Trump for everything.

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July 30, 2018, 10:49:18 AM
Last edit: July 30, 2018, 11:27:00 AM by Don Pedro Dinero
 #2

I don’t agree with the title: it’s not a “good jobs” crisis, it is a behavior crisis. It is easier to save money if you make $200,000 a year than if you make $20,000 a year but what usually happens is that the guy making $200,000 a year tends also to live paycheck to paycheck. He gets a much bigger house (or two), a much more expensive car (or two), spends more on vacation and so on.

If someone has ever watched the Dave Ramsey show, will know what I’m talking about.

When you learn to spend less than you earn, i.e. you save, you have money to buy assets, like stocks, funds or bitcoin but most people go the way of debt.
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July 30, 2018, 11:11:06 AM
 #3

it is a crisis but thats not the only reason why people are not investing. they are not educated enough on bitcoin let alone crypto currencies

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August 12, 2018, 08:12:27 PM
 #4

On the other side, the homeless are paid, let alone the laborers. It is normal for people to live on salaries. They can go to work but still have a lot of financial freedom. There are people who view their work as fun, despite their very good economic condition.
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August 15, 2018, 09:04:25 PM
 #5

Everyone's choices are different. No one is the same, they choose the safety rather than the risk to invest. Many workers in their society always choose for themselves the simplest thing. They are afraid of loss and risk.

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August 15, 2018, 09:21:29 PM
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80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck could partially explain why more consumers haven't bought bitcoin:

The majority of workers are unable to collect sufficient disposable income to invest in crypto currencies.

This could mean that future economic improvment, better job markets and wage hikes could be correlated with a rise in the userbase and crypto holdings. That's assuming that 80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck is preventing many who would like to buy bitcoin from purchasing due to monetary and wage constraints.

Also note this piece while containing good info and a good historical overview was authored by a berekeley economist in liberal california who could be resorting to FUD to mislead people into unfairly blaming Trump for everything.
This is not only the case for the US, but for the entire World. 80% isn't bad, but isn't a good figure either. There is fucking recession everywhere,bruh. Not to mention, half the world is at crisis. The cost of living so damn high, it is getting impossible to save some money. But I don't this is limiting people to not invest in bitcoin, but its themselves that is stopping them from investing in bitcoin/stock or any other investment. I know people who are like struggling to manage their daily livelihood, but yet have invested in bitcoin, through their salary or through procuring loans, or from any other possible means. There are only a handful of good jobs and all cunts get it, and the deserved people don't get good jobs. The entire World Economy needs to fall down temporarily so that people realize how bad things are, and then recover soon to be stronger than ever.

Trump is to be blamed for a lot of things. He isn't doing a very bad job at being a President, but he has made a lot of questionable, and bad decisions.


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August 15, 2018, 09:22:43 PM
 #7

I don’t agree with the title: it’s not a “good jobs” crisis, it is a behavior crisis. It is easier to save money if you make $200,000 a year than if you make $20,000 a year but what usually happens is that the guy making $200,000 a year tends also to live paycheck to paycheck. He gets a much bigger house (or two), a much more expensive car (or two), spends more on vacation and so on.

I agree with you. This is subjective. The statement "from paycheck to paycheck" means that the workers spend all money they earns. Nothing else. The salaries can differ very significantly. Some people received a loans and they pay to banks every month. And this is subjective too, because the amount of a loans differs. Someone took a loan for buying an ordinary car, other took a loan for buying a car of the premium class. All of them will say "I live from paycheck to paycheck".
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August 15, 2018, 09:24:21 PM
 #8

80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck could partially explain why more consumers haven't bought bitcoin:

The majority of workers are unable to collect sufficient disposable income to invest in crypto currencies.

This could mean that future economic improvment, better job markets and wage hikes could be correlated with a rise in the userbase and crypto holdings. That's assuming that 80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck is preventing many who would like to buy bitcoin from purchasing due to monetary and wage constraints.

Also note this piece while containing good info and a good historical overview was authored by a berekeley economist in liberal california who could be resorting to FUD to mislead people into unfairly blaming Trump for everything.
The article is interesting in terms of the union issues. It seems to be a classic case of corporate greed. They'll pay the least they possible can to their employees. If the government would let them pay less, they would. Luckily, there are few companies, who realize that you can have more success, if you treat your people right, but they seem to be few and far between. I hope people can fight back again in the future.

I think the really probably though is the culture of consumerism. People are living from paycheck to paycheck, no matter what their salary, because 80% of the people around them are doing the same thing. It's normal for some reason. No matter what you make, you can live below your means. That is the key.
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August 15, 2018, 09:24:59 PM
 #9

This problem is not only Americans, but the whole planet.We all live like this, from holiday to holiday, from salary to salary !
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August 15, 2018, 09:32:29 PM
 #10

Some states in America have higher standard of living which makes the costs to go up more not to mention if you have your own family you will be feeding not only your mouth but also the mouths if your children. You see it is hard to think that we are not improving our lives but some problems can be solve by cutting some expenses which can free you up some funds. Also even if the rate is lower it won't guarantee that they'll be investing in Bitcoin. Some people who have extra money to invest woth might not be interested in BTC at all.

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August 15, 2018, 09:50:07 PM
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I watched they talk about it on Keiser Report and apparently over 1/3 Americans have completely no savings and another 1/3 have less than 1000 USD in the bank. The amount of people living in total poverty, unable to pay their bills rose from 36 to 48 million in 7 years. And all this while Jeff Bezos holds 150 billion. Enough to give every single poor american a thousand dollars and still be a filthy rich billionaire.
The flow of wealth from the poor to the rich is huge and frankly cannot be stopped. The more poor people there are the richer the 1% becomes. People became the slave of the system they're living in, because everything has a price tag.

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Joseph_Bennett
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August 16, 2018, 08:25:15 PM
 #12

I watched they talk about it on Keiser Report and apparently over 1/3 Americans have completely no savings and another 1/3 have less than 1000 USD in the bank. The amount of people living in total poverty, unable to pay their bills rose from 36 to 48 million in 7 years. And all this while Jeff Bezos holds 150 billion. Enough to give every single poor american a thousand dollars and still be a filthy rich billionaire.
The flow of wealth from the poor to the rich is huge and frankly cannot be stopped. The more poor people there are the richer the 1% becomes. People became the slave of the system they're living in, because everything has a price tag.
Giving people money will not fix their money problems for the most part. If you give everybody $1000, people who aren't go at managing money will spend it right away. What percent of they do you think would put it towards taking down their credit card debt? I think it would be pretty small. If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime. Capitalism needs people to spend. The government needs people to spend to keep the economy moving. Unfortunately, this means the government will never teach people to save their money. The whole system is a mess, in my opinion, but you can't fix it by throwing money at it.
hatshepsut93
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August 16, 2018, 08:36:10 PM
 #13


80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck could partially explain why more consumers haven't bought bitcoin:

The majority of workers are unable to collect sufficient disposable income to invest in crypto currencies.

This could mean that future economic improvment, better job markets and wage hikes could be correlated with a rise in the userbase and crypto holdings. That's assuming that 80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck is preventing many who would like to buy bitcoin from purchasing due to monetary and wage constraints.

Also note this piece while containing good info and a good historical overview was authored by a berekeley economist in liberal california who could be resorting to FUD to mislead people into unfairly blaming Trump for everything.

There was a thread on this board about a cryptocurrency survey in Europe and the US, and there was a clear pattern that people from richer countries are less interested in Bitcoin than people from poorer countries. People who live from paycheck to paycheck are very unlikely to invest in gold or stocks, but I think they are more likely to take a big portion of their savings and put it into Bitcoin, hoping to get rich quick. This can also explain why we have so many worried people here, if they've bought at the top, they are quite screwed now.

Frances_McGlothlin
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August 16, 2018, 08:37:19 PM
 #14

Also note this piece while containing good info and a good historical overview was authored by a berekeley economist in liberal california who could be resorting to FUD to mislead people into unfairly blaming Trump for everything.

Very good point. Motives certainly aren't that hard to spot now these days.

Capitalism needs people to spend. The government needs people to spend to keep the economy moving. Unfortunately, this means the government will never teach people to save their money. The whole system is a mess, in my opinion, but you can't fix it by throwing money at it.

This is the perpetual treadmill that USA finds itself on. Many citizens have to work several jobs just to keep up with the bills. It's even commonly accepted that people have huge amounts of debt that they can't handle. What is wrong with society when so much money is being circulated, inflation is so high, but wages can't keep up and people have to work harder and harder to keep themselves from going under?

And yeah, people would just blow that money on useless shit because that's what Hollywood has trained them to do.
peacefulpeace
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August 16, 2018, 09:06:52 PM
 #15

this is factual but the most problem of employees is that they tends to live above their income, and as such find it difficult to save therebye resulting to paycheck. If for example an employee with an annual income of 50000$ goes on vacations, lives in the best part of new york city, drives the best ride, he will end up running into debt and unable to save. Employees should develop saving culture, thats the way out. live within your earns means.
BitHodler
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August 16, 2018, 09:08:53 PM
 #16

People who live from paycheck to paycheck are very unlikely to invest in gold or stocks, but I think they are more likely to take a big portion of their savings and put it into Bitcoin, hoping to get rich quick.
Sadly, that's the hard reality. In most cases these are also the people finding themselves in a position where gambling and high interest short term loans are part of their daily lives.

They desperately keep looking for ways to exit their miserable and non successful life, that they discard all possible risks resulting in severe losses and unfortunately, long life debt suppressing them for ever.

This can also explain why we have so many worried people here, if they've bought at the top, they are quite screwed now.
Considering that very few people have had the opportunity to actually buy or sell the top, it's more likely that most underwater investors (bagholders) are stuck with on average at $15,000 priced coins.

KryptoKai
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August 16, 2018, 09:26:53 PM
 #17

Trump is bringing manufacturing back to the States so that will open up the jobs market even more but to lower skilled and lower paid workers. Crypto will bring employment to higher skilled workers such as IT developers and exchange investors. The law needs to ease up a little and let crypto into the country to boost the American economy

wxa7115
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August 16, 2018, 09:38:59 PM
 #18

I don’t agree with the title: it’s not a “good jobs” crisis, it is a behavior crisis. It is easier to save money if you make $200,000 a year than if you make $20,000 a year but what usually happens is that the guy making $200,000 a year tends also to live paycheck to paycheck. He gets a much bigger house (or two), a much more expensive car (or two), spends more on vacation and so on.

If someone has ever watched the Dave Ramsey show, will know what I’m talking about.

When you learn to spend less than you earn, i.e. you save, you have money to buy assets, like stocks, funds or bitcoin but most people go the way of debt.

I agree, frugality should be taken off the dictionary not only because so few people know what it means but also because almost no one practices it anymore, in the past before cheap credit was widely available people just bought what they could afford and if they wanted something they could not afford right now they saved until they could.

But as the time has passed credit became more widely available, first for big purchases like cars and houses but now everything can be bought on credit thanks to credit cards, this creates an attitude on the people of carelessness when it comes to their money which is a mistake since we need to work very hard for every single dollar we earn, this means that people spend money in an inefficient way and this attitude is also exacerbated by the belief we do not need to save for our future since social security will be enough to sustain ourselves which is a mistake.
Sandra_Skelley
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August 16, 2018, 09:44:18 PM
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I agree actually. Too much employment is not too good. People think that they do not need to create anymore. The money they get from their job cannot be big enough to do everything. For that reason, people keep saving money for long periods. Having a company is an easy way to become rich or to be financially independent. There should be a balance in the society. Jobs for some people and self-employment for others. I believe in this theory and I am sure it would work.
shield132
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August 16, 2018, 10:49:06 PM
 #20

I don’t agree with the title: it’s not a “good jobs” crisis, it is a behavior crisis. It is easier to save money if you make $200,000 a year than if you make $20,000 a year but what usually happens is that the guy making $200,000 a year tends also to live paycheck to paycheck. He gets a much bigger house (or two), a much more expensive car (or two), spends more on vacation and so on.

If someone has ever watched the Dave Ramsey show, will know what I’m talking about.

When you learn to spend less than you earn, i.e. you save, you have money to buy assets, like stocks, funds or bitcoin but most people go the way of debt.

oh oh wait, guys with early 200K profit live paycheck to paycheck? Then can you tell me how we have billionares? Do they live from paycheck to paycheck? What about to give them less profit and grow employees wages? Not a good idea for fatty businessmen?
Something what I like at some point in comunists is that everyone has to live equal, no poors and no multi billionares, only one class of people. The only reason I don't like this is that it kills ambitious of becoming better than others.
As I know taxes are huge in USA and almost my every friend lives in rental, people usually don't have their own home. But you have hourly wages and min 6-7$ isn't that low, you have to they nothing if you see what's wage in some other countries. People can't get as much monthly as you earn daily.
Limit profit, everything over business owner's pure 100K must be used to grow wages and donate education, healthy lifestyle...

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