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Author Topic: Almost 80% of US workers live from paycheck to paycheck. Here's why  (Read 193 times)
Ilegendph
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August 17, 2018, 11:15:09 AM
 #21

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 with you sir, people who lives paycheck after paycheck often ends in big debt because they usually spending more than they earn thinking that they will get their salary for the next time bit thinking that it will not last for the rest of their lives. The time they want to save is the time they found themselves in big debt and regrets all the unnecessary expenses they made.

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August 17, 2018, 05:49:43 PM
 #22

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.
Yeah, I really think though that it's more of a culture issue. Maybe an education issue. I mean you point that out too, that Hollywood has trained people how to spend. The thing is that Americans spend all the money they have and even more. People work several jobs to keep up with the bills, but they are almost always spending on things that they could get by without. People in the middle class and even into the upper class are also spending more than they make. Everybody wants more more more. They just complain less about it. I guess they have a bit of a conscience that makes it hard to complain about not having enough money for a bigger house and a third Mercedes.
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August 17, 2018, 06:35:56 PM
 #23

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.

I didn't say that he should give his money away. I simply used it to show the gap between the richest and the rest of the society.
As for what you've said, even if you gave a million people some money and 5% used it to pay their debts and get out of the shitty life they're living, wouldn't that be worth it? You can never help everyone, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep trying. Giving them jobs would of course be a much better idea.
We shouldn't wait for the government to do it. Those who have billions lying around should really put some of it into the lowest levels of society, or the'll one day have to fight to keep their wealth. The larger the gap the higher the incentive for an uprising.
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August 17, 2018, 07:26:41 PM
 #24

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.
Yeah, I really think though that it's more of a culture issue. Maybe an education issue. I mean you point that out too, that Hollywood has trained people how to spend. The thing is that Americans spend all the money they have and even more. People work several jobs to keep up with the bills, but they are almost always spending on things that they could get by without. People in the middle class and even into the upper class are also spending more than they make. Everybody wants more more more. They just complain less about it. I guess they have a bit of a conscience that makes it hard to complain about not having enough money for a bigger house and a third Mercedes.

USA has been touted to be 'land of the free' and 'country where dreams come true', but it has all turned out to be a mirage. College graduates are leaving the system deep in debt with no job security as having a diploma nowadays doesn't guarantee employment. A law or a medical degree for example costs in the ballpark of $100k-$150k and people are basically slaves to the banks for many years to come not taking into account any other loans they might have taken out like car or house loans etc. No wonder people are living paycheck to paycheck.

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August 17, 2018, 08:05:34 PM
 #25

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.

I would disagree with the fact that its because of not having excess disposable income is partially responsible as that would be misrepresentation for

1. You don't need to have enough money to invest in bitcoin or crypto currency no matter the little you have, you are very much welcome and with proper trading skills the fund can be turned over positively within a short period of time.

2. People who have excess disposable income does not automatically mean they would be investing because of factors that they are privy to and responsible for their decision making. Several others have even be publicly antagonise. Names like Warren, Bill, top bank CEOs have come to raise their voice against bitcoin.

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August 18, 2018, 09:34:19 PM
 #26

I didn't say that he should give his money away. I simply used it to show the gap between the richest and the rest of the society.
As for what you've said, even if you gave a million people some money and 5% used it to pay their debts and get out of the shitty life they're living, wouldn't that be worth it? You can never help everyone, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep trying. Giving them jobs would of course be a much better idea.
We shouldn't wait for the government to do it. Those who have billions lying around should really put some of it into the lowest levels of society, or the'll one day have to fight to keep their wealth. The larger the gap the higher the incentive for an uprising.
If somebody has made more money, why does that mean he/she should be required to give it to somebody? I have never understood this logic. Well, I guess it is just communism or socialism.

USA has been touted to be 'land of the free' and 'country where dreams come true', but it has all turned out to be a mirage. College graduates are leaving the system deep in debt with no job security as having a diploma nowadays doesn't guarantee employment. A law or a medical degree for example costs in the ballpark of $100k-$150k and people are basically slaves to the banks for many years to come not taking into account any other loans they might have taken out like car or house loans etc. No wonder people are living paycheck to paycheck.
Google tells me that lawyers make an average of $115,000/year. Doctors seem to be making closer to $200,000. The problem is still that people are spending almost all they make. There are lots of people comfortably living on $24,000/year, for example. If they just lived a simple life for a very brief time, they could pay those debts back so quickly and be "free", but no, they have to have the be house and the luxury cars, right away. I mean, if you can get approved for the credit, why not take it, right? *smh*
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August 20, 2018, 06:51:29 AM
 #27

I think that it is not necessary to invest in cryptocurrencies to have income from this technology, there are many other ways to earn

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August 20, 2018, 07:04:56 AM
 #28

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.

Right! The thing with a lot of people is that they tend to want to live above their means and to even be able to save in such scenarios, let alone invest, becomes a problem. A lot usually do not have future plans and would rather want to show off in the present while wallowing in debt than sacrifice a little now, focus on the future and plan ahead. If some low income earners can invest in anything as long as they set their mind to it, I really see no excuse for anyone not to. What is important is to cut your suit according to your size, sacrifice some things now and enjoy better in the future, at least something huge to retire on.

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August 20, 2018, 07:27:31 AM
 #29

Quote
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.

It is obvious that they are to lazy enough not to learn some new things in life to improve their lifestyle so they indeed to rely only on paychecks because that is the easy part for them and would not mind to take some risk on some new things.

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wuvdoll
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August 20, 2018, 09:16:05 AM
 #30

I agree with people above me. I did earned couple hundreds dollars per month before (live in a third world country) and that was alright with me and I lived from pay check to pay check.

However I have also made tens of thousands of dollars as well some months (selling stuff online) and I also lived paycheck to paycheck back than. There are a lot of people like me who spend what they have, if its 100 dollars we spend 100 dollars, if its 10 thousand dollars we spend 10 thousand dollars. The bad part is in the end you do not put any money aside for bad days.

Good part though is having memories you otherwise could never have.

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wxa7115
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August 20, 2018, 03:57:30 PM
 #31

I agree with people above me. I did earned couple hundreds dollars per month before (live in a third world country) and that was alright with me and I lived from pay check to pay check.

However I have also made tens of thousands of dollars as well some months (selling stuff online) and I also lived paycheck to paycheck back than. There are a lot of people like me who spend what they have, if its 100 dollars we spend 100 dollars, if its 10 thousand dollars we spend 10 thousand dollars. The bad part is in the end you do not put any money aside for bad days.

Good part though is having memories you otherwise could never have.
If you go and see a financial manager the first thing that he will say to you or anyone else is to begin saving at least 20% of your income and to invest it for the long term in your retirement fund or in some low risk investment, if you do that by the moment you retire you will retire comfortably unlike most people that still spend everything they have and even more since they use credit to fuel their lifestyle.

But that is not easy especially in this moment of history where everyone is so used to getting their wants satisfied immediately that they cannot simply wait to save to buy whatever they want, I can understand asking a credit for a major purchase like a house but now almost everything can be bought on credit.
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August 21, 2018, 06:13:18 PM
 #32

I didn't say that he should give his money away. I simply used it to show the gap between the richest and the rest of the society.
As for what you've said, even if you gave a million people some money and 5% used it to pay their debts and get out of the shitty life they're living, wouldn't that be worth it? You can never help everyone, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep trying. Giving them jobs would of course be a much better idea.
We shouldn't wait for the government to do it. Those who have billions lying around should really put some of it into the lowest levels of society, or the'll one day have to fight to keep their wealth. The larger the gap the higher the incentive for an uprising.
If somebody has made more money, why does that mean he/she should be required to give it to somebody? I have never understood this logic. Well, I guess it is just communism or socialism.

You're confusing socialism with charity. Socialism forces people to share, charity does not. I believe that if you are fortunate enough to have so much money that you could heat up your house by burning cash in the fireplace you can always donate some of it to help others. It's also a smart thing to do because by saving people from total poverty you're also protecting yourself and the economy that you have to function in.
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August 21, 2018, 11:44:35 PM
 #33

But that is not easy especially in this moment of history where everyone is so used to getting their wants satisfied immediately that they cannot simply wait to save to buy whatever they want, I can understand asking a credit for a major purchase like a house but now almost everything can be bought on credit.
That directly exposes the fragility of this system. If you want everything to thrive on debt, which has been the case for many decades, you basically take for granted that once every 10 to 20 years massive debt bubbles pop.

I can access €5000 in credit without any problems right now, and that while I never signed up for anything that would grant me access to credit. It's there solely to tease me to use it. It's a nasty practice.

It has never been easier to cover yourself in debt in today's world, and that while after the previous credit crisis everything was meant to be taken care of when it comes to how easy it is to access credit. It has only become worse.

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August 22, 2018, 01:38:20 AM
 #34

that is the sad truth, a lot of people not only americans, are not into any kind of investment such as bitcoin, aside from the  fact the they lack of bravery and financial capacity, they are too busy with their dayjobs, many are spending more time doing something to earn instead of sitting in front of a computer and do crypto trading, it is just not the typical way to earn, but they are missing the whole point, they still havent tried it yet, and the stigma continues.

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August 26, 2018, 09:08:15 PM
 #35

You could also argue I guess that US workers tend to live beyond their means, which is something not solely based on their income alone, but rather their total mentality and spending habits. I don't think this aspect is being analyzed at all during this piece.

Quote
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.

This could well happen.

I think that crypto adoption will either be accelerated through people's wages increasing, leading them to have more spare funds to invest into bitcoin (which isn't possible when their wages are much less); or an economic crisis in which the fiat currency depreciates so much that people are forced to find an alternative currency to store their wealth.

If wages do grow, then it wouldn't be surprising to see these employees that previously had no spare funds to invest turn to actively seeking to invest in something, in which case, more people may become intrigued with bitcoin and actually have the means to adopt it.

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August 26, 2018, 09:10:10 PM
 #36

Sadly true, even in an advanced society such as the US. That is why the next economic crash will affect many.most persons are not prepared
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August 26, 2018, 10:37:34 PM
 #37

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 with you. Sometimes, the savings did not determine by number of your earnings but by your way of living. There are always been an advantage of having a huge amount of salary but if you are sophisticated person, what your income may gone even in a few weeks. Unlike to the person who can live in a simple life can save 50% of his income. At the end, the one who have simple life and lower income can save than the person who earns 150k dollars.

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August 26, 2018, 11:01:31 PM
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Quote
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.

That means there will be a White Hole for bitcoin there, maybe later after they get severance from where they work.

Right, more precisely it's "some information, declared lost/removed/hidden" and applause for Berekeley for his victory in his misleading actions.

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August 26, 2018, 11:09:43 PM
 #39

In addition to the point raised above, I think lot of people don't give much thought to Investment too and therefore spend a large proportion of Thier monthly income on consumption goods such as expensive cars and others.

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