Once upon a time you could support yourself and a family with a steady job that paid low wages. Those days are long gone. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
One might anticipate that the bottom 50%’s meager share of the nation’s exploding wealth would have increased as smartly as the wealth of the billionaires, but alas, no.
America’s economy has changed in ways few of the winners seem to notice, as they’re too busy cheerleading their own brilliance and success. In the view of the winners, who just so happen to occupy all the seats at the media-punditry-Federal Reserve, etc. table–the rising tide of stock, bond and real estate bubbles are raising all boats. What’s left unsaid is except for the 50% of boats with gaping holes below the waterline, i.e. stagnant wages and a fast-rising cost of living.
The truth the self-satisfied winners don’t include in their self-congratulatory rah-rah is there’s no place for the bottom 50% of American households to go but down. All the winnings flow to those who already owned assets back when they were affordable– the already-wealthy–whose wealth has soared as assets have shot to the moon while the the burdens of inflation and debt service hit the bottom 50% the hardest.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is whining that inflation isn’t high enough yet for their refined tastes. Boo-hoo, how sad for the Fed–inflation isn’t yet high enough. Oh wait–didn’t they each mint millions by front-running their own policies? No wonder they’re not worried about inflation.
The reality few acknowledge is that globalization and financialization have stripped the American economy of low-skilled jobs that don’t demand much of the employee. The reality is that a great many people don’t have what it takes to learn high-level skills and work at a demanding pace under constant pressure–the description of the average job in America.