“Middle-Class Economics”

By James Kwak

Supposedly President Obama is making “middle-class economics” one of the key themes of his final two years in office. I don’t really know what this is supposed to mean in a country where people making ten times the median household income call themselves “middle class” and there are tens of millions of people in poverty.

For starters, I think it’s important to understand the distribution of wealth in the country as it stands today. That’s the theme of a story I wrote on Medium earlier this week, “The Magnitude of Inequality,” which uses charts and pictures to try to convey just how unequal a society we live in.

Yesterday I published another story on Medium about one of Obama’s “middle-class economics” proposals: the forthcoming Department of Labor rule that will try to protect people’s retirement savings from financial advisers’ conflicts of interest. It’s a complicated topic to understand, and the administration proposal will undoubtedly help—but not very much, given the scope of the retirement security problem.

13 responses to ““Middle-Class Economics”

  1. Asking the question is like asking Hillary, if she is as pure as the white-driven snow: The president’s remarks are a set-up for the next Democratic nominee, but as many have been saying, too little, too late.

    Hillary made her attempt to coop Senator Warren in that meeting last December, but no can do says Senator Warren. Indeed, Senator Warren could be more polished in her rhetoric by presenting a less combative tone in her Senate floor and public speaking engagements but the President-in-Standing Hillary Clinton, has other plans; http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/ elections/hillary-clinton-embraces-2016-speculation-silicon-valley-n312186:

    “Hillary Clinton dropped a number of hints about her expected presidential run in 2016 and laid out what could be the tenets of a potential campaign in front of a women’s conference in Silicon Valley on Tuesday… The former secretary of state said she is checking the final items off her list of things that must be in place before she officially announces her campaign, saying she will make a decision “in good time.”

    At the end of the article……

    “But the most prevalent message throughout her remarks was the need to update what she described as an economy “operating like 1955” that continues to favor men…. Hillary Clinton told the women gathered that they don’t have to run for public office to start bringing about change.”

    Does that also apply to Hillary, herself….amending the quote to reflect a more accurate view of Hillary’s thinking: “…I don’t have to run for President…in order to bring about the Change We Can Believe In….so, investors, my advice and council to you, would be to have your attorney’s phone number nearby when your 401k goes south next time around.

  2. Investing is a mess these days, I suggest you stay away from it. If your smart enough to make the money, then you are smart enough to invest it. The more people involved with handling your money, the more ways things can, and eventually will, go wrong.

  3. “It’s important to understand the distribution of wealth in the country as it stands today.”

    Let’s start first by just looking at wage distribution — because wealth can be inherited.

    Only 20% are Middle-Class, Most Don’t Come Close
    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/only-20-are-middle-class-most-dont-come-close-5679

  4. «Only 20% are Middle-Class, Most Don’t Come Close»

    It is because “middle class” has been redefined as “middle income”, which has been take to mean “median income”.

    The middle class is those people whose job is represent the upper class in managing their business and properties, that is licensed professionals and executives. Conversely the working class are people whose job is to do what they are told by middle class people executing the strategic plans of upper class people.

    Usually people in middle *class* jobs earn indeed a multiple of middle *income* people in working *class* jobs.

  5. The “Middle Class” created itself through HONEST WORK and collective bargaining power at the “economic” table.

    The biggest MACRO historic identifier of the “middle class” is that it picked itself up by it’s own bootstraps, so to speak. It created a civilization NOT DEPENDENT ON “minimum wage” SLAVE LABOR.

    Get over yourselves already, there is NO WAY a collection of 480 people can be worth 2.08 TRILLION because of HONEST WORK. It was a HEIST and instead of claw back, we are being told that we WANT to see 24/7 footage of depraved hooliganism in the Middle East or Scott Walker’s beady eyed rat face busting up unions.

    Well maybe we should ask the ones waiting for when white man is the minority in USA what the USA is going to be like when they are the majority….more environmentally friendly because no one knows how to maintain the infrastructure….? And how will this polyglot of multiracial “greed is good” and slave labor stand up to Russian and Chinese civilizations who are also just waiting for when USA is non-white for their clawback…

    No one is getting real about 2016….only way left for the current status quo of CIA and Homeland Security psychos to protect and INCREASE income inequality is to have another “event” big enough to complete the military coup of “labor” enslavement….”work will set you free”….

    We are dealing with a depraved elite, as usual….

  6. It’s called Grade A insanity, a competition to equal no others. No field excluded, make your own rules, turn them into law, then fight to the death for your beliefs, and of course pass down the trade to other like minded individuals until the end of time. Works so far, no proof to suggest otherwise, carry on.

  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/28/pope-francis-throwaway-culture-globalization_n_6775396.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

    There will be nothing to pass down soon enough – proof is WWI, WWII, WWIII, etc etc etc – keep blowing up stuff

    More misery for others = more $$$$ for ME ME ME

    A global economy with THAT math “fact” as it’s global culture – MERCILESS cannibalism?? Protected by “political correctness” speech?

    With the riches of Africa under their feet for the taking since earth was “created”, the middle east “traders” always head north to STEAL.

    Liars thieves and murderers will not be able to maintain USA for even the next 5 years….FACT. Even the IQ of their imported slaves sin’t what it used to be, they will never get it even if all they have to do is be “perfect” in one task….

    “london bridge is falling down falling down falling down, my fair lady….”

  8. Only if she broke the law by using a private email acct while sec of state, other than that all the reports are good for Hillary.

  9. Scott Walker will implode by year’s end b/c that’s what happens when you drop out of college – so no need to be concerned….

    [posted comment from Huffington Post]: “The Boston Herald, which uncovered the findings, explains:”

    Elizabeth Warren, who has railed against predatory banks and heartless foreclosures, took part in about a dozen Oklahoma real estate deals that netted her and her family hefty profits through maneuvers such as “flipping” properties, records show.

    A Herald review has found that the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate rapidly bought and sold homes herself, loaned money at high interest rates to relatives and purchased foreclosed properties at bargain prices.

    Land records from Warren’s native Oklahoma City show the Harvard professor was active in the often topsy-turvy real estate market in the 1990s, including:

    • Purchasing a foreclosed home at 2725 West Wilshire Boulevard from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for $61,000 in June 1993, then selling it in December 1994 for $95,000 — a 56 percent mark-up in just 18 months.

    • Buying a house at 200 NW 16th St. for $30,000 in August 1993, then flipping it for $145,000 — a 383 percent gain after just five months.

    • Lending one of her brothers money at 9.5 percent interest to buy a home at 1425 Classen Drive for $35,000 in August 2000. He sold the place three months later for $38,500 — a 10 percent gain in 75 days.

    • Providing her brother with financing to buy a $25,000 house at 4301 NW 16th St. in 1994. He sold the property four years later for $42,000, a 68 percent increase.

    • Giving her sister-in-law a mortgage in 1996 to buy a $31,000 home at 2621 NW 13th St. Three years later, the sister-in-law sold the place for $45,000 — a 45 percent boost in three years.
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Someone needs to vet the above information, then get back with me on their findings..………..say…. what’s…. this… I stumbled upon, chortles the Junior Senator from Massachusetts:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/9/hillary-clinton-furious-with-husband-bills-ties-to/

  10. You appear to be the one, juggling that is.

  11. Hillary did NOT (yet) say she was running for POTUS. Instead, recently releasing SOS e-mails as a way to take a practice run down that gonads gawking gauntlet gibberish known as the Lame Stream Media. Either way, Hillary could still get caught up on her readings: http://web.archive.org/web/20080930045039/https://baselinescenario.com/

    I know I’m amazing…but what are you.

  12. Well were not impressed, not with Hillary, not with you, or even the insanity of politics for that matter. Now the study of people, the technology of man, body mechanics, that’s a different story.