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(Eudaimonia)   How America made itself a poor country and still doesn't understand why. Good article if you're wondering why productivity is at historic highs, GDP is at historic highs, unemployment is at historic lows, and everyone is still broke af   (eand.co) divider line
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4281 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Jan 2022 at 4:50 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-24 3:10:10 AM  
If you filter out all of the "Americans are stupid. You will call me names and hate me because I call you stupid" bait, then yes, it's a REASONABLE article.

Americans are "stupid" about money because they've been told that increasing wages, salary, and benefits will cause massive unemployment, runaway inflation, and higher taxes on the lower, and lower middle classes.

All of that is BS, propagated by the media parroting corporate shills and conservative think tanks. If you look at the actual economic data, then you know that the doom and gloom is all propaganda to enrich the already obscenely rich.

In that way, Americans are stupid. About the only thing that knowing your neighbor's wages or salary will get you is that their financial struggle is as real as yours if you make less than 200-300K. BTW, that's about 8 times more than the average annual wages or salary.

What can be done once people have that information? A general strike might work. However, just small groups of people leaving for better paying jobs elsewhere might become challenging.

Anyway, I'm not an economist and my sociology knowledge is 40+ years out of date. Still, at best this article is an oversimplification of the peculiarities of the US style of capitalism, which is a whole other kettle of fish. That, and American stupidity.

/ it's midnight
// I probably have lots of things wrong
/// bed time
 
2022-01-24 4:21:58 AM  

GitOffaMyLawn: If you filter out all of the "Americans are stupid. You will call me names and hate me because I call you stupid" bait, then yes, it's a REASONABLE article.


It might have reasonable points but good god does it start out like it was poorly and hastily written by an 8th grader trying to stretch the word count.  Case in point:

I'm going to teach you how stupid Americans really are about money.Maybe I'll even make your jaw drop a little, who knows. Either way, by the end of this essay, you're going to have learned a few things you didn't know,
 
2022-01-24 4:54:14 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-24 4:54:32 AM  
'Why' in three words:

Trickle Down Economics.
 
2022-01-24 5:01:19 AM  

Archie Goodwin: 'Why' in three words:

Trickle Down Economics.


Yep. We were convinced by Reagan that giving massive tax breaks to the rich would benefit us all. Now, the rich have most of the assets and owning a home now is out of reach for massive numbers of Americans.
 
2022-01-24 5:02:40 AM  
In case anyone actually wants to read the story: https://outline.com/XK5HDB
 
2022-01-24 5:05:15 AM  
We must find a way to make capitalism work whilst also pulling enough capital from the companies and rich to take care of ALL the people with schools, healthcare and food... basic sh*t. We fail so bad because the rich convince us to fight among ourselves for the scraps they let us have.

No one wants Communism. They want a Capitalistic economy and a Socialistic-style government that protects and provides for the people to supplement their work earnings. That's all. Not to do everything. Not "cradle to grave" but a functioning society that takes care of the people that make up that society.

Stop letting the rich and powerful make us fight each other. They aren't going to suck your dick or give you any of their money.
 
2022-01-24 5:07:52 AM  
I'm kind of curious how, if this guy is so smart (and don't get me wrong he has good points about how Americans are getting fleeced), why is his wife only making 50k in that position? Hasn't he managed to educate her into demanding a raise?
 
2022-01-24 5:09:22 AM  

NewportBarGuy: We must find a way to make capitalism work whilst also pulling enough capital from the companies and rich to take care of ALL the people with schools, healthcare and food... basic sh*t. We fail so bad because the rich convince us to fight among ourselves for the scraps they let us have.



We had that once before. It was called the FDR/Truman administrations
 
2022-01-24 5:11:58 AM  
I made it to "a bro rolls in"
 
2022-01-24 5:14:29 AM  
Jesus Christ, dude. Brevity please.
 
2022-01-24 5:17:18 AM  
That article spent a lot of time telling me I believed things I don't, and what a fool I was for believing them.

Weird I make so much more than his wife if I'm so dumb. And that she makes so much less than every doctor I've ever known. I wonder if she is one of those spouses who has their income direct deposited to two different accounts and she doesn't tell him about the second? (I have a coworker who has hidden part of every raise he's gotten that way)

Was his wife so stupid as a stupid American that she stupidly didn't ask for as much money as she's worth? Did she stupidly not look into different jobs for medical doctors that paid more? Does she know how stupid her husband thinks she is?

And I love being educated by a guy who says average instead of the more accurate median, and then says it is 30k when it's 34 and change. If one is going to write such an article, I should think a focus on correctness would be important.

Stepping outside of how personal he wants to make things: yes, lots of Americans have shiatty jobs for shiatty pay and shiatty benefits.  Most are keenly aware of this. In fact, if tfa is correct about Americans not asking for enough money, the fact that they supposedly believe the average is so high suggests the opposite conclusion: if you thought the average pay was 75k and not 30k, you'd be more likely to ask for more money. So even if simply bargaining for more pay solved things, Americans should already be asking for higher salaries if they believe the average is higher.

What Americans have done, as he points out regarding labor percentage of income, is allow the wealthy to consolidate wealth. we socially accept CEOs making far more than other countries tend to. We also accept lower benefits and literally vote for keeping things like health insurance tied to our employer.

None of that has anything to do with individual beliefs about average salaries.

This guy made a thing up and then worked backwards at every step to make that thing the cause. His conclusion was obviously in place before he even started looking at things.
 
2022-01-24 5:18:50 AM  
The productivity gains of the last generation - everything that has stemmed from computerised automation, which is a fark-ton in most industries including many industries which didn't exist a generation ago - have all flowed to executives and big-time shareholders. Real wages in the US have stagnated.

In the 80's Australia went through similar economic reforms as countries such as the US and the UK. But unlike the administrations of Thatcher and Reagan, Australia had a Labor government which brought the union movement along with it rather than declare war on unions and by extension workers. There were periods of economically necessary wage restraint, but the government massively expanded single-payer health care and affordable university education as a "social wage" measure so people could move forward even if their wages, relatively briefly, didn't. Australia went on to record nearly 30 years of recession-free growth following the completion of the macroeconomic reform process until COVID finally got in the way of that. Real wages grew with productivity during that time, although that's slowed noticeably during the time of our current conservative government.

So it was never impossible for the US to avoid the stagnation fo wages, it was just the choice governments made because American voters only elect governments which have massive corporate backing. How's that working out for you?
 
2022-01-24 5:21:05 AM  

NewportBarGuy: No one wants Communism. They want a Capitalistic economy and a Socialistic-style government that protects and provides for the people to supplement their work earnings.


That won't happen with the one-and-a-half party system.  Bernie couldn't do it even if the DNC let him be nominated.   Congress, the USSC and the White House all agree on one thing:   keep power out of the hands of the people.

What you suggest can only happen in a handful of Nordic countries, for now.
 
2022-01-24 5:22:12 AM  

Smackledorfer: Weird I make so much more than his wife if I'm so dumb.


wow, you missed the point of the entire fakring article.

But the problem is bigger than just "data," which is another particularly American form of folly.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-24 5:22:47 AM  

Smackledorfer: That article spent a lot of time telling me I believed things I don't, and what a fool I was for believing them.

Weird I make so much more than his wife if I'm so dumb. And that she makes so much less than every doctor I've ever known. I wonder if she is one of those spouses who has their income direct deposited to two different accounts and she doesn't tell him about the second? (I have a coworker who has hidden part of every raise he's gotten that way)

Was his wife so stupid as a stupid American that she stupidly didn't ask for as much money as she's worth? Did she stupidly not look into different jobs for medical doctors that paid more? Does she know how stupid her husband thinks she is?

And I love being educated by a guy who says average instead of the more accurate median, and then says it is 30k when it's 34 and change. If one is going to write such an article, I should think a focus on correctness would be important.

Stepping outside of how personal he wants to make things: yes, lots of Americans have shiatty jobs for shiatty pay and shiatty benefits.  Most are keenly aware of this. In fact, if tfa is correct about Americans not asking for enough money, the fact that they supposedly believe the average is so high suggests the opposite conclusion: if you thought the average pay was 75k and not 30k, you'd be more likely to ask for more money. So even if simply bargaining for more pay solved things, Americans should already be asking for higher salaries if they believe the average is higher.

What Americans have done, as he points out regarding labor percentage of income, is allow the wealthy to consolidate wealth. we socially accept CEOs making far more than other countries tend to. We also accept lower benefits and literally vote for keeping things like health insurance tied to our employer.

None of that has anything to do with individual beliefs about average salaries.

This guy made a thing up and then worked backwards at every step to make that thing the cause. His conclusion was obviously in place before he even started looking at things.


Wow... you win the internet today. Spot on.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-24 5:29:00 AM  
This is literally just another version of "you're all poor because you eat too much avocado toast".

He's picking something that's genuinely a problem, but nowhere near to being the primary cause of anything, and then pretending it's behind economic disparity as a whole specifically to distract from the obvious entrenched interests and people who are almost unilaterally actually causing the problem.

It's one of those "global warming is your individual fault, you need to switch to CFLs in your personal house" when something like 10 corporations produce 90% of pollution type of articles.

So... yes. You should discuss salaries explicitly with your co-workers especially but also with outsiders, this is a good thing to do and general awareness of salaries is important. You should also stop eating avocado toast because it's bland as fark and real Americans put jam on instead. Both of these are good things, and doing them will do an equal amount of fark all to address economic inequality other than making you an idiot for thinking they will.

// Salary discussion is one of the root norms prerequisite to collective bargaining, is probably why this guy thought he could hide how idiotic his argument is by picking it. But it does nothing by itself.
 
2022-01-24 5:30:25 AM  
Easy fix: Communicate how much you make. Ask it of others. Break the taboo.
 
2022-01-24 5:39:47 AM  
Wow, everyone in here so far proved the thesis of his article. Nice job.
 
2022-01-24 5:48:49 AM  
Look, they've turned the predictable natural cycle of The Wests' economies being these super-mega-ultra-grand pump and dump schemes and billionaires just skim off the top a billion times over and over and no one seems to care. 🤷♂
 
2022-01-24 6:16:23 AM  
What I find interesting is that even wealthy Americans live like poor people.  They're stuck living out in the middle of nowhere, they have to drive everywhere, they have no time to exercise, there's no reliable public transportation, their groceries are poor quality and from dubious sources. It's a miserable existence and just raising wages isn't going to make things better when the general quality of life is so bad.
 
2022-01-24 6:23:05 AM  

comrade: What I find interesting is that even wealthy Americans live like poor people.  They're stuck living out in the middle of nowhere, they have to drive everywhere, they have no time to exercise, there's no reliable public transportation, their groceries are poor quality and from dubious sources. It's a miserable existence and just raising wages isn't going to make things better when the general quality of life is so bad.


You know some weird "wealthy" Americans. Or maybe you're describing a different kind of wealth I'm unfamiliar with. Wealthy in used tires maybe?
 
2022-01-24 6:24:33 AM  
That article spoke to me. I've always gotten multiple coworkers to ask for and get raises because we talked about salary (i started well after, so of course I made much more). And I've left jobs because I was made aware of what new hires made. New hired whom I was training, no less.

Always talk about salary whenever you think you can not get fired by doing so. It's always to the worker's advantage.
 
2022-01-24 6:27:03 AM  
Simple.  We haven't declared open season on C-Suites, with no bag limit.

Eat the rich - the poor are tough and stringy.
 
2022-01-24 6:27:12 AM  
Does he ever explain how post 1990 America is so different from pre 1990 America? His chart shows that as the transformational point.

After all, Americans were just as "stupid about money" in the 60s and 70s.
 
2022-01-24 6:28:35 AM  

LL316: That article spoke to me. I've always gotten multiple coworkers to ask for and get raises because we talked about salary (i started well after, so of course I made much more). And I've left jobs because I was made aware of what new hires made. New hired whom I was training, no less.

Always talk about salary whenever you think you can not get fired by doing so. It's always to the worker's advantage.


I feel that much of the reticence comes from some form of embarrassment. Has that been something you've noticed? If so, what'd you do about it?
 
2022-01-24 6:28:53 AM  

Rucker10: comrade: What I find interesting is that even wealthy Americans live like poor people.  They're stuck living out in the middle of nowhere, they have to drive everywhere, they have no time to exercise, there's no reliable public transportation, their groceries are poor quality and from dubious sources. It's a miserable existence and just raising wages isn't going to make things better when the general quality of life is so bad.

You know some weird "wealthy" Americans. Or maybe you're describing a different kind of wealth I'm unfamiliar with. Wealthy in used tires maybe?


I'm considered upper class (maybe upper middle?) where I live and I choose to live out in the middle of nowhere. I prefer less people and more land. What the OP is saying is just false. If a rich person is living in the boonies, it's because they want to. Because what does money provide?  Options.
 
2022-01-24 6:29:23 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Wow, everyone in here so far proved the thesis of his article. Nice job.


Well the story is true until it's not we are partially in a hole of our own making.

I expat'd in Europe and folks there may have assumed what I was making (in reality I was another cog with a 3-4X cog salary) - but no one ever asked.

The parts the author did get right was that we Americans do have an unholy obsession with peacocking around regarding money and possessions. All the while not truly understanding how massively wealthy the truly wealthy are and how much the truly wealthy are picking our own pockets while throwing up distractions meant to divide any dissent.

He is right about money talk in casual conversation/social interactions being one of the most obnoxious things ever - if someone asks me what I do I tell them I'm a janitor and then I look for someone else to talk to. Trying to put others into boxes based on job/net worth is one of the single biggest asshole American things there is...

He paints with an overbroad brush about people being stupid. Most of us are stuck inside a box of parameters which from an observer's point of view might look stupid, but even the truck-nuttiest conservative or libby lib is merely executing their program's subroutines without much thought about why they do what they do and how the answer isn't 'own the other guys to win'.
 
2022-01-24 6:31:08 AM  
Trickle down economics.   The perverted american dream where by simply working hard on can have success.
 
2022-01-24 6:35:46 AM  

Smackledorfer: That article spent a lot of time telling me I believed things I don't, and what a fool I was for believing them.

Weird I make so much more than his wife if I'm so dumb. And that she makes so much less than every doctor I've ever known. I wonder if she is one of those spouses who has their income direct deposited to two different accounts and she doesn't tell him about the second? (I have a coworker who has hidden part of every raise he's gotten that way)

Was his wife so stupid as a stupid American that she stupidly didn't ask for as much money as she's worth? Did she stupidly not look into different jobs for medical doctors that paid more? Does she know how stupid her husband thinks she is?

And I love being educated by a guy who says average instead of the more accurate median, and then says it is 30k when it's 34 and change. If one is going to write such an article, I should think a focus on correctness would be important.

Stepping outside of how personal he wants to make things: yes, lots of Americans have shiatty jobs for shiatty pay and shiatty benefits.  Most are keenly aware of this. In fact, if tfa is correct about Americans not asking for enough money, the fact that they supposedly believe the average is so high suggests the opposite conclusion: if you thought the average pay was 75k and not 30k, you'd be more likely to ask for more money. So even if simply bargaining for more pay solved things, Americans should already be asking for higher salaries if they believe the average is higher.

What Americans have done, as he points out regarding labor percentage of income, is allow the wealthy to consolidate wealth. we socially accept CEOs making far more than other countries tend to. We also accept lower benefits and literally vote for keeping things like health insurance tied to our employer.

None of that has anything to do with individual beliefs about average salaries.

This guy made a thing up and then worked backwards at every step to make that thing t ...


It's easy to pull the BLS data:

Median full-time workers over age 25 (actual adults) is more relevant here, and that figure ($1,057/week at 52 weeks) comes out to $54,964.  If you guessed $50K, you're pretty accurate.

Note as well that it's $1,658/week for advanced degrees, which is $86,216/year. If his wife has so many advanced degrees and everything she does is so impressive, why are her earnings so low?  Medical scientist compensation data available here.

Fark user imageView Full Size


He's right on some things, particularly a great deal of the pain being self inflicted.  The "80%" for people living paycheck to paycheck seems absurd - are you telling me 80% of Americans have no assets?  That would suggest a lot of people living seemingly middle class lifestyles have no cushion whatsoever.  I don't understand how anyone could live like that, week by week, month by month, and still spend anything more than the minimum to get by on a spartan existence to refill the emergency coffers.

Frankly, it smells like bullshiat.
 
2022-01-24 6:43:07 AM  
They're not wrong. Dumbshiats have been deciding labor and economic policy in this country for decades, and it shows in the income inequality. Sure they feel smart but once people are kicking in their door and eating their children while they're suffering severe blunt force trauma from an angry mob, they'll realize they didn't think their clever little plan all the way through.
 
2022-01-24 6:44:08 AM  
Umair writes the same article 3 times a week and he always is exactly right.  You should either move to a better country or just lie down in the woods and die.  The question is, why don't you?
 
2022-01-24 6:46:20 AM  

LL316: Rucker10: comrade: What I find interesting is that even wealthy Americans live like poor people.  They're stuck living out in the middle of nowhere, they have to drive everywhere, they have no time to exercise, there's no reliable public transportation, their groceries are poor quality and from dubious sources. It's a miserable existence and just raising wages isn't going to make things better when the general quality of life is so bad.

You know some weird "wealthy" Americans. Or maybe you're describing a different kind of wealth I'm unfamiliar with. Wealthy in used tires maybe?

I'm considered upper class (maybe upper middle?) where I live and I choose to live out in the middle of nowhere. I prefer less people and more land. What the OP is saying is just false. If a rich person is living in the boonies, it's because they want to. Because what does money provide?  Options.


It makes me wonder if they are from some country where their state sponsored media outlets tell this story that even rich Americans live like dirt farmers.
 
2022-01-24 6:47:42 AM  

Candygram4Mongo: Does he ever explain how post 1990 America is so different from pre 1990 America? His chart shows that as the transformational point.

After all, Americans were just as "stupid about money" in the 60s and 70s.


No. He mostly reiterates his main point every paragraph, and his subpoint every other paragraph. We're dumb because we don't have the information required to successfully negotiate our wages, and we don't even know we don't know what we don't know, man. Also we hate him for pointing out what we don't know because we think we know what we don't know.

Which...okay, that's part of it, but he entirely leaves out the shift you asked about, which arguably is more relevant to our current fark sandwich.
 
2022-01-24 6:50:49 AM  

JK8Fan: Archie Goodwin: 'Why' in three words:

Trickle Down Economics.

Yep. We were convinced by Reagan that giving massive tax breaks to the rich would benefit us all. Now, the rich have most of the assets and owning a home now is out of reach for massive numbers of Americans.


I wasn't fooled, its just assholes keep voting for these assholes, and the people I vote for rarely if ever actually fix this shiat.
 
2022-01-24 6:50:55 AM  

Candygram4Mongo: Does he ever explain how post 1990 America is so different from pre 1990 America? His chart shows that as the transformational point.

After all, Americans were just as "stupid about money" in the 60s and 70s.


Dramatization of the article was dependent upon cherry picking data. You weren't expecting a logical conclusion where are you?

Just another outrage bit to get you to click on links
 
2022-01-24 7:08:44 AM  
Lack of organized labor in the USA is the #1 problem.  Paul Krugman has an excellent article with data if you are interested.
Second I would put our health care system.
Third is systemic racism and sexism.
Fourth is our materialistic culture.

I lived in the EU twice, recently for 8 years.  I lol'd at TFA, he's wrong on most of what he wrote.
By the way, in the USA research professors get up to 30% of grant money for themselves.  At my state university, base salary is around $150,000 per year plus good benefits.  Add on another $60k in grant money and you are living large.  If his wife is a "group leader" then that is really meant for 20 something recent masters or PhD students.  It's up there with post doctoral fellow or lecturer.  Think training wheels to move up to non-tenure track professor.
It could be worse, she could be an adjunct professor.  You get maybe $3000 per course per semester without any other compensation.  These types of positions are also common in the EU now as there are fewer universities and they don't want to add more full professor positions, and hire from outside of the EU to remain competitive.
Again, is his wife part of the local labor union?  Is she ambitious?  Would she consider a higher paying job as a clinical trial consultant?  Is it the money, or does she just really like the work?  I know a lot of people who turn down promotions at my age because they saved, paid off their mortgages, and don't want to work 50+ hours a week anymore.
 
2022-01-24 7:09:15 AM  
Dear Article Author:

If your wife is an actual MD on a research team at a "name brand" hospital, and earning $50,000 per year, your wife is either an idiot with degrees from unaccredited shiathole calling themselves universities, or she applied for a research assistant position that require a basic 4-year degree and no experience that she was vastly overqualified for for whatever reason and you're the idiot for not understanding why.

Signed,

Someone that knows what medical research actually pays.
 
2022-01-24 7:10:50 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-24 7:22:31 AM  

qorkfiend: I feel that much of the reticence comes from some form of embarrassment. Has that been something you've noticed? If so, what'd you do about it?


Americans have very little power distance when compared to other nations. Your average bumpkin believes the only reason the big boss at their company is the CEO while they are just an assembly line worker is because the CEO "got lucky." Nothing to do with work ethic, smart decisions, skills, no - any of us could be president if we really wanted to.

Admitting a low salary is admitting failure in the capitalist society, so there is a huge amount of potential embarrassment at play. On top of that, if people believe that success is all based on luck, if you admit you have money suddenly friends and family come out of the woodwork looking for "help" just like if you had won the lottery. "Why won't you share some of your money? 10k would change my life. Why are you bei my so selfish with your lucky draw?"

So, the natural and best course of action in our culture is just to keep quiet.
 
2022-01-24 7:26:20 AM  

GitOffaMyLawn: If you filter out all of the "Americans are stupid. You will call me names and hate me because I call you stupid" bait, then yes, it's a REASONABLE article.

Americans are "stupid" about money because they've been told that increasing wages, salary, and benefits will cause massive unemployment, runaway inflation, and higher taxes on the lower, and lower middle classes.

All of that is BS, propagated by the media parroting corporate shills and conservative think tanks. If you look at the actual economic data, then you know that the doom and gloom is all propaganda to enrich the already obscenely rich.

In that way, Americans are stupid. About the only thing that knowing your neighbor's wages or salary will get you is that their financial struggle is as real as yours if you make less than 200-300K. BTW, that's about 8 times more than the average annual wages or salary.

What can be done once people have that information? A general strike might work. However, just small groups of people leaving for better paying jobs elsewhere might become challenging.

Anyway, I'm not an economist and my sociology knowledge is 40+ years out of date. Still, at best this article is an oversimplification of the peculiarities of the US style of capitalism, which is a whole other kettle of fish. That, and American stupidity.

/ it's midnight
// I probably have lots of things wrong
/// bed time


https://www.reddit.com/r/MayDayStrike/
 
2022-01-24 7:26:29 AM  

Izunbacol: Smackledorfer: That article spent a lot of time telling me I believed things I don't, and what a fool I was for believing them.

Weird I make so much more than his wife if I'm so dumb. And that she makes so much less than every doctor I've ever known. I wonder if she is one of those spouses who has their income direct deposited to two different accounts and she doesn't tell him about the second? (I have a coworker who has hidden part of every raise he's gotten that way)

Was his wife so stupid as a stupid American that she stupidly didn't ask for as much money as she's worth? Did she stupidly not look into different jobs for medical doctors that paid more? Does she know how stupid her husband thinks she is?

And I love being educated by a guy who says average instead of the more accurate median, and then says it is 30k when it's 34 and change. If one is going to write such an article, I should think a focus on correctness would be important.

Stepping outside of how personal he wants to make things: yes, lots of Americans have shiatty jobs for shiatty pay and shiatty benefits.  Most are keenly aware of this. In fact, if tfa is correct about Americans not asking for enough money, the fact that they supposedly believe the average is so high suggests the opposite conclusion: if you thought the average pay was 75k and not 30k, you'd be more likely to ask for more money. So even if simply bargaining for more pay solved things, Americans should already be asking for higher salaries if they believe the average is higher.

What Americans have done, as he points out regarding labor percentage of income, is allow the wealthy to consolidate wealth. we socially accept CEOs making far more than other countries tend to. We also accept lower benefits and literally vote for keeping things like health insurance tied to our employer.

None of that has anything to do with individual beliefs about average salaries.

This guy made a thing up and then worked backwards at every step to make that thing t ...

It's easy to pull the BLS data:

Median full-time workers over age 25 (actual adults) is more relevant here, and that figure ($1,057/week at 52 weeks) comes out to $54,964.  If you guessed $50K, you're pretty accurate.

Note as well that it's $1,658/week for advanced degrees, which is $86,216/year. If his wife has so many advanced degrees and everything she does is so impressive, why are her earnings so low?  Medical scientist compensation data available here.

[Fark user image image 755x235]

He's right on some things, particularly a great deal of the pain being self inflicted.  The "80%" for people living paycheck to paycheck seems absurd - are you telling me 80% of Americans have no assets?  That would suggest a lot of people living seemingly middle class lifestyles have no cushion whatsoever.  I don't understand how anyone could live like that, week by week, month by month, and still spend anything more than the minimum to get by on a spartan existence to refill the emergency coffers.

Frankly, it smells like bullshiat.


The paycheck to paycheck part is roughly correct, and is almost entirely due to some combination of housing prices increasing significantly faster than inflation, education costs increasing faster than inflation, transportation costs being high, healthcare costs being high, and the frequent exclusion of retirement savings from these kinds of numbers. A lot of Americans contribute to 401k and IRA accounts without first building an emergency fund. It's not the smartest idea, but it's also kind of understandable given how most people learn about financial priorities.
 
2022-01-24 7:35:46 AM  

JK8Fan: Archie Goodwin: 'Why' in three words:

Trickle Down Economics.

Yep. We were convinced by Reagan that giving massive tax breaks to the rich would benefit us all. Now, the rich have most of the assets and owning a home now is out of reach for massive numbers of Americans.


Yes, but toss in 50 years of enforced wage stagnation policy.
 
2022-01-24 7:36:29 AM  

Shaggy_C: qorkfiend: I feel that much of the reticence comes from some form of embarrassment. Has that been something you've noticed? If so, what'd you do about it?

Americans have very little power distance when compared to other nations. Your average bumpkin believes the only reason the big boss at their company is the CEO while they are just an assembly line worker is because the CEO "got lucky." Nothing to do with work ethic, smart decisions, skills, no - any of us could be president if we really wanted to.

Admitting a low salary is admitting failure in the capitalist society, so there is a huge amount of potential embarrassment at play. On top of that, if people believe that success is all based on luck, if you admit you have money suddenly friends and family come out of the woodwork looking for "help" just like if you had won the lottery. "Why won't you share some of your money? 10k would change my life. Why are you bei my so selfish with your lucky draw?"

So, the natural and best course of action in our culture is just to keep quiet.


I'm willing to go out on a limb and bet that I have a significantly higher net worth than you and have significantly more CEOs, founders, and other (U)HNWIs in my social circle than you do, and I can tell you empirically that roughly 90% of financial success is luck. Oh sure, you need to be willing to work hard and have a brain capable of stringing words into sentences, and some specialized knowledge doesn't hurt, but that's just the table stakes. A majority of people (well, at least a plurality) have all the raw basic building blocks to become wealthy. The only real difference is luck: genetic luck (falling out of the right vagina made Bill Gates what he is today,) positional luck (if Jobs hadn't run into Wozniak, he wouldn't have become Jobs,) or just plain "avoiding some totally unforeseeable and completely out of your control bad luck" like that experienced by the millions of disabled people and people who's career choices are dictated by medical and financial decisions they've had to make.

Also, I'm not sure what kind of people you know, but I've never had anyone ask me for $10,000 because it'll change their life.
 
2022-01-24 7:36:33 AM  

RaymondQGillet: Candygram4Mongo: Does he ever explain how post 1990 America is so different from pre 1990 America? His chart shows that as the transformational point.

After all, Americans were just as "stupid about money" in the 60s and 70s.

No. He mostly reiterates his main point every paragraph, and his subpoint every other paragraph. We're dumb because we don't have the information required to successfully negotiate our wages, and we don't even know we don't know what we don't know, man. Also we hate him for pointing out what we don't know because we think we know what we don't know.

Which...okay, that's part of it, but he entirely leaves out the shift you asked about, which arguably is more relevant to our current fark sandwich.


Here is an alternate explanation.

The area on the chart circled in red is where the Apple Macintosh became a productive tool in the workplace. You no longer had to do things from a command prompt. You could do graphic design, learn programming basics with HyperCard.

It was the start of the high tech revolution reaching the common man and his workplace.

In the late 1980s, I designed a Filemaker database for a storage facility, and set it up run on a Mac Plus. I taught one of the forklift drivers how to use it. How to use the computer, as well as how to manage the database.

A few years later, I met him on the street. He said he no longer drives forklifts. He is employed as a graphic designer. Thanks to what he learned on the warehouse Mac we set up there.

Productivity through technology and innovation accounts for a huge jump in GNP, as well as anything else.

/ Unlike the article writer, I freely admit I could be wrong.
 
2022-01-24 7:40:36 AM  

Shaggy_C: qorkfiend: I feel that much of the reticence comes from some form of embarrassment. Has that been something you've noticed? If so, what'd you do about it?

Americans have very little power distance when compared to other nations. Your average bumpkin believes the only reason the big boss at their company is the CEO while they are just an assembly line worker is because the CEO "got lucky." Nothing to do with work ethic, smart decisions, skills, no - any of us could be president if we really wanted to.

Admitting a low salary is admitting failure in the capitalist society, so there is a huge amount of potential embarrassment at play. On top of that, if people believe that success is all based on luck, if you admit you have money suddenly friends and family come out of the woodwork looking for "help" just like if you had won the lottery. "Why won't you share some of your money? 10k would change my life. Why are you bei my so selfish with your lucky draw?"

So, the natural and best course of action in our culture is just to keep quiet.


I doubt the majority of rural Americans think that at all.  A disturbingly high percent believe the Jews are putting them down, and that the libs want to take away their voting, gun, and religious freedoms.
They don't connect their poverty to their own voting choices, demolishing organized labor.
 
2022-01-24 7:41:40 AM  

vernonFL: [Fark user image image 287x168]

[Fark user image image 285x168]


Poor households can make unlimited long distance call anywhere in the United States for a flat monthly cell phone charge. Unlike the landlines of the past that charged per minute in addition to a monthly charge.

Poor households can have global video chat for free, assuming they can find wifi. But most people who pay for cable have wifi included.

/ Do most people cable these days?
// I use a rooftop antenna for my local channels.
/// But I still pay monthly for broadband.
 
2022-01-24 7:41:45 AM  

vernonFL: [Fark user image image 287x168]

[Fark user image image 285x168]


It's similar to avocado toast.

It is designed to hit old people in a certain part of their brain.

When the olds were kids, avocados were exotic and expensive.  So saying avocado toast gets them outraged.

similarly, when the olds were kids microwaves and fridges were not as ubiquitous - (although for fridges, it might be triggering the part of the brain remembering their parents complaining/being told having a fridge was a luxury).

It's a nostalgia hit to try and get them riled up.  Because things have changed.  Avocados are about $1 a pop, fridges are a necessity, and microwaves are about 50 bucks for a cheap one.  It's insane it works, but it's basically trying to get old people yelling at clouds.
 
2022-01-24 7:42:03 AM  
I used to work in a public high school when one of the students discovered the webpage that listed everyone's salary, because they were civil service and their salaries were public record. The teachers freaked out and they had to have a meeting in which they discussed the issue with the principal, who told them there wasn't anything to be done, because it's public record. The Special Ed assistants, the custodians, and the maintenance staff didn't understand what the big deal was, but the teachers had bought into the idea that, while they may have belonged to the Teacher's Union, that really they were Professional Class, and above the need to be part of a union.

I quit before COVID-19 to finish college, so I am wondering whether teachers are feeling any more class solidarity than they used to.
 
2022-01-24 7:42:58 AM  
They assume that so and so must be making such and such. Hey - they have a nice car! They wear decent clothes! When actually, the average American is in debt

The US is an economy based on credit.  Buy and enjoy now as long as you just keep making the minimum payments for eternity. Credit keeps the economy humming and the good life affordable.
 
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