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  1. Obama’s buddies at Solyndra did pretty well. Of course, they left behind a massive toxic waste dump for other people to clean up.

    Comment by V the K — May 1, 2012 @ 7:50 am - May 1, 2012

  2. [...] — and making it more difficult to save up for big purchases, like down payments on homes. http://www.gaypatriot.net/2012/05/01…er-ws-first-7/ Read also http://topics.bloomberg.com/household-income/ [...]

    Pingback by Obama's Job Program ? — May 1, 2012 @ 9:45 am - May 1, 2012

  3. DC is booming, that’s what counts.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 1, 2012 @ 10:45 am - May 1, 2012

  4. As to why the middle class is sliding under both Bush and Obama: Look for the continuities in their policies… the similarities.

    - Giant deficits.
    - Ever-increasing regulation.
    - Inflation / money-printing from the Federal Reserve.
    - Bailouts for the incompetent.

    On deficits: Bush ran deficits that were unheard-of at the time, like 400B or 500B. He did get it back down to the 100-200B zone, only to be thwarted by a Democratic Congress which sent it back up. Obama sent it up even more, betraying his campaign promise of a “net spending cut”. Now in the $1.5T zone. “Thanks”, Obama.

    On regulation: The idea that Bush was somehow a “deregulator” or somehow ran a “free market” economy is a left-wing myth. Bush signed Sarbanes-Oxley (huge increase in regulation on all companies), and expanded government intervention in the economy via new entitlements. Obama tops him with Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, of course.

    On monetary inflation (or money-printing): Bush was glad to have Greenspan run 1% interest rates and re-appointed him. Result: housing bubble – and bust. Obama is glad to have Bernanke run 0% interest rates and QE, and has re-appointed him. Result: rising gas and food prices – and worse to come.

    On the Wall Street bailouts: Proposed by Bush, carried out by Obama. Plus, both have expanded various aspects of the Welfare State, which is bailouts for incompetents elsewhere in society.

    Why do these things hurt the middle class? The middle class needs a growing economy. But the above policies choke off growth. The middle class needs entrepreneurs to create jobs. But the above policies strangle entrepreneurs. The middle class needs money to keep its value over time, so that savings will pay off and the future can be planned. But the above policies destroy the value of money. The middle class needs failures to be liquidated, so that competent and honest people will rise. But the above policies entrench the incompetent and dishonest.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 1, 2012 @ 11:08 am - May 1, 2012

  5. How the Fed[eral Reserve] Favors the 1% – Mark Spitznagel, Wall Street Journal, 4/19/12:

    …monetary inflation [money-printing] is akin to counterfeiting, which necessitates that some benefit and others don’t… the Fed’s money creation does not flow evenly like water into a tank, but rather oozes like honey into a saucer, dolloping one area first and only then very slowly dribbling to the rest.

    The Fed doesn’t expand the money supply by uniformly dropping cash from helicopters over the hapless masses. Rather, it directs [it] to the largest banks (whether by overpaying them for their financial assets or by lending to them on the cheap)…

    The Fed… benefit[s] the recipients who were first in line at the trough: banks (imagine borrowing for free and then buying up assets that you know the Fed is aggressively buying with you) and [other] favored entities… these recipients have proceeded to bid up the prices of assets and resources, while everyone else has watched their purchasing power decline.

    At some point, of course, the honey flow stops—but not before much malinvestment… [such as] the historic 1990s equity and subsequent real-estate bubbles (and what we’re likely seeing again today in overheated credit and equity markets), culminating in painful liquidation.

    The Fed is transferring immense wealth from the middle class to the most affluent, from the least privileged to the most privileged…

    But, to mitigate the Fed’s discredit here: Obama makes them do it. Obama runs giant deficits that need to be financed somehow (and that clearly cannot be financed by tax increases; even Obama agrees that the economy won’t support it). Obama also makes war on the nation’s job creators, which means fewer jobs. The Fed then feels like it has to “do something”, and printing money is really all they are able to do.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 1, 2012 @ 11:23 am - May 1, 2012

  6. P.S. And finally, Spitznagel fails to mention that it is the U.S. Treasury – in other words, Obama / DC the government – that benefits first and most of all, when the Fed prints money. So the “transferring immense wealth” isn’t just from the middle class to the 1%; it’s from the middle class to the government.

    When the Fed prints money, it sends it out into the economy by buying Treasury bonds. The government gets to spend the ‘counterfeited’ money first. The Fed happens to buy those bonds from its “primary dealers”, that is, the largest banks; they also benefit, which is why Spitznagel goes on about them.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 1, 2012 @ 11:44 am - May 1, 2012

  7. V, how could that be?

    They couldn’t leave a toxic waste dump. They were a green company. And my teachers told me green energy was good for the environment — and wouldn’t even hurt a snail darter. Or a delta smelt!

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — May 1, 2012 @ 12:35 pm - May 1, 2012

  8. ILoveCapitalism, I don’t like your class warfare rhetoric (i.e. the term “middle class”).

    What does it mean? I reckon it means nothing more than people that are neither affluent nor poor, which are both relative terms. Therefore, it is itself a relative term, and does nothing but put average people against rich people (i.e. it demonizes the rich). Instead of talking about the middle class, it would be better, in my opinion, to say how capitalism benefits everyone but those whose wealth is based in the status quo.

    Of course, this comment is more of an indictment of people like Barack Obama (who uses that term liberally) than anything else.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 1, 2012 @ 5:28 pm - May 1, 2012

  9. What does it mean?

    Following Obama’s usage with which Dan opened his post, it probably means everyone whose normal (or recent average) income is less than $250K/year but above the official poverty line. As with all subsections of a continuum, the boundaries are vague and graduated: there is no membership card. However, my usage was meant to follow the usage in conventional political discourse, nothing more.

    In America and in practice, middle class usually means “everyone who works because they have to, and is at least somewhat successful at it.” In other words, people who do not live off owned wealth (as they don’t have much of it), but who are not markedly poor either, as they work at job that is at least semi-skilled. Such people depend on an economy being advanced enough (and working well enough) to sustain a sophisticated specialization of labor, with relatively few people needed in agriculture. Primitive economies have smaller (or perhaps no) middle class, as their production and/or distribution of food is inadequate to support much labor specialization.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 1, 2012 @ 5:56 pm - May 1, 2012

  10. I don’t know a very close friend makes ends meet. He has a wife and three kids aged 14, 11, and 6. The only good news is that he resides in an area with a very low cost of living. But he’ll never be able to save for retirement. That is why I’ve given money for a trust fund for his children to go to college. At least they will not have 150K in loans when they graduate.

    Comment by davinci — May 1, 2012 @ 7:06 pm - May 1, 2012

  11. Doesn’t this sort of fit in with the progressive lament that American consumes too much of the world’s resources and is too consumerist? If people don’t have enough money to spend on things liberals don’t want them to buy, it’s sort of “win-win” for the progressive left.

    Comment by V the K — May 1, 2012 @ 7:51 pm - May 1, 2012

  12. ILoveCapitlasim, as I said, my comment was more of an indictment of people like Obama who use the term “middle class” deliberately to demagogue. Furthermore, I disagree with the concept of “classes” (at least in a political context) as it is just a way to divide people into groups (I guess it is slightly useful in demographics, but not really). I think I understand why you used that term, but I disagree with its use. And my remark, “what does it mean?”, was meant to express its nonspecificity.

    I know that you weren’t inciting class warfare, I was just calling the term “middle class” what I think it is (and I shouldn’t have said “your rhetoric” because I know it’s not yours). I apologize if I offended you; that was not my intent.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 1, 2012 @ 7:54 pm - May 1, 2012

  13. I wasn’t offended. Just answered your question :-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 1, 2012 @ 11:58 pm - May 1, 2012

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