Interesting Atlantic Article
I have written on upward mobility several times at AB. This article goes along similar lines of what I have been saying. If you are already upper class, the chances of you dropping down to the lowest level are slim to none. If you are in that first quintile of income, the chances of you rising to other levels of income are lower than if you were in the next two quintiles. The situation is exacerbated if you are a minority. If you manage to climb a level or two from the lowest quintile, the chances of you dropping down again are higher than if you are already there. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/the-original-underclass/492731/
“But today’s trailer trash are merely yesterday’s vagrants on wheels, an updated version of Okies in jalopies and Florida crackers in their carts. They are renamed often, but they do not disappear.”
Except they are now further out of sight than ever. As Isenberg documents, the lower classes have been disregarded and shunted off for as long as the United States has existed. But the separation has grown considerably in recent years. The elite economy is more concentrated than ever in a handful of winner-take-all cities—as Phillip Longman recently noted in the Washington Monthly, the per capita income of Washington, D.C., in 1980 was 29 percent above the average for Americans as a whole; in 2013, that figure was 68 percent. In the Bay Area, per capita income jumped from 50 percent to 88 percent above average over that period; in New York, from 80 percent to 172 percent. As these gaps have grown, the highly educated have become far more likely than those lower down the ladder to move in search of better-paying jobs.”
The clustering is intensifying within regions, too. Since 1980, the share of upper-income households living in census tracts that are majority upper-income, rather than scattered throughout more mixed-income neighborhoods, has doubled. The upper echelon has increasingly sought comfort in prosperous insularity, withdrawing its abundant social capital from communities that relied on that capital’s overflow, and consolidating it in oversaturated enclaves.
“Things were much better in an earlier time, and no future awaits in places that have been left behind by polished people in gleaming cities. The most painful comparison is not with supposedly ascendant minorities—it’s with the fortunes of one’s own parents or, by now, grandparents. The demoralizing effect of decay enveloping the place you live cannot be underestimated. And the bitterness—the “primal scorn”—that Donald Trump has tapped into among white Americans in struggling areas is aimed not just at those of foreign extraction. It is directed toward fellow countrymen who have become foreigners of a different sort, looking down on the natives, if they bother to look at all.”
I was born and raised in Flint, Mi, rust belt capital. I’ve since lived in NYC for 30 years, and the saddest thing I see when I go back is the faith that many Flint residents have in “things turning around”.
They just cannot believe the extent to which they’ve been written off.
I live in Livingston County, the richest county in Michigan having less than 1% African Americans. One editorial in the local newspaper was asking if people felt police officers were discriminating against Black Americans in Livingston County. Of course, then all the locals come out. The editorial disappeared after I pointed out it was rather a silly article since so few African Americans live in Livingston County. How the hell would they know in Livingston County.
It has been a down hill ride since automotive left. Waiting till Detroit people start moving west along the I96 and I94 corridors. The noise level will increase.
Confused, it was the DNC policies that filled the prisons.
It was the DNC that passed the trade deals and gave our technology to China.
It was the DNC that cut the social safety nets.
It was the DNC that cut social security benefits.
It is the DNC who insisted on Hillary who is war monger and more likely than Trump to start a war.
Obviously, you did not take a moment and read my comment to Bernard. What is happening today is what has been happening since John Adams. There has always been an under class of people and they had different names to describe them. Stick to the topic.
To keep from revealing all that the crooked DNC is calling Trumpistas: racists.
The bigotry of the supposedly more evolved crooks.
“The demoralizing effect of decay enveloping the place you live cannot be underestimated.”
I don’t know if I can remember having read a sentence sadder than that one in a long time.
The whole subject puts the lie to supply-side economics once and for all. Reagan’s line that “a rising tide lifts all boats” is complete bullshit — as we now see, with abundant evidence — as is his “government isn’t the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” The abdication of government to the forces of the “free-market” has led directly to the sense — and reality — of decay enveloping the place I live, i.e. my country.
Reaganomics is now more an ideology or a religion than it is economic theory. Paul Ryan and his fellow reactionaries in the GOP are unwilling to or incapable of actually examining with an air of detachment the results of the policies they back. Instead, they have to divert attention from that reality with attacks a la Brother Beene (see above).
The truth is this is a political war — a class war, to use the phrase that makes most uncomfortable. When Warren Buffett was arguing the case 4 or 5 years ago how ridiculous it was that his secretary paid more in taxes than he did, he said, “this is class war, and my side is winning.”
It’s time to pick up the cudgel and join sides and win the bloody war once and for all.
they have a bigger stick than you have.
It ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog!
divide and conquer works.
yell “Trump is a Racist, Bigot, etc.” loud enough. that is all the magic Clinton/Wall St. is counting on.
Facts?? we don’t need no stinking facts about Clinton when we have such an easy mark as Trump.
if Trump were really serious about attacking Clinton, we might see a different “ballgame.” Why doesn’t Trump attack Clinton? kind of like the story about the NSA getting hacked. blame it on the Russians, so the NSA is the victim of “abuse.”
amazing how that works, doesn’t it?
I do not have time to answer nonsense.
“The poor man’s conscience is clear . . . he does not feel guilty and has no reason to . . . yet, he is ashamed. Mankind takes no notice of him. He rambles unheeded. In the midst of a crowd; at a church; in the market . . . he is in as much obscurity as he would be in a garret or a cellar. He is not disapproved, censured, or reproached; he is not seen . . . To be wholly overlooked, and to know it, are intolerable.”John Adams
For the poor white man in the 19th century, poverty added the injury of being socially invisible when compared to a man of wealth or prominence. Not acknowledging their presence created a class of insignificance effectively shamed into oblivion as a class not worthy of notice. Adams did not speak of the black man and Slavery took it one step further creating a stigma worst than that of poverty and more shame inducing. Slaves were economic chattel to be disposed of at the discretion of their owners without observance of their being and at a separate class lower than that of the poorest white man. While not as overt in the 20th century, the distinction of black slave versus poor white man has kept the class system alive and well in the US in the development of a discriminatory informal caste system. This distraction of a class level lower than the poorest of the white has kept them from concentrating on the disproportionate, and growing, distribution of income and wealth in the US. For the lower class, an allowed luxury, a place in the hierarchy and a sure form of self esteem insurance.
Bernard, you don’t think Trump has been attacking Crooked Hillary? Been asleep long?
There is a phrase that explains much about Trumpsters, Trumpeteers, Trumpkins. Oddly enough that in origin has nothing to do with Trump.
“Trompe-l’œil” “an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.”
Except that for Trump it is only partially optical, it is equally or more emphatically perhaps rhetorical, surely something that is so bold and so apparently clear must have SOME real depth.
Alas no. It is all surface illusion and flash and angles that seem to mean something but only add deception.
AND CRAP! I was certain this was original. But no somebody at the Prospect was onto it last spring. Damn Google:
Ilsm, this is the best quote I’ve read on the bigotry of the Democratic Leadership Council well explained in Sloan article Clintonism screwed the Democrats: How Bill, Hillary and the Democratic Leadership Council gutted progressivism.
“What does being a Republican have to do with untrustworthiness? At least Republicans are somewhat honest about wanting to screw everyone. Democrats on the other hand tend to be duplicitous, sanctimonious rats who always try to pretend that they’re the good guys who are out to help people–while they’re screwing everyone over. I wouldn’t trust anyone who’s been roped into either party.” Author unknown
“But Clinton is a skilled politician, so she’s artfully re-aligned herself to blur their differences, with overwhelming support from the elite punditocracy. When the dark side of the Clinton record from 1990s is raised—NAFTA, Defense Of Marriage Act, “welfare reform,” mass incarceration, Wall Street deregulation, etc.—two defenses come readily to mind: “Hillary didn’t do it!/Bill was president” and “times change/you’re forgetting what it was like.”
I love the idea that the DNC is the reason for the mass incarceration in the US.
Course, I like fantasy.
I just wonder how people can think such a thing without mentioning under what laws the people were incarcerated? Imposed by whom?
“I love the idea that the DNC is the reason for the mass incarceration in the US.
Course, I like fantasy.” EMichael
Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote
From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America.
African Americans were in danger long before Clinton.
I got it. Now
Congress makes legislation.
Bill Clinton of course deserves a lot of blame, as do the Dems who voted for his actions in this area(course, an awful lot of the results that we have seen were born in the years before Clinton got there.)
But this bill was far from the sole reason for mass incarceration, so why is it given that credit?
Why are the policies of the states not mentioned? Why are the amount of people in prison for technical parole violations(not new crimes) not mentioned?
This is a huge story with a lot of reasons. Pinning it on one person and or group is as silly as blaming a First Lady for supporting the POTUS.
Sorry Run, did not mean to screw up(any further) this topic.
Just three paragraphs from the URL I sent you.
Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. Clinton did not declare the War on Crime or the War on Drugs—those wars were declared before Reagan was elected and long before crack hit the streets—but he escalated it beyond what many conservatives had imagined possible. He supported the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which produced staggering racial injustice in sentencing and boosted funding for drug-law enforcement.
Clinton championed the idea of a federal “three strikes” law in his 1994 State of the Union address and, months later, signed a $30 billion crime bill that created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces. The legislation was hailed by mainstream-media outlets as a victory for the Democrats, who “were able to wrest the crime issue from the Republicans and make it their own.”
When Clinton left office in 2001, the United States had the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Human Rights Watch reported that in seven states, African Americans constituted 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely than whites to use or sell illegal drugs. Prison admissions for drug offenses reached a level in 2000 for African Americans more than 26 times the level in 1983. All of the presidents since 1980 have contributed to mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson recently observed, “President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.”
Some might argue that it’s unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies her husband championed years ago. But Hillary wasn’t picking out china while she was first lady. She bravely broke the mold and redefined that job in ways no woman ever had before. She not only campaigned for Bill; she also wielded power and significant influence once he was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures. That record, and her statements from that era, should be scrutinized. In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
You are not getting. You are attacking the result and not the cause or the prevention. Think about what I said and the John Adams quote.
I read the thing. Wrong topic.
And the author needs to wake up and smell the roses and stop cherry picking things.
run, did reread the bit you posted about Adam; no argument there.
My argument is about DNC & DLC creating a larger population of people living in poverty while claiming to help to be helping them; and especially the past two democratic presidents.
IMHO democratic s has caused the middle class and the poor the most problems. So if we keep accepting their excuse we are less evil and continue voting for democratic s nothing will change.
Beene; the incarceration problem is largely a state problem not a federal one.
As to your claim of Democrats impoverishing the people, what does that mean for voters in this election? You want Trump? I didn’t think so. Jill Stein or Johnson? You can’t have either of them. So what do you want?
Jack, we only have two parties, Jill Stein represents more of what I would want for our nation. But, she will probably not be on ballet in all the states or even have enough votes to force the dems and repubs to allow her to be participate in presidential debates.
So will vote for Trump in hopes of change from the neoliberals the DNC has given us. Also hope Hillary loses by a margin large enough that it will change the DNC and DLC offering in the next election.
i think i understand your reasons.
but with Hillary we still get another chance next year. and unless we know how to take that chance… and make it win, we are not going to get anything out of a Hillary loss.
Trump represents the resurgence of the pre civil rights days… a time when hate was legitimate. and i don’t mean specifically race hatred; just a time when violence was considered a normal response to people you didn’t like.
we still have the hate, but at least it’s not legitimate. and that matters a lot. a Trump victory would give “momentum” to the haters.
Coberly, wish I still had you’re optimism. But I strongly disagree that there is any chance with Hillary. All the people associated with her new administration including the past chair of the DNC are supporters of TTP; with the exception of the last one Hillary appointed; that makes it something like 6 to one. We can live with bad manners much easier another trade deal that restricts the laws we may pass.
“Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice. His career was defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms. He was a Justice who did not believe in legislating from the bench and he is a person whom I held in the highest regard and will always greatly respect his intelligence and conviction to uphold the Constitution of our country,” Trump said in a statement. “The following list of potential Supreme Court justices is representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value and, as President, I plan to use this list as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/trumps-supreme-court-nominees-223331#ixzz4IjMPMVis
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There is a sense that the poor will always be poor. This is not the case. While there is some “stickiness” in income mobility (one’s parents’ income is correlated to one’s own), there is little evidence to suggest that one’s parents’ income is the underlying driver. The factors that drive one to achievement are often passed on to one’s children, whether through heredity or through upbringing. Intelligent people are more likely to have intelligent offspring, and industrious parents teach their children to be industrious.
I am not at all optimistic. With Hillary we will get what we have been getting. If we can’t beat that without resorting to Nastiness, we won’t get anything better. The answer is not to vote for trump, but to actually organize and do what it takes to win the next election with a sane candidate not the tool of the predator class.
like i said, i am not optimistic.
Coberly, did we not just try what your are suggesting.
IMHO, we sent a candidate that lack the will to use the people he asked help to bring them to the convention. Then turned the revolution in to just another fund raising organization, effectively killing the sole of the revolution which was meant to support candidates with similar principles, threw activism not simply money.
yep, we tried it. now we need to keep on trying, maybe having learned something.
just because you don’t get it right first try, or twenty third, is not a good reason to vote for the worse of two evils thinking that every thing will get better if it just gets bad enough first.
The “stickiness” you mention in income mobility has fast become more like the La Brea Tar Pits. If you look at charts on income mobility since 1965, the bottom three quintiles are flat lines. And included in all those people in the bottom three quintiles for all that time I know you would find lots and lots of intelligent and industrious folks. The flip side of your argument is akin to the reactionary one I hear all the time that billionaires shouldn’t be subject to inheritance tax because “these people worked really hard for that money.”
In reality, it is incredibly, incredibly difficult to slip the Tar Pits if you are born into poverty, and equally difficult to fall into the Tar Pits if you are born into wealth. Intelligence and industriousness are unquestionably important and should be fostered in and taught to everyone. But they are not the keys to the locked door. If those folks in the bottom three quintiles have experienced no income mobility at all, it is not because they lack intelligence or a strong work ethic but because the economic and political system itself is set up to protect wealth and ignore the bottom three. Just witness the hard line reactionaries took in raising the national minimum wage, or the surprising number of times they said we should simply eliminate the minimum wage.
The problems of poverty, income inequality and income immobility are structural, not individual.
In not voting for the lesser of two evils, you end up voting for the greater evil.
“If you look at charts on income mobility since 1965, the bottom three quintiles are flat lines.”
Perhaps you should do so yourself before telling others to.
As you can see in Figure 1, less than half of those born into the bottom quintile are there as adults, and less than half of those born into the top quintile are there as adults. Those born in the middle, as one might expect, have almost the same odds of getting into the top quintile as they do of staying in the middle.
As for raising the Minimum Wage, how would that help? Of those born in the bottom quintile, 83% make more than their fathers did at the same age (adjusting for inflation, of course).
First of all, you try living on the minimum wage, then ask how a raise would help.
I said, “In reality, it is incredibly, incredibly difficult to slip the Tar Pits if you are born into poverty, and equally difficult to fall into the Tar Pits if you are born into wealth.” The Fed report says, “but for those born in the bottom or the top fifth, mobility is much more constricted, suggesting that birth circumstances play more of a role in lifetime outcomes” (birth circumstances, not intelligence or industry). The Fed report concludes, “But if the American Dream means rising in rank in the income distribution, then the findings are not so encouraging. In this case, an individual’s ability to reach the highest economic ranks of society seems at least partially determined by the income rank into which they were born.”
Here’s a chart on Household Income, 1967-2012:
Here’s a chart on Share of Income as a Percentage of Total Income, 1967-2012:
When you get the same dismal reports year after year for the bottom 60% of all workers, along with the same reports about an accelerating boom for the top 1% of all workers, the problem is not with the workers but with the system.
As a matter of fact, I have worked for LESS than Minimum Wage. (State governments are not required to pay Minimum Wage.)
Your charts on income growth are entirely irrelevant to the topic, because they do not represent individuals. The people in the bottom 20% one year are not the same 20 years later.
“61 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 20% of incomes (roughly $111,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years.”
“39 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 10% of incomes (roughly $153,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years.”
“5 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 1% of incomes (roughly $360,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years.”
“20 out of 100 U.S. households will fall into poverty (roughly $23,850 for a family of 4*) for at least 2 consecutive years.”
You suggest that I should look at charts “before telling others to.” Perhaps you should read the articles you cite (the Fed, NPR) before referring them to others.
From NPR: It says specifically that “income mobility hasn’t increased in this country over the past few decades,” but there is still “churn.” What’s the churning? Once-in-a-life-time windfalls that last less than 2 consecutive years:
“Because many people may have a windfall once in their lives — think of a middle-class family selling a house they’ve owned for decades — we looked at how many Americans will find themselves in various income categories for at least two consecutive years… Raises, promotions, new careers, and a spouse entering or leaving the workforce can all create large swings in household income.”
Sorry Warren but windfalls are not a sound basis for an examination of the structural problems in our political and economic system. But have it your way: Everyone should just wait for the wind to fall and stop complaining.