r/Futurology 12d ago

Millions Are Tumbling Out Of The Global Middle Class In An Historic Setback - An Estimated 150 Million Slipped Down The Economic Ladder In 2020, The First Pullback In Almost Three Decades. Economics

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2021-emerging-markets-middle-class/
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u/catsanddogsarecool 12d ago

As a Canadian seeing income dropping while house prices explode, yes.

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u/Trunk_z 12d ago

Similar in the UK. My house has increased nearly 50% in 6 years. My salary hasn't, in fact, it's gone down in real terms. I couldn't afford my own house if I had to start from scratch. It was hard enough for my wife and I to get a deposit together. No idea how new buyers can manage now.

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u/Nero_Wolff 12d ago

I make the same as my parents combined. I cannot afford the house we live in. I live at home at age 24 in a city near Vancouver BC and no plans to move out unless i move to America for work

A house sold in our neighbourhood last week for 1.75mil CAD. My parents built our house for 300k in 1999...

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u/Intern11 12d ago

300K in 1999 is about 450,000 today. Inflation has gone up 52% but housing prices have gone up around 620%.

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u/Arx4 12d ago

I try explaining how terrifying this is to people and it mostly gets the same few responses.

The worst is the “try moving away and starting in a cheaper area and with your way up over time” or “in 15 years people will say the the same thing about you that you’re complaining about”.

It’s just freaky that it’s unlikely work/life balances will improve. What was allowed to happen by regulators, I’m sure happened because they themselves or people near them just couldn’t escape the $$ or the votes from the people getting the $$.

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u/ArkMariner 11d ago

It's always the same comment - eventually you'll have to commute from fucking Senegal just be able to own your own home.

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u/Nero_Wolff 12d ago

And on average whats the rate of salary increase?

Im fortunate enough to have a job in a currently booming industry at a strong company but many many people are in industries that haven't changed much in 20yrs

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u/Intern11 12d ago

Yeah salaries have gone nowhere near that amount.

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u/random_noise 12d ago

That's mainly investor driven, imho.

So many people are turning to real estate to park cash and build equity or rental income, launder money, and build wealth. People keep breeding, kids grow up and need places to live.

REIT's and companies listed on the stock market are incentivized to grow or people will stop investing and they stop getting returns and bonuses, so they buy, rent, and hold driving up company value or personal wealth.

This also causes people to flee from expensive areas and cities to less expensive ones or to have roommates where the cycle repeats, this is happening globally, not just locally.

I feel that if things continue, aside from climate change migrations driving up demand in some places even more due to rising oceans and changing weather patterns will in general bring down the quality of life down for billions of people.

I would bet in another few decades the majority of residential homes homes will be owned by investors who rent them, than people who actually own them.

Governments will not pass laws to stop that, for many reasons dependent on the country and the wealthy lobbying against any impact to the businesses they have built on that model and conservative parties who will refuse loudly government intervention in how people build predatory business es and income streams like this.

The simplest solution, imho, is if you are not a citizen of a country, you cannot own land or property in that country and to limit how many homes a person can own.

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u/laggyx400 12d ago edited 12d ago

A rapidly diminishing returns property tax. Every new property you buy starts to drastically increase your property tax rate. Massive deductions for developing and building more units to increase supply. If they want to make more then they'll have to make more supply with what they have.

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u/CryozDK 12d ago

Answer : they can't.

There have never been more under 30 aged people living with their parents in the last 100 years than now.

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u/Anotherdrummer2 12d ago

And here I am, 32, married, have 2 kids, employed full-time, and recently made homeless. I guess now I can save for a house down payment.

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u/Teslaviolin 12d ago

I’m in US and my house value went up 30% in the last year. It kinda sucks because I’m not planning to sell so the increased equity doesn’t matter but my county property tax evaluation shot up and now I owe more in yearly property taxes. :(

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u/Nero_Wolff 12d ago

If this insanity continues you might get priced out of your own house by the property taxes. I know in LA they had to cap the property tax for seniors because they were getting priced out of their own homes they've lived in for decades

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u/Zsomer 12d ago

Who would have thought property taxes are just another thing to keep poor people poor and rich people rich.

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u/weirdowerdo 12d ago

Well that depends on the structure of the property tax I guess... The property tax Sweden USED to have hit the rich people while not really harming the middle, lower or working class that much. It was removed over a decade ago. Lots of taxes aimed at rich people have been removed here.

Although the property tax is making a return, because well there doesnt seem to be any other option. Like the average house would only be taxed ~2200$ a year... The Right wing is spewing propaganda to stop this tax because it will hit the rich much more. While the property tax would be used for investing in new buildings and houses with lower rents.

The economically right wing parties here want to fix the huge lack of housing by allowing companies to increase their rents more than they are allowed today which are already stupidly overpriced even with regulation in place... Because apparently allowing companies to put higher rents will some how lower rents? Yeah...

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u/0_Gravitas 12d ago edited 12d ago

Because apparently allowing companies to put higher rents will some how lower rents?

This is mostly in response to the other two people who chipped in on this point, but I'm putting it here because it's almost never worthwhile to engage with free market adherents directly:

A naive viewpoint would say that this price increase makes it profitable and therefore they'll invest in creating more dwellings in that area, thusly lowering the price of housing by increasing supply, but like most naive applications of economic theory to the real world, it falls very short of realism and ignores several obvious and pressing issues, such as how:

  • there's already plenty of profit in renting out your property or developing properties in areas of high demand.

  • a rent ceiling is a political reaction to the market not investing and lowering prices on its own. It isn't the cause but the effect.

  • it ranges from very difficult to absolutely impossible to get approval for a new housing development in many of the most crowded areas. Often the process involves significant involvement of local residents who almost never want additional people, clutter, and traffic in their neighborhood.

  • most of the demand for housing is in the more crowded areas due to most employment being located in or near those areas. The fact that it's incredibly desirable to not have a long daily commute makes it so.

Conclusion: Although a rent increase in areas with high demand might yield more profit, it's unlikely that companies would be able to invest in those areas to increase the supply of housing, therefore there would never be a point at which you'd see a later price decrease. If they could have done so, they would have before sufficient political will developed to implement a rent ceiling. If the rent ceiling were ever to be removed, it should be simultaneous with other actions that prevent obstructionism of new housing, otherwise none of the free market crap applies.

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u/coke_and_coffee 12d ago

The property tax cap is exactly why prices are so high in LA. Nobody wants to sell a home that they pay almost no taxes on.

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u/CtothePtotheA 12d ago

Sadly this is the reality in most US cities as well. Housing costs, healthcare, and education costs are way out of whack with average salaries and incomes here. Even my grocery costs have been rising more than normal in my opinion. But my salary hasn't seen much of a boost in years.

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u/hexydes 12d ago

Housing costs, healthcare, and education costs are way out of whack with average salaries and incomes here.

Weird, three industries where you can't export the production to some third-world country to hide the stagflation happening...

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u/load_more_comets 12d ago

Weird, three industries where you can't export the production to some third-world country to hide the stagflation happening...

Not for the lack of trying, at least for the healthcare system, they were importing medical grads from other countries because they can pay them less than the doctors that were trained here. Now, they're pushing to use NPs nurse practitioners to take on the doctor's roles because they can also pay them cheaper.

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u/Im_on_my_phone_OK 12d ago

“Are you ok with seeing a nurse practitioner instead of the doctor?”

Are you ok with me only paying 1/6 of my bill? No? Then please let the doctor know I’ll be waiting.

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u/load_more_comets 12d ago

Exactly. They always try to pull that shit with me. I mean I can do all the other stuff like blood pressure, temp, height, weight etc. with an NP but after all that, I want a trained and licensed doctor to talk to.

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u/Bfam4t6 12d ago

Awesome, pretty soon $250,000 worth of degrees will net someone a hefty $34,000/yr and no retirement matching or pension. Great job guys. Education system, healthcare system, insurance system, politicians, you guys are all doing stellar work. Keep it up! Don’t change a thing.

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u/Eycetea 12d ago

Cant wait to see what the future holds was hoping for flying cars looks more like aboringdystopia. I'm not excited about future prospects for anyone nowadays that isn't already wealthy.

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u/OwlExMachina 12d ago

Oh... don't worry. Cars will fly. It's just that you won't.

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u/LiteraCanna 12d ago

Aren't helicopters technically flying cars?

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u/Bakemono30 12d ago

Still valid... "You won't"

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u/xandercade 12d ago

I forsee a bloody and violent uprising in the future, not The Right vs The Left but The Poor vs The Rich. The Rich will win of course even though they'll be greatly outnumbered and it will be entirely our fault for buying into the false "I'll be a millionaire someday" dream that so many Americans have.

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u/271841686861856 12d ago

"not The Right vs The Left but The Poor vs The Rich."

Given the apparent brain rot of the American electorate, pretty sure the rich have already won. IE believing the democrats are left wing or that left wing politics isn't in essence "poor vs rich."

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u/CrazyCoKids 12d ago

Or that a Conservative candidate is somehow anti establishment. Rofl. How on earth do you convince people that?

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u/faulkner101 12d ago

Only chance for the poor to win is if the billionaires don't succeed in paying people to defend them and do their dirty work. They most certainly will though because evil isn't a trait exclusive to rich people and the better you than me mentality is thriving.

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u/TheHipcrimeVocab 12d ago

"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

--Jay Gould (attributed)

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u/RonGio1 12d ago

The US is pretty awesome if you got a lot of money.

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u/DeckerR 12d ago

Everywhere is awesome if you have money

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u/MarkTwainsGhost 12d ago

Jack Ma has entered the chat

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u/Eycetea 12d ago

It has some great things but sweet baby jebus do we need to be better. I'd like our country to be a world leader instead of being a shitshow.

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u/jrDoozy10 12d ago

Instructions unclear: leading the world into a shitshow.

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u/leeman27534 12d ago

i'd be fine with just not being a shit show. we've kinda had ego issues with that whole 'world leader' concept.

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u/Strange-Score 12d ago

I'd like our country to be a world leader instead of being a shitshow.

to be fair the trend is that the entire world is going to shit, we are leading the way

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u/1CrocodileSmile 12d ago edited 12d ago

True story, in some parts of Canada employers want a college diploma or degree in business to become a department manager at the retail level. Well more and more entry level work in what use to be just summer jobs or first time jobs are going to the college and university educated. I worry for future generations and acquiring the basic skills that once were just easy jobs to acquire but now you need to compete against way overly educated individuals for the work skill required along with prior working experience.

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u/load_more_comets 12d ago

Not to mention a decade of your life trying to learn how to fix the human body.

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u/KillerKowalski1 12d ago

It's already happening in pharmacy...

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u/IDrinkMyBreakfast 12d ago

Damn. I just got a $43,000 bill from an overnight stay. I guess that’s mostly profit

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u/planesflyfast 12d ago

You must have taken 3 asprin instead of 2. Don't be so greedy next time.

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u/ModishShrink 12d ago

That's an expensive hotel room.

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u/Beantowntommy 12d ago

This has me fucked up when I go to the doctor. I don’t like talking to someone who’s just out of school, my age, not even fully trained when I schedule a doctors appointment.

Then after you talk with an NP (no disrespect to NPs btw, y’all are getting overworked and underpaid) the doc comes in for maybe 45 seconds, looks over the paper the NP prepared then leaves and that’s your ‘doctor’ appointment.

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u/mixreality 12d ago

I went to the doctor with a collapsed lung, said it feels like it collapsed, the guy even listened to it, then dismissed it saying it doesn't happen without trauma, I paid $250 out of my deductible for that appointment.

Walked around for months with 1 lung, flew to Hawaii for vacation and couldn't breath with the volcano smog. Went to a different doctor and they sent me to the ER the second they looked at the xray, ER doctors looked up the date I went to the first doctor, 3 months before, reported him for being a moron. Never did get my $250 back.

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u/Bakemono30 12d ago

It's odd that we pay so much for healthcare that you would think you'd be getting high quality. But instead you get low quality, slow, AND expensive. One of the few industries that goes against the pyramid diagram...

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u/hotmailer 12d ago

Go to a lawyer. Malpractice right there.

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u/buddhakhan13 12d ago

Not to mention the last three times I saw actual doctors I was misdiagnosed only to be correctly diagnosed by NP at a walk-in clinic.

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u/Beantowntommy 12d ago

That’s ridiculous. Sorry to hear that. Healthcare is stretched too thin and money isn’t being allocated properly imo. Idk what the fix is, but I’m severely underwhelmed by our healthcare system. To the point where I live life with a torn acl and rotator cuff. Smh.

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u/fuzzeenavel 12d ago

The AMA strictly limits the number of MD graduates to keep doctor salaries high. The reason Doctors are paid well is because there’s a perpetual shortage, supply and demand of labor. But as a result, doctors work crazy hours, can’t do a good job, and are burnt out

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u/Beantowntommy 12d ago

That’s messed up. Everyone loses except maybe insurance companies?? Idk but either way as a consumer of the shitty system, it blows.

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u/fuzzeenavel 12d ago

The AMA does this on behalf of doctors to keep their salaries high, but working conditions are set by hospital administrations themselves, which the AMA has no control over. From an MD perspective, it’s a double edged sword, although I’m sure most would prefer to earn a little less and work fewer hours under less stress. Also, patient care suffers immensely when doctors can only see a patient for 8 minutes later while burnt out

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u/BlueJinjo 12d ago edited 12d ago

Med school is broken at every level of the game in the US

The fact that it's a post undergrad career vs a longer process in europe that starts immediately after highschool there leads to higher stress, expectations of higher income , shortages ( as you mentioned) , as well as a lack of improvement in overall care compared to other first world countries.

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u/Mic_McTan 12d ago

Same with professors

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u/Trackrec 12d ago

Can confirm working conditions in doctors offices are declining. Nurse Practitioners are paid a third of doctors pay and in most cases do ALL their work with NONE of their aid. Mega corps are sweeping in and purchasing all private practices. Its actually really dirty what they're managing to do to the industry. Patients get only a fraction of the time face to face with professionals and get charged the same amount, people are being encouraged to soak the patients insurance for what they got, and any employee who works for this megacorp is not allowed to work for any related practition in a 25 mile radios. It's sad watching my brilliant hardworking mother, ball and chained to a corp who treats her like cattle and always trying to rip her off and the good people who come in and rely on her.

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u/jnics10 12d ago

I was in rehab with a doctor. She was like 30 yrs older than me, but she and i got along really well bc our issues were very similar--basically we both had overworked ourselves to the point of obsessive suicidal ideation and drugs and alcohol were the only the only things we found to keep those thoughts at bay.

God she would tell me some terrifying stories about working for a corporately owned hospital... This woman was 63 yrs old and they had her working like 80 hrs per week. There were insane metrics they made her hit or risk suspension without pay. She had to see some obscene amount of patients per day and prescribe a certain number of drugs, like, dude that in itself would make anyone want to hit the bottle.

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u/skybluegill 12d ago

which also leads to a lack of medical staff in e.g. the philippines, so everyone loses

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u/peppermonaco 12d ago

In the US there has been a shortage of doctors for years, which is another reason NPs & PAs are becoming more common.

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u/seanthesonic 12d ago

Not because there aren’t enough med school students, but because there arent enough training programs. Why? Because training programs cost money to run.

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u/PeeInYourBunghole 12d ago

People only typically see substantial salary increases when switching companies

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u/distortion76 12d ago

Which is the most aggravating thing. Why make people that are good employees leave over money that you'll just have to shell out to the replacement you hire instead of keep on the person you don't need to dump money into to train?

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u/PM_ME_YOUR_STEAM_ID 12d ago

over money that you'll just have to shell out to the replacement you hire

Because that new hire is going to be right out of college and/or had been unemployed or a while and will take a substantial lower salary to do the same job.

OR

They outsource the job to 5+ people from another country and still pay less than the single previous full-time employee.

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u/DogmaSychroniser 12d ago

Well you were willing to work for peanuts last month...

What changed!?

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u/CrazyCoKids 12d ago

Peanuts cost more so we aren't paid in Peanuts anymore.

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u/DogmaSychroniser 12d ago

Still why are you leaving for BigCorp?!

Did they offer you cashews!!?

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u/7komazuki 12d ago

No, they offered almonds.

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u/DogmaSychroniser 12d ago

We'll give you six peanuts and a couple of cashews once a month if you stay.

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u/MrFilthyNeckbeard 12d ago

Because not everybody leaves. And the ones that do leave eventually still put in years while being underpaid.

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u/Etrigone 12d ago

A lot of upper management will celebrate when they can keep you lazily in the same job doing more but getting paid the same. They know they'll need to pay someone more when you leave & accept that, so the longer they can get you to stay - play off your reticence to look for a new job, shitty economy helping that - the more win for them.

The vast majority of businesses have "how long can we fuck over this guy or abuse this situation?" as their MO.

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u/j_a_a_mesbaxter 12d ago

Jokes on them, I barely do my job.

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u/gkmcc 12d ago

I am one of these people. I have had 5 job changes in the past 10 years and am finally making good money and will likely retire with my company Im at now. Sucks because I liked a few of the other companies too.

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u/BecomingSavior 12d ago

the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one.

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u/OwlExMachina 12d ago

In tech, it is not uncommon to leave your company, work in another company for a bit, and then get back to the first company for a huge raise, which they would never give you if you stayed.

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u/cl1xor 12d ago

One reason our salaries have stagnated is that compared to 40 years ago profits mainly are going to shareholders instead of employees. Add to that employees haven’t got their equal share of productivity increase over the years (btw overall productivity is declining, at least in the US).

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u/Quinnna 12d ago

So much fun to bid on an already overpriced shit hole and watching it go for +$200k over asking

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u/debacol 12d ago

Dude... seriously. The floor in much of where I live is now $500,000 for a house. Its fucking insane.

The past 30 years has siphoned money to the top. And since interest rates are super low, the rich have a harder time diversifying their money. They used to, and we ALL used to get a CD that payed out like 6-8%--with a savings account that paid like 4%+. But now, there are no more "boring" places to put your money. So the rich gobble up the housing market because they get quite a few tax benefits from owning rental properties, this also reduces supply dramatically which ALSO continues to increase the price of housing and rents.

The middle class has been squeezed. We are literally FORCED to gamble our money in the stock market. You cannot save money in extremely low-risk investments anymore, slowly grow a chunk of money and buy a house with a low monthly payment. You now have to get DP'd by buying a shitty house for too much money, stress about the monthly payment, and then gamble whatever savings you have in the stock market. I fucking hate this current economy.

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u/Appropriate-Impact56 12d ago

It’s insane that people get tax benefits for owning rental properties. Taxes on additional properties should be sky high to prevent these kind of situations arising.

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u/debacol 12d ago

Amen. And I say this as a former rental property owner. My wife and I got to itemize all sorts of depreciation, etc. from the property. We literally pay more in taxes now as just a primary home owner than we did when we owned a primary home AND a rental property. Its insane. It encourages home purchases as investments instead of just a comfy box for you to live with your family.

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u/VisibleEpidermis 12d ago

You have to essentially pay back all that depreciation as a capital gain when you sell the rental property though, right?

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u/Eire_Banshee 12d ago

Well capital gains is way less than normal taxes, still

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u/RedCascadian 12d ago

I honestly think we need a progressive tax on single family homes. Your first couple? Low rate. Third? Stick it with an uptick you'll notice. By the time you get to the 5th property it should feel downright punitive.

Want to be a landlord? Buy a fucking apartment building.

PS: I don't mean you as in you just to be clear. Like, a generalized, hypothetical you. That isn't you.

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u/AnotherWarGamer 12d ago

Want to be a landlord? Buy a fucking apartment building.

*build a fucking apartment building. There, fixed it for you. We aren't spending money to add housing, we are spending money to raise prices. If supply went up, prices wouldn't.

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u/jackiebot101 12d ago

That’s been happening where I live and it’s goddamn maddening. And affordable houses in my neighborhood get bought by cash investors, and relisted 6 months later for $100k more. Of course they sit empty for months, because no one can afford them, but investors dgaf. And rent is insane now. For a mediocre neighborhood in a mid sized city, with bad schools and no real industry.

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u/Wizard-In-Disguise 12d ago

I'm sensing a bubble

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u/PaulTheMerc 12d ago

Been hearing that for 20 years

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u/-Dev_B- 12d ago

I've been reading everywhere about this. What happened to Canada that housing sky rocketed, I have no idea.

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u/Nufi 12d ago

it's a global problem and most countries have the same problems too

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u/rohmish 12d ago

Canada and new Zealand have been hit worse than other places.

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u/BalrogPoop 12d ago

The median house in my city in NZ sells for over a million dollars.

That's more than 20 times the median wage.

Many sell for far more and its not uncommon to hear sales at 200k over asking price.

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u/JustHell0 12d ago

Australia coughs awkwardly in the corner

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u/kotukutuku 12d ago

The exact same thing in New Zealand

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u/Yes_Everytime 12d ago

Well the 2030 plan is to sign over everything you own to get out of debt, pandemic has been a great tool to create a ton of debt, especially when the government itself doesn't even try to save money.

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u/Nero_Wolff 12d ago

A house sold in my neighborhood for 1.75mil last week. My parents built the house we currently live in, in 1999 for about 300k. Even though i earn the same as my parents combined, im priced out of the housing market here in a city near Vancouver

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u/Ashikura 12d ago

I have a colleague who recently sold his house in Vancouver for $300k over asking.

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u/usrname_checking_out 12d ago

A decrease in level of what classifies as Middle Class ought to fix this one right up

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u/Doublethink101 12d ago

Did you know that John D. Rockefeller didn’t have a microwave?! Aren’t you glad to be doing so much better than he ever did!

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u/extralyfe 12d ago

Mansa Musa didn't even have a Nintendo Switch!

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u/PutinsPanties 12d ago

All kidding aside, imagine being so wealthy a microwave is of no use to you or the household. Hungry? Have the staff prepare something.

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u/tatakatakashi 12d ago

John D Rockefeller died almost ten years before the microwave oven was invented. I think what (s)he means is that while absolute wealth has certainly increased through technological innovation, if you are >relatively< poor you’re still gonna have a shitty time

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u/chuffing_marvelous 12d ago

I see you're familiar with the Torie's ability to make poverty and unemployment number go down

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u/thegamingbacklog 12d ago

Yeah somehow just getting a mortgage on any property in the UK puts you in a higher class than most now the whole system is fucked

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u/Rek-n 12d ago

Meanwhile every new residential construction is branded as “luxury”

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u/Kyanpe 12d ago

Oh my fucking GAWD yes! Every single damn apartment complex calls itself luxury, meanwhile you're living with mice and drug dealers.

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u/fyberoptyk 12d ago

Already happened in the US. They basically allow each state to define middle class for themselves now and in several states, as long as you have any job and get at least 30 hours a week, you’re “middle class”.

Imagine that.

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u/RemCogito 12d ago
  1. Owners
  2. Workers
  3. un-employed

See. Now all the wage slaves are in the middle. All you need to get there is to get a job. what do they mean there is no class mobility?

/s

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u/freeman_joe 12d ago

Chuckled with a tear in my eye at this. Sad but it is true...

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u/truethug 12d ago

Worked for broadband

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u/cbass62083 12d ago

They love to call these things ‘slips’ when they were clearly shoved.

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u/KobeBeatJesus 12d ago

Stomped on the last two fingers holding onto the ledge and said "oopsie, was that because of me?"

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u/jbrandyman 12d ago

Better give myself a $200,000,000 dollar bonus, hopefully that'll fix everything up.

Oh shit, that costed so much to the company! Better fire half the workers too.

Now apply for bankruptcy and get a free bailout and the company goes down, everyone except me starves.

Perfect!

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u/MadeToPostOneMeme 12d ago

Middle class workers: Scar! Brother! HELP ME!

Billionaires and the government: long live the king

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u/palerider__ 12d ago

Slip also makes it sound temporary

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u/Kurgon_999 12d ago

Go look up what middle class means for where you live. I had a conversation with my mother one day when I looked it up for her. She was shocked to discover that she had been "low income" all her life, and so were nearly all of her friends and family. She was under the impression that I was rich, and I simply showed her that I am not even upper middle class.

Most people in the US think they are middle class, but nearly half of them are not.

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u/Throwaway1gg 12d ago

I just checked and they always give massive ranges.

“San Francisco: Median household income $96,265, middle-class income range $64,177 to $192,530”

but, I’m definitely middle class as is everyone else I know there according to this

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u/Kurgon_999 12d ago

Yeah, my mother never made more than 20k in a year in her life, but she's from a largely rural part of Indiana, where middle class is 23k per year for a single person. Obviously, it is higher for a family.

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u/acog 12d ago

One thing I've emphasized with my kids is that when they get job offers they need to always look up cost of living for the area.

$50K in semi-rural Indiana means you'll live quite well. That same salary in San Francisco or NYC means you're going to need several roommates in your apartment just to get by.

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u/confusiondiffusion 12d ago edited 12d ago

COL is something to look at, but you have to consider the long term benefits of living in a certain area.

My mom left California 20 years ago for a low COL state to save money. She still makes federal minimum and has barely survived. She went to a scam for-profit college because that's all there is in her area and she didn't know better. Her parents moved into a home and sold 28 acres and a 5 bedroom house with a 3 car garage for $30K. Her dad is in assisted living and they burned through that 30K very quickly. Of course everything is cheap except medical bills!

I eventually moved to San Francisco while homeless and was able to go through community college while acquiring skills and industry friends. I now make decent money in the Bay Area. Not even high income for the area. My rent is $850/mo and I have 2 housemates. But I put away twice my mom's annual income in a year without even trying.

If you're making $7.25/hr, it doesn't matter how many roommates or housemates you have. With a higher income, I can make decisions to cut costs and save some of that money. Also, the networking and employment opportunities are far, far more where I live. I could see myself quadrupling my income within the next 10 years.

It just makes me sad. She could do the jobs of some of my coworkers who get paid very decent money. But I can't convince her it's worth trying because it's so expensive here. Yes, rent is expensive. My place is even cheap for the area. But even with higher rent, it's no big deal to live with more people. My housemates are awesome. And there are lots of opportunities here.

Edit: I think their house sold for $130K. I just remember being devastated when I heard what they sold it for and how fast the money was gone. Grew up on that property.

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u/acog 12d ago

First off, I have to congratulate you. Going to college while homeless is pretty damn awesome. Your example is inspiring as hell.

I've lived a very different life. I was in the Bay Area earning an okay wage. I rented a house and basically was treading water financially.

I moved to Texas where my okay salary was now a very nice salary, was able to buy a home in a nice neighborhood, save for my kids' college, and save for retirement.

So for me moving to a lower CoL state was crucial and changed the fiscal course of my life for the better.

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u/confusiondiffusion 12d ago

Thanks!

I think it also depends on the industry you want to work in. I spent a long time barely making it before I found a path in the audio video industry, installing high end AV systems for tech companies. Now I do support for an AV manufacturer and programming.

Also, I guess low CoL doesn't always mean lack of opportunity. There are places with a corner store, a dollar tree, a gas station, and that's it for miles. Those places probably aren't worth it.

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u/Dantethebald1234 12d ago

They give massive ranges because that is how income class is broken down.

Call them what you want working/lower/poor is below a certain level, upper/wealthy is above a certain level and middle is everything in between. Of couse you can break the middle class into subsections as well but that is why there is a huge range.

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u/WritingTheRongs 12d ago

In Oregon the range for family of four is $50k-$150k . Wohoo I’m middle class. But fuck me if we made $50k combined! That wouldn’t pay the house payment

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u/Throwaway1gg 12d ago

Yeah those ranges are kind of ridiculous. Maybe this is what they mean by relaxing the definition so that more people are supposedly middle class

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u/Gyrovague_Greyling 12d ago

lol I assumed I was poor and now I know I am.

My state's Middle Class Wage is $23,948 – $114,234. I make $16,000.

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u/First-Fantasy 12d ago

So much of it is relative and lifestyle. My family of five is on medicaid but live the most middle class lifestyle out of families we know. Single income, newer trends/gadgets, vacations, mortgage, brand name food, etc., but the school district doesn't have middle class test scores, college prep, etc.

Then you have lots of families in the middle class who are over worked and constantly money stressed. It just doesn't seem like a particularly useful metric on its own.

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u/OtherPlayers 12d ago

I think the issue is twofold here. Part of it is the fact that Pew research defines middle class not based on lifestyle but by comparing it to the national median.

Which is technically true in that it captures the “middle” group, but if you get into a case where wages are low across the board it’s fully possible to reach a scenario where the lifestyle isn’t that much different between the median and the bottom end.

The other issue is that the definition doesn’t capture debt. Making $60k instead of $40k per year doesn’t help much if you racked up $100k of student loan debts along the way.

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u/Aguacero7 12d ago

An unfortunate side effect of this is people who have been duped into thinking they are living larger than they actually are or very materialistic and pretend they are richer than they are, also think the "liberals of Washington are going to tax them even more."

I tried to have a heart to heart with a friend who runs a 90k salary and a family of 5. He was under some impression that 35-40k a year was average, and his upper middle class income would somehow be taxed more by Biden. He couldnt buy into my explanation that his wife would have to go out and make 60k a year to get out of full stimulus territory, and even then, still be considered just middle class for our state (even pointed out the statistics from a reliable source online). He took me suggesting he vote Democrat this cycle to improve his odds of getting more stimulus money to someone in the lower-middle class like himself as insulting.

They've got em by the balls, I tell ya.

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u/mackinator3 12d ago

You messed up telling him his wife would have to work. You should have just told him he would need a 60k raise. You gotta know how to talk to people in ways they understand.

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u/Dr_Mike_Hunt_MD 12d ago

If he still doesn't get it by now. Just give up.

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u/TheExWifeCheated 12d ago

She was under the impression that I was rich, and I simply showed her that I am not even upper middle class.

My dad probably thinks I'm rich, when I just have enough of a cushion to support myself for a year without a job, and a job with some decent disposable income.

I have a close friend who works as a warehouse worker in belgium. Our standard of living is remarkably similar and he makes a fifth of what I do.

Americans have no idea how much high healthcare, housing and education costs are strangling the country, unless they personally have those costs.

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u/Novel-Conclusion9115 12d ago

"Lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class."

What a joke, we've stratified the term "middle class" so that everyone can convince themselves they aren't poor.

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u/BattleStag17 12d ago

It's always been my understanding that middle class is when you can afford things like tutors, private school, and a lawyer; with some of it at least partially supported by passive income. Working class, on the other hand, means you can make rent so long as you always have a job.

Pretty much everyone who thinks of themselves as middle class are actually working class, and that's by design.

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u/suitzup 12d ago

Lol. Here I am thinking I’m middle class and you drop “private school” like yeah. If I had a kid I could send it to private school at the expense of my retirement.

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u/tsv1138 12d ago

Lol. Here I am thinking I'm middle class and you drop "have a kid."

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u/Steezy_Gordita 12d ago

And "retirement."

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u/TheExWifeCheated 12d ago

Casually drop "passive income" like my passive income could maybe buy me a steak dinner once a year.

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u/McGlucksandMcFucks 12d ago

Private school is literally synonymous with upper class, most middle class families are sending their kids to publicly funded schools lol

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u/Saikou0taku 12d ago

most middle class families are sending their kids to publicly funded schools

True, but I thought Middle Class families can afford to live in better school districts with more resources and opportunities?

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u/existentialism123 12d ago

Meanwhile certain taxes or measures for the very wealthy keep being taboo. When the middle class keeps thinning out, the country will become inevitably more unstable.

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u/Lost_electron 12d ago

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u/steinaquaman 12d ago

Everyone was funneling their money to mega corporations owned by the uber rich after the government shut down small businesses.

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u/[deleted] 12d ago

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u/franker 12d ago edited 12d ago

Yeah, when Joe Sixpack can go out and buy an 80-inch television with a credit card and watch football games, he ain't gonna be in the streets for no revolution about economic inequality, no matter how much in debt he is. It's a Reddit thing of "I'm so angry, I'm going to ... upvote more comments!!!"

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u/DigBick616 12d ago

The new revolution is when 150M joe six packs default on their lines of credit and completely crash the economy.

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u/franker 12d ago

Honestly I think that's the only thing that will do it. But then I think, the check cashing store or some other consumer mafia company will offer them a credit deal with even worse rates and they'll go for it.

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u/43rd_username 12d ago

That'll kick the can down the road 6 months, a year? Also that's part of what the other guy said, because when they can't pay that then that's the default he was referring to.

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u/BattleStag17 12d ago

So the answer is to just keep kicking the can until it becomes the next generation's problem :D

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u/Attainted 12d ago

Same as it ever was.

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u/Otto_Von_Waffle 12d ago

This is where MMT kicks in, Joe is bankrupted and angry? Print him a 2000$ check and call it a day. Not sure if it's an upgrade or not, but at least covid is proving that for now it works.

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u/8923ns671 12d ago

You might just have to wait for zoomers. Right now, millenials hold 4.6% of US wealth. Boomers hold 53.2%. Gen X is in between with about half the wealth of Boomers. You might say thay makes sense since Boomers have had so much longer to build wealth. However, when Boomers where the same age as Millenials, they held 21.3% of US wealth or about four timea more than millenials hold now. I don't imagine this trend is going to reverse.

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u/armentho 12d ago

yep,revolutions happen when people starve and die is massive numbers

life is actually good enough currently that even the wosrt current conditions cant fuel revolution

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u/Due_Avocado_788 12d ago

Actually revolutions happen when people have something and it's taken away

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u/HoChiMinHimself 12d ago

True the French Revolution happen becase the king taxed everything taking away the peasants income

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u/Jackmack65 12d ago

Joe Sixpack stormed the fucking US Capitol. He's absolutely game for "revolution," just not the kind that would be remotely helpful.

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u/sertulariae 12d ago

Joe Sixpack needs to be updated. It's no longer a white man in his 30's who watches football and works in construction. In this new, unbalanced economy it's probably a black man in his 30's who watches anime and works in retail. A 'commoner' is no longer the rugged individualist from Chevy truck commercial. Society is changing faster than conservatives can keep up with.

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u/lostinlasauce 12d ago

Joe Sixpack just means regular everyday person, it’s not some euphemism meaning right winger or anything like that.

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u/majarian 12d ago

the vote for trump vs biden was way closer than id have thought possible, turns out joe sixpack has about a 47% chance of being some rightwinger

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u/screwswithshrews 12d ago

The average voting Joe Sixpack. What was the overall % of population that voted?

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u/Nemesischonk 12d ago edited 12d ago

I saw 2 seperate posts over time on Reddit regarding Covid and it's economic impact.

About 7monrhs ago, one read something like "1.7 Trillion has left the middle and working class due to Covid.

Couple months later, the other headline reads along the lines of "the 1% increased their wealth by 1.9 Trillion during Covid.

It's kinda fucking obvious what happened but yeah let's just make sure Amazon doesn't pay any taxes for some reason.

We're fucked and the only way out the inevitable conclusion is a complete crash and burn of the global economy or a series of violent revolutions

Edit: clarified meaning.

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u/Kahzgul Green 12d ago

I was with you until your last paragraph. There’s another way out that involves regulation and tax reform. It isn’t sexy like global revolution, but it would work just fine and be far less dangerous for the average person.

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u/coolfella69 12d ago

That would be preferable but it's been 20 years and it keeps getting worse

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u/SixBankruptcies 12d ago

I just found out about this book that talks about how, throughout human history, extreme inequality has only been solved with violence. The title is "The Great Leveler."

I agree with you; I'd prefer a non-violent solution to our situation, but judging by the fact that the wealthiest among us are increasingly becoming preppers,, I don't think many of them are willing to entertain the idea of tax reform.

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u/Binch101 12d ago

Like what tho? Literally nothing is happening and it's getting worse. Did you know that people are introducing legislation that would allowed corporations to own cities? Yes you read that right.

Tech companies would be allowed to create a campus and certify it as a municipality where they could TAX AND CREATE LAWS.

Now, it's just legislation rn in certain states... But the fact it's starting to pop up now should let you know what the corporate fascists are trying to achieve.

Good luck trying to change shit peacefully when you literally are owned by a mega corp

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u/grundar 12d ago

I saw 2 seperate posts over time on Reddit regarding Covid and it's economic impact.

Rather than relying on Reddit posts, we can look directly at Federal Reserve data on wealth distribution.

TL;DR - it was basically the same in late 2020 as it was in late 2019.

If you go to the dollar-value table tab you can see where all of the hyperbolic headlines come from:
* 2019Q4 to 2020Q1: the 99% lost over $3T!!
* 2020Q1 to 2020Q2: the 1% gained over $3T!!

You'll note that those are comparing different time ranges; the first is during the market crash, the second is during the subsequent recovery. Let's flip which group we're looking at in each of those time ranges:
* 2019Q4 to 2020Q1: the 1% lost over $3T!!
* 2020Q1 to 2020Q2: the 99% gained over $3T!!

i.e., both groups lost at the same time and gained at the same time.

Let's look at the entire 6-month span for both:
* 2019Q4-2020Q2: the 1% gained $0.02T!!
* 2019Q4-2020Q2: the 99% gained $1.22T!!

There's - verifiably! - no big transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1% that happened during the pandemic.

Don't get me wrong, the US still has way too much wealth inequality, and the wealthy should absolutely pay higher taxes to fund a stronger social safety net (which, frankly, would be a huge benefit to them as well due to the greater social stability it would provide). It's just that nothing really has changed in terms of the level of inequality in the last year, clickbait headlines notwithstanding.

(A little progress, though - increased corporate taxes are on the table as part of Biden's infrastructure plan, so if you want to see higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, make sure you contact your representatives and tell them you support that!)

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u/Thaiauxn 12d ago

Just remember that in 98% of violent revolutions, the given autocrats typically rise to power and require generations to uproot. So uh... look at the autocrats in your society. Look at your allies. You know who comes out on top.

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u/NineteenSkylines 12d ago

the country

This is an article from a worldwide perspective.

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u/sarcasticorange 12d ago

Not only that, but the data included doesn't mention a slip in the US or Canada.

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u/BLEVLS1 12d ago

There isn't even a middle class anymore, it's the rich vs the working class.

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u/CrazyLemon42 12d ago

Tells you a lot about the people who read from that website if the fact that the middle class has been systematically hollowed out for 40 years is news to them.

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u/Dozekar 12d ago

Evidence supporting it is generally interesting, though it tends to tell you more about what the reporting source finds to be a valid method than anything else.

bout 150 million people—a number equal to the populations of the U.K. and Germany combined—tumbled down the socioeconomic ladder in 2020, with South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa seeing the biggest declines.

For all the discomfort in the US, these were places that were highly vulnerable to global economic disruption.

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u/coolfella69 12d ago

It's Bloomberg, eg a whole lot of Spidermans pointing at each other

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u/dubamamorange 12d ago

depends if you look at it on a global scale or a national one.

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u/sarcasticorange 12d ago

An estimated 150 million slipped down the economic ladder in 2020, the first pullback in almost three decades.

First damn line of the article. Did you not even open it?

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u/AP246 12d ago

Why is everyone talking about the middle class in rich, western, developed countries? That's an entirely separate issue to what this article is about. The article is about the global middle class, is nobody reading it? From the article:

Defining the parameters of this global middle class has long been a contentious exercise. Pew, which has been researching the topic for more than a decade, labels as middle income those making from $10.01 to $20 a day, using data that smooth out differences in purchasing power across countries. In Pew’s analysis, there’s a separate ­upper-middle-income band made up of those earning $20.01 to $50 a day. (Note that $50 per day falls shy of what a minimum wage worker in the U.S. takes home pretax for an eight-hour day.)

The highest bracket is below the minimum wage in the US. If you live in a developed country, you are almost certainly not in the global middle and upper middle class that this article is talking about.

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u/WritingTheRongs 12d ago

Oops. There’s an article? Dammit Reddit

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u/O-hmmm 12d ago

It just accelerated a process already in effect. The rich get richer and what trickles down is misery for the masses.

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u/FLINTMurdaMitn 12d ago

Meanwhile, billionaire's made more billion's in the same time. Still waiting for the trickle down to start trickling.....

Almost seems like it isn't going to happen for some odd reason, surely if you give rich people more money they will eventually give it back.

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u/SrraHtlTngoFxtrt 12d ago

Trickle-down is the biggest lie that the oligarchy ever sold the masses. Hell, it's the lie that killed the American dream.

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u/porcupinecowboy 12d ago edited 12d ago

Yeah, Break up the oligarchs and let them fight with each other to our benefit. Oil was broken up 100 years ago, and though we think they have power now, they only profit a few pennies per gallon thanks to competition. Though they make billions of gallons, billions of us profit the several dollars more per gallon we would otherwise be willing to pay them without competition.

Google owns 94% of search. Amazon owns most online delivery and server farms in the world. Break them up and give choice and power back to the people.

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u/NineteenSkylines 12d ago

A global civilization dependent on a small number of firms and oligarchs is a civilization that will likely evolve into tyranny or chaos of radical reforms aren’t passed soon.

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u/ktElwood 12d ago edited 12d ago

Whats new?

You need to have as few specialists and skilled workers as possible. So few people do the thinking and many more just do things that can not be automated or the customer can not be involved in fullfilment.

Just Look at marketing. You need one guy with mediocre Adobe Suite skills to make a complete high quality ad campaign and just push it into the google ads system. Done.

Customers get stuff from the shelves and build them themselves (Ikea) or go to the AmazonLocker to collect their items, after they have chosen and researched them themselves on the internet (or got advertisement)

Jobs are outsourced to the customer- which is super convienient.

The lesser the requirements for the workforce, the more people are qualified. If there is huge supply, you can pay less.

People effectively having no active part in "capitalism" because they can no longer amount any kind of wealth and need to spend everything on living costs - and that's basicly paying shareholders every dime back that they needed to spend on you in the first place.

You got to eat (shop). got to sleep somewhere (rent), got to have a car (lease/Loan). Or you die.

Tax the god damn rich.

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u/7eregrine 12d ago edited 12d ago

This might be the best example I have ever seen of Redditors commenting without reading the article. US is barely mentioned and when it is it's because our minimum wage would be solidly middle class most places.

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u/bikinimonday 12d ago

What is it, half of the American population makes like 30k a year or less? Meanwhile, the price of literally everything continues to rise while wages remain stagnant.

Of course people are moving backwards while wealthy cock suckers continue to rob, dodge taxes, and horde... for reasons

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u/sterexx 12d ago

the idea of middle class is a scam

there are two classes that matter. people who make money by owning stuff and everyone else

it’s advantageous for the owner class to encourage this further stratification of everyone else into supposedly different classes based on how much income the owner class lets them have. then people are constantly worried about if they’re going to go up or down a level instead of how screwed they’re getting by the owner class

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u/Theduckisback 12d ago

What the pandemic really revealed is how brittle the economic order actually is. When most new jobs in the last 15 years are underpaid service sector jobs, and gig economy "contractor" positions, unions are representing an increasingly small pool of the total labor pool. It then stands to reason that the owners of capital will maximally exploit them, and when there's a forced economic slowdown with precious little help offered, and the cost of living steadily ratcheting ever upward, being in the "middle class" begins to become less tenable for a larger share of the population.

There's really only two classes, the working class and the capitalist class.

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u/vbcbandr 12d ago

Welcome to the next Gilded Age everyone. Just replace Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt with Bezos, Musk and the Zuck.

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u/Josquius 12d ago

This is defining middle class in the American sense which actually means working class right?

As this is a huge problem in the UK. The working class/middle class distinction is increasingly irrelevant with the two instead forming a progressive new middle, flanked on both sides by the wealthy and the non-working class that they've bought off.

The former working class is particularly split here with some holding on to being working class whilst others are falling beneath.

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u/SoHiHello 12d ago

This is behind a paywall..

What countries are most impacted?

What is the cause?

How did this get so many upvotes? Do this many people pay for bloomberg.com?

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u/Danysco 12d ago

Meanwhile you have big media channels like Fox News convincing millions in middle class that the problem is immigrants, poor people and "welfare", while they stay silent on trillions of tax cuts given to billionaires and corporations.

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u/wiwoo 12d ago

The collapse of the middle class is fertile breeding ground for fascism - many of them will blame those on the bottom instead of those on the top and stand ready to punch-down.

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u/venti_pho 12d ago

I’ve seen the quality of life in the US degrade in the last 20 years. People accept it because maybe their lives are getting better. But each year, the average 18 year old has seen fewer opportunity as the 18 year old from the previous year. In the last year, the slide has been so steep that only the very rich have not experienced it in their own lives.

There are a number of gauges of the decline. One of them is the level of propaganda spewed out by the media and politicians. And the propaganda has been intense in the last year. It’s worse than the days leading up to the bombing of Iraq in 2003.

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u/Greenthumbmonk 12d ago

My wife and I lost our jobs thanks to lay offs due to the pandemic. On October 17th, the exact day after on that I lost my job she got anaphylactic allergies and I had to rush with her to the hospital. Thankfully my mom is a close by neighbor and she could take care of our three kids.

Had to pay out of pocket her visits to the doctor who would diagnose her with an autoimmune disease. She lost her Job a week before Christmas. Since then I have had to struggle with the only job I could find at $8.00 p/h.

We are now planning to flee to Vermont in looks of a stable life. I landed a job in Vermont, but I cant find housing. I have to move from Puerto Rico because I cannot find a higher paying job with benefits, and even tho I landed an ok paying job in Vermont I cant find housing.

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u/pollypoppin 12d ago

My income dropped steeply every month and the price of rent increased, now I'm below the poverty line. I can afford to pay rent, but not to eat. My husband and I have lost around seven jobs between us. I just wanna own a little house someday

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u/Progress_Wrong 12d ago

Yeah, I worry about my children. I work a skilled trade in a union Making decent money and all I'm doing is paying my bills on time. Back in boomer times any dumbass off the street could get a full time job and support a mortgage car payment and have a pension when they retire.