2021 Sep 20, 10:21am
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Now That the American Dream Is Reserved for the Wealthy, The Smart Crowd Is Opting OutSeptember 20, 2021The already-wealthy and their minions are unprepared for the Smart Crowd opting out.Clueless economists are wringing their hands about the labor shortage without looking at the underlying causes, one of which is painfully obvious: the American economy now only works for the top 10%; the American Dream of turning labor into capital is now reserved for the already-wealthy.As a result the Smart Crowd is opting out of the conventional workforce's debt-overwork-deadend-treadmill. What clueless economists, pundits and politicos don't dare acknowledge is that credentials and hard work are not a ticket to middle-class security; they're a ticket to impossible workloads demanded by global corporations and high-cost lifestyles anchored by student-loan debt, high rents and out-of-reach real estate.In other words, credentials and hard work are a deadend. Costs rise faster than your income no matter how hard you work, and corporations are ruthlessly extractive despite the bogus PR of "we value our employees": just as government only values its tax-donkeys after they're gone, corporations only value their employees after they burn out and leave the Corporate America treadmill for good.Credentials and hard work are a deadend financially and health-wise. The stress of overwork breaks down physical and mental health, slowly and then all at once. Financially, the endless inflation of asset bubbles means younger workers must buy assets at the top of the bubble and hope the bubbles won't pop--but since bubbles always pop, the game of enticing younger workers into buying overvalued stocks, junk bonds and houses is a deadend: rather than building real wealth, gambling in bubbles is ultimately destructive to both wealth and health, because once the phantom wealth generated by a bubble dissipates, those who believed it was all forever are devastated.The hope that there will be a safe haven when bubbles pop is another aspect of this time it's different, and this belief has led many to drop out of the workforce to speculate their way to wealth. Given this is the greatest bubble of all time (GBOAT), this strategy has been gloriously successful, as the rising tide has raised all boats across virtually every asset class.But few of the newly minted millionaires have any experience of bubbles popping, and so few are prepared for the end-game. Since bubbles often exhibit symmetry, the skyrocket ascent will likely be matched by a catastrophically steep decline that leaves this time it's different believers in disbelief.Things are different for the top tier of the already-wealthy. When family money pays for college and the down payment on a house, the lucky offspring have no student-loan debt chains hobbling them and none of the hopeless Red Queen's Race of trying to save up a down payment as housing prices accelerate away from the hapless savers.Family money offers other cost-free goodies to the fortunate offspring: use of the family vacation home, income from family trust-fund assets, the benefits of family connections (for example, the advantages given to alumni of prestigious schools in terms of admitting their offspring) and valuable class-based memberships, both formal and informal.Trying to reach the same level as the already-wealthy is a path to burnout and frustration, as the chasm is too wide to leap. Those gambling in the GBOAT casino are winning now, but relying on number 22 coming up again and again is becoming increasingly risky. The speed with which the phantom wealth of debt-asset bubbles can collapse is not widely understood, and the collapse will catch most punters off-guard.In other words, membership in the already-wealthy based on speculative gains may prove more temporary than expected.There are many ways to opt out. Here's one account of one strategy: What I learned from living five years in a van (theguardian.com).The already-wealthy and their minions are unprepared for the Smart Crowd opting out. In their precious naivete, the technocrat class reckons a few more dollars an hour will lure the Smart Crowd back into wage-debt-penury. The failure of their pathetic little carrot to entice the burned out donkeys back to the harness of making billionaires wealthier in exchange for, well, nothing of any real value, will be a great shock for those who believe that since the status quo works great for me, it works great for everybody.The banquet of consequences hasn't even served the main course but it's on the way from the kitchen.
That's all that happened.
The United States left the gold standard in 1971.That's all that happened.
That IS a huge element, but this can't be reduced to a single cause of course.
Automan Empire saysThat IS a huge element, but this can't be reduced to a single cause of course. Yes it can.
Women entering the workforce was a factor in wages though for sure. Not re
That was a result of going off the gold standard.
WookieMan saysWomen entering the workforce was a factor in wages though for sure. Not reThat was a result of going off the gold standard.
What happened in 1971 was that the Democratic party made a deal to betray working people and unions,
richwicks saysThat's all that happened.That IS a huge element, but this can't be reduced to a single cause of course. During this time, the US was naturally losing the postwar manufacturing hegemony we enjoyed for decades. No fault divorce and women entering the workforce en masse were also big factors/
But if we forced families to go to one income today though, wages would likely soar. People would also have to do actual "work" as well. Corporations have just thrown bodies at labor and just reduced wages, yet output is likely less for 2 low pay jobs versus 1 higher paying in the same field. Basically pay two people $10/hr and get 80% of output from paying one person $18/hr who doesn't want to lose their job. The top companies in the US have no interest in retaining people. They know they can churn and burn them. They don't want to retain. They don't wan to give raises. They know there's another sucker in the weeds waiting to fill that job vacancy.
Going off the Gold Standard was not the cause of our decline.Our decline was the cause of going off gold.
Bretton Woods FIXED the price of Gold to the Dollar at $35/oz.
No, it didn't. FDR did back in...1932 or so.Bretton Woods was in the late 40s. After the war.Bretton Woods just established that the US dollar would remain convertible to other nations and that everyone else's currency be tied to the dollar.
Patrick saysWhat happened in 1971 was that the Democratic party made a deal to betray working people and unions,Nixon who went off gold standard was a R
Bretton Woods just established that the US dollar would remain convertible to other nations and that everyone else's currency be tied to the dollar.