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Mon Sep 30, 2019, 04:41 PM

I'm an example of what's gone wrong with America in the last 40 years.

In 1981, I was a high school graduate working at a grocery store chain in Ohio. As a Stock Clerk I made $12.60 an hour, time-and-a-half for overtime, double-time for Sunday's and Holidays... and got 8 hours of pay for my birthday.

We also had a decent benefits and pension program.

We enjoyed those good wages and benefits, mostly because our major competitor, Kroger, was unionized and our company tried to closely match the Union compensation standards to stave off Union efforts at our company.

The calculator I've used tells me that $12.60 per hour, full time, plus the overtime we averaged, would equate to $96K per year in today's dollars.

You need to understand. This was a "choice" job for a man from the Midwest with a high school diploma. This was the type of job that could put you solidly into the Middle Class. You could raise a family, own a nice home, have a car, or two, and maybe afford to take a nice family vacation every year. Hell, you could even afford to take the family out to Sunday dinner a couple times a month, and do the occasional ice cream shop treat for the family.

Not only that, you had a decent pension that you could combine with Social Security, retire at a decent age and live a comfortable and modest life.

If you played your cards right and got some scholarship or financial aid help, you might even be able to send your kids to college.

I left that job to do what eventually became a 30 year Navy career. I managed to make it through the ranks and earned a commission as a Navy Mustang Officer.

I am now retired and enjoy the type of pension and medical benefits most Americans can only dream of.

But back to that grocery store job. Somewhere in the 1980s, this country lost its way.

Suddenly, it was the grocery store clerk or union worker that were the cause of all America's troubles. It was the millionaires and billionaires that were "suffering" under the yoke of Americans who thought their hard work "entitled" them to a modest living and the occasional dinner out with the family.

See, WE were the problem. Our demands for a modest slice of life were keeping all these "job creators" down.

Why should that stock clerk make a decent living? He never hired someone. His wages and buying power never did anything for America. It's the billionaires that need more. I mean seriously, how many yachts is that stock boy buying?

It seemed like overnight that America began to no longer value labor, we valued wealth.

If you wanted a modest life, get a second job. Drive a taxi. Hell, you have 120 hours a week where you're not working. Go get a second or third job bum!

You think working 40-50 hours a week entitles you to a pleasant night out at the IHOP with your family?

I understand that there is a bit more to it, but what we did 40 years ago screwed over an entire generation.

Now, to get that "comfort", you need to be a Walmart greeter at age 80.

There's something rotten here.

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Reply I'm an example of what's gone wrong with America in the last 40 years. (Original post)
maxrandb Sep 30 OP
OneGrassRoot Sep 30 #1
Cartaphelius Sep 30 #116
certainot Oct 1 #144
gopiscrap Sep 30 #2
Hugin Sep 30 #15
JHB Sep 30 #30
lastlib Sep 30 #38
lpbk2713 Sep 30 #93
Martin Eden Sep 30 #51
seta1950 Sep 30 #66
gldstwmn Sep 30 #67
GetRidOfThem Sep 30 #72
DENVERPOPS Sep 30 #74
madamesilverspurs Sep 30 #83
BadgerMom Sep 30 #90
we can do it Sep 30 #94
Different Drummer Sep 30 #107
Joe941 Sep 30 #3
DemocracyMouse Sep 30 #16
world wide wally Sep 30 #18
wryter2000 Sep 30 #43
yonder Sep 30 #4
guillaumeb Sep 30 #5
luvtheGWN Sep 30 #32
Caliman73 Sep 30 #45
captain queeg Sep 30 #6
maxrandb Sep 30 #7
tblue37 Sep 30 #9
aggiesal Sep 30 #101
True Blue American Oct 1 #129
Demovictory9 Sep 30 #8
Doc_Technical Sep 30 #10
llmart Sep 30 #12
Blue_true Sep 30 #22
luvtheGWN Sep 30 #36
Caliman73 Sep 30 #60
drmeow Sep 30 #92
Caliman73 Oct 1 #145
drmeow Oct 1 #154
mountain grammy Sep 30 #97
appalachiablue Sep 30 #63
brutus smith Sep 30 #37
True Blue American Oct 1 #131
Skittles Sep 30 #24
llmart Sep 30 #28
Skittles Sep 30 #33
True Blue American Oct 1 #132
Skittles Oct 1 #135
True Blue American Oct 1 #139
KPN Sep 30 #29
cate94 Sep 30 #53
KPN Sep 30 #109
DENVERPOPS Sep 30 #91
whathehell Oct 1 #128
stopdiggin Oct 1 #137
whathehell Oct 2 #167
stopdiggin Oct 2 #168
whathehell Oct 2 #169
stopdiggin Oct 2 #170
whathehell Oct 2 #171
lapfog_1 Sep 30 #34
TheRealNorth Sep 30 #40
loyalsister Oct 1 #163
dawg day Sep 30 #70
raccoon Sep 30 #88
spooky3 Sep 30 #105
Gidney N Cloyd Sep 30 #111
dawg day Sep 30 #113
maxrandb Sep 30 #114
dawg day Oct 1 #125
mountain grammy Sep 30 #120
LittleGirl Oct 1 #136
RobinA Sep 30 #95
stopdiggin Oct 1 #138
dawg day Oct 1 #141
Warpy Oct 1 #134
AJT Sep 30 #11
msongs Sep 30 #13
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #48
dawg day Sep 30 #80
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #87
DENVERPOPS Sep 30 #96
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leftstreet Sep 30 #17
smirkymonkey Sep 30 #19
Blue_true Sep 30 #20
extvbroadcaster Sep 30 #21
Still Sensible Sep 30 #23
erronis Sep 30 #25
orangecrush Sep 30 #26
JohnnyRingo Sep 30 #27
trof Sep 30 #31
Ligyron Sep 30 #58
True Blue American Oct 1 #130
KPN Sep 30 #35
saidsimplesimon Sep 30 #42
paleotn Sep 30 #39
jalan48 Sep 30 #41
Pacifist Patriot Sep 30 #44
Johnny2X2X Sep 30 #46
Hekate Sep 30 #47
Cracklin Charlie Sep 30 #49
SallyHemmings Sep 30 #50
blm Sep 30 #52
maxrandb Oct 1 #158
blm Oct 1 #164
spooky3 Sep 30 #54
Baitball Blogger Sep 30 #55
DENVERPOPS Sep 30 #99
njhoneybadger Sep 30 #56
dawg day Sep 30 #57
MaryMagdaline Sep 30 #59
Cha Sep 30 #61
Thomas Hurt Sep 30 #62
The Wizard Sep 30 #64
backtoblue Sep 30 #65
Skittles Sep 30 #68
KentuckyWoman Sep 30 #78
Skittles Sep 30 #79
maxrandb Sep 30 #85
Skittles Sep 30 #86
maxrandb Sep 30 #100
dflprincess Sep 30 #118
Johnny2X2X Oct 1 #151
Newest Reality Sep 30 #69
yardwork Sep 30 #71
Sarg Sep 30 #73
PatrickforO Sep 30 #75
KentuckyWoman Sep 30 #76
maxrandb Sep 30 #108
Raster Sep 30 #77
DENVERPOPS Sep 30 #106
Raster Oct 1 #143
DENVERPOPS Oct 1 #153
applegrove Sep 30 #81
TimeToGo Sep 30 #82
maxrandb Sep 30 #103
TimeToGo Sep 30 #115
maxrandb Sep 30 #117
Doreen Sep 30 #84
dugog55 Sep 30 #89
DENVERPOPS Sep 30 #110
maxrandb Oct 1 #157
Mosby Sep 30 #98
maxrandb Sep 30 #104
Vinca Sep 30 #102
joanbarnes Sep 30 #112
hughee99 Sep 30 #119
mudstump Sep 30 #121
vercetti2021 Sep 30 #122
GReedDiamond Sep 30 #123
spanone Oct 1 #124
napi21 Oct 1 #126
a la izquierda Oct 1 #127
captain queeg Oct 1 #133
Mike Niendorff Oct 1 #140
oldsoftie Oct 1 #142
ConnorMarc Oct 1 #146
maxrandb Oct 1 #147
Locrian Oct 1 #148
JCMach1 Oct 1 #149
The Mouth Oct 1 #150
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CrispyQ Oct 1 #155
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SleeplessinSoCal Oct 1 #162
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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 04:44 PM

1. K & R n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:30 PM

116. Reagan was too addled


to pull this off.

He, Reagan was just another victim of the Right Wing. During his first term he
simply listened to his "advisors", which resulted the destruction of so much in America.
Yet by the second term he fought back as hard as he could. Yet despite his effort to
turn the ship around, the Right Wing destroyed the "shadow government" by legislated
the future of Civil Servants that had began in 1920.

It should not escape our attention, as the memories are evaporating over time, that since
the election of our only four term president. Roosevelt so inflamed the Right Wing, the two
term limit was goal number one. The next main goal, was destroy Social Security by and all
means necessary. If you have been a witness of the Right Wing's unrelenting attacks on Social
Security as well as any Government Programs furthering the prosperity of American Citizens.

Another FACT to remember is that in the late 40's, corporations accounted for $1.00 for every
$0.25 contributed to the National Treasury, the General Fund made up of the taxes we paid.
Additionally the tax rate for the rich was 90%. America was awash in money which was used
to benefit every single citizen. For one example, the massive Inter State Highways connecting
every state, east, west north and south.

Now, the tax burden has been shifted. Corporations now pay $.025 (or less) to every $1.00
(or more) that citizens contribute. The tax rate in the 40's was a Progressive Tax borne of the
belief that the more you make, the more you contribute.

Clearly, the tax rate today only serves the corporations and the rich who can afford politicians
to protect and grow their massive wealth. Whereas the least amount us are not allowed to better
our lives lest we take a dollar from a rich person. Remember Trump's tax cut?

What did we get? Approximately, some say, 4% of us received a tax cut unit that expires in 2024(?)
While the rich pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars and will continue to do so, as their tax cuts
are permanent.

Reagan we just a piker.

Say, is Guantanamo available to house those crooks that refuse to comply with Federal investigations?

I think that is where they should be "housed", until we clean up yet another republican mess. And ban
them by law never to be allowed to serve in government because they have demonstrated their hatred
of any one not Rich or White..






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Response to Cartaphelius (Reply #116)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 11:06 AM

144. reagan killed the fairness doctrine in 87 and it's been downhill since, with 1500 radio stations

coordinated and unchallenged repeating the same old money is free speech, corporations are people, unions and high wages kill jobs, deregulation lowers prices, illegal immigrants vote for democrats, single payer doesn't work, global warming iss aa hoax, and so on, over and over to 50 mil a week

that's the only unique advantage he cons have had, dominating 40 states with 80 senators for 30+ years.

fox did not do that.

not only is it free for them, paid for by your local and national businesses, we let 87+ major unis endorse it without complaint, and don't even poll for it

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 04:46 PM

2. it was fucking Ronald Reagan

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:36 PM

15. +1 n/t

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:06 PM

30. It was Movement Conservatives...

...Reagan was their amiable and photogenic point man, but he didn't do it all by himself. A lot of people put in a lot of work and money to enact an ideological pet agenda, and to oust anyone who might have balked at it (e.g., driving the Rockefeller Republicans to extinction).

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:15 PM

38. PATCO....

Air traffic controllers went on strike against the government. ReaganThat FilthyLyin'Fuckin'SonofaB*tch fired 'em.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #38)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:20 PM

93. That was the big turning point.



After that RayGun made it look like anyone who was a union member was an enemy of the state.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:40 PM

51. Reagan Democrats bought into his con

... and got screwed by the Republican Party.

36 years later far too many blue collar types fell for a more obvious con man, and we're all getting screwed again.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:12 PM

66. Yes

Exactly, he’s the one that started breaking up unions

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:13 PM

67. Yup.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:32 PM

72. I agree, it was the Ronald Reagan era...

I remember when all of my kid friends were all of the sudden nuts about Anne Ryand, and were barfing all of that liberterian (sp?) crap out of their mouths. They all came across as pretentious, all knowing, and arrogant.

They are all liberals adn democrats now, even my best friend.

Something went seriously awry in that period. I will never forget...

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:36 PM

74. Actually

Actually it was the Reagan Admin that fired the shot heard across America, the PATC union firing.....

But Reagan was just the front guy, like several other mentally deficient republicans (think "W". His VP, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Pearle, etc etc were running the show. 1980 was the beginning of the whole program that is steamrolling Americans today.
Who was VP ? HW Bush. The common thread thru the last 40 years. Head of CIA, Regan's Vp, President, installs Son with Cheney running things, passes time as Chairman of Carslile........

Reagan, (again HW, Cheney, etc) caused me to come to attention politically in 1981 when they started doing all kinds of programs, cuts, etc that would crash down on the middle class then, and years later.......

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:57 PM

83. Yup, dear old Ronnie

started blaming single mothers for every economic woe.

grrrrrrrr…….

.

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #83)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:16 PM

90. Yep.

The not-so-saintly Reagan.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:21 PM

94. Yes, times 10000000.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:52 PM

107. Got that right!

DD

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 04:48 PM

3. Ronand Reagan started us down a path we are paying for even to this day.

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Response to Joe941 (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:41 PM

16. I remember wondering why anyone would vote for such a moral hazard. And do it again.

I've despised American voters since then. Wish I didn't.

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Response to Joe941 (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:45 PM

18. Sure enough. Took the words right out of my mouth

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Response to Joe941 (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:19 PM

43. Bingo

He was the first real step in the great decline.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 04:54 PM

4. Amen. Yours is a familiar journey for many of us.

And they still think and likely always will, are the problem.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:05 PM

5. Recommended.

On the other side, the 1% have literally never been richer than today.

Remember when that child of privilege George Bush Jr. talked about that worker with 2-3 jobs, and described that as uniquely American?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:10 PM

32. The Gilded Age has returned

in all its glory. Too bad folks today don't read their history.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Reply #32)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:23 PM

45. That is on purpose.

If people were steeped in the actual history of America rather than on the mythology, we would have movements like they do in France and England with people marching in droves to protest and voting in the 80% and 90% instead of just about 54%. I took accelerated and Advanced Placement history in high school but was still in for minor shock when I took history courses in college. I cannot imagine what they don't teach you in regular old history in grade school and high school.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:07 PM

6. Really nailed it

Back in the late 70s the jobs I had were never union but because there were some union jobs in the area wages sort of kept up. By the beginning of the 80s that ship had sailed and wages were at best stagnant and often reversed. Thank god I saw the writing on the wall and went back to school. That was still a path that could work but not sure that’s the case nowadays.

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:10 PM

7. Nowadays, sending your kids to college

is the equivalent of buying a new Mercedes every year for 4 years... five or six if it's my daughter

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:15 PM

9. And at the end of those 4 years, she will be driving for Uber in her downtime from her

job as a Starbucks barista.

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:31 PM

101. Unions raise everyone's wages ...

Reason why the Greedy One Percent (GOP) hates them.

I remember with General Motors first moved into Simi Valley, the citizens in the valley
were ecstatic, because they knew the union jobs that GM brought would raise everyone's
salary.

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:35 AM

129. Now you hit the point

Because of the Unions wages kept up.

One discrepancy, IKE built the Interstate. The last decent Republican. He would spit on the Republicans today.

Reagan began the demonization of Unions. It has been down hill ever since.

I just heard an expert on O’Donnell call Trump a monster.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:12 PM

8. "Suddenly, it was the grocery store clerk or union worker that were the cause of all America's troub

john and Ken... to uneducated fools who rule LA rightwing radio... hammer on the unions nonstop as if unions are the cause of the nation's problems. they have been doing so for years.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:19 PM

10. Gen. X, Gen Y, etc.

are very angry (and rightly so) for the mess they have inherited.
Some of them direct their wrath toward individual old farts when it
was the system that was slowly grinding down the middle class.
All of us Boomers are, to some degree, complicit.
We caught the tail end of the "good times" and didn't concern ourselves
with the younger generations. It was a case of "I got mine...".


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Response to Doc_Technical (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:31 PM

12. All of us boomers are NOT complicit!

I did not vote for Reagan. I actively campaigned against him and yes, I was in the minority on that. I was always willing to pay my taxes to support the older generation, aka the WWII generation as they aged. So did a lot of my friends and all of my family.

I despised Reagan. I despised how the GOP treated the less fortunate in our society.

Again, I have never voted for a Republican in my entire voting life and I'm 70 years old.

Stop blaming all boomers for this.

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Response to llmart (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:55 PM

22. Too many boomers looked the other way.

I am a member of that generation. I remember vividly what the conduct of older boomers was like, it was all about them, fuck society. Reagan appealed to them and they put and kept him in office as he broke shit.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #22)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:13 PM

36. I submit that Reagan appealed to them

because he was a "Movie Star", perhaps similar to the way Trump appealed to them because he was a "TV Star". that's all they knew about either of them.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Reply #36)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:56 PM

60. They were faced with a choice...

Jimmy Carter made the "Crisis of Confidence" speech in which he put a choice to America to do some introspection and change course toward becoming the nation of our ideals or to give in to consumerism and empty pleasures.

Reagan presented the "sunshine up your butt" message saying that America was the best and that we don't apologize for anything and that the troubles of the past were over without us really having to do anything about it. Oh, except that Black people on welfare (which to him and Republicans was like 100% of who was on welfare) were lazy and needed to be punished.

Naturally Americans went with the "we're the best" message and thus began the descent into what is going on today with Trump.

He did have a talent for being on camera, and a certain charisma.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #60)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:19 PM

92. Don't forget the little matter

of GHWB and the October surprise! Had the hostages been released, Carter would have won. Republicans have been committing human rights abuses (stopping the hostage release was a human rights abuse) and crimes to win elections ever since that one succeeded.

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Response to drmeow (Reply #92)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 11:28 AM

145. Before then. Nixon and the Chennault Affair.

Nixon sabotaged peace talks in 1968 to win the election. The war raged another 5 years. How many people died for the Republicans to win an election?

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/06/nixon-vietnam-candidate-conspired-with-foreign-power-win-election-215461

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #145)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:26 PM

154. My anger and hatred

Know no bounds just as their evil knows no bounds. I'm generally anti death penalty but I'd attend a public execution of some of these f**kers.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #60)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:27 PM

97. So true! and so very sad.

Jimmy tried to make us think.. the gas lines were a sign of things to come. He put solar panels on the White House. That was it. Game over.

How dare he try to make Americans think they weren't dependent on oil.

How dare he try to make Americans think, period.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Reply #36)


Response to Blue_true (Reply #22)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:13 PM

37. Exactly!

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #22)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:37 AM

131. You said it!

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Response to llmart (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:55 PM

24. DITTO

stereotyping sucks, no matter who is doing it

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Response to Skittles (Reply #24)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:05 PM

28. Amen and thank you.

This meme is getting old re: "boomers are to blame for where this country went wrong".

I worked at a state university. Students worked for me sometimes as part of the work/study program, sometimes as interns. I would never think to classify all millenials or all gen X or gen Y people as being responsible for the state of our country or the destruction of our environment. I saw exemplary involvement by many of them, despite how busy their lives were. I also saw many who never registered to vote even when there were tables set up everywhere on campus. Calling all those who were young adults during WWII "The Greatest Generation" is misleading also.

Stereotyping any generation is not helpful.

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Response to llmart (Reply #28)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:10 PM

33. I too enjoy working with young people

I would never think to blame them as a generation for the ills of, well, mostly republicans

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Response to Skittles (Reply #33)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:42 AM

132. Young people today

Last edited Tue Oct 1, 2019, 05:31 AM - Edit history (1)

See what is being done to their Country and future. Thus the guns and climate marches. They will be the ones who turn this country around.

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Response to True Blue American (Reply #132)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 02:43 AM

135. agreed

I am very happy to see it and will support them in their efforts. I honestly believe at this point it the young people who can save America and possibly the world.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #135)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 05:44 AM

139. I am so proud

Of what young people are doing.

My Grandson sided with me when his Dad made light of climate change. I think he did that just for the sake of discussion.On his third year to becoming a Computer Engineer. He was building award winning robots in High School. Of course his Dad is an Engineer, too.

I also credit High Schools for having Engineering classes. Makes me angry when people bad mouth Schools. They are way behind what is being taught in our public High schools today while they cheer money sucking private Schools.

Betsy DeVoss is a disgrace. The massive harm and backsliding Republicans are taking us back.

We need to support our young, make sure they have the Education needed.

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Response to llmart (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:06 PM

29. Your sentiment is correct for you individually. I feel the same way. However, my generation --

baby boomers -- is not just complicit but responsible for the demise of our middle class.

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Response to KPN (Reply #29)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:43 PM

53. Not true.

The “greatest generation” voted for Reagan in droves, as did their parents. About 50 % of boomers got sucked in. I don’t really think it fair to categorize an entire generation for the Republican debacle. It was, and continues to be, a problem Republicans caused.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #53)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:52 PM

109. Generation has nothing to do with party affiliation.

But you do have a point about the previous generation’s role. They certainly initiated the downward slide and presided over it for a decade or so. The boomers, my generation, have presided over the past 25 years. I still feel my generation bares significant culpability. It bothers me immensely that many in my childrens’ generation sees us in that light.

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Response to KPN (Reply #29)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:18 PM

91. How many of you Remember Gov Dick Lamb

Governor Dick Lamb Colorado 1970's

He wrote many many visionary things both during and after his term.....A truly great Democrat.

He wrote a group of twenty articles in the 70's, that were published weekly in the Rocky Mountain News. Articles that predicted much of our problems these past decades.

One was that his was the first generation in American History where the next generation was NOT going to be in better shape than the previous generation. He also predicted the Health Care Crisis that was coming in the future, etc etc etc.

I always felt at the time, he was one of America's true Visionaries, and feel even more so these past few decades.

Of course, even back then the Republicans in the state railed on him continuously, calling him Dr. Death for his predictions on health care, and Dr. Gloom for his future predictions of a downward spiraling economy for the middle class for decades to come.

I wrote him a few years ago at the University of Denver where he was teaching. I told him I still had one of his articles on my office bulletin board, all yellow and wrinkled. I told him I couldn't find the others anywhere on the internet. He was kind enough to send me a copy of all of the other articles and thanked me for believing in him. Great man............Reading them again confirmed to me that he was indeed a very smart, realistic individual who was indeed a true visionary.

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Response to KPN (Reply #29)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:56 AM

128. Unsubstantiated accusations don't cut it, so please explain

just HOW baby boomers were supposedly "not just complicit, but responsible for the demise of the midde class".

I, too am a Boomer near 70 who despised Reagan and never voted Republican in my life.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #128)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 03:53 AM

137. two things that boomers bought into wholesale

(my observation anyway) was
-- 1) people on assistance are basically lazy and welfare cheats,
-- and 2) unions are greedy, self serving and corrupt, and are responsible in large part for wrecking our economy
-- and just for a bonus we'll throw in 3) the government is TOO damned big, wastes criminal amounts of money, and I pay TOO damned much in taxes!

Were boomers alone in swallowing Ronnie Reagan's codswallop and patent medicine show? Heck no. But somewhere in between, "Ask not what your country can do for you .." and, "I got mine, baby" -- a lot of middle American swallowed a pretty large dose of "selfish." And we (they) were kinda on the watch deck when it happened.

(Don't know if that's "substantiated" or not. But I was there -- and that's pretty much what I observed happening.)

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #137)

Wed Oct 2, 2019, 05:17 AM

167. Again, that's just an assertion, one you haven't backed up

That's what "substantiate" means...It's not enough to simply state something as fact, and expect it to be accepted -- We have to
connect the dots, show WHY we believe it's true. You mention "observations", but they don't match mine or some others who have posted here.
By and large, the Boomers were a progressive force -- They brought down the Vietnam War and fought for the civil rights of women, minorities, and the disabled -- Why you imagine them as Reagan voters is beyond me.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #167)

Wed Oct 2, 2019, 12:12 PM

168. so Reagan won landslide elections

and completely changed the electoral map -- and all of that came without boomer contribution. Alrighty then. I think we can substantiate that we have pretty different views of what was going down in the 80s and 90s.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #168)

Wed Oct 2, 2019, 07:28 PM

169. Lol..I see you've 'moved the goal posts' from Boomers bearing full responsibility

for Reagan's election to having merely "contributed", a clever move, if unsupportive of the originsl claim, given that even a small minority of Reagan voting Boomers would constitute a "contribution".

As you can see by the age groups listed, the majority of Reagan Voters in 1980 were within the age group of the Boomer's PARENTS, not that of the Boomers themselves. Have s nice day.

http://ropercenter.cornell.edu/how-groups-voted-1980




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Response to whathehell (Reply #169)

Wed Oct 2, 2019, 08:10 PM

170. Boomers voted for Reagan in large numbers

Virtually every age group voted in greater numbers for Reagan over opponent Carter in 1980. And they did so again in even LARGER numbers over Mondale in 1984. It's called the greatest landslide in electoral history. And the idea that boomers weren't part of it is complete nonsense.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #170)

Wed Oct 2, 2019, 08:29 PM

171. They voted for him in FEWER numbers than other demographics, so.

where's the logic in assigning them MOST of the blame?

Sorry, it doesn't work.

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Response to Doc_Technical (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:11 PM

34. The boomers were also the Hippi generation

and not all of us were Reagan supporters

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Response to Doc_Technical (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:16 PM

40. At this point, Gen X is complicit also

The plurality of Gen X voters got brainwashed in the 80's into the "Greed is Good" mantra. I remember our school bringing in local chamber of commerce people via Junior Achievement to teach what we would later call Reaganomics in middle and high school.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #40)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 03:21 PM

163. And then some

I remember being in college and what seemed to be the majority of my peers were studying economics, business, marketing, etc with their eyes on corporate callings and getting rich.
The women's movement lie dormant and whiteness and wealth were valued above all. The religious right also got their hooks in.

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Response to Doc_Technical (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:21 PM

70. You know, many/most Boomer women never had "the good times"

Last edited Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:18 PM - Edit history (1)

It's not true that Boomers are rich. Some are, but then, so are some Gen Xers (the Google guys, innumerable hedge fund bros, JayZ), and some millennials (Zuckerberg, Serena's husband).

Now look at Boomer women, who unlike women who came of age after 1980 were limited in educational options and then legally restricted in career opportunities. (Thank you, boomer women, for paving the way for younger women to have some equal opportunity.) I, for example, took 7 years to graduate, because I had to keep dropping out to earn money for tuition. Graduated during the first modern great recession (1980)-- 15% unemployment in my state. Took a "woman's job" because that's the job women could get then without professional graduate degrees. That is, I became a teacher. Never made much money, got laid off when my school system closed our school (white flight). Started teaching adjunct at a university. Well, I am now quite well-paid for that work. That is, I make about $18 an hour. I have to work till 68 to get my pension, which will then be $422 a month (and I'm LUCKY-- most women in my situation never got vested in a pension).

I don't want to whine, but seriously, I've got friends near retirement age who cannot get hired (age discrimination starts at about 45 now) at a good job they'd be good at, who have no pensions (many companies stopped giving pensions long ago, and anyway, every time you leave a job before vesting, you lose the pension). They might have chronic health issues-- almost everyone over 60 does-- and uncertain health insurance. I knew someone who died of breast cancer because she had crap insurance (Before ACA) and she was 9 months too young for Medicare.
And despite this, many of us are helping our GenY and GenZ kids with their bills, or letting them live rent-free, or sharing our car with them so they can get to work.

This idea that boomers got the last of the "good times"... really? Which boomers are you talking about? Not most of the ones I know. Yeah, when you're 60, you might have equity in your home and some $ in your retirement account, but that's mostly just a function of having worked for 40 years straight. But a whole lot of boomers do NOT have home equity and retirement funds, and many of us assume we'll work till we're 75 because we have to. We're the ones who are looking forward to 66, when we will be allowed to collect our $1100 a month social security AND still earn money from our job! We'll feel so rich!

Don't let the GOP try to pit generations against each other. There are rich people in every generation, but more poor people than that. And women and minorities are more likely to be on the poor side in every generation, and working class men also. That's where the solidarity should be, not confined to some arbitrary age range.
Sorry to go on so long, but I heard my own GenY child say something like this the day after I paid her rent, and I refrained then from taking the check back and ripping it up. Because love, you know. Give some back.






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Response to dawg day (Reply #70)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:10 PM

88. Thanks for your post. Nt

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Response to dawg day (Reply #70)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:46 PM

105. Good post; you are so right. Nt

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Response to dawg day (Reply #70)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:54 PM

111. The squeeze was on the boomers and "greatest" generation, too.

I think the period in this country where people could expect to achieve the American Dream of a house in the burbs, have 2.5 kids and put them through college, retire at 65, and do it all on one salary, etc., was a lot briefer than we romanticize it to be.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #111)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:18 PM

113. Yes, pretty much from 1950 to 1970--

And that relied on women and minorities being discriminated against in the workforce and boardrooms and politics.

I have a few friends (all men) who retired at 55 or so with a comfortable enough pension that their income didn't decrease-- they were mostly younger WWII generation or older boomers, when you could get a government job or a big-corporation job, stick for 30 years, and then (if you were REALLY lucky) get an early retirement buyout.

That doesn't seem to happen anymore. The military still has a generous pension if you're allowed to stay in for a full 20 years, and then you might be 40 and able to do another career. I don't know how long that will last.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #70)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:18 PM

114. When I was a recruiter for the Navy in the late eighties/early nineties

Women joining the Navy had very few options. What you would call "women's jobs". Shortly before I left recruiting we were almost exclusively putting women in engineering, electronics and shipfitting jobs.

By 2004, my last Sea Duty in the Navy, my Commanding Officer of the combatant ship I served on was a women.

It's been a long time coming, but times are changing.

My post is not intended in any way to convey that the 1980s were some kind of golden age for everyone.

I am just pointing out the way that wages and...more importantly... buying power has dramatically diminished over the years.

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #114)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:06 AM

125. I liked your point that the wages haven't kept up at all

Also that unions indirectly help nonunion workers too.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #70)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 10:14 PM

120. Well said.. thank you.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #70)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 03:30 AM

136. Amen!

I graduated in '78 and the pickings were slim with jobs. I didn't get a full time job with benefits until I was in my 30s. And even then, it was sheer luck.

I get really pissed off when the younger generations use that broad brush to say that all boomers have it made. Not in my family. Not in my experience.

Only one of my 4 siblings had a job for over 30 yrs and he died literally 6 months to the day after his last day because they shut down his department and left the state. He had 34.5 yrs with them and they were sold about 2015 so he lost his life time healthcare they promised if you worked for 30 years. He was livid.

None of my brothers or sisters had that charmed life. In fact, one of my brothers had to file bankruptcy.

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Response to Doc_Technical (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:25 PM

95. This Boomer

is not complicit. I graduated from college in 1980 and the economy was a pit. No one was hiring and I went to work in a department store for $3.65 an hour so I could get health insurance. Friends from college who were in teaching went to West Virginia(wére from PA) so they could get hired at all for a bank breaking $12,000 a year. I liked retail and started to move up, but guess what? Bye bye department stores starting in about ‘86. I’ve been laid off twice in my career, took a significant pay cut each time to start over, and I don’t think I’m unique in that. Complicit - no way!

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Response to RobinA (Reply #95)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 04:20 AM

138. but how many of the people you graduated with

in 1980 have actually continued to vote against their own economic interests?
(not trashing your argument .. it certainly WASN'T the gravy train .. just pointing out that plenty of people that are working the jobs you describe .. are voting for the wrong SIDE! Then AND now! Drives me crazy!)

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #138)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 08:52 AM

141. Me too. It's a regional thing too.

In the poorest states, many white people vote that way. (Can't blame people of color who don't vote that way.) I don't understand it.

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Response to Doc_Technical (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 02:08 AM

134. I'm coming out of retirement to say KNOCK IT OFF!

When Reagan came in as the great American savior, Boomers were just like Gen X, Y, and Z were in their 20s. Get it? They didn't vote, most of them, many working 2 jobs because they'd been hammered hard by the OPEC oil shocks, which our elders and betters allowed right wing mouthpieces to blame on greedy workers because hey, they'd already made their piles and didn't want inflationary pressure from living wages diminishing them.

It was the Greatest Generation and the Silent Majority types that pushed Reagan into office. The dumb Boomers who voted for him did so because they believed those 10% income tax cuts would help---unless they did the math. Others were religious nuts working into Millennial Fever, thinking their only hope lay in Jebus and pushing women out of work via forced childbirth, and a few were young enough to vote the way Mom and Dad told them to. He represented equal opportunity sucker bait and sensible people were simply outvoted by people who bought the glamor and the lies, especially those who had scrambled up the New Deal ladder and wanted to pull it up after them.

That is who elected Reagan, so can the intergenerational self righteousness. Younger generations were no better. They had other things to do in your 20s, most of them. So did we. So did most people before us who hadn't settled down and had kids yet. Younger generations are always outvoted, and the shit sandwiches get stinkier every year.

I sincerely hope that is changing. There is nothing like a half witted, personality disordered, bloated plutocrat who wants to be a despot to wake young folks up that voting is kind of a necessary thing. I hope it lasts but I don't expect it to. Younger people tend to vote in far lower numbers than other age groups. That means my age group and that means the next ones in turn.

Playing the blame game against other people is not helpful, it is not ever helpful. Reagan got elected, just like Nixon before him, on a bunch of hate and lies. The Reagan Revolution has culminated in Dumdum*. The question is what we are prepared to do about that now, and that means getting along with each other and accepting that yes, some people made mistakes and nobody's all that pious.

And if you want a laugh, try looking at a series about what Boomers got handed, start here.

&list=PL4w-2j6Q0Qj7kHqyyAu0wUxTw88gwLD9y

*Dumdum, like the bullets, hollow and do a disproportionate amount of serious damage.

(and before you try to bag me, personally, I was a voter, my grandmother and great grandmother had been Suffragettes and if I hadn't I'd have been haunted)

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:26 PM

11. The population of the USA bought it hook, line and sinker.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:31 PM

13. 12.60 then is like 40 or so now. nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:30 PM

48. about $35, but still.

http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1981?amount=12.61

What is crazy is that all the fears the Right talks about when discussing raising wages did not come true then. Businesses flourished in the 80s. People ate out at restaurants who paid their fry cooks a living wage. People could afford to live, to save, to buy cottages and boats, to send their kids to college. All because from WWII to Reagan the country allowed workers to share in the value that their work created.

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #48)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:43 PM

80. I remember hearing some incredibly well-paid anchorman a couple years ago call an $11/hr job--

"a middle-class wage." (This was, btw, for handling poultry in slaughterhouses, that is, not very pleasant or healthy work.)

I think many well-off people 1) don't have any idea what most jobs pay, and 2) can't do the math of multiplying that by the 2000 hours of annual work.

$11/hr = $22K a year.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #80)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:10 PM

87. All this while the country got much richer

They’ve convinced Americans to take less and less.

It wasn’t always like this and it doesn’t have to be like this now. There’s a better way we should be living.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #80)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:26 PM

96. I remember the time clearly.

In 1980 I began a Union apprenticeship to become an electrician. Several of my friends were Journeymen and were making 19.00 an hour and 26% fringe.....ie: health insurance for the entire family, holidays, two weeks of vacation, enough money to buy a house and send the kids thru college.

The PATCO trashing by Reagan set the tune of what was to be. That was like 1981? Four weeks later, the Denver Electrical Union and other trade unions were decimated with the contractors following Reagan's lead.......My friends, who had already "turned out" and were making respectable livings as a solid member of the middle class, suddenly, overnight, found themselves making 12.00 an hour with NO FRINGE.

Needless to say, I bailed out and pursued another career path..........

FUCK RONALD REAGAN, HW BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD, WOLFOWITZ, PEARLE, ETC ETC ETC AND ALL THE REPUBLICANS SINCE.......

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:31 PM

14. trace it to Rotten Ronnie and the Newt

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:45 PM

17. DURec

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:47 PM

19. Since the republicans decided that anyone not in the 1% were simply useless eaters.

We are all just industry fodder for them. And if we can't function for them at the absolute cheapest rate possible, we are disposable.

They hate us. They hate the working person. Why the average worker has not caught on yet just baffles me.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:50 PM

20. What happened?

Reagan.

He came in with a plan to viciously attack Unions at any chance. He managed to split off the more conservative ones like Truckers, Longshoremen, Firefighters and Police, while he attacked the rest with a vengeance. The country has been paying since.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:54 PM

21. Right with you

Same story, wages have been stagnant for years. I was lucky to find a job with a pension, and even that was closed to younger employees. No wonder so many people can't make ends meet.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:55 PM

23. K & R

The mobilization of the Reagan vision of America!

Reagan absolutely corrupted what had been a traditional republican (think Ike)

And now Trump has grabbed that corrupt vision by the pussy (actually all the corrupt GOP left in Washington) and raped it repeatedly until it has morphed into an unrecognizable, rancid pile of oligarchy

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:59 PM

25. For everyone blaming Reagan: He was an actor who knew how to read lines.

And pretend to be real.

Maxrandb - this is an excellent account of what happened to you and to many of us.

Some of us were lucky and moved forward/upwards. Others weren't.

The underlying cause of the rotten structure was pure capitalism, favoritism, increasing greed ---
and increasing sense of entitlement along with a stronger classism.

Reagan (and dump) were just figger-heads for the corruption that the kleptocrats have installed and enabled.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:00 PM

26. Reagan started this

Along with Bush senior.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:02 PM

27. That was a lot of money in those days.

Unfortunately, too many people think it's a lot of money today.

When I started at GM in 1972 I was raising a family on $6.50 and hour and a new Camaro cost $2500.
When I retired 30 years later I earned four times that much, but the cost of that Camaro increased tenfold. Needless to say, I got the blame for that price bump.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:09 PM

31. Right on, brother.

I was a member of ALPA (Air Line Pilots' Association) for 30+ years.
We belonged to AFL/CIO.
That's why I have a pension today.

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Response to trof (Reply #31)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:54 PM

58. I think there was a lot of bad press about unions in the 60's to late 70's.

By that I mean Mob involvement and some union was always on strike. The entire American south was non union and jealous as hell of union members and their comfortable lifestyle.

They practically cheered the air traffic controllers all being fired.

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Response to Ligyron (Reply #58)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:36 AM

130. True

Unions were demonized.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:12 PM

35. K & R. Great post. And spot on. We need to fix things -- starting by electing a D to the WH,

preferably a strong, formidable and persuasive progressive who gets it. Elizabeth Warren comes to mind for me.

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Response to KPN (Reply #35)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:18 PM

42. What you said, I agree.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:16 PM

39. 1980 - Ronald Reagan

The beginning of the end.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:17 PM

41. How bout those grocery chain Waltons?

"In 2015, the six Waltons on the Forbes 400 list were worth $136.1 billion, making them the richest family in the United States. They have more wealth than 43% of American families combined."

http://changewalmart.org/how-rich-are-the-waltons/

Monopoly Capitalism and income going to the top .1% is the problem. Income redistribution is a must and could happen with more progressive tax policies.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:21 PM

44. Excellent post. Thank you.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:26 PM

46. Unreal, WOW!

http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1981?amount=12.61

People go crazy about $15 an hour, well we used to pay Grocery Stock Clerks $35 an hour.

And you know what, white collar jobs aren't much different. I am engineer with some experience now, I am doing OK and am pleased with my salary. But when looking it up, entry level engineers were making double in 1981 (in 2019 dollars) than I am with 10 years of experience. And I am sure their benefit were better than mine are now.

They convinced the entire country that they don't deserve a decent living.


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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:29 PM

47. KnR

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:30 PM

49. Fantastic!

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:37 PM

50. Pensions were replaced with 401k

401k were originally designed for the executives as compensation perk.

There will be a generation of people who will be relying on their children for their later years....oh they are buried in school loan debt..

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:42 PM

52. Oh, old buddy, let us share this.

This is so genuine, it will touch people. Working class voters duped into supporting Republicans May recognize these shared truths.

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Response to blm (Reply #52)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:47 PM

158. Share away

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #158)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 08:18 PM

164. Thanks.

I will.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:49 PM

54. Great post. I'm in a much more fortunate position than most

Americans, but here I am, still working past normal retirement age, to have enough to retire. The men who preceded me had stay at home wives, put kids thru school, bought a vacation home and retired early.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:49 PM

55. I have no doubt that if Trump serves another term, he will find a way to dip

in military pensions.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #55)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:29 PM

99. THAT won't be the half of it.........

First, it is NOT Trump, he wouldn't last a second without the Republican Senate running point on everything. PERIOD

The Military Pensions will the the last of it, so as not to piss them off until the COUP is firmly in place. First will come the Medicade, then Medicare, then Social Security.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:50 PM

56. Great post

There is something rotten "Dog Whistle" politics has tricked Americans into voting against their own best interests.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:54 PM

57. There was a point when "hard work" became "for losers"

Sometime in the 90s when those hedge-fund bros started pulling down $8 million a year for what seemed like no productive work at all.

That's when I started hearing "what a loser" applied to regular workers who just wanted decent pay for their hard work. "If you had any brains, you'd get a REAL job like mine" (finance, usually, almost always something that had no actual societal value)."

And then the scorn happened--
"why don't you get a degree (only, of course, a business/finance/marketing degree)? Why don't you have parents who can loan you a million dollars so you can start a hedge fund? Why don't you have any rich contacts who will invest in you? Don't you network?
What do you expect, working manual jobs? Getting a teaching degree? You don't deserve any better!

"Hard work is for suckers!"

You want to ask, who is teaching your kids? Who is taking care of your parents in the nursing home? Who is building the car you drive and your house? Who is serving you food in the restaurants? You scorn those people?
Yeah. They scorn those people, the people who help, the people who work, the people who make things.

And it hasn't ever really turned back. There is still a kind of low-pay ceiling (I'm just under it)= $20 an hour. It's not enough to be comfortable or secure... but it's almost 3 times the minimum wage, so ... so even 3 times what our lowest wage workers earn isn't enough to be in the middle class.



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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:55 PM

59. I realized our country was falling apart when a client told me

He had no health insurance. Don’t you work for Winn Dixie as a janitor? Yes but they outsourced the cleaning jobs and called us independent contractors. They work us 30 hours per week, but stretched over 7 days. We’re not considered full time and we no longer get benefits.

That’s when we lost our country. This was the early 90’s.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:56 PM

61. So well written, maxrandb.. I cried..

Thank you!

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:58 PM

62. the counter culture was all but dead and christofasicsts began their campaign with Reagan.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:04 PM

64. Reagan wrecked the middle class

at the behest of his wealthy donors (the bribing class). A satirical novel about Reagan's destruction of the middle class called "The Terrible Twos" by Ishmael Reed outlines the widening gap between the rich and poor. It's as prescient today as is was when it was written in 1988.
British philosopher Thomas Carlyle said he couldn't understand the American Civil War as the South wanted to own their slaves while the North wanted to rent them by the hour.
Reagan undermined organized labor and lowered living standards for the working class that voted him into office.
In 2016 the aggrieved and abused working class voted in large numbers because Trump promised all the Reagan victims he would restore them. And Hillary Clinton, albeit far more competent, didn't make absurd promises to the working class and failed to connect with them.
The only way to make America great again is to elevate living standards for the working class, not to mime shoveling coal.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:05 PM

65. In 1980, a friend was making 38k a year as an embalmer

I worked at the same place.

When I started in 2005, my salary was....27k.
(College Degree plus 2 year apprenticeship and two board licensing exams)

My salary in 2016, as a general manager of a funeral home was 35k. (As a licensed embalmer and funeral director)

Granted, this is in a rural area. But, the cost of funerals has gone up in the extreme since the 80s.

Men still make more in this area. In the national funeral home book, listed next to certain establishments is a letter B. That means a black funeral service. (This business is still widely segregated)

Progress is slowly being made as more women enter the field, but...very very slow.



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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:15 PM

68. that seems like a lot of money for a grocery store in 1981

I was a computer operator and I made about 7 bucks an hour

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Response to Skittles (Reply #68)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:39 PM

78. I made $13.30 at Kroger in the Deli in 1982.

My brother worked at a non union machine shop and made $14.

Wages haven't gone up in 40 years.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #78)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:42 PM

79. I must have been in the wrong business!

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Response to Skittles (Reply #68)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:00 PM

85. It was Big Bear Groceries

I started part-time in 1976 as a cashier. I think that started at $5.50. Went full-time in 1978. Worked bread for a couple years, then went full-time stock clerk. Worked at the Carl Rd store off of 161 Dublin-Granville Rd.

So, I had been there for 5 years by the time I reached $12.60.

Funny thing. My birthday happens to be on a holiday. One time, my manager scheduled me to work on my birthday...he didn't know that. Anyway, I got double-time for working the holiday, 8 hours pay because it was a holiday, and 8 hours for birthday pay. So, for one 8 hour day, I got 32 hours of pay.

He never scheduled me for my birthday again, but I drank well that week.

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #85)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:01 PM

86. I have never received "birthday pay" EVER

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Response to Skittles (Reply #86)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:31 PM

100. Yep, we got 8 hours pay for our birthday, whether you worked that day or not

We also got 8 hours for national holidays, whether you worked that day or not.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #68)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:52 PM

118. I worked at a union grocery store through high school & college

I started in 1970 making $2.07/hour (part time). I thought I had arrived. When I left in 1977 I was making just under $7.00/hour (still part time).







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Response to dflprincess (Reply #118)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:49 PM

151. That is $29.32 in today's money

https://westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

This is what people need to know. We had a functioning economy for decades where almost everyone in the working class was making double and triple what they make today.

The GM strike brings out the labor haters, I've heard them say, "What? You think autoworkers should make $100K a year?" No, I think auto workers should make more like $150K a year, it's more equal to the value their work creates. Take the salaries of the top 500 executives at GM, cut them by 90%, and give it to the workers who create all of the value at GM.

We used to have a society that worked for the workers. I remember it, I remember when everyone in my neighborhood took vacations as a family every year. I remember when most families had a cottage up North here in Michigan. And I remember when most any job was enough to support a family so that one of the parents could stay home and raise the children.

There is more money in the economy today than ever, the Cons just decided that the workers don't get it anymore, only the top 1% does. We can still get back to what made America have the greatest middle class in human history,

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:20 PM

69. Well said. I hear you!

I can't recall what what the name was, but a while back I read a book that outlined something more about that phase that started just before the 80s.

If you recall, the middle-class was in good shape before then, able to move up and to acquire assets. There was also a lot of protest and upheaval and people were showing their resistance to certain policies and procedures.

Well, that book went into the decision that was made to assure that didn't happen again. The book was not conspiratorial and cited references. The incentive went beyond just reversing the flow of equity, there were several other factors involved and part of it was to actually create the results we see now, which keep us dis-empowered.

When a large percentage of the population is struggling to keep up or just survive and people have to work two or three jobs or more to make it, they don't have as much time, energy or the inclination to resist. It is that simple. It is a way to wield and maintain power, so the background on this and the shift of the Reagan Era, especially, is far more insidious and concerted than we realize.

Of course, Eisenhower and JFK both made a mention of danger of the MIC and its influence and control, as well. It really comes down to Oligarchy vs. democracy and guess who has been winning? Right and Left are just the superficial aspects of it and even our ideas about wealth don't really pierce the veil. Taking and keeping power without bullets and such is what has happened.

What is worse is that it is not over. It won't stop. We can see the next phase already in progress. At this rate, (check the stats) the wealthy will own just about everything within the next few decades if it keeps up and I will leave how that would work out to people's imaginations. Dystopia, anyone?

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:28 PM

71. I agree with you, and we need to take the country back.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:36 PM

73. I love this over-simplified blame game

in which making Reagan the scapegoat for all of America's ills acts as a satisfying cathartic.

There was a cultural revolution in the 1960s. Tens of millions of people -- horrified by this -- began to wage a counter-revolution that finally reached a crescendo with the Reagan presidency. The much-vaunted "middle class" voted for him in droves in 1980. If they felt as betrayed and undermined as the people in this thread are convinced they were, Reagan would have been voted out in 1984. Instead he won re-election in one of the biggest landslides in presidential history. The so-called "middle class" LOVED Reagan. They would have voted for him again in '88 if he could have run a third term.

The counter-revolution was waged on multiple fronts -- pouring tons of money into fake universities ("think tanks"...), the Supreme Court (several different rulings solidifying and protecting moneyed interests), the military, the further empowerment of lobbying through the creation of ALEC, deregulation, repealing anti-trust legislation, privatizing everything, the politicization of the Christian Right (the growth of the Moral Majority), and on and on and on. Reagan was a spokesman and symbol for this massive crusade. Reagan alone accomplished nothing. His ideology was supported by tens of millions of true believers who remained true even when all their jobs were shipped to China. They never blamed him or his ideology, because it was their ideology, the same way Trumpists today stand steadfastly by their leader no matter how far into the muck they sink. People's economic self-interest is NEVER on any ballot. What IS part of a successful election is jingoism, fake patriotism, religion, and the fear and hatred of "others." The Republican Party exists and is successful because it's a Daddy protecting you from black people, gay people, socialists, and so forth. This was why the "middle class" voted so overwhelming for Reagan, jobs be damned.

It has been one of the most successful counter-revolutions in world history. it's still going on today, and we may never recover from it.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:36 PM

75. Yeah, it was the 80s where the decline began in earnest, though I'd

have to say, having a grandfather who was a union organizer back in the 30s, I think the Taft-Hartley Act pulled the teeth of unions and began the long, slow road to the wealth inequality we have now. Unions aren't perfect, but workers do need to be able to bargain collectively.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:37 PM

76. thank you

Whoever you are in real life. Thank you.

For your solid thinking.
For your service to the country.
For the kind of person you are in your community.

Your mother was probably born about the same time as I. I never had kids. I would hope mine would turn out like you. It is silly to say that sort of thing, but it's the best way I can think of to tell you how much I respect you.

Thank you for posting.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #76)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:52 PM

108. Mom was born in 1930. She's visiting with us right now

Thanks so much for the kind words.

I'm blushing.

My folks raised us with the "try to leave it better than you found it" mantra. I don't always live up to that, but I'm trying.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:38 PM

77. St. Ronnie the Raygun*, the Great Bullshit Artist...

...who inshrined institutional racism, conducted his own private war in Central America and *heavily* contributed to the crack cocaine epidemic that was PURPOSELY AIMED at communities of color.

I could go on and on. I FUCKING HATE THE MOTHERFUCKER. Before I die, I plan on visiting his "library" to piss on his grave.

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Response to Raster (Reply #77)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:47 PM

106. Reagan was already

Regan was already suffering mentally when he was appointed president.

It was Daddy Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz Pearle, Rumsfeld, etc etc etc etc They were all there during Reagan's years.
Then there for Daddy Bush's term. Many of Reagan's minions were convicted, Daddy Bush pardoned them and welcomed them back into his administration......
Then the GRAND SLAM, "W" was unconstitutionally appointed, suffering from serious mental deficiencies from years of alcohol and coke, and that same crowd ran his administration for yet another eight years.

BY THE WAY.......has anyone heard from Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al these past few years? Where are they hold up and who the hell do you think is directing alot of the crap that is being done by the Repub Senate behind Trump's smoke screen which diverts everyone's attention away from what they are doing/?????????????

One of the biggest travesties ever. Cheney, by guide lines, too old to get a heart transplant, and at the bottom of the list, got an immediate heart while some other good soul died.................

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Response to DENVERPOPS (Reply #106)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 10:08 AM

143. I would not be surprised if the heart of a healthy person wasn't...

...ripped out of someone's healthy body to put in darth cheney*s chest. He's just that kind of person.

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Response to Raster (Reply #143)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:07 PM

153. Hey Raster

Surgeons were shocked when they cracked his chest that his heart was as black as the ACE of spades and as hard as titanium.........

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)


Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:49 PM

82. $12.60 in 1981?

I mean --

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Response to TimeToGo (Reply #82)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:37 PM

103. Yep, if I'm lying I'm crying

Look up Big Bear Supermarkets Ohio.

Damn shame what happened to this company, but if you read about it's demise, it reads like a typical "greedy fucking millionaires destroy a great company and make out like bandits" story.

I made over $26K in 1981. If I can find my tax return I'll PDF it.

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #103)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:29 PM

115. 🤓

It's crazy. I was in the military at the time Pretending a 40 hour week I wouldn't have gotten near that as an E5.

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Response to TimeToGo (Reply #115)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:36 PM

117. Yep, my mom cried when I told her I was quitting Big Bear to join the Navy

I went from $1860 a month to $575 as an E1.

It all worked out though. I ended up with O5 over 30 pay by the time I retired.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 07:57 PM

84. I remember when a minimum wage job in the mid eighties

could get you a one bd apartment( by yourself ), pay for utilitis, pay for a months bus fare, buy needed cloths, buy toiletries, support a pet and a horse, go to a movie or dinner once a month, have cable, and a landline ( being the only thing available then.) I did not have a car so it was easier but there is no way you could ever do that now. Sure I did need a little help with food stamps to supplement me some but I had everything needed and a little more to allow me to feel human and that life was worthwhile. Now, people barely stay alive and are shown no mercy while being told the crappy world is their fault.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:10 PM

89. Yes Reagan was the catalyst for almost everything

that is wrong in America now and for the last couple of decades. In 1980 after almost 40 years of the largest economic surge ever seen in the world, there were only 14 billionaires in America. They had a total net worth of $18 Billion. After Reagan implemented his supply side economics and waged war on unions and labor, the billionaire class grew. By 2010, merely 25 years after Reaganomics started, there were almost 400 billionaires in the country. The person in 21st place had $18 billion to himself, the richest $62 billion.

In the meantime, blue collar jobs lost ground to inflation and stagnated or went backwards. The only workplace jobs that kept growing were the strongest unions in the country; teachers, utility workers, and tradesmen. And not just wages were lost. Benefits like vacations, pensions, and Holidays shrunk, while health care costs and housing rose dramatically.

He was absolutely the worst President ever. At least until DJT got elected, he is the new king of rancid.

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Response to dugog55 (Reply #89)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:53 PM

110. I applaud

dugog55,

I applaud your thinking and opinion times a trillion........................

When Reagan got in, and I saw what his minions were doing I started screaming my head off, becoming politically astute and active about the things that his admin was doing. Many things creamed the middle class outright immediately, many of the things anyone with a brain could see that in a decade or two would come raining down on the middle class like a freight train.

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Response to dugog55 (Reply #89)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:44 PM

157. It wasn't just Ray-Gun

The wealthy and monied interest had been salivating for decades about all the wealth they could suck out.

This was wealth that they saw as "wasted" in pension funds, paid vacations, healthcare benefits, overtime and doubletime for Holidays and Sundays, longevity raises, sick leave, etc.

They worked their asses off to get that wealth into their own hands...afterall, they were the makers.

Some even convinced middle class Americans that they too would be able to join their group of billionaires if we just let them have access to that which had been set aside for the working class.

Hell, they even convinced folks with pensions that they could do a much better job of investing and managing those pension funds. Why, just let us 1% have your pension funds and we'll tripple what you are currently promised.

Once they got their hands on it...it was NEVER going back to the people it belonged to.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:29 PM

98. In 1981 I made 3.35 per hour.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #98)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:46 PM

104. Big Bear was a Columbus Ohio institution

Folks would kill to work there.

I quit to join the Navy, but was delayed for a couple of months.

I got a part-time job at a thrift store. My job was to match the shoes that were donated and staple them together.

No shit, they would dump this huge bin of shoes out and I would find the matching pairs and staple them together.

Worst frickin job I ever had, and that includes being on a void Tiger Team as an E1 in the Navy.

Even that job paid me $5.75 an hour.

Too bad the Navy worked out for me... I had a future as a shoe sorter 😀

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:36 PM

102. We were always taught that hard work pays off in the end . . . but it doesn't.

Proof positive is the grifter criminal inhabiting the White House. I doubt he's done an honest day's work in his life, but he's become wealthy by manipulation, scheming, ignoring laws and having other people pay his bills or not paying his bills at all. It's not fair and I don't even know how we get back to fairness at this point.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 08:57 PM

112. What happened was Ronald Reagan and Reagonomics....I lived it too.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 09:59 PM

119. Our own party line in 2016 was, "those jobs aren't coming back"

So while the republicans may have started this, getting rid of them all isn’t going to fix it.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 11:44 PM

121. Great lecture by Elizabeth Warren...

The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class with Elizabeth Warren

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 11:50 PM

122. Can confirm

I just started a second job this week. Working as a bartender to get extra income. On both salaries I couldn't afford an apartment or anything. Why a lot of millennials still live at home.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Mon Sep 30, 2019, 11:56 PM

123. Great post, thanks! nt

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:01 AM

124. K&R...👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:22 AM

126. Ronald Reagan hit America, and she's still suffering the reprocussions!

He destroyed the unions, radically cut taxes for his buds the wealthy, and on and on. Until we get a leadership that reverses all his crap, things will remain stagnant for what used to be Middle Class. With all the pubs believe he was Saint Ronnie, I'm not sure anyone can actually erase the RR FFECT.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:35 AM

127. I was at a family party.

I’m 41 and a university professor at a large state university. My mother’s friend, a guy in his 70s, said I had done well for myself, getting a state job with benefits and a pension.
I laughed for a solid five minutes before saying “I don’t have a pension. I’ve got a 401K. My benefits-while I’m thankful I have them-are horrendous and I’ve tried to figure out every way to get on Obamacare. Oh and I’ll never own a house because I had to borrow my way through my degrees.”
He looked rather shocked, as if someone had told him the sky was really green instead of blue.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:49 AM

133. Reagan started it, that's why he's deified by the repugs.

There was a lot going on. I remember jobs were hard to come by in the early 80s. The rust belt in the Midwest was closing a lot of plants. Easier to blame it on the unions that poor planning by management and not investing in the future. And Ronnie kicked off the institutional borrowing/sending, this spending his way out of a recession. I wouldn’t say unions were blameless but they were targeted by repugs/capitalists. I am always amused when the repugs try to pain themselves as fiscally conservative. They’ll be coming for SS next to try to balance their budget.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 07:16 AM

140. Well said.


K&R.


MDN

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 08:52 AM

142. One thing many may miss; you joined the military. Still a GREAT option for so many of us.

I have so many friends who did their 20 and went on to become part of the "10%". ALL of them credit their military service for getting them where they are now. And now, me in my 50s, several of my friends kids are following in their footsteps. Along with a couple cousins of mine.
For me, it was the National Guard. Only did 10 yrs, because i had started a little business and had no one to cover for me while on the yearly deployments. Still wish I'd finished out.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 11:55 AM

146. Reagan happened in the 80s.

He was a walking, talking POS, and Republicans haven't changed, they've only gotten worse in that time.

I have no sympathy for them or their supporters, only contempt.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 11:59 AM

147. Here's a good recap of what happened to Big Bear

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:24 PM

148. this. right here. was the beginning of the end...

corporate money in politics.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckley_v._Valeo

Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), is a U.S. constitutional law Supreme Court case on campaign finance. A majority of justices held that limits on election spending in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 §608 are unconstitutional. In a per curiam (by the Court) opinion, they ruled that expenditure limits contravene the First Amendment provision on freedom of speech because a restriction on spending for political communication necessarily reduces the quantity of expression. It limited disclosure provisions and limited the Federal Election Commission's power. Justice Byron White dissented in part and wrote that Congress had legitimately recognized unlimited election spending "as a mortal danger against which effective preventive and curative steps must be taken".[1]


It's not just Reagun, etc - it's the right trying to control it all. Always has been, always will be.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:29 PM

149. REAGAN busting the Unions

pretty simple really.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:36 PM

150. I recall the tech workers, during the boom

say that "we don't need any silly union, look at how much we're making'. Lots of Silicon Valley folks pissed all over unions, since they were making great money without belonging to one.

Well, most of them ended up unemployed, or making less 20 years later. And guess what, *EVERY* non union son of a bitch thinks *I* have it made because I've worked for much less money but have a pension. Screw 'em. I slaved away for less, doing good work for the public, and putting my dimes and dollars away instead of buying BMW's, paying for kid's education (they can damned well go to the local JC and then the closest, cheapest State college, and work a part time job and all summer, nobody in my family is going $50K in debt for *ANYTHING*, end of subject), or playing 'who wants to be a millionaire' with other people's money.

So I have zero sympathy for many, many folks I know who are hosed now; they were 'too good' to work a 'lowly' union job then- and were often overtly hostile to unions and public employees- they can try to live off their 401K now.

I agree- those that think/thought that "we" were the problem then (in my experience and area the tech workers chasing stock options and quick riches, over several bubbles) are singing a different tune now.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:00 PM

152. Being Unable to Get a College Education w/o Amassing $80K or More in Debt Has Been a Big Factor

in closing off the middle class to Average Americans. With State tax revenues at the lowest levels in decades even public and State schools have become unaffordable. There is no job I know of that will afford a person a middle class lifestyle if the only have a high school education today.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:36 PM

155. Greed. That's what's rotten. Everything for profit.

Instead of raising wages to cover the cost of living, they extended the middle class credit & turned us into debt slaves. We are no longer citizens. We are consumers. From cradle to grave the corporation (1%) only sees you as a means of profit.

There was a story yesterday, that Wall St. democrats (Is there such a thing?) would back Trump if Warren is the dem nominee. They would rather back someone who will destroy the economy, than back someone who will make them share the wealth. That is the mentality we are up against.

Repubs like to say that America lost it's way when it turned from God, but we were never a nation based on God's law, something they always misrepresent. We lost our way when any behavior was acceptable as long as someone could profit from it. Is there a drug that millions of Americans need? Buy the company & raise the price 5000%. Why not? You own the senators & reps who could write legislation to keep that from happening. There is no act too loathsome, no parcel of land too sacred, if profit can be made, do it, sacrifice it.

Until we get money out of our electoral process, nothing will change. Republicans have been very successful in making Americans resentful of paying taxes, consequently, Americans don't want to publicly fund our elections, & that has almost cost us our representative government.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:36 PM

156. 1980s. The coming to power of the Age of Greed.

Too many of the "little people" began buying into blaming the "others"
for their problems and let the "big people" and their system make their
lives worse.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 02:29 PM

159. It's disappointing how many Democrats and union workers voted for Reagan

That's the worst mistake this country has made. At least Nixon was bad enough to be removed. Some people still think Reagan was some sort of hero by convincing Americans to glorify wealthy business owners over the workers. That was also the time when lots of factories were moved overseas to find cheaper labor and fewer regulations.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 02:45 PM

160. Well said!

It is my belief that if you are going to ask someone for 40 hours a week of the lives, it should only be for a wage that allows that person to live a decent life. Otherwise do the damn work yourself and see how that works out. Too many stock holders that do not do the work get paid better than those who do do the work.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 02:48 PM

161. Thank you for this

Sincerely

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 03:06 PM

162. Bob Iger CEO of Disney asked by Amanpour to defend his pay

1,000 times greater than some employees. He didnt even try. Just said the company pays for employees education and expects them to stay emwith Disney.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 08:20 PM

165. Wealth has been stolen from labor since the 1980s

That explains the income gap more than anything.

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Response to maxrandb (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2019, 09:43 PM

166. Was a member of the URW back in the 70s before it joined the USW.

We didn't have many gracious thoughts for the workers up the hiway who gloated about how they didn't need a union because their company matched what we got. F'n freeloaders.

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