# Middle class jobs are disappearing the fastest

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Plazma Inferno!, Aug 8, 2016.

1. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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Could you please provide a reputable source? Because I did google that and I got a bunch of crackpot sites and an Atlantic article that doesn't discuss that specific topic*. And I've never heard that claim before.

As the Atlantic article says, people have been saying since the 1800s that automation would destroy the economy by permanently putting people out of work and they've always been wrong.

3. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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28,364
Which as noted (point 3 above) is the wrong stat, and conceals the problem.
I chose the past thirty years, because that was the period the question concerned, and because it does not hide subsequent events (I could have chosen the last fifteen, twenty, twenty-five - we have a consistent trend here). Your choice - fifty years - was deceptive in a discussion about recent trends with breakover dates in the mid 1980s. You might as well have chosen 100 years, or 250. You were cherrypicking your start date, and hiding the trend under discussion.
Now you modify - before it was every group, emphasizing the poor most of all ("The issue that many people have is that the top 20% have been going up faster than the bottom 20%. And that is an issue, but of all the problems to have, "the poor aren't getting richer quickly enough" is not on the top of the list.") now we're going to discard the bottom 20%. (The bottom 20% is of course the first and most sharply hit by automation).

You're still wrong. It's stagnant, at best, below about 60%. There is no significant upward trend below 80%, despite the significant upward trend in productivity. You are still using household income, which is bullshit.
1) That is a problem with the household stat. It's the household stat that fails to differentiate between different kinds of "household".
2) An even sharper example is the lumping of two income and three income households with single income households. That directly pertains to - invalidates, actually, under current circumstances - the use of household income as a proxy for the wages of individual jobs. We were talking about individual jobs, remember? As affected by automation?
You said they were in conflict for manufacturing jobs undergoing automation, I responded. And I have not proposed any "fixes", in particular.
That would change via productivity gains (the cheap goods) returned more to wages (the lots of money), and less to capital (the stuff that leaves town).
We were getting the bubbles in the middle of what was otherwise stagnation - at best - for most of the economy. This will keep happening as long as we have growing inequality, which is exacerbated by failure to proportionally distribute productivity gains.

5. ### kmguruStaff Member

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11,757

That is what I was told...I did not look for sources, because I did not believe in it...Thank you...and hence I do not care for the statement...

7. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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28,364
I forgot, there, to properly address the difference between income distribution and wealth distribution, thereby allowing a confusion or change of subject. The posts above have been addressing income distribution, for the most part - although the bit about the entire productivity gain in GDP in the US for thirty years now having ended up in the pockets of the upper 20% obviously applies to cumulative gains.

Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
8. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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5,051
I'm having trouble reading that: are you saying you didn't believe what you posted, when you posted it? Why did you post it then?

9. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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5,051
Per the first sentence of the OP, the thread is about the loss of middle class jobs to automation causing the middle class to shrink. Household income is a more direct measure of the shrinking of the middle class (if it exists) because members of the same household are in the same class.

In any case, you are making a lot of claims without attaching any data or sources to them You really should start, since you currently are giving the appearance of just pulling this stuff out of thin air.

The reality of life for Americans is that they keep getting richer, in tangible ways. This "shrinking of the middle class" is largely just a media over hyping of an issue that isn't really a problem overall. I think "inequality" has peaked, and "the shrinking middle class" was thought up as a replacement.

Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
10. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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5,051
I think that is really the key. It is no longer possible to earn a middle class living with a zero-skill manual job. The result is stratification based on education.

11. ### kmguruStaff Member

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11,757
Will have more soon...here is one data from US Census bureau...thank you...

The Middle Class Is Getting a Smaller and Smaller Share

http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/26/middle-class/

and as to "The result is stratification based on education."...it takes four years to get a degree....Oh...well...must be those BAD Governance...

To really understand...google "scholarly article on "shrinking of the middle class"" and go to at least 100 items and then come back....thank you...

21. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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28,364
Are you talking about "middle class jobs", or not?

If you are, household income is a misleading stat. This is particularly the case in the US since 1980 or so, with the sharp rise in the two and three job household. People who have to work two jobs for a given income class, where one used to suffice, are not richer. They are poorer.
The rich ones. The middle class and lower do not.
Or a median skill manual job. Increasingly, even a fairly high skill manual job. That is the loss of the American dream.
It was true. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer (the bottom quintile), and the middle stagnated - which means they got poorer, as inequality grew.

But it would have been meaningful anyway: Inequality only lacks punch it you don't know what it means. It means the lower classes getting poorer even with rising incomes.
So far, I have been doing fine with your posts as sources. You are using household income, for example. You have agreed that the bottom quintile has actually been dropping. We agree that inequality is rising. What else do I need?
Nonsense. It directly affects access to limited resources. Housing, education, and medical care are good examples: if inequality grows, the rich can bid up the price of housing faster than the incomes of the lower quintiles rise. They can own five or six houses, very large houses, all the land, monopolize the construction market, sequester the housing and rent it out, and so forth. Similarly with education and medical care.

That has actually happened.
Actually, the official inflation rate does - supposedly - take quality into account. That's one reason it underestimates the drop in income accruing to the median job in the US since 1980 or so.
You can get by without a TV. You don't need a "far superior" car if you are poor - you need a cheap car that runs and can be fixed. And by "cheap", we mean not many hours of wages to buy it and keep it on the road. The price of that car has gone through the roof.

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22. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Right. But rent/real estate and medical care _have_ gone up in price, and you can't live without them. Food has stayed about the same.

Keep in mind we're talking about the lower 20% here - and these are the people who aren't buying LED HDTV's or cars. They are using whatever their mom gave them.