Study: Americans Poor Now Because They Don’t Have Any Money

  just a 'rough patch' that won't ever end

'Feeling well, Wiinthrop!'A startling new study proves that America’s Middle Class has been utterly, completely wiped out — these are the people all politicians are always talking to, in theory. What happened? Apparently, wages have been declining for thirty or forty years and pensions have vanished and the one asset 90% of middle class people owned is no longer worth anything. (That asset is “their house,” and many have also lost the actual house, in addition to its supposed value before the crash.)

Rex Nutting writes at Marketwatch:

On average, American homeowners lost 55% of the wealth in their home.

Most middle-class families didn’t have much wealth to begin with — about $100,000. For the 22 million families right in the middle of the income distribution (those making between $39,000 and $62,000 before taxes), about 90% of their assets was in the house. Now half of their wealth is gone and it will never come back as long as they live.

Whoa, why such a Negative Nancy? Didn’t we also have a recovery since then?

Yes we did: “The rich recovered; the rest of us didn’t.”

This seems like something the Democrats would be interested in, right? Well yes, the Democrats are — like the Republicans — interested in the rich.

But how did we, uh, even manage to survive during the first decade of this awful century? Experts say it’s because the Middle Class took out home equity loans to make up for all the raises they weren’t getting. That’s how America kept spending money (and charging more on those high-limit credit cards everybody got the week after they signed a fraudulent mortgage document) from 9/11 onward.

Meanwhile, a grim new report shows that Americans have cut their spending, on average, by $175 per month since the financial collapse. That adds up to $7,300 since the bubble burst, per American, And that adds up to $2.3 trillion American Consumers haven’t spent since they stopped consuming, which happened when they … ran out of money, forever. [Marketwatch/Business Week]

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264 comments

    1. Ansnarkist

      It was done with stimulus money. Kept some unemployed scientists from trying to take over the world for a while.

    1. Banelm

      It WAS class warfare, but now its over. Any further wealth adjustments can just be called harshin on the poors, or business as usual here on out.

    2. Sparky_McGruff

      This isn't class warfare. Not even close.

      Class warfare would be cutting the heads off the Koch brothers and pissing down their severed necks. Class warfare would be gangs of starving kids lighting a pile of Kardashians on fire to heat their scrapyard shanties (perhaps with Paris Hilton as kindling). Class warfare would be burning McMansions and BMWs from sea to shining sea.

      This is just people that have been screwed over by rich guys whining and politely asking if they can lick the cheese off the discarded burrito wrapper of life.

  1. memzilla

    There is a famous story about Henry Ford and UAW Leader Walter Reuther touring a Ford plant. Ford, having been struck with union troubles many times, said "Someday, Walther, all this will be replaced by machines." "Yes, Henry… but who will buy your cars?"

    But let us return to the main point of concern: How does all this affect Sarah Palin?

      1. OkieDokieDog

        I think downfister should be charged for having sexy time downfisting our thoughtful and intelligent comments while he beats off his micro phallus with his other hairy paw. Watch it buddy, you know you'll grow hair on your… uh… never mind.

      1. HistoriCat

        Try to hold off until autumn – you'll sweat to death in a Tauntaun during the summer heat.

    1. smokefilledroommate

      It sucks–used to be you could actually eat the stubs from the booklet in case you were still hungry. Now they just give you a New World Order card which is totally inedible.

    2. Negropolis

      Those Welfare Cadillac Queens are so fucking lucky, what with their paper plates, and Mac'n'Cheese, and government cheese, and bus cards…

      1. horsedreamer_1

        We should consider ourselves blessed we don't live in a favela, or a leper colony.

        Rio & Kolkata envy us.

        1. Negropolis

          I know, right? There are starving children in Africa this very moment. So finish your hobo beans w/horse meat chunks (the meat is the fancy part) and stop your whining! Don't you know a Somali child pirate or rustic Ethiope would actually kill for a can of hobobeans?

          Surely, Almighty God holds our poors in the highest regard and favor.

    3. powersuit

      Food stamps? Haven't those been cut already?

      Pretty soon we'll all be freegans.

      Edit: 0 points for this post? Is downfister at work? I feel naked!

      1. GunToting[Redacted]

        You're making the assumption that there will still be garbage to rifle through.

    4. mayor_quimby

      I actually heard a govt. ad on the radio today saying that you may be eligible for food stamps, which are now called S.N.A.P. . One portion of the ad went :"Even if I have a car? Maybe. Even if I have a job? Possibly. Even if I own a home? Maybe."
      That is fucking sad, that ads like that have replaced ones on the very same station touting bogus home equity loans were the guy said " You're not being a man if you're not taking advantage of this"

  2. littlebigdaddy

    Yes, but this is a GREAT opportunity to invest in companies that manufacture bandanas, harmonicas, rotgut whiskey, and of course canned beans.

    1. emmelemm

      This is a great opportunity to use one of my favorite words, which I believe I learnt on the Wonkettes:

      Bindles for everyone!

    2. zhubajie

      Make your own rotgut, hash cigarettes, etc., and trade them for potatoes and beans. Or grown your own potatoes and beans and trade them for hooch and hash. Check out Dmitry Orlov's excellent _Reinventing Collapse_.

    1. flamingpdog

      You'll know when Glenn Beck starts advertising hobo beans futures on his radio show.

    1. bagofmice

      I hear owning Chinese factories that work their employees to the point of suicide is profitable…

      1. SorosBot

        The institution of serfdom in the middle ages arose from combing the roles of the two lowest, and by far largest, classes of the failing Roman empire: the head count, basically the unwashed masses whose only route to a decent life financially was through becoming military grunts, and the slaves. This is what our current overlords would like to accomplish again.

        1. riverside68

          Serfdom was a reasonably stable system for over a thousand years.

          After 500 years of Enlightment we have millions of people murdered while still in their productive years and the very habitability of the planet is in doubt.

          The magnitude of self-medication does not seem have have changed significantly, but the number of people confined in cages has risen considerably.

          Our overlords may have the best interests of the world in mind.

  3. alaninthecastro

    Who'd have thought that taking all our money away would slow the economy? Damn, if only there were some sort of science or academic discipline that tried to predict such things.

    1. Sparky_McGruff

      Who needs science and academic disciplines when you can have Republican magical thinking.

    2. horsedreamer_1

      If only that rappin' Keynes would have taken the performance to its apogee & shot that rappin' Hayek.

      'Cause, if nothing else, Americans understand guns.

  4. SorosBot

    Quick, we need some new distraction for the masses! Are there no new missing pretty white women? Or the Brits can get that other prince to marry for another royal wedding? OK then, maybe some other untalented teenager has released a bad song on Youtube we can all obsess over mocking. At least we've got baseball to tide them over until football and basketball seasons begin – wait, what?

      1. Negropolis

        I'm smelling a lucrative reality television franchise, here…Capital Punishment Idol, Survivor: Texas.

        1. horsedreamer_1

          Sounds like the Adult Swim promo I saw before Beginners at the local art-house: CSI: SWAT: SD*: SUV.

          *San Diego.

    1. mormos

      those things are no longer enough to distract us from our misery and help get our rocks off. We have moved on to killing babies. It's the only thing left that works.

    2. MissTaken

      But, the Beckhams just named their kid Harper Seven! That's something, right?! I mean, really, Seven?? What's next, a kid named Trig?? Oh wait.

          1. ProudLibunatic

            Mr. Fatale was mesmerized by her, uh, attributes.
            (Could her "uniform" have been any tighter?)

            I, however, remember that she indirectly gave us Barry.

    3. Rotundo_

      Homosexuals, Flapitty Flapitty! Abortion Flapitty Flapitty! Guns Flapitty Flapitty! Communism Flapitty Flapitty! Class War Flapitty Flapitty! Patriotism Flapitty Flapitty! Terrism Flapitty Flapitty! Mexicans Flapitty Flapitty! Negroes Flapitty Flapitty! Welfare Queens Flapitty Flapitty!
      I could go on, but all you have to do is turn on Faux or go read WND or some shit. They generate the conservative tit-flapping material in bulk and distribute it for consumption by the puppets and morons.

        1. Negropolis

          There's a South Sudan, now?! What was wrong with the old one?

          Just to be clear; I'm joking.

    1. Negropolis

      She'll have to change her grifting habits. She'll have to whore herself out to increasingly wealtheir donors since the stupids will be too poor to donate or buy her shitty books.

  5. donner_froh

    If it wasn't for the hookers and blow sector the economy would be even worse off. Thankfully the Wall Street recovery has kept prostitutes and runners for drug dealers working.

    1. Callyson

      The 60's were OK economically. Things started to go to pot in the '70's, but it wasn't until the eighties (thanks, Saint Ronnie) that things really started to decline for the once proud middle class…

  6. genxr

    Who cares about the middle class. They're not the job creators. The real tragedy is regulatory uncertainty affecting the very rich.

    1. Radiotherapy®

      We are facing the largest increase in taxes in American history. And Obama and his failed policies have destroyed the economy. Why would small business owners, who make up the majority of the top 1% of wage earners want to invest in hiring new workers? Everyone knows raising taxes in a recession is foolish.

      1. Banelm

        Exactly. The only practical solution is to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, and default on all our loans. Once the dollar is worthless and credit shocks tear through the entire world economy….uh….. Profit?

        1. SorosBot

          Then, it's the end of the world. Really it's just the collapse of the US economy, possibly leading to the end of American dominance of the global economy, but the end of the world is what they want; remember that the wingnuts are also fundamentalist Christians, who believe America is somehow specially blessed by god.

          They would rather see the country burn than share it with "them" – "them" being black people, Mexicans, women who don't know their place, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, intellectuals, homosexuals, and anyone else who is not a right-wing straight male (a few women get invited, but only those who hate other women). Now that one of "them"; and not just one, but a black guy, one of their most hated of the others; is President, they would rather destroy the world than let things continue with "the others" having equal rights and being in charge. Plus, with the who fundy thing, a lot of them believe that if the end of the world begins, the invisible magic sky-man will intervene to put them back in charge and even more importantly destroy their enemies (all of "the others" who don't know their place).

          It's classic messianic thinking, and scary now that these crazies are in control of the Republican party. Asking why they seem to be trying to destroy the country is the same as asking why the Heaven's Gate members all poisoned themselves when the comet Hale-Bopp was in the sky, why the people in Jonestown drank the Kool-Aid, or why 19 members of Al Quaeda flew planes into buildings.

          1. tessiee

            "They would rather see the country burn than share it with "them" – "them" being black people, Mexicans, women who don't know their place, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, intellectuals, homosexuals, and anyone else who is not a right-wing straight male … Now that one of "them"; and not just one, but a black guy, one of their most hated of the others; is President, they would rather destroy the world than let things continue with "the others" having equal rights and being in charge. "

            You are not kidding.
            When I lived in the South, the state I then worked for was sued by the (mostly black, mostly female) housekeeping staff for paying below the minimum wage. They dragged the suit out for years, and ended up spending about ten times more than the contested amount of back wages would have cost them. I was in the middle of this, and believe me, they would have taken a hundred times as much and burned it in a bonfire rather than (forgive me) "give it away to a bunch of lazy niggers" (you know, the kind of "lazy niggers" who drove two hours to work and then punched in at 4:00 am for an 8 hour shift of scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets).
            A co-worker (white guy) also in the middle of this told me, "what they do to them, they can do to us".

      2. difrompi

        Nonsense. I'm a small business owner and the revenue generated from my five employee company hardly would put me in the top 1 percent, as you suggest. The data on what a "small business owner" makes is skewed, as it reflects revenues of an S corporation that flow directly to the owners.

        And you are crazy if you buy the nonsense about Obama's policies destroying anything. The issues we have were caused long before he showed up. If reduced taxes on the very rich actually affected job growth, then unemployment should not be so negatively affected, as the Bush tax cuts were in place for nearly a decade and corporate profits are way, way up.

        The reality is that market prices, costs from vendors, and my own efforts affect the daily realities of a "small business," not government. In fact, most small businesses — real ones — are not affected at all by most federal regulations.

        Quit regurgitating what you hear from Fox. It's all nonsense, and everyone who actually owns a business knows the difference.

        1. SorosBot

          It's sad, when Fox talking points are so ridiculous that someone would mistake our mockery of them for the real thing.

          1. SorosBot

            Oh, and don't downfist difrompti; he's new and obviously thought he was responding to a real wingnut.

          2. Fukui_sanYesOta

            Yeah, upfist for difrompti. It takes a little while to "get" the meta-snark which is the mere repeating of wingnut talking points.

          3. flamingpdog

            Yeah, do forgive him. The snark was so good that you even had me scratching my head, wondering what was up the first time through. I just upfisted you.

          4. Radiotherapy®

            haha, I'm down on the whole Wonkette sarcasm/snark thing. Who here wouldn't know me and know I was kidding and regurgitating talking points — as Sorosbot pointed out?
            but genxr is +46 and I ran with the ball and get -3?!1??
            Cualquier.

          5. fuflans

            you were perilously close to the line my friend.

            it was so pure i had to read it three times – and i totally know you are snark master.

          6. Negropolis

            Crazy. Every blue moon I miss good snark, but this ticked off my snarkomteter instantly.

          7. Toomush_Infer

            Oh shit, now everyone will think I'm snarkless… O the Redundancy Conundrum….me, a mole…

        2. genxr

          I'm not regurgitating what I hear on Fox, I'm just being Fair and Balanced[tm]. The middle class pays the fare, and the rich get the balance.

      3. axmxz

        That's what they don't seem to understand. Small-business job creators don't hire based on expectations of taxes, they hire based on expectations of demand – and who needs to supply that demand? The poors. Richy Rich is not going to be patronizing your local muffin store/hardware store/haberdasher.

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          The 'baggers seem to think that the rich will hire millions of us as chauffeurs, butlers, maids and gardeners … if only we reduce their taxes.

    2. prommie

      Indeed, even the possible chance that at some future point they might be subjected to some rules that say they should try not to pollute, and not kill too many of their workers, or customers, is enough to give those producers the vapors, and they collapse on the couch.

      1. genxr

        Look, as head of Massey Energy, I'm not going to hire any more coal miners if I don't know if I'm also going to be required to pay for their oxygen. Boom goes the regulatory uncertainty.

  7. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Well, at least the Republicans would rather see this country in default than raise taxes on the Rich. At least we know one socio-economic class will survive.

    1. zhubajie

      No, because they really can't do without the rest of us. If cholera, polio, malaria, etc., become common once more, it won't be just us wicked poor people who get sick and die.

  8. Monsieur_Grumpe

    I remember when I was starting to study engineering stuff which included a few robotics courses at some college I was also getting into reading Kurt Vonnegut. After I read Player Piano I was depressed because I could see the future he was predicting in what I was learning. This economy looks and feels like Player Piano.

  9. CHUDster_Arthur

    I hope that at least some good music comes out of this time of economic calamity (like hip-hop, punk, blues, jazz, etc).

    I look forward to this new trend then being assimilated and popularized by the offspring of the rich populace causing said calamity.

    1. tessiee

      "I look forward to this new trend then being assimilated and popularized by the offspring of the rich populace causing said calamity. "

      The streets were named after the trees they bulldozed to build them. — Peter DeVries

    2. horsedreamer_1

      & just like that, Exeter Prep trust-fund kid Win Butler rises to the top of the pops.

      Even our music is dominated by the ultra-rich.

      1. CHUDster_Arthur

        Eh, Butler gets a pass from me, since he's so obviously tormented by liberal guilt.

  10. zhubajie

    I was poor 15 years ago! Even then it looked like the US was on the road to becoming a 3rd hell-hole, like Brazil or the Phillipines, but without the strong families or the music!

    1. tessiee

      Or the thong bathing suits.
      Oh wait, only those with perfect bodies regret the lack of tushy-showing.

    1. mormos

      nope, too expensive. They just give you a can of powdered sauce and tell you to find your own meat.

      On an unrelated note, has anybody seen my cat whiskers? I really miss him…

      1. orygoon

        Yes, I have definitely seen your cat. (s)He has been hanging around my house for, uh, fifteen years now, but if you'll send me your address and a prepaid kitteh mailing label, you will have yourself a cat in no time.
        (signed)
        Really A Dog Person

  11. PsycWench

    "The rich recovered; the rest of us didn’t.”

    How do you recover when you didn't really stumble to begin with? Does watching other people stumble count?

    1. poncho_pilot

      the rich aren't getting tax breaks; they're being paid emotional damages for having to watch everyone else suffer.

    2. HistoriCat

      Their confidence in the economy and future economic conditions has been badly shaken darling! Now be a dear and pour some more champagne.

  12. Goonemeritus

    Sooner or later the middleclass will look up from their internet porn long enough to figure out who is really taking the jam out of their doughnut. When that time comes it will take more than a few Minimum wage security guards and a half ass gate to save the top 1%

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      I hope you are right but I fear that the present ration of bread and circuses in the many forms in which they are being dispensed will keep us from rising up and ripping out the guts of the Kochs and their ilk to string them up by their own intestines. I look longingly for the triggering event…

        1. Negropolis

          You know who else furiously stocked their bunker in anticipation of a coming catastrophe…?

    2. riverside68

      Enter the National Guard, backed up by the the full force of the mightest miltary in the history of the world.

      Anyone remember Move in Philly? They dropped a bomb on a brownstone over health code violations, wiped out the whole block.

      Without the miltary coming over we are better off with the porn and our imaginary magical negro.

      Or we could go all Leninist Worse/Better and hope the crazies default on the debt bringing Merica disgrace in the world markets letting the Euro/Deutschmark/Yuan battle it out for the worlds currency.

      It's 5 PM somewhere, right?

  13. mormos

    Don't worry, the rich are working on a solution. Soon the propaganda campaign will begin. "The middle class never existed in the first place, it was a hallucination in your brain thingy!" "Remember how happy poor people were in the version of the 50s we just made up? Let's return to those traditional values!"

    1. orygoon

      The middle class was a brief, temporary aberration in the course of history, and it turned out to be a failed experiment, and that's all, folks.

  14. orygoon

    This is terrible news for the rich, who will complain that all these new poors don't pay enough in taxes.

    1. PsycWench

      That's funny but also true. And then the rich will justify pressuring for some deregulation or exemption on the grounds that, hey they pay the taxes.

    2. SorosBot

      40% of the American people pay no taxes! Well except for payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, state and local income taxes, various fees, and any other taxes that are not Federal income taxes. But the point remains!…and is completely dishonest.

      1. AJWjr.

        The new meme is 51%, as forwarded by Orrin Hatch. I pay taxes of all kinds (except capital gains and inheritance) and if 51% of USAmericans earn less than I do, we truly are fucked.

  15. ShaveTheWhales

    While I'm not sure your averaging methodology is perzactly correct, $7,300 per each of the 300M average Americans is $2.3 TRILLION, so yeah, that's some loss of consuming.

  16. Barb

    If I hear The Speaker of the House refer to the ultra rich as the "job creators" one more time I may have to go and punch him in the throat.

    1. Callyson

      I'll pay you to do that. Even if I have to go into debt. At least I'll be in good company, plus as a bonus Boneheader will get the ass whuppin' he deserves.

    2. Radiotherapy®

      Thanks Barb for making me feel not alone.
      I have been pointing this crap out since last September. I even ran it by one of my wingtard brothers tonite and, of course, crickets. He doesn't even know Fux came up with that deranged meme almost a year ago.

    3. flamingpdog

      Barb, give Boner a break, he's just a poor, misunderstood, outcast kid. All kids like that have imaginary friends to make up for it. And all his imaginary friends are the "job creators".

    4. Oblios_Cap

      Yopu mean that after 10 years of tax cuts, you can't see all the jobs that have been created?

  17. BTWBFDIMHO

    Obama put it in a different way today:
    "It is possible for us to construct a package to involve both parties to take on their sacred cows. We might as well do it now, pull off the band aid, eat our peas."

    The Presidential message for the hedge-fund managers is clear: show me you can spend a week in Las Vegas sleeping in your tax-free corporate jets and eating arroz con frijoles, pinches cabrones!!

    1. Guppy06

      Democratic sacred cow: social services

      Republican sacred cow: no deals with Democrats

      So, yeah, both sides will be giving up something here.

    2. Negropolis

      Maybe, just maybe, we aren't better off enough with keeping this guy. Someone from our side needs to scare the political bejeebuses out this guy, 'cause he just doesn't get it. We're fighting for our very financial survival, down here, and he's still talking about "both sides." There isn't two equal sides, here. There are people fighting for their lives, and then people trying to suck what little left those people have. Pick a side, fucker. Do it quickly.

  18. SarahsBush

    "But how did we, uh, even manage to survive during the first decade of this awful century?"

    By not being brown Muslim people, obviously.

  19. pinkocommi

    The good thing is, now that Americans no longer have money for food, we'll finally address the national obesity crisis. Or we will eat the rich.

        1. trondant

          I can imagine poor children burrowing around in Gov. Creosote's carcass actually getting lost in there.

      1. Negropolis

        But, she's filled with nothing but bitterness and she's cold all the way through, even when cooked/stewed.

  20. pukebot

    jees, i keep pulling this lever and getting shocked. maybe this time it won't shock me. SHOCK! keep voting conservative you fucking moron surfs. cause the teevee tells me voting for liberals is gay.

    1. Guppy06

      When was the last time you saw an actual liberal on the ballot?

      Show me a liberal on a US ballot and I show you someone who doesn't get 5 % of the vote.

    2. tessiee

      "jees, i keep pulling this lever and getting shocked. maybe this time it won't shock me. SHOCK!"

      Cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes. Sweet cakes for all. — Bart Simpson

    3. outragedcitizen

      They vote conservative because A. One day they may be ultra rich. and B. because the Liberal are going to tax them and give the money to the poor… oh, wait, that would be them.

  21. Rotundo_

    The best thing about this little nugget load of wisdom, is that some rich asshole paid money to figure this out. Isn't it good to know that the wealthy need statisticians and analysis to figure out that if they keep wages eternally stagnant and pass off all the costs of society to the middle class, and ship all of the dumb jobs overseas that no one would have money to buy cars and homes and baubles and trinkets from the rich anymore? The grand experiment in laissez faire economics failed (again, even) and they're stunned that this happened? So much for Ivy League educations…

    1. Barrelhse

      It would have been so much easier just to give a little back and keep the machine running. The greedy pig-lickers are now going to bring all of us down, while failing to recognize the resentment and desperation being bred.
      Nothing to lose means you don't give a fuck.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        The rich have managed to grab only 50% of everything so far, so relax… they have a ways to go.

  22. WhatTheHeck

    Cheer up. Jesus would want those who have, to be given all the more and those who have not, to have it taken away.

    1. Rotundo_

      Verily I say unto thee, Fuck the poor, for they have invested poorly and not selected parentage that providest a trustfund to liveth upon!

      1. Negropolis

        Blessed are the job creators, for they shall enslave and exploit the earth and all my Father's wonders.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's."

      I never understood why nobody said, "Wait a minute … that's ALL of our money!"

  23. philpjfry

    The republicans are acting like they have a buyer for the country when the rest of us are eating hobo beans and burning books for heat

  24. iburl

    Now more people can be pissed off that the political elite are always talking about helping "the middle class" instead of the "poor" or "working class" or as it will now be known "The bottom 90%".

    1. flamingpdog

      Democrats have been talking about helping the middle class since Clinton got elected – almost nothing about the poor. Once the middle class is gone, there's no need to help anyone, except the rich. No snark, just despair.

  25. fuflans

    i heard this on the news and can't really snark.

    i haz a sad for my sad angry country.

    1. lumpenprole

      Is okay. They'll stop bothering to mention these things to us soon enough. Actually knowing that things used to be different or that people once aspired for better things in this country will be called "book lurning." A Slim Jim in every paw!

  26. user-of-owls

    I have a fucking rough patch, and it itches like hell. Anti-fungals just seem to make it stronger.

    I have a fucking rough patch, and looks like shit. No matter the razor, it's always out whack with the rest of my butt-ugly face.

    I have a fucking rough patch, and it don't produce nothing. Fertilize those fucking strawberries and they just laugh at me.

    I have a fucking rough patch…but we've already been there before.

    1. Radiotherapy®

      Could be hookworms. Too bad Obamacare destroyed the greatest health care system in the world and now you can't get help with that.

  27. JoshuaNorton

    If only they'd pay more taxes they could be rich!! Just ask Orin Hatch or any of his buddies.

    Rich, I tells ya.

    1. prommie

      The important thing is that noone else caught it after he hit it. baseball is a zero-sum game.

    2. SorosBot

      Here's a nice look into the psychology of my city. Over at the AV Club, a discussion of Rebecca Black, of all people, lead to checking what they got locally by typing "Where does" into Google. I got this:

      Where does Justin Bieber live?
      Where does Ryan Howard live?
      Where does the Easter Bunny live?
      Where does Chase Utley live?
      Where does Cole Hamels live?

      People are really, really baseball-obsessed here. And I find it incredibly dull and have to get treated as a weirdo for it.

    3. PuckStopsHere

      They tell me that that act, the hitting of the ball with the stick, is the toughest thing to do in all of sport. Remember, it's a round ball and a round bat and you have to hit it SQUARE.

      1. El Pinche

        Apparently, the toughest thing is catching the ball without falling into the bleachers and getting killed.

      1. Kidneys4Sale

        Barry should take a page from this person and stop forcibly buttsechsing his biggest fans.

        I mean, don't get me wrong, I would probably let him throw one into me if he asked nice. But with each passing day, I find myself a little more suspicious that he'd show up without lube while I was sleeping.

  28. BaldarTFlagass

    I, for one, warmly welcome our Gilded Age-era overlords. Hopefully I can get me one of them bicycles with the giant front wheel and the little tiny back wheel like they used to ride back then.

    How the fuck did they get up on them things?

  29. prommie

    Let me get this straight. The manufacturing companies have defeated the unions, the working class, and the the enviro and job safety regulators, by exporting all our manufacturing jobs to overseas sweatshop-deathpits. In Phase II of Operation "Fuck America, the financial industry has just defrauded the "middle" class, what was left of it, of their retirement investments and home equity. Now you might think that the practical requirement for a "market," for buyers for their trash, would make the oligarchs take pause, because, you might think, they just killed the goose that BOUGHT the golden eggs. But you are wrong, because your thinking is parochial. The emerging markets in China will dwarf everything, would dwarf even a revitalized US economy. The US is already small potatoes to the big corporations; VW and GM already sell more cars in China then anywhere else.

  30. GuanoFaucet

    Americans may be poor in money, but they sure as shit are rich in stupid because about half of them keep voting in a bunch of sadistic morons whose main legislative agenda is to funnel their money to a bunch of thin-skinned, sociopathic, mega-rich assholes.

    Until Cletus and his sister-wife, Trista Lynn, have some sort of political epiphany in which they realize that they are unwittingly and completely fucking themselves over by voting republican every election, this country is fucked.

  31. BlueStateLibel

    So basically it's like that point playing Monopoly, when one mostly lucky, but also devious, bastard has all the monies and property–and all the other broke players then flip up the board and hit him over the head with it. At least it was like that growing up in my family.

      1. flamingpdog

        If Monopoly has been first marketed by Parker Bros in 1985 instead of 1935, half the properties would be defense contractors' addresses and "GO" would be the Pentagon.

    1. assistantatlas

      He's Canadian. Canadians make shitty musicians. (see also: Dion, Celine & Adams, Bryan & Morrisette, Alanis) They make moderately better comedians. (see also: Myers, Mike & Anderson, Pamela)

  32. JoshuaNorton

    At home and abroad – from acute fiscal mismanagement to chronic foreign misadventures – Bush and his Repiggie majority led the American Experiment into descent and collapse. Obama may be sorry he ever wanted the job.

    1. KeepFnThatChicken

      That's the first backlash, once we reach 10% unemployment this winter. We should burn down churches to stay warm.

      1. GunToting[Redacted]

        Keep dreamin'. The church was the most powerful institution in the world during the dark ages.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      So THAT's what all that "Wonkbot" stuff was about–he's deploying multiple copies of himself on the web and in meatspace. The Nerd Rapture has arrived!

  33. Sue4466

    Not spending all their money is pretty unAmerican. Way to suck at patriotism middle class.

  34. JackObin

    This is why Paul Revere made his ride….to keep the guns…to help the rich…to get rid of Obamacare….

  35. DahBoner

    "Apparently, wages have been declining for thirty..years"

    What happened?

    Just over 30 years ago, Reagan began the GOP assault on the working class, beginning the largest transfer of wealth in our nation's history.

    "and pensions have vanished…"

    What happened?

    Republicans and Blue Dogs thought it would be a great idea to create the "401K plan" which would allow companies to stop funding their pensions by selling that people would "control their own investments", with their own money of course.

    "and the one asset 90% of middle class people owned is no longer worth anything."

    What happened?

    Republicans loosed up financial regulation after financial regulation in the last 30 years because Alan Greenspan actually believed literally in Ayn Rand that Governement shouldn't even be involved in policing financial fraud.

    So, the good times rolled, Republicans looked the other way and Credit Default Swaps, which are invented out of thin air, caused the entire system to crash and Mom and Pop on Main Street to go bankrupt this year in the Second Republican Depression.

    1. Radiotherapy®

      You'll just prove his point that it is the rich job creators who are suffering in modern day America. Go kick the homeless guy with no teeth — he's the one that needs to pony up.

  36. SorosBot

    Well, someday we'll find it; the rainbow connection; the lovers, the dreamers and me.

  37. Negropolis

    Step 1: Wipe out American middle and labor (union) classes.

    Step 2: We don't need a step two. Didn't you hear? We wiped out the last line of defense for workers. Welcome back, 7-day workweek!

    The Detroit Free Press did a story the other day on who wiping out the Michigan defined pension program/system "saved" the state 4 billion since the late 90's. Saved it for what? Have you fucking seen Michigan, lately? I'm so sick of this anti-worker bullshit I could vomit.

  38. DashboardBuddha

    Words fail..they really do. For all folks snark on the French, they at least have the gumption to take to the streets. The US is so befuddled by cheap soda, pricey Slim Jims, and missing white children that…aw fuck it.

  39. Negropolis

    OT, but Westboro Baptist "Church" has given a reason why they are going to protest Betty Ford's funeral…

    The church said they're targeting her funeral because, "She couldn’t wait to have an audience with a reporter to titter about premarital sex, and how much she loved to teach it to her daughters. The trashy reporters encouraged her to say more! So she urged all the women of this doomed foul nation to engage in extra-marital sex. Then she pushed for abortion, because when you teach a nation’s women to be whores, it's inevitable pregnancies will inconvenience the selfish strumpets! That is the legacy of Betty Ford."

    The dumb bitch actually used the word "strumpet" without even a hint or irony. Stay kkklassy, WBC.

  40. KeepFnThatChicken

    While we won't excel at anything, the one job that you may have with certainty — forever — is in the field of gerontology. If you can stomach wiping the asses of the exploiters, you'll be employed forever.

  41. mumbly_joe

    Wow, this is terrible news. We need something to distract us from this.

    Quick! Can someone find some black people somewhere, being black, and possibly also voting? Or at least benefiting from some of the social safety net? It's important that everyone has someone to be angry at, other than the people taking all of the money.

  42. hagajim

    "half of their wealth is gone and it will never come back as long as they live"

    Now that's something for Merika to crow about! We're No. 1 – in screwing the muddied middle for the rich….because the middle isn't smart enough anymore to see how they're getting screwed.

  43. ttommyunger

    As long as the President is "near" we're going to have a big cognitive dissonance problem in America. Racists literally can't help themselves, they are the victim of something they can neither control or understand. This, I believe, is at the root of many of our problems today.

  44. sportshort

    But having that big rich persons' cock firmly up your ass must certainly count for something? I mean after they pull out, don't you feel that trickle down?

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