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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:26 AM
I never said being in poverty was fun, did I? I drink tap water and eat lots of ramen. And it helps that I go to a school where free food is often around. But this is not the result of some government conspiracy, it is the result of me making the choice to get a graduate degree. Nothing more, and nothing less. Why is it you keep harping on my income level? Why exactly does it matter? Stop deflecting from the issue. Dont even try to say I brought it up, I had to because YOU began deflecting from the main issue by declaring me to be wealthy.

I am glad that you are concerned for everyone, so am I. I have also seen how people to zealously defend your ideology end up. Anyone can "struggle" in the US, just because you are born here does not mean you have a birth right to any standard of living. You will either get lucky and inherit it, or you will work for it. You have no positive rights from the government when it comes to your finances, only negative rights.

Seasonal adjustments are _not_ irrelevant over many years, because seasonal adjustments are made to smooth out seasonally based economic indicators over many years. You are looking at a statistic that is not seasonally based, so using seasonally based adjustments distorts the numbers. Where is your evidence that production workers make up the middle class? There is a reason why you don't use inflation adjusted nominal numbers, because it would show that you are wrong.

The statistics about the American labor force tell us that production workers do not make up a large portion of the economy at all. Location quotients from the BLS show that the manufacturing (according to the BLS codes, includes PRODUCTION WORKERS AND MORE) make up about 13% (rounding up) of the total work force. So much for production workers being generalizable to the entire economy. Again, this only makes perfect sense because production facilities have become mainly outsourced. Also, you do realize that the "elite" (by the way, who gets define who is elite - you?) also work in production. The NAIS codes that BLS uses to classify positions INCLUDES senior management who can make hundreds of thousands a year.

You are showing that you have no fundamental knowledge of what the CPI number actually means. The CPI number is in and of itself meaningless, you could pick any base year and it would start at 100. That is because THE POINT of the CPI is to use the figure to deflate or inflate NOMINAL NUMBERS - the CPI number is NOTHING until it is used to deflate or inflate economic figures. The CPI is a relative measure of inflation that only has meaning until it is used in nominal calculations. I do not know how many more times I have to say this. It is, again, basic knowledge of economic statistics. Showing a graphic of the CPI just shows that over time, the value of a dollar decreases. How surprising, the time value of money is not a revelation. You must examine the number in context.

I find it amusing that you have to continually attack the source of my data, which comes from Berkley University but is indeed posted on a blog. I see you do not argue what the data says, only the source. I can google and get the same charts from any number of government reports, but I find it pointless because you will simply ignore the data. The data is from the U.S. census, and the reason why I linked to it is because I am not going to go year by year and make an excel sheet for you when someone else has already done so. Obviously, even if I did you still wouldn't get it.

The facts are that the inflation adjusted annual average income for United States citizens has increased every year. It is inflation adjusted, so it takes into account the fact that over time the value of money decreases while the cost of living goes up. Inflation increases, the cost of living increases, and salaries increase a rate higher than these two forces combined.

Here is a source directly from the Census Bureau that shows from 1980 to 2006, when adjusted for inflation, income is up across the board for everyone. This does not go back to 1913, but you can find the same charts for every time period at the census. They all show the same thing.

There is no conspiracy.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by LightinDarkness]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:07 AM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

I did not declare you wealthy, though I stick by my statement that you must be recieving external assistance if you are actually below the poverty-line. This is not meant to be personal but reason why this is a sticking point for me, well, I'll give an example.

I was working for a real-estate developer, driving around in a $300 clunker. This was about 10 years ago I suppose, before cell phones were common, or anywhere near cheap. One night my car broke down, and I ended up in the hospital after nearly freezing to death quite literally. When he asked why I had missed work and I explained it to him, he incredulously responded, "why didn't you use your cell phone?" The reason was plain, he did not pay me enough to afford one. Not that I was complaining either, but this is the perfect example of how easily it is to take priviledge for granted.

I am not blaming the government either, other than for allowing the international banking cartel in the door back in 1913 with their terminally flawed economic system.

The government is supposed to work for the people, not the other way around. When it stops serving the needs of the people, especially in what is supposed to be a Democracy, it's time for a new one.

Production is not manufacturing.

I would loosely define elite as the top 1% of the wealthy in this country.

Senior management is not middle-class.

I do not see any references on the link you provided for your source.

Inflation is an ingredient of the CPI, not the other way around.

I'm done arguing statistics with you. If you want real stats, look at crime rates. There aren't more bad people in America, there are more desperate people with nothing left to lose.

But here's your non-seasonally adjusted graph.

12 Months Percent Change
Series Id: CEU0500000008Not Seasonally AdjustedSuper Sector: Total privateIndustry: Total privateNAICS Code: N/AData Type: AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS OF PRODUCTION WORKERS

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:12 AM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

I am not claiming that pay rates have not increased. What I am showing is that the CPI, which is a good indicator of purchasing power, has far outpaced the wage increases. As I stated, you can't just go by dollar inflation. There are many other factors.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:20 AM
reply to post by jackinthebox

Talking about my personal financial situation is completely irrelevant to this thread so I'm just going to stop. Think I'm rich, think I'm poor - it doesn't really matter to me.

Production is not manufacturing? Are you saying that the Bureau of Labor Statistics - the same agency which is the source of your graph - are lying when they say that they include production workers in manufacturing location quotients? Your quite simply just denying reality at this point. People who work in production are included under the BLS labor category of manufacturing, and that entire category makes up 13% of the entire work force. So much for them being the middle class. I'm actually giving you more credit than your due - since if we separated production from manufacturing it would be a much lower percent than even 13% is.

Fine, take out the top 1% and show me a graph that shows inflated adjusted income is going down for the other 99% of the population. The burden of proof is on you. I know that it wouldn't show it, but I'm not going to go through all the work to make you a chart because you'll then change the definition of elite on me or ignore it.

All the graph you have shows me is that, for at most 13% of the population, their salary is increasing in inflation adjusted dollars every single year. Although now that its not seasonally adjusted, I see the data looks even better than before for my point of view. You do realize this is contrary to your entire point.

Of course your done arguing statistics, because the statistics show that your argument is invalid. Now you want to move on to other statistics because the economic ones can't prove your point. I normally simply call out this sort of hit and run posting, but I'll play.

You claim that crime rates are going up, and this must indicate that people are desperate. There is no reason, logic, or evidence to suggest that just because crime rates go up it is the result of people being in desperate financial circumstances. How is it that just because I charged up my credit card that I go rape and murder people? That is a non-sequitur AND post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

But I'm sure you'll claim that people who are desperate may not rape and kill, but they'll go steal something. Still a logical fallacy, but I'll roll with it. Unfortunately for you, the FBI's crime rate report shows that incidents of burglery from 1997 to 2007 are down over 11%. Would you like to try another statistic? Because you won't find any to prove this hypothesis.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:54 AM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

Manufacturing may make up 13% or the workforce, though I didn't see where you provided that data. So what? Manufacturing is included in my data, which also includes mining, construction, private service, transportation, information, finance, retail, etc, etc. So what exactly are the other 87% of American doing?

I've shown my proof. Again.

How is it that just because I charged up my credit card that I go rape and murder people?

Are you kidding me? Do you not have any understanding of social problems? Poor people don't have credit cards! Don't you have to take a BHS course to get a PhD? Poverty is not caused by individual choices (necessarily,or even most of the time), it is a social ill. People are poor becasue there are no jobs that pay enough to pay the rent. Are you going to argue that people in Africa are starving to death because they bought a new leather sofa? People commit crimes when they are hungry, when their kids don't have diapers, when the heat gets cut off in the apartment. And this is exactly why I am done arguing statistics with you, because you fail to see what is being plainly presented to you. Just because burglary is down doesn't mean anything. Furthermore, the last ten years is not enough data. Show me where crime is down overall since 1913. People kill for money, sell drugs for money, extort money, even beat up their spouses fighting about having no money. None of this is about specific data, it's about what is going on in the world around us. This whole country is going down the tubes, but who cares, as long as I get my degree it won't be me. I am an island until myself, because I make own decisions. All poor people are supposed to be poor. They're probably genetically inferior anyway.

[edit on 12/14/0707 by jackinthebox]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:37 AM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

Although now that its not seasonally adjusted, I see the data looks even better than before for my point of view.

Data looks better huh? My, how observant you are. You failed to notice that the chart remained exactly the same. The "seasonal" modifier was not a factor in the statistics because seasons happen every year in America. As I already explained.

Now that it is clear that you are deliberately obfuscating the facts, please deny me your ignorance, and put me back on your ignore list.

[edit on 12/14/0707 by jackinthebox]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:52 AM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

People do not have to take out mortgages - they can rent. People do not have to buy fancy new cars - they can buy a car for $3,000 or less, or take public transportation

Since when can a person buy a decent car for $3000 or less without needing $1000+ in repairs (that is using parts from a junkyard) or being a death trap? I sure couldn't, and I live on the East Coast in an area where things are less expensive. I hate to imagine a $3000 car in California.

Oh ya, my favorite line I love to hear from others who live near some type of public transportation system. Try living somewhere where there is no public transportation. You have to drive at least 3 miles to get to the dang bus stop where the bus only picks up and drop off in twice a day. You better hope you are not late, and the bus hours coincide with your work schedule.

Renting instead of owning, I know that can be done. I rent currently. My landlord is looking into selling the property. We started looking for another place to rent only to find out that we have the cheapest rent where we live. Most places have rents that match if not exceed mortgages. It was actually cheaper for us to buy a house than to rent. Go figure. Yes, we did end up buying a house, a place to call home and our own. Ownership does wonders for the moral.

Your phrase reminds me very much of Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake"

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:22 PM
Is M.L.M Really a Pyramid Scheme?

First, what's a pyramid scheme? Why do people "run for the hills" at
the first indication of a pyramid scheme? If you really knew exactly
what a pyramid scheme was, would it be easier to handle this objection
from prospects?

Continued at source

[Mod Edit: Source cited, link supplied and quote trimmed. Please see this thread: Posting work written by others. **ALL MEMBERS READ** - Jak]

[edit on 19/12/07 by JAK]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:00 PM
reply to post by jackinthebox

Wow, you really are in denial. Your economic statistics show your wrong, then you move on to crime statistics. They still show your wrong. Your just denying reality. You are down to defending statistical methods even when I link proof that your so called "middle class" only makes up approximately 13% of the population, at most. And you still argue it, even though it comes from the same source as your "data" comes from. When I teach my undergraduates policy evaluation methods, I might have to print this thread out and use it as a class example of how people like you use statistics to lie and still lie even when its pointed out what they are doing. I still await your proof.

You are yet again confusing the burden of proof - if you are going to make outrageous claims, you should provide the data to back it up. And I am glad after all this you are finally revealed for who you are, a socialist. You should really take a class in economics, you will find that your "OMG POVERTY IS A SOCIAL ILL" will be the laughing stock of the class. Unlike you, I don't base my opinion on political ideologies that make me feel better about my life - I base my opinion on what the evidence shows. Your seething anger and foaming at the mouth because I have presented evidence that completely disproves your conspiracy theory is amusing.

Americans income has gone up, even adjusted for cost of living and inflation. Americans make more money than ever. They have more debt too. Mostly because they choose to. I'm sorry reality does not reflect your perverted view of the world.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by Mystery_Lady

Oh, I never said a $3,000 car is decent. Mines rusted, ugly, noisy, and the heat doesn't work. But it passes inspection, and it runs. You see, I don't think I have a right to a "decent" car - and I don't need one, I only need one that runs.

I am sorry that my advocation of personal responsibility does not match up with your view that everyone is entitled to live nicely. If you would read what I say, instead of just glancing at it and being enraged by your own politics, you could perhaps see that I am actually saying "Let them have personal responsibility." GASP!

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:37 PM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

...even when I link proof that your so called "middle class" only makes up approximately 13% of the population, at most.

The page that you linked shows no such evidence. My evidence stands, as stated.

When I teach my undergraduates policy evaluation methods, I might have to print this thread out and use it as a class example of how people like you use statistics to lie and still lie even when its pointed out what they are doing. I still await your proof.

Accusing me of lieing without proof is libelous, and subject to legal ramifications.

Your seething anger and foaming at the mouth because I have presented evidence that completely disproves your conspiracy theory is amusing.

You have shown no such evidence.

Americans income has gone up, even adjusted for cost of living and inflation. Americans make more money than ever. They have more debt too. Mostly because they choose to.

You have shown nothing regarding cost of living, only inflation, and from a dubious source. Besides, "Americans making more money than ever" has nothing to do with the topic. The whole point is the income to debt ratio. America can make all the money it wants, but what does it matter if it is fueled by debt?

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:52 PM
reply to post by LightinDarkness

One question dude....DO they really have to charge me 23% regardless of the mistakes or can i get a freakin chance like your supposed to get in this country and have some sort of platform that will allow me to work hard (which i do) and pay off the debt? At high rates you always end up paying so much much do they really have to suck out of the american public those gready $#%^#. ITs getting to a point that is inexcusable....thats the underlying issue and the fact that we are BORN with 30k in debt because we share the national debt is sickening to me.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by GUICE2

You make an excellent point...

...fact that we are BORN with 30k in debt because we share the national debt is sickening to me.

We all know the term "it takes money to make money." Starting at zero is hard enough. How are we supposed to start with 30 grand in the hole?

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by jackinthebox

I'm sorry, I assumed you were intelligent enough to CLICK the calculator to figure it out for yourself. I cant link to the report format because it times out. Let me walk you through the steps:

1) Select any analysis area
2) Click all sectors
3) Click submit
4) Read the output.

By the way, you've still shown no evidence that wages are going down and inflation is going up. So far, you've shown the opposite. This is lying. You want proof? Scroll through the thread.

I have shown that inflation adjusted income goes up. Several times. That you deny reality is beyond my control. Now you want to change the statistics - again - to debt to income ratio (which by the way you've never shown). Looking at national debt to come shows no general upward trend. Even if it did, all it would prove is that as people make money faster than the cost of living can catch up (because inflation adjusted national income is going up), they are taking on debt. They have no reason to, since their salary is higher than the cost of living. More of buying things they can't afford, generally.

No matter how you spin it, in general people make money beyond the cost of living. They get in debt generally because they buy things they cant afford. There are exceptions (acts of god, medical crises), but that is the rule.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:47 PM
reply to post by GUICE2

Yes, they really should charge you a higher percentage rate because of your mistakes. You made the mistake, you pay for it. That is life. If you demonstrate that you are capable of abiding by the terms YOU AGREE TO when you take out the credit card, you can get your interest rate lowered. Of course why is it your carrying revolving debt anyways? If your not buying things you cant afford, and what happened was an act of god or unforeseen crises, then you could easily transfer the balance to a 0% credit card. If your credit sucks and you can't do would be because you made mistakes, and are now paying for it.

Here's an idea. Pay according to the terms of your credit card agreement, and they won't be getting one dime out of you. I use credit cards all the time and pay them off every month - they have yet to make a dime from me.

Nice rhetoric on the national debt thing. Your using a false dilemma fallacy. The reality is that for the individual citizen, the national debt is not payable by you because it will never be paid. Your tax dollars (if you even pay any, if your "poor" you pay nothing in taxes) are going to fund socialist programs and wars. Guess what - even if we had no national debt, they'd still find other stuff to spend tax dollars on.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:53 PM
Directly fromthe front page of the FBI website Criminal Statistics

Consider other characteristics of a jurisdiction

To assess criminality and law enforcement’s response from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, one must consider many variables, some of which, while having significant impact on crime, are not readily measurable or applicable pervasively among all locales. Geographic and demographic factors specific to each jurisdiction must be considered and applied if one is going to make an accurate and complete assessment of crime in that jurisdiction. Several sources of information are available that may assist the responsible researcher in exploring the many variables that affect crime in a particular locale. The U.S. Census Bureau data, for example, can be used to better understand the makeup of a locale’s population. The transience of the population, its racial and ethnic makeup, its composition by age and gender, educational levels, and prevalent family structures are all key factors in assessing and comprehending the crime issue.

Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability.

It does sure appear to read that the FBI believes income amongst other things causes some crime.


Number of persons under correctional supervision
Probation Jail Prison Parole Total
1980 1,118,097 183,988 319,598 220,438 1,842,100
1981 1,225,934 196,785 360,029 225,539 2,008,300
1982 1,357,264 209,582 402,914 224,604 2,194,400
1983 1,582,947 223,551 423,898 246,440 2,476,800
1984 1,740,948 234,500 448,264 266,992 2,690,700
1985 1,968,712 256,615 487,593 300,203 3,013,100
1986 2,114,621 274,444 526,436 325,638 3,241,100
1987 2,247,158 295,873 562,814 355,505 3,461,400
1988 2,356,483 343,569 607,766 407,977 3,715,800
1989 2,522,125 395,553 683,367 456,803 4,057,800
1990 2,670,234 405,320 743,382 531,407 4,350,300
1991 2,728,472 426,479 792,535 590,442 4,537,900
1992 2,811,611 444,584 850,566 658,601 4,765,400
1993 2,903,061 459,804 909,381 676,100 4,948,300
1994 2,981,022 486,474 990,147 690,371 5,148,000
1995 3,077,861 507,044 1,078,542 679,421 5,342,900
1996 3,164,996 518,492 1,127,528 679,733 5,490,700
1997 3,296,513 567,079 1,176,564 694,787 5,734,900
1998 3,670,441 592,462 1,224,469 696,385 6,134,200
1999 3,779,922 605,943 1,287,172 714,457 6,340,800
2000 3,826,209 621,149 1,316,333 723,898 6,445,100
2001 3,931,731 631,240 1,330,007 732,333 6,581,700
2002 4,024,067 665,475 1,367,547 750,934 6,758,800
2003/a 4,120,012 691,301 1,390,279 769,925 6,924,500
2004 4,143,792 713,990 1,421,345 771,852 6,995,100
2005 4,166,757 747,529 1,448,344 780,616 7,051,900
2006 4,237,023 766,010 1,492,973 798,202/b 7,211,400

We will leave it to you to look up the court dockets to find out how many of the above persons were involved in crime to obtain the funds to pay loans,bills or just party. But if this STATISTICS chart doesn't show an increase in criminal activity then please educate the rest of us on how to read next.

[Mod Edit: External quote tags and source link - Jak]

[edit on 15/12/07 by JAK]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by the b rain

Nice try of spinning the statistics again. The FBI merely states that "income" can be a factor in crime. It also lists numerous other causes. Not to mention, correlation does not equal causation. There is a book called "Lies, damned lied, and statistics." You should read it. Because you are doing the exact same thing the book warns people against.

Using "Number of persons under correctional supervision" is a key example of either (1) trying to lie with statistics or (2) having no idea what you are doing. Heres a hint: for the time period the table shows, THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES has grown dramatically. It is perfectly normal and not indicative of anything that - SURPRISE - the more people you have, the more people commit crime. You clearly need an education on how to read statistics. Badly.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by LightinDarkness]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:32 PM
[Mod Edit: Off topic post removed - Jak]

[edit on 15/12/07 by JAK]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:58 PM
reply to post by the b rain

See, your avoiding the issue completely and using the following logical fallacies: ad hominem, red herring, sweeping generalization. I will get us back on topic.

That you do not understand that using raw counts of people touched by the court system means nothing when the population at large grows is not my fault. It is indeed very basic. All I did was point out to you that this is reality. I cannot make you see that which you will not see because you are so blind to your ideology.

If you wanted to actually see a number that could make your point, you would of course use a ratio. But I've already checked..and it would just prove my point. As have all the statistics in this thread. How COULD that be...

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 05:41 PM
I would have avoided that test if I were you also! but I'm not you. You say we are blinded by our own ideologies It is true, we are not buying everything we are being told. That is the essence of this discussion platform.
Most of us who have put in the research have concluded that there is a scheme to rape North America of its assets through banking practices deemed treasonous by the constitution yet allowed to operate since 1913 and will eventually end in catastrophe at the rate we are going.
If you don't see that then TOO BAD.
At least you will be close to (if not) debt free when it happens and with the plethora of experience you have with a frugal lifestyle you will be prepared for the future.

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