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New inflation data explain middle-class squeeze

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posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by SEEWHATUDO

Well, if I had the answers I'd be running for president!

The only thing I know to do is to keep speaking the truth. To everyone. All the time. Wake up as many people as possible.

Some member on ATS has a great signature, something to the effect of "Be the change you are trying to achieve". I think that is where we need to start. Visualize and live the change daily in order to bring about a shift in world consciousness. Another phrase I stick to is "Ride the change or change the ride". I know these may seem like platitudes but at the very least we have to be optimistic and hopeful for the future. Otherwise why bother getting up in the morning?

As far as rock-bottom, when it will occur and what it will look like - IMO we are in the beginning stages of it but, barring further war or some other world-wide cataclysm, it won't be as dramatic as one might envision. More like a series of marginal disasters we can't seem to fully recover from.

The Slow Crash:

When I first came to ATS I used to beat the rebel drum all the time. I hate to seem like a quitter, but most people are just too comfortable in their daily lives to be bothered with change so I became somewhat emotionally exhausted by the lack of response to my constant drumbeat. Now I just wait for opportunities to make my points and wake people up. You do what you can.

Prepare yourself and your family but live your life daily and hope for the best. Sorry if I seem trite, I don't mean to be.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 09:22 PM

Originally posted by SEEWHATUDO
We have some of the most intelligent members on ATS so I ask you all what can they do to fix this?
Will they do what it takes to save the middle class or is the ultimate goal a 2 class system?
And if it can't be fixed what does our future hold?
And how do we prepare for it?
What do you all feel is the realistic time line?
Is it as bad as it seems?
Will our service industries be destroyed?
and finally do we all need to move to Sweden?

The only way to fix the situation, is, imo, to let it run its course..

Let the economy get to a point that looks close enough to bottom, and work it back up.

The biggest problem we have is, imo anyways, the Federal government trying to delay it -- no one wants a recession on their watch.. but there is no going back to the 90's either. The more they hold the economy up when it should be down, the bigger the fall when it finally goes down.

This could have been a correction a year ago..

Instead, it was held up.. and now talks are swarming of job cuts, fast rising inflation.. the need for another stimulus package, and record breaking losses from our financial sector.

The Fed wants to have Congress put $150 BILLION dollars into a Stimulus package. Guess what? If the Government did that, then, like 2 years ago, we will strike our heads on the Federal Deficit Ceiling and will call, another, meeting to raise the ceiling before we default on our debt payments (like we almost did two years ago).

Of course..

$150 BILLION dollars... what does that mean for us? .. It means $50 returned with out taxes that is supposed to influence that "hey free money" and .. go buy a car with it. American, prefered, manufactured in Mexico.

My opinion anyways....

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 10:07 PM

The price of toys, which now come mostly from China, fell 4.7 percent last year. It's fallen every year since 1997.

Let them eat toys!

I dunno, See. I wish I knew of an answer.
The world has changed since the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age. At least many of the RBs were industrialists, giving us railroads, steel and autos, something tangible, creating jobs in America. Today's RBs are heavily in the financial sector, creating "worth" with the least amount of employees/cheapest labor worldwide.
Corporations were proud to be American at one time. Since the 1980's, corporations have tried to shed their American image, to become "international". Hell, if America HAS turned into a fascist-corporate state, the corporations aren't even "American"!

During the Great Depression, JOBS were created. The WPA. Americans were put to work. Jobs for even artists.

Since it looks like Americans are finally pulling the wool off their eyes, waking up to the fact they've been hoodwinked, maybe now they will get angry enough for action. Maybe now they will email their congressperson and demand a JOB that pays well--Sir/Madam, you work for me, not a corporation, take this tax credit/check and shove it!!

My God, even Thom Friedman says that government must help out the working person!

We're not in this mess because individuals behaved immorally or don't fear the Lord. We're in this mess because corporations behaved immorally and didn't fear the American citizen.
The love of money became more than the love for one's country and fellow citizen.

Make corporations and politicians fear you--join a union/association and vote.

Oh, re housing foreclosure crisis--how many of those homes were actually bought by families to live in, and how many were bought as "investments"? Help out the family but don't bail out the investor.

[edit on 17-1-2008 by desert]

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 11:08 PM
What is sad is that it is almost entirely speculation on Wall Street which is driving most of these price increases in food and energy. As the economy slows and wallets get pinched the demand for all these commodities will fall through the roof. Prices will come back down a bit, people will start spending on more descretionary items and before you know it we will have revived economic growth with very moderate inflation. Throw a little help in the form of rebates and changing mortgage terms and people will be back where they were a few years ago.

When 99 out of 100 people are pessimistic on the economy, then we have normally already seen the worst.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 11:24 PM
nice to see more topics reflecting what i think the biggest problems are and where they will be for a while.

i noticed alot of talk about how we got here and what the reasons were?

this author offers a bit of the political motivations

it is worth the 3 minutes.

I can't see any GOOD way out of this. The headlines will become more numerous and although the stock market may not "crash" , consumer spending will continue to decline and unemployment will continue to act like an incoming tide. The decline in housing values has at least 10% more to go and likely double that or more.

Emerging economies are not immune from this mess but the citizens their still have much more debt they can take on (more money for bankers to be made) even though it appears the end is near for american consumers.

The downturn in consumption from america and late next year ( as housing turns down) in UK will slow growth globally. Emerging markets Expansion of middle classes is dependent on the health of the american and european consumer and business demand IMO, (both will decline).

Investor money will flow into commodities even more this year, i don't see food or oil going down yet, although even if the speculation abates this may not necessarily be reflected that much in prices, because when oil was
65 a barrell ,prices were not much different than they are now.

I think the problem we are facing will morph into a global deep recession , starting domestically and then just getting further deep into the crapper. I think dramatic and exteme political and social solutions may be implemented to stem the rise of civil "unrest" and "useless eaters" if things do spiral. Either that or perhaps we will get the chance to work off our debts in work camps. I think many unemployed people who have no food, may jump at the chance to get some shelter and food when the survival mechanism kicks in , almost like a homeless person may be tempted to committ a crime to get into jail (where there is food and shelter)

Should the country plunge deeper and deeper you may want to stay out of cities or even the populated suburbs (This is definetly not gonna happen this year) but i think after 18 months becomes a possibility should unemployment and spending spiral south things would become unsafe fast. A nice rural house off the grid with a long supply of food sounds like a good idea. Be generous and invite friends. This is not a knee jerk reaction (post) to markets falling today, or rising inflation numbers, it is IMO a realistic analysis of just how hopelessly F**K$r society (as we know it) is. Perhaps rfid chips will be required to minimize the benefit of violence (robbing someone)? i dunno and be the reason for a cashless society. Actually that would seem likely for society to be able to continue on a very low standard of living (round 2010 or 2011)

the best option i see is the rest of the world shaking this off as a mild recession and then carrying on the debt game for another generation or so. I think there are too many people in the world for the gov'ts and elite circles to keep the game being played the way it has been for awhile. obviously if some parity and sanity prevailed the world could support this population, but the master will not change their ways unless they hit bottom and who knows what plans may be unleashed.

why the gov't fudges numbers;
The bubble vision has to keep telling people things are better than they are, because the faster we stop spending the faster i think the downward spiral could occur. (since our economy is so heavily consumer based)

I think this year the disconnect between the real economy and what the GDP numbers state will become very eye opening to those that think the numbers are not manipulated.

[edit on 17-1-2008 by cpdaman]

[edit on 17-1-2008 by cpdaman]

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 12:47 AM

Originally posted by desert
We're not in this mess because individuals behaved immorally or don't fear the Lord. We're in this mess because corporations behaved immorally and didn't fear the American citizen.

OMG !!!
that is the greatest truest line I have read in a long time.
I have tears in my eyes.

The other day I had someone on this forum call me good
for nothing cuz I was in debt with a credit card and couldn't
pay it back. He said this country was in bad shape cuz of
people just like me (bad finance planners).

That statement above just redeemed my integrity.

Thank you for that statement and a star for you

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 02:51 AM

Seems like outsourcing and a skewed tax system have screwed you over. We're doomed.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 05:03 AM
and as a special thank you for the big wigs in countrywide for playing their part in this fine mess......

why is everyone leaving out the last part of bernanke's statement about a stimulus package?? I know I heard him say something to the effect that a stimulus packages was necessary...but he also said it had to be done rather quickly (he is talking about our government here, right?? they ain't done much of anything quickly for awhile now!).....and well, then there was that little bit about it shouldn't be increasing our gov't debt.....
it ain't gonna happen!!!

let's see, what else do I remember him saying. oh, ya, increase food stamps, extend unemployment benefits.....
sounds to me like him and bush ain't reading from the same book...because it seems bernanke is preparing for things to get much worse.

let's see, throw a ton of money out into the can't borrow it, you can't cut the social programs for it, matter of fact, you better start increasing them....and you best not increase the taxes for it.......and you best do it NOW!!!
no wonder the dow dropped 300 points yesterday, he just handed the mess to our do nothing government. there's no hope!

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 06:23 AM
sadly this has been coming for quite a while and the people with the abbility to fix it wont because theres too much money to be made by putting everyone in debt. also as has been stated and pointed out free trade and outsourcing has more then its fair share of the blame. me and my wife are both disabled and as such on a rather small fixed income so were realy feeling the raise in prices at the grocery store. hell we cant realy afford the grocery store so we shop at the super wallmart and even there the prices are skyrocketing . over 5 dollars per gallon of milk? how is that remotely affordable hell we buy the crappy bleached tasteless store brand bread and even thats prices are jumping to the point of becoming unreal. and as far as stocking up is concerned i cant really afford to we stock some canned and drygoods but by the end of the month we allways end up eating them because we cant afford a trip to the store so its a fruitless practice. i see this getting much worse before it gets any better realy. and this "band-aid" approach wont accomplish much its like putting a band aid over the stump of a severd limb it might look nice but wont stop the bleeding. but at least then they can say "we helped" give me a break. bush is supposed to address the nation today about this i have a feeling i wont like what i hear.

[edit on 1/18/2008 by krill]

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 06:24 AM
I think it's the same situation here in Europe. Inflation is high, even with a ultra strong euro. Food prices are up in order of 30%. Global shortage seems to be the reason and of course also the high petrol prices.

I think the real problem are the petrol prices (from 5$ to 8$ per gallon). This has a major impact on the European industry.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 07:45 AM

Originally posted by desert

We're not in this mess because individuals behaved immorally or don't fear the Lord. We're in this mess because corporations behaved immorally and didn't fear the American citizen.
The love of money became more than the love for one's country and fellow citizen.

Agreed! A couple of links to piggy-back on desert's very eloquent summation:

Human Commodities:

..and one that compares corporations to psychopaths and capitalistic societies to dysfunctional families (a deep read but worth it):

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by kosmicjack

Great Links Kosmic! Thank you

Well looks like we will get more information today and may be able to get a better idea of what the future may hold (but I doubt it)

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:11 AM
A flag and a star for you, OP. There is indeed a war on the middle class. They are being demoralized and beat down on every level. I live in Northern Nevada, having moved to this nice new middle-class neighborhood eight years ago, along with all the other Californians bailing out because the cost of living there simply exceeded the quality of life. And because of Californians bailing out and moving here, Nevada was the fastest growing state in the country. Now it has the highest number of foreclosures, four times the national average. Within sight of my home, there are six homes for sale, sitting empty for at least nine months now. Others that couldn't wait to sell, even at a third less than a year ago, are being rented out and now have sheets in the windows and non-running vehicles parked on what used to be green lawns. And I just got a notice from the county that they have raised the estimated value of my property, so my property taxes are going up significantly. The estimated value of my property has gone up???

I agree as far as the elections go-- I don't have much faith in the validity of the process at all. All the frontrunners in both parties are life-long politicians campaigning on the promise of "change". What have they been doing all their time in government then? Change? From the status quo? Yeah right.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:27 AM

Originally posted by marg6043
Bernanke: Juice the economy 'quickly'
Fed chairman, urging lawmakers to boost consumer spending within 12 months, tags mortgage meltdown's cost at $100 billion or more.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Thursday that legislators should enact a fiscal stimulus package in order to help beleaguered consumers as recession fears grow.

Marge6043, what this pill they are pushing on us is.... is supposed to
jumpstart the consumer public,

perhaps by a goodly 10% of us getting that plaza TV we couldn't get
for christmas.

perhaps there will be 30% who will use this $300-to-1600 'rebate'
to pay up the late mortgage or else to make their credit card balance
current--so they can live the fat-cat for a couple more quarters.
(which will fill the treasuries of the banks with needed reserves & assets)

the other 60% will just fritter the bonus money on frivilous everyday, hedonic, pleasure giving things. as in;
eat-drink-be merry for tomorrow we die

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:41 AM
Here we go folks...

White House: Bush backs tax rebates

WASHINGTON - President Bush will say tax rebates are the best way to stimulate the economy, but will not detail how big they should be, the White House said Friday.
Democratic congressional leaders agree that one-time checks should be in the package, but are working on a broader measure that would also include aid targeted to the poor and unemployed. Bush planned to lay out his position publicly for the first time later Friday.
White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that Bush also will outline about how much the government should spend in order for the short-term growth package to be effective. This new White House bottom line likely would significantly shape the president's negotiations with Congress.

"It's hard sometimes for people to understand how large this economy is," Fratto said. "So he'll have something to say about how large a package."

yahoo link

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:48 AM
Huh? Who? What? Where? Wow!

Consumers optimistic in early January

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumers' mood brightened in early January, but was still significantly less optimistic than a year earlier, a report showed on Friday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers index of confidence rose to 80.5 from December's 75.5, topping economists' median forecast for a reading of 74.5.

Overall, the data were consistent with personal spending growth of 2 percent in 2008, starting with about a 1 percent growth rate in the first quarter and rising through the rest of the year, the survey reported.

yahoo link

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:52 AM
I am loving these headlines today..
Yesterday doom and gloom everywhere.
Today um, no they were just kidding with us yesterday, it's all good, go spend some $$$.
But when you actually read the articles under these magnificent headlines it tells a much different story.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:59 AM

Originally posted by cpdaman

it is worth the 3 minutes.

your right, it is a good read...

add this to the list
title; "The Dislodging of another leg from Western primacy"

Shenandoah Blog by
has good commentary also.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 10:05 AM
All I am going to say because I care, is take your rebates if you get one (my household income do not qualify for one) and save it because this nothing but another attempt to keep the illusion of prosperity.

Save it for what you will need the most, food.

Is going to be some hard times ahead of us, fake stimulus is not helping the economic problem.

If people do no see what this is all about I guess we are really in denial.

[edit on 18-1-2008 by marg6043]

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