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Old April 20th, 2017, 06:33 PM   #1
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America Is Regressing Into A Developing Country For Most People

A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds

SIZE="5"]You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.” But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place.

In a new bo[ok, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear: America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates.

Two roads diverged

In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the “FTE sector” (named for finance, technology, and electronics, the industries which largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good jobs, and sleep soundly knowing that they have not only enough money to meet life’s challenges, but also social networks to bolster their success. They grow up with parents who read books to them, tutors to help with homework, and plenty of stimulating things to do and places to go. They travel in planes and drive new cars. The citizens of this country see economic growth all around them and exciting possibilities for the future. They make plans, influence policies, and count themselves as lucky to be Americans.

The FTE citizens rarely visit the country where the other 80 percent of Americans live: the low-wage sector. Here, the world of possibility is shrinking, often dramatically. People are burdened with debt and anxious about their insecure jobs if they have a job at all. Many of them are getting sicker and dying younger than they used to. They get around by crumbling public transport and cars they have trouble paying for. Family life is uncertain here; people often don’t partner for the long-term even when they have children. If they go to college, they finance it by going heavily into debt. They are not thinking about the future; they are focused on surviving the present. The world in which they reside is very different from the one they were taught to believe in. While members of the first country act, these people are acted upon.


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Old April 20th, 2017, 06:55 PM   #2
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Three Simple Rules Poor Teens Should Follow to Join the Middle Class

Policy aimed at promoting economic opportunity for poor children must be framed within three stark realities. First, many poor children come from families that do not give them the kind of support that middle-class children get from their families. Second, as a result, these children enter kindergarten far behind their more advantaged peers and, on average, never catch up and even fall further behind. Third, in addition to the education deficit, poor children are more likely to make bad decisions that lead them to drop out of school, become teen parents, join gangs and break the law.

In addition to the thousands of local and national programs that aim to help young people avoid these life-altering problems, we should figure out more ways to convince young people that their decisions will greatly influence whether they avoid poverty and enter the middle class. Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: at least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children.

Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class (defined as earning around $55,000 or more per year). There are surely influences other than these principles at play, but following them guides a young adult away from poverty and toward the middle class.

Three Simple Rules Poor Teens Should Follow to Join the Middle Class
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Old April 20th, 2017, 08:06 PM   #3
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I suppose all intelligent people have their own story on how they achieved success. I come from the lower middle class and grew up out in the country. My parents did buy me a bicycle and I rode it all over the place. I used it ridding to different farms and asking for a job but no farmer would hire me except for one on a hog, sheep, grain and hay farm. My starting wage was 50c per hour but increased to one dollar per hour when I turned 16 and no overtime, holiday pay ect. My parents did not believe in giving their kids an allowance so I welcomed my new found riches even though it was backbreaking and stinking work.

When I turned 18 I joined the Navy where I learned high tech. I got out of the Navy after one re-enlistment and beat a guy who had a college degree for the job. It took years but worked my way up to become owner of the company which I later sold for a tidy sum.

Backbreaking and stinking labor at a young age gave me the impetus to better myself.
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