Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who Do You Blame for Woes of the Middle Class?

Mike Shedlock
Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some of its characteristic faith in the future according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Fully 85% of middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for them to maintain their standard of living. Of those, 62% say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54% say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47% about large corporations, 44% about the Bush administration, 39% about foreign competition and 34% about the Obama administration. Just 8% blame the middle class itself a lot.
Meanwhile, median net worth is back to 1980 levels. By that measure, the US has had three lost decades. Note that 62% blame politicians and 54% blame financial institutions, but only 8% blame themselves.
Shedlock wonders: Did banks force people to take out loans they could not pay back, or did people do so voluntarily? Who elects Congress? Do people make enough effort to understand interest rates, debt, the economic policies of politicians, exponential math and its implications, the untenable nature of public union pension plans and promises? Do a people get their economic views from mainstream media? Why did Pew omit the Fed and fractional reserve lending from the list of answers?
And: Would the respondents know anything at all about the Fed and fractional reserve lending had Pew listed those options? Who is really to blame for what is happening
source: Global Economic Analysis

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