Thursday, March 24, 2016

"More" Killed The Middle Class. With Help From Corporations

"More" doesn't scale across 7.5 billion people. Who knew? Globalization unleashed pandora's box of poverty across the entire planet. Those who attempt to monetize poverty, get monetized. Shit happens...

You have no idea...

ZH: March 24, 2016
What Killed The U.S. Middle Class?

Within the context of a global economy it's impossible to look at one country in isolation and discern in totality what killed the middle class. The issue of the dwindling middle class is by no means a U.S.-centric phenomenon. The entire developed world middle class is going under the bus, and many of these countries have much less wealth inequality than the U.S. In a nutshell, "they" i.e. the developing world, wanted what "we" had, and they were willing to work harder to get it. 

However, even that's only half the equation, because "they" have zero labour or environmental standard, so "we" could never possibly compete. And of course corporations were more than happy to arbitrage the difference between our standard of living and "theirs", so the resulting "profits" flowed to the 1% who own 90% of the stocks. 

In the most proximate sense, Industrial arbitrage killed the middle class...other nations such as Germany that resisted the rush to outsource, have done a much better job of preserving their middle class and have a much smaller wealth gap...

Peeling back the layers of the onion some more, and it turns out that the consumption oriented lifestyle doesn't scale across 7.5 billion people. 25% of the global population can't continue to consume 4x dwindling resources while attempting to get the other 75% of people to adopt the same level of consumption. Thwarted by third grade math. And instead of looking at our own middle class, we should be looking at what happened to China's lack of a middle class. Because if they now make all of the things we used to make and we now make cappuccinos, then why are their wages still 1/10th of ours? Alas, because China has to compete with an unlimited supply of cheap labour in Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh etc., so their bid to achieve a middle class was a fool's errand. 

Now they devalue their currency every other day. They need to debase their standard of living to compete with the rest of the Third World, because they never made it to the big table. 

What this all means in a nutshell is that Globalization is and was a Ponzi scheme. It's inherently insolvent. It's a human and environmental disaster. And as we are already finding out, all of the "wealth" that it created is ephemeral. It's backed by NOTHING. 

Therefore now we need to face life beyond shopping malls, the higher education cartel, the healthcare cartel and all other unsustainable aspects of "more".

"More" killed the middle class. Because "more" doesn't scale across a finite planet.