Friday, September 11, 2015

COTW: Crying Time is Here for Millions

Retirement from a life of work was supposed to be something you looked forward too. Not any more. For millions it will be a crying time as they look to old age without sufficient money to tide them through it. Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) released a report in 2013 that finds 57% of American workers currently have $25,000 or less in total savings excluding the value of their homes. Every year because of wage stagnation since the 70's the crisis is becoming worse. Concentration of income at the very top of the distribution curve has reached levels not seen since the Roaring Twenties. As far as employee retirement plans are concerned, the EBRI study notes that in 1979 twenty-eight percent of workers were covered by a defined benefit program guaranteeing them income until they died. Today that number is just 3%. This chart has been posted before, but it can never be posted enough becuase America's income disparity is so profound and far reaching. Once LBJ envisioned a "Great Society", today it can only be described as the "the Unfair Society". They only have themselves to blame since they consistently supported politicians who expoused the myth of "free-market capitalism" in which social spending was declared anathama. These same elected politicians now seek to further cut Social Security and Medicare, already inadequate to meet the true costs of retirement:

The other pernicious myth affecting the social thinking of 'Mericans is the 'rags to riches' scenario popularized to the point of absurdity by the propaganda mill that is Hollywood. Want to know what your real chances of becoming a millionaire are if you are member of the middle class?

calculation by Wolff based on US Census data

Yet we are supposedly represented by a rich plutocracy in Congress whose median net worth is almost ten times ordinary 'Mericans.  Who do they really represent? This chart tells you:

US Person suggests electing more Joe Does to Congress even if the plutocrats do call it amateur hour.