“These alarming numbers should be considered along with findings in another recent Pew research study entitled “The People and Their Government,” released April 18. This report finds that “by almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days.”
Does anyone think the standard of living that Western societies have been living in the past 50-60 years will continue? The standard middle-class benchmark of living has been one or two cars, a house, a nuclear family, and vacations, all generated by income from earned money from typical middle class occupations. The middle class, as specified by wikipedia, includes anywhere from 25% to 66% of households.
Everyone wants to believe they are middle class…But this eagerness…has led the definition to be stretched like a bungee cord — used to defend/attack/describe everything…The Drum Major Institute…places the range for middle class at individuals making between $25,000 and $100,000 a year. Ah yes, there’s a group of people bound to run into each other while house-hunting. —Dante Chinni
America has become more a debt ‘junkie’ than ever with a total debt of $ 57 trillion – – and the highest debt ratio in history. A large portion of total debt was created since 1990, a period primarily driven by debt rather than productive activity.
The US of A has become the opium addicts the Chinese once were with cheap imports from China where the West’s manufacturing base has largely been relocated; indeed, the livelihood of the North American economy. Now, the US is suffering its second Greatest Depression that will make the first one look like a cakewalk with all the credit cards and debt instruments that didn’t exist back then.
In the 1700s, Congress was advised by President Washington that it was necessary to impose tariffs to protect industries of their colonies. This was the firsts trade barrier. Let us dispose once for all with words such as “isolationist” and “being against global trade.” The US did not grow great on these things. It grew great on the hard labor of the people who lived in those days and the wise protection barriers imposed by George Washington erected to protect the US from the Britishs’ damned so called free trade.
It allows other countries like China to dump their products on the US market to the detriment of thee US. chinese opium smoker
It is strictly a one-way street as evidenced by the rules, barriers, and mercantilist policies enacted by the Chinese to protect their own industries from “harmful” US imports. Indeed, our old presidents saw value of trade barriers and realized that if the US were to progress, it would not be a dumping ground for the world.
The Staggering Collapse of Living Standards in the US — 92% of Americans Unhappy with the Economy
“A series of recent studies conducted by the Pew Research Center shed new light on the scope of the economic crisis in the US and the level of hostility the majority of the American population holds for the US government.
Released in March, before the passage of the Obama administration’s health care legislation, a survey entitled “Health Care Reform—Can’t Live With It, or Without It” indicates that 92 percent of Americans give the national economy a negative rating. No fewer than 70 percent of the respondents report having suffered job-related and financial problems in the past year, an increase from 59 percent the year before. Fifty-four percent report someone in their home has been without a job and looking for work in the past year, up from 39 percent in 2009.
The poll saw an aggravation of conditions in every area of economic life studied the year before. Increasing numbers of people are reporting difficulty receiving or affording medical care (26 percent) or paying their rent or mortgage payments (24 percent). More Americans faced problems with collections and credit agencies (21 percent), or had mortgages, loans or credit card applications denied (19 percent).
The Pew survey found that 85 percent of Americans reported difficulty finding jobs in their communities. This and other statistics revealing the increasingly dismal employment opportunities facing millions of Americans are provided context in another study released this month by the Pew Economic Policy Group.” Source: Alternet
Canada’s living standards
According to purchasing power Canada is not number 9 (as recent official studies have indicated) in the world but number 14. Per capita income is not really a meaningful measure because of their high taxes as well as other factors. For example, the federal corporation tax is something like 22% but provincial corporation taxes add another 10 to 15%, depending on the province. And they do pay some of the highest income taxes in the world, plus the GST and provincial sales taxes and high excise taxes on many things, not to mention high municipal taxes and all other sorts of fees. Don’t forget about the new Harmonized Sales Tax being introduced this summer 2010 for Ontario. That will likely cripple the economy already battered by the depression.
The media does not really report what the cost of living is in other countries. For example, you might read about how expensive some types of food or gasoline or electricity are in Japan, but they will not tell you that Japanese pay very low property taxes, car or house insurance (about a quarter of what they are in Canada) and only a 5% sales tax and very low income tax for average people. They also do not mention that any manufactured goods are much cheaper than here, even without taxes. Some European countries have very high prices for manufactured goods or gasoline. Gasoline in BC is about 10 cents per litre more in BC than in Ontario or Alberta because of higher provincial gasoline taxes.
Also, because so much of Canada’s income comes from resources the per capita income is likely to tumble also. The price of oil has dropped from $150 per barrel to less than half that in a matter of months and so have other resource prices. That alone will make for a huge decline in revenues for Canada (and Norway) or other countries which depend on export of resources for income.