Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Disappearing Middle Class

Interesting view...

My thoughts exactly. Last I checked, I am the middle class... ...And I'll tell you that I have it pretty good. No, I'm not made of money, I don't have a trust fund. I can't buy whatever I want, when I want. But I have nothing to complain about.

Carrie and I have worked hard to have a nice house, nice cars, nice things and the occasional nice vacation. We also have been working hard to save for a nice retirement.

As long as Clyde stops eating socks and draining our bank account in $700 chunks, we should be fine.

I like the idea of viewing money as time. How many hours do I have to work to buy my camera? How many of my hours a month go towards my house payment? I have been doing this for years, it gives me a greater appreciation for things. Time is a thousand times more precious than money. Why? Because it keeps moving at the same speed. (unless you are traveling close to the speed of light, but we won't discus that here) you can't get it back.

The bigger issue is how we are slaves to 'the media'. Too many let 'the media' tell them what to think without going out and observing for themselves. As you see in the video, 'the media' hammers you with catchphrases. Then the politicians come in and have to cater to these catchphrases, because dammit, that is what the polls say is on the majority of peoples minds. Sadly it is a spiral that I see no end to. Too many are hooked on the sweet, sweet, elixir that the boob-tube delivers.

Don't even get me started about local coverage of weather....

Letterman and Leno seem to have more of an influence on our political beliefs than anyone else. I enjoy a good roast (comedy and beef!) but all day every day is a bit much. Carrie and I listen to XM's stand-up comedy channel when driving around and I cringe when comedians talk politics. It has nothing to with the D or R after the targets name. I don't care if it is blue collar troupe ragging on Hillary, or the countless others telling us how 'stoopid' the president is. ...And the lemmings in the crowd.... Lord!

Yes, some do a good job of political humor, but sadly it is rare.

The good news is that no matter what, on January 20th, 2009 we will have new blood in the White House. That means that there will be fresh new jokes belittling the office at least until mid-February...

I apologize for the wide video...


Anonymous,  2/06/2008 10:30 PM  

How about debt vs. savings? The value of the US Dollar vs other countries. Our import to export ratio. How many Americans live month to month? I don't think that it is as simple as Drew puts it.

Anonymous,  2/06/2008 10:35 PM  

So are you happy with the new seahawk coach in 2009????

Anonymous,  2/07/2008 12:35 AM  

Just my 2 cents:

I agree there are problems with the TV media (and other formats) in general, but I don't know anyone that actually feels something akin to the "middle-class squeeze" because Leno or CNN told them so.

They actually are seeing fixed costs (read not lattes or $500 electronics) rise faster than wages.

I do love Drew Carey.

Mike D. 2/07/2008 9:01 PM  

How many Americans live month to month because of poor choices?

The question is, are we really as bad off as the media says we are? I say no. Does this mean the that everything is fine and dandy for everyone? Of course not.

I single out TV media because it plays to the lowest common denominator most of the time. People get mesmerized by the pretty pictures.

Face it, that is why you are here. Pretty pictures. :)

Print, radio, and internet typically encourage you to think more.

Radio and internet are my favorites. Why? Because you have much more varied ideas readily available. Instead of being spoon-fed,"you think this", you can hear or read all kinds of views. I think this is important in forming your own.

Anonymous,  2/07/2008 11:59 PM  

I agree that US TV media (primarily the 24-hr news channels) boils most of the news down into overly-simple concepts and then repeats these concepts over and over ad nauseum.

I can't watch broadcast news, Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC anymore. Bleh.

The internet is much better, although it's much more time consuming!

I'm just offering my perspective is all. For over a decade, I've personally noticed the cost for non-trivial expenses (food, gas, healthcare, etc.) have risen faster than wages (in my own life, some of the folks I know, and thoughts of how things were before I was old enough to be a wage earner). And speaking only for myself, didn't come to these conclusions because the media told me so.

Heck, in the late 1990s, it seemed all the TV and print media ever talked about was how the good times were going to roll, for everyone, for eternity. And I was already noticing these trends at that time.

And my opinion is the discrepancy between the growth rates for costs of goods/services and wages will continue to exist and enlarge for a lot of people that aren't in the top income tier, for the foreseeable future.

It's not like I want this to happen, I just think it will. Does this mean it's the end of the world? Of course not, but just because something doesn't go to the extreme and spiral into a catastrophe doesn't mean it doesn't
exist either.

Man, why am I posting at midnight?

BTW, those pictures of Clyde from the previous posts are good. :)



Mike D. 2/08/2008 3:48 PM  

Just to be clear, I am not saying that the 'squeeze' doesn't exist, just that it isn't as dire as some would have you believe....

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