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  1. #51
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    "Yellow Vests" & The Downward Mobility Of The Middle Class



    Capital garners the gains, and labor's share continues eroding... That's the story of the 21st century.

    Mon, 12/17/2018 - 17:15
    80 SHARES
    Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

    Capital garners the gains, and labor's share continues eroding. That's the story of the 21st century.

    The middle class, virtually by definition, is not prepared for downward mobility. A systemic, semi-permanent decline in the standard of living isn't part of the implicit social contract that's been internalized by the middle class virtually everywhere:living standards are only supposed to rise. Any decline is temporary.
    Downward mobility is the key context in the gilets jaunes "yellow vest" movement in France. Taxes and prices rise inexorably while wages/pensions stagnate. The only possible outcome of this structural asymmetry is a decline in the standard of living.



    This structural decline in the standard of living of the middle class is complex.One of the definitive identifying characteristics of the middle class is that is supposed to be largely immune to the insecurity and precariousness that characterize much of the working class.
    In other words, this isn't supposed to happen to us. This is especially true in nations with longstanding generous social welfare programs: should the unexpected happen and a household's income declines, the state is supposed to step in and fill the gap with subsidies, unemployment insurance, cash payments, etc. until the household recovers its previous standard of living.
    None of that is happening. The erosion of middle class standards of living is not abrupt enough to qualify for social welfare programs; the erosion is gradual, via the higher taxes and living costs the "yellow vests" are highlighting.
    State benefits aren't as generous as they're cracked up to be. Lower-income pensioners in France are called sans dente, without teeth, as France's universal healthcare program doesn't provide much in the way of dental care, hence the poor with missing teeth.
    Part of downward mobility is becoming politically invisible, a topic I discussed in France in a Nutshell: "The Government Stopped Listening to the People 20 Years Ago" December 12, 2018.
    The protesters rightly perceive that they are politically invisible: the ruling class, regardless of its ideological flavor, doesn't believe it needs the support of the politically invisible to rule as it sees fit. The ruling class has counted on the cultural elites to marginalize and suppress the politically invisible by dismissing any working-class dissent as racist, fascist, nationalistic and other words expressly intended to push dissent into the political wilderness.
    Many commentators have listed the systemic sources of the erosion in standards of living and financial security: the loss of cheap, plentiful oil to fuel "growth" at rates that lift all boats; the financialization of the economy, which favors capital over labor; globalization, which increases corporate profits via labor, social welfare and pollution arbitrage (move production where these costs are the lowest), and the corruption of the political machinery via pay-to-play (favoring the corporations and super-wealthy) and the concentration of financial and political power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.
    Another way to understand this downward mobility is: the elites no longer need a vibrant middle class to hold power and increase their wealth. The real money is in globalized capital flows, access to central bank credit and ownership of debt. The role of the middle class has largely been reduced to being compliant, passive debt-serfs who can borrow money to fill the yawning gap in their standard of living and make the payments.
    For an example of how this works, please read I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000 (via Maoxian).
    Since the political machinery serves the oligarchy, there's no real need to pander to the middle class or the working class. Being tossed in with the politically invisible hurts the pride of the middle class, as does being expendable, but as we see in this chart, the top .01% have skimmed the vast majority of whatever wealth and income have been generated over the past decade.
    Whatever crumbs fell to the middle class must have been sufficient, as they're still paying their mortgages, student loans, auto loans, etc.


    The general decline in living standards tracks the general decline in labor's share of the economy:

    Capital garners the gains, and labor's share continues eroding. That's the story of the 21st century.
    * * *




    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-...y-middle-class
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  2. #52
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    THERE IS NO FREE STUFF

    THERE IS NO WIZARD OF OZ

    THERE IS NO EMERALD CITY!!!

    THERE IS NO SANTA OR TOOTH FAIRY

    WORK AND PAY FOR YOUR OWN STUFF!

    KEEP THE GOVERNEMENTS DIRTY PAWS OFF OUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS!!!




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    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  3. #53
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    France prepares 'last resort' chemical weapon that can be smothered around Paris to keep Yellow Vest rioters away from key buildings as anti-Macron protests continue


    • French security forces could smother centre of Paris with debilitating powder
    • Chemical can be spread across area of size of six football pitches in ten seconds
    • Police desperate after five weekends of 'Yellow Vest' rioting around France
    • Paris alone saw 168 arrests with police using water cannon, batons and tear gas


    By Peter Allen In Paris for MailOnline
    Published: 03:38 EST, 17 December 2018 | Updated: 07:42 EST, 17 December 2018
    39k shares
    105 View comments

    Multiple videos at the page link

    French security forces are ready to smother the centre of Paris with a ‘last resort’ chemical weapon in a bid to keep protesters away from key buildings, it has emerged.
    Astonishing revelations about the debilitating powder – which can be spread across an area the size of six football pitches in just ten seconds – highlights the increasing desperation of President Emmanuel Macron’s administration as it faces up to a law and order crisis.
    The country has been hit by five straight weeks of violence sparked by the Yellow Vests protest movement that has seen national monuments including the Arc de Triomphe ransacked.

    +3

    French riot Police disperse demonstrators with tear gas during a protest of the Yellow Vests movement against rising costs of living they blame on high taxes in Paris on Saturday

    There were 168 arrests in Paris on Saturday alone as the demonstrators – who are named after their high visibility jackets – fought running battles with police, who responded with water cannon, baton charges and tear gas.
    Now senior officers have confirmed that some of the 14 armoured cars deployed by gendarmes contained ‘a radical device that was only to be used as a last resort’ against their own citizens.
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    A gun-like distributor on the vehicles’ turrets can spray the powder over 430,500 sq. ft. in ten seconds, Marianne magazine reports.
    The high-density noxious product contains the same power as 200 tear gas grenades, and is designed to knock people out indiscriminately in an emergency.
    A source at the Paris police prefecture said: ‘If a large crowd forced barriers through the security perimeter, then the powder would be used as a last resort in order to stop them.'

    +3

    France has been hit by five straight weeks of violence by the Yellow Vests protest movement that has seen national monuments including the Arc de Triomphe ransacked

    +3

    There were 168 arrests in Paris on Saturday alone as the demonstrators fought running battles with police, who responded with water cannon, baton charges and tear gas

    But it is sure to raise concerned questions among civic rights groups, as well as monitoring organisations, including the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, of which France is a member.
    Colonel Richard Carminache, of the Gendarmerie, confirmed that the controversial devices had ‘never been used in cities to my knowledge.’
    Each distribution would result in ‘a highly concentrated teargas cloud, the equivalent of 200 grenades in one go,’ said Col. Carminache, who added: ‘It’s best to run to get out’.
    Teargas is classed as a chemical weapon, and is actually banned from warzones, in line with international agreements.
    Yet French gendarmes and police – who have been criticised during the latest law and order crisis for acts of extreme violence against civilians – use it constantly.
    In Britain, teargas use is heavily restricted, and never used indiscriminately against large crowds containing men, women and children, as happens in France.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...JaOJ3WO0XKEm0Q
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  4. #54
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    SMOTHER OUR ENTIRE SOUTHERN BORDER WITH THAT STUFF...NOT YOUR CITIZENS!
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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