Interview 1425 - Financial Survival and the Disappearing Middle Class

03/07/20196 Comments

James joins Melody Cedarstrom on the Financial Survival radio show for their regular, bi-monthly conversation. This time we discuss the disappearance of the middle class, universal basic income, the International Criminal Court, the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi and the recent flare up between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

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The International Forecaster

Data Is The New Oil

Left-media Layoffs Spark #LearnToCode Meme, They Are Not Amused

Universal Basic Enslavement

Warren Mosler Defends the Essential Insights of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

Victor’s Justice: The Truth About the International Criminal Court

ICC Situations Under Investigation

“It Can’t Be Fixed:” Senior ICC Judge Quits in Protest of US, Turkish Meddling

Interview 891 – Christopher Black Destroys the Myth of the Rwandan “Genocide”

In/Dependence Day: Foreign Intervention Behind Creation of South Sudan

Satellite images show buildings still standing at Indian bombing site

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  1. n4x5 says:

    Typically, the discussion on technology-driven job displacement focuses on workers’ supposed cognitive deficiencies, their inability to acquire the necessary skillset to do software development and other intellectually demanding jobs. While this is undoubtedly valid to a degree, there are other reasons involved that aren’t usually explored. Much software development and data science, for instance, is simply really damn boring; sometimes, a person won’t do it not due to insufficient brainpower but because he / she simply won’t tolerate that degree of painful tedium for hours a day.

    Also at fault is the education system. It’s impossible to underscore this too strongly. The ballooning costs of traditional university degrees are of course prohibitive; the student debt crisis is well-known. Many younger people as well as older nontraditional would-be students make a cost-benefit analysis and decide that it isn’t worth it, particularly when many graduating engineering students are unable to find work. Pedagogically speaking, there is a broad underreported problem that encompasses many disciplines. The coursework often isn’t adequate or even relevant. See how basic some of the material is in Electrical Engineering 101: Everything You Should Have Learned in School…but Probably Didn’t, for example. To quote my old college roommate, now an engineer: “Bro, I don’t use anything on my job that I learned in school.” Learners trying to pick up programming in particular are left with little guidance beyond the basics. From Why Learning to Code is So Damn Hard: “[W]hen you first start out, it feels like there are a million resources out there trying to hold your hand and pull you into coding. That’s because there are! […] Unfortunately, in later phases the density of resources drops off fast. Anyone who’s made the jump from beginner to intermediate can attest that there is a BIG difference between the amount of resources available when you first start out versus when you’re first looking for help building things on your own without too much hand-holding.” My experience has been that the MOOCs aren’t significantly better in this regard than traditional colleges. I’ve found them to be overly academic and yet strangely simultaneously superficial. It isn’t hard to see how all of these factors together can have a demoralizing effect on many people attempting to better their employment prospects.

    Zooming out and looking at other root causes, I tend to believe that central bank policies are more to blame than technological developments, although admittedly, it’s impossible to quantify the relative weights of each. Certainly, there’s a general inclination to prefer easy-to-understand causes over more erudite ones. It’s fairly straightforward to see how a robot can do a job formerly done by a human, whereas even a relatively shallow appreciation of Federal Reserve-created housing bubbles and the bond market and the pension crisis requires a greater commitment in terms of time and effort.

    • n4x5 says:

      Rereading this, I guess it doesn’t make much sense to speak of a cause being “erudite.” Of course, what I meant was a cause whose compehension requires erudition. A reminder to use caution with the fancier vocabulary, I suppose.

  2. mik says:

    In this paradigm disappearance of middle class was predictable/(predicted to some extent). Current paradigm simplified is encapsulated in the game Monopoly and we know how the game ends.

    Instead of UBI a solution for millions of unemployed that would at the same time solve two big problems (actually many more) is organic agriculture. We would get meaningful employment and healthy food. Certainly I don’t propose Khmer Rouge style solution.

    In case of ICC we should not forget Yugoslavia wars. Crimes in this war were not prosecuted by ICC because it was not established yet, so special tribunal was installed. The whole thing was a big push for ICC.
    NGOs were also instrumental in establishing ICC. ‘Coalition for the International Criminal Court’ has “usual suspects” members and financiers.

  3. HomeRemedySupply says:

    I look forward to Corbett’s upcoming article about India and Pakistan.

    Yea.. that’s right…this word “Middle Class” needs another look.
    Things have changed.
    For me personally, financial survival is a struggle. A real struggle.
    One thing which grinds me the wrong way is that so many government mandates keep imposing greater costs and manhours. Taxes, licenses, mandated insurance, rules about this and that and compliance….
    It becomes more added expense to the daily struggle.

    The title of this podcast “Financial Survival and the Disappearing Middle Class” is appropriate.

    I like the line, “The International Monetary System is based on faith.”
    So true.

  4. mik says:

    The following video is of topic. A brilliant piece of propaganda.

    The Future of War, and How It Affects YOU (Multi-Domain Operations)

    They are talking about 3D chess, actually 6D chess (or more), four star general is so cool.
    Dimensions: earth, water, air, space, cyber, people….
    Everything is intertwined, controlled at all levels and sections.

    People are the most important and they must have certain independence.
    Sure, it’s only about war, no, about peace, no…
    They don’t mention hive mind but that’s what it is.

  5. HomeRemedySupply says:

    The following ZeroHedge article jives with the title Interview 1425 – Financial Survival and the Disappearing Middle Class.

    The US Consumer Just Hit A Brick Wall: Here’s Why In 15 Charts

    When it comes to the growth dynamo behind the global economy, nobody can match the US consumer – not even China: accounting for trillions in annual spending, the US consumer, who represents roughly 70% of US GDP, is also responsible for roughly 17% of global GDP, slightly ahead of the entire country of China.

    However, as recent economic data has shown, the future of the US consumer is suddenly looking ominously cloudy, for two big reasons:
    rising interest rates, which as Deutsche Bank notes are “beginning to bite” as observed in the number of working hours in sector selling big ticket items… (another chart)
    … and increasingly tighter loan terms, which coupled with softer loan demand, means that the purchasing power of the US consumer is suddenly facing a very troubling air pocket…. (charts)

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