“People camping outside of Best Buy on Thanksgiving for the 5am opening on “Black Friday” in Richfield, Minnesota.” (Photo: David Haines / Flickr)
“But the millions lining up for bargain deals on the latest electronics isn’t a good thing. It’s a sign of the deterioration of the United States.”
“For millions of low-income and middle-class families, the day’s deals are a necessity not a luxury. Wages have stagnated for working families since the turn of the century, producing a ‘lost decade’ for working people’s quality of life. The slow recovery from the Great Recession has been driven mostly by low-wage job growth rather than by a resurgence in the kinds of jobs that provide enough headroom for a family to treat Black Friday as optional.”
So, just how bad has it gotten for working-class Americans?
Well, it’s gotten so bad that the American Dream is now pretty much officially dead.
That’s according to Gregory Clark, a researcher at the University of California-Davis, who found that social mobility, one of the bedrocks of the American Dream, is at historic lows.”
The speed with which Reaganomics and Clinton’s free trade policies have pushed the decline of the US middle class is truly startling.
For example, a study by the Russell Sage Foundation found that the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Just 10 years later, it was only $56,335.”
“The bottom line here is that we no longer have an economy that can support a middle class. We have an economy that works only for the wealthy elite.
And, despite what you might hear on the news, long lines on Black Friday aren’t something we should celebrate or cheer on like a spectator sport. They’re a tragedy.
They’re ongoing and irrefutable proof that millions and millions of Americans are struggling to survive and provide for their families, while finding the American Dream has become, since Reagan, increasingly harder, if not impossible, to achieve.”