Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Shrinking Middle Class : A War On Torah

The last of the 10 Commandments: Thou Shall Not Covet.

The Torah functions and thrives on a lively Middle Class. Thou Shall Not Covet encompasses a guard against greed, gaivah, and every other lust for power and excessive money. It's Family Values such as Shabbos and Modesty make a proper Jewish Home very vibrant and lively.
With a Beis Hamikdash built and a metropolis of Jerusalem, the Jewish Nation can be a utopia of sorts, as this is the agenda of Jewish Talmudic Law.

America's greatness could be explained on one central principle: Thriving Middle Class. It's downfall, as was with every dynasty, is the destruction of the middle class.
It's the Torah that teaches us perspective and guidance with all areas of life especially with how to live within one's means.
This article is one example of a statistic of where America is headed. It is very dangerous and playing with fire when a culture or society removes the Middle Class.
Economy + Torah = Success.
Economy + Covet - Torah = The Fall of a Civilization.
Thou Shall Not Covet:

The wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt.
The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.
While people typically accumulate assets as they age, this wealth gap is now more than double what it was in 2005 and nearly five times the 10-to-1 disparity a quarter-century ago, after adjusting for inflation.
The analysis reflects the impact of the economic downturn, which has hit young adults particularly hard. More are pursuing college or advanced degrees, taking on debt as they wait for the job market to recover. Others are struggling to pay mortgage costs on homes now worth less than when they were bought in the housing boom.
The report, coming out before the Nov. 23 deadline for a special congressional committee to propose $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years, casts a spotlight on a government safety net that has buoyed older Americans on Social Security and Medicare amid wider cuts to education and other programs, including cash assistance for poor families.
"It makes us wonder whether the extraordinary amount of resources we spend on retirees and their health care should be at least partially reallocated to those who are hurting worse than them," said Harry Holzer, a labor economist and public policy professor at Georgetown University who called the magnitude of the wealth gap "striking."
The median net worth of households headed by someone 65 or older was $170,494. That is 42 percent more than in 1984, when the Census Bureau first began measuring wealth broken down by age. The median net worth for the younger-age households was $3,662, down by 68 percent from a quarter-century ago, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Net worth includes the value of a person's home, possessions and savings accumulated over the years, including stocks, bank accounts, real estate, cars, boats or other property, minus any debt such as mortgages, college loans and credit card bills. Older Americans tend to hold more net worth because they are more likely to have paid off their mortgages and built up more savings from salary, stocks and other investments over time. The median is the midpoint, and thus refers to a typical household.
The 47-to-1 wealth gap between old and young is believed by demographers to be the highest ever, even predating government records.
In all, 37 percent of younger-age households have a net worth of zero or less, nearly double the share in 1984. But among households headed by a person 65 or older, the percentage in that category has been largely unchanged at 8 percent.
While the wealth gap has been widening gradually due to delayed marriage and increases in single parenting among young adults, the housing bust and recession have made it significantly worse.
For young adults, the main asset is their home. Their housing wealth dropped 31 percent from 1984, the result of increased debt and falling home values. In contrast, Americans 65 or older were more likely to have bought homes long before the housing boom and thus saw a 57 percent gain in housing wealth even after the bust.
Older Americans are staying in jobs longer, while young adults now face the highest unemployment since World War II. As a result, the median income of older-age households since 1967 has grown at four times the rate of those headed by the under-35 age group.
Social Security benefits account for 55 percent of the annual income for older-age households, unchanged since 1984. The retirement benefits, which are indexed for inflation, have been a consistent source of income even as safety-net benefits for other groups such as low-income students have failed to keep up with rising costs or begun to fray. The congressional supercommittee that is proposing budget cuts has been reviewing whether to trim college aid programs, such as by restricting eligibility or charging students interest on loans while they are still in school.
Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty, noted skyrocketing college tuition costs, which come as many strapped state governments cut support for public universities. Federal spending on Pell Grants to low-income students has risen somewhat, but covers a diminishing share of the actual cost of attending college.
"The elderly have a comprehensive safety net that most adults, especially young adults, lack," Danziger said.
Paul Taylor, director of Pew Social & Demographic Trends and co-author of the analysis, said the report shows that today's young adults are starting out in life in a very tough economic position. "If this pattern continues, it will call into question one of the most basic tenets of the American Dream — the idea that each generation does better than the one that came before," he said.
Other findings:
—Households headed by someone under age 35 had their median net worth reduced by 27 percent in 2009 as a result of unsecured liabilities, mostly a combination of credit card debt and student loans. No other age group had anywhere near that level of unsecured liability acting as a drag on net worth; the next closest was the 35-44 age group, at 10 percent.
—Wealth inequality is increasing within all age groups. Among the younger-age households, those living in debt have grown the fastest while the share of households with net worth of at least $250,000 edged up slightly to 2 percent. Among the older-age households, the share of households worth at least $250,000 rose to 20 percent from 8 percent in 1984; those living in debt were largely unchanged at 8 percent.
On Monday, the Census Bureau planned to release new 2010 figures that will show a big increase in poverty for Americans 65 or older due to rising out-of-pocket medical expenses. Currently, about 9 percent of older Americans fall below the poverty line, based on the official definition put out in September, but that number did not factor in everyday costs such as health care and commuting.
The new supplemental figures will show poverty to be higher than previously known for several groups, although they may not fully reflect longer-term changes. For instance, a recent working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that U.S. spending on the safety net from 1984 to 2004 shifted notably toward programs benefiting the near-poor rather than the extreme poor and to the elderly rather than younger adults. That trend, which has continued since 2004, has led to faster increases in poverty over time for some of the underserved groups.
Robert Moffitt, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University and co-author the paper, cited a series of cuts in government programs since 1984 for the neediest, including welfare payments to single parents and the unemployed under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, while Social Security and Medicare have either been expanded or remained constant.
"Over time, even under a revised poverty measure, the elderly have done better," he said.

This War is based in 3 distinct Generations of Jews who compose Pre-Geulah Status: the 75-60 year olds, where all the money is,  as they made it old school with hardwork; Their Children and under aged peers: 55-35 year olds, who were born at a high time, yet they had little mochin/brain power..as it was their parents that had the brain power of their era, one of which today is based upon;and the 35-20 year olds: Brains have come back, as did hard work, but they are 1-2 generations behind waiting on deck..which is fine,but where is the middle class conditions that they can survive under?

The Radak says: when this older generation does Teshuva, and they realize that it was Hashem that has brought them back, we would experience an imminent Geulah Process revealed...it is this older generation where there is a tremendous Ko-ach..much like their Generation - X underpaid counterpart...the middle generation is sandwiched in the middle, and is of good fortune..it is also this generation that houses the righteous women of this era, the ones that will usher in the Geulah...the gadlus to their era, and the ones who recognize the value and worth of Generation - X...one need only look to today's demonstrations to see who is who.

May we go back to a Torah Government in 5772, and find ourselves better off with a rebuilt Jerusalem  and Kohanim working in the 3rd Temple.

Moshiach 5772 vs. The death of capitalism embedded in a generic form of socialistic communism...oops,I mean Obamistic Emmanuelism, with a Clinton'ed Bush on top...I'm sorry.


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