America’s Vanishing Middle Class: A Tale of Two Economies – Jeff Stibel – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review

Great article of what is happening to the middle class. That the middle class worker is now taking the jobs previously held by the poor is symptomatic of something bigger.

I am surprised that the author did not make real mention of the role outsourcing not only of low skilled manufacturing jobs, but also high skilled jobs that normally went to college graduates.

We know from simply visiting Walmart or any other store in the country that just about all consumer goods are manufactured (and some designed) in low wage countries. Now engineers, radiologists, accountants, and many other highly paid professions in the US is leaving our shores. This is where Capitalism trumps patriotism as we leave our country without the know how to be self-sufficient thus holding us hostage to foreign governments.

America’s Vanishing Middle Class: A Tale of Two Economies

11:46 AM Friday May 27, 2011
by Jeff Stibel

The US economy today borders on schizophrenic. To be sure, we are seeing signs of positive momentum. The last three months have delivered almost 250,000 new jobs per month on average. Great news, but at the same time, unemployment is growing and now exceeds nine percent. Both consumer confidence and small business confidence is higher than where they were last year. But confidence has been falling rapidly for the past few months.

Were Charles Dickens to show up as a commentator on the evening news, he would have a ready vocabulary to describe our current economic situation: This recovery is very much A Tale of Two Cities. After years of record low interest rates, multiple stimulus packages, and the expansion of tax cuts and credits, we are in the midst of a very real recovery, but it is a recovery characterized by asymmetry. Banks and major corporations are flush with capital — large businesses are recording record profits — but job growth is tepid, unemployment remains high and small businesses are struggling.

At first glance, the combination of record corporate profits alongside anemic job growth seems contrary, but the two are directly connected. The primary reason corporate profits are at record highs is that large companies learned to be lean and highly productive during the worst years of the recession. The profits generated through a reduced but more productive headcount has induced many large companies to continue this lean approach even as we emerge from recession. The result: record profits despite weak revenue growth, ………..

America’s Vanishing Middle Class: A Tale of Two Economies – Jeff Stibel – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review