America is the world's first poor rich country

I think that you can make a pretty good argument that the Gulf countries are rich/poor. They have a smallish percentage of citizens that are well off and a large number of destitute, non-citizen workers.

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Unfortunately, the article is not always factually correct. It cites the cost of housing as higher in the USA than in Europe, while that is disputable. It cites the costs of consumer goods as lower, while that effect is often due on the fact that prices are advertised before tax in the US and after tax in Europe. More importantly: it does not talk about the problem of exchange rates. The $ (or the swiss franc) being over-valued makes everything appear more expensive.

For cost comparisons, one can try although that sites has strong limits as well.

It is not that there is no problem with the US economy, but probably not quite the one the article describes.

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But…but…FACTS. Y’all are cash poor and money…poor. And the average standard of living sucks. So you can disagree all you want, but the bottom line fact is most folks can’t come up with a non-earmarked five hundred bucks. that’s freaking harsh.

cough I think you meant to say ‘American system’…as a citizen of the northern part of North America, I’m pretty damn pleased with health care and my ability as a single parent to send my kiddo to uni.


During the gilded age, we began placing regulation so that those who choose to incur costs by action or inaction would be the ones who pay for those costs. This is a process known as internalization and is the primary function of regulation. In other words, if you cause pollution under a system of regulation, you are responsible for the cost of cleaning up that pollution. Similarly, if you decide to sell bad debt, speculation on the housing market, or artificailly inflate the value of a bundled group of mortgages as a product and doing so causes a housing crisis, under regulation you would be on the hook for the damages caused by your financial instrument. However, the housing market can be said the be defacto deregulated as we all saw that the people who caused the crisis were bailed out using public funds. They were not on the hook for the damages they causes which is what we call externialization of costs which is also known a deregulation.
TLDR version: deregfulation doesn’t mean there are no regulations. It means the cost of doing business is externalized to people who did not choose to incur those costs.


It is harsh. Another corollary is that most retiring workers are going to be completely screwed, because, living so near the edge, they have managed to accumulate paltry or no retirement savings. Social Security is going to save them, but only partially, because in many cases it will not enable them to achieve their pre-retirement standard of living.


Of course the very reason for SS is that people are, on average, not very good at saving for the future because today’s problems will always have more urgency than tomorrow’s. Which is why the systematic chipping away at SS and medicare is going to be especially painful.


Except that it’s far more than median income and the illness doesn’t even have to be that serious. The cost of healthcare is so stratospheric that a routine surgery can put the patient and their family into a debt cycle that can last their entire working lives.


exactly! they’re off doing whatever makes them the 1%, right?

America is world’s first [blah blah blah]”

Woohoo! Suck it, world!

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