Tuesday, February 11, 2014

There May Not Be Enough Of A Shrinking Middle Class To Gamble In Deadwood

The optimistic Representative Reverend Steve Hickey recently tweeted:
Perhaps he's correct: there's powerful magic in the words "If you build it they will come." Deadwood may have been constructed near a wormhole that connects to a corn field in Iowa, and people who travel through that wormhole may pay to watch Ray Kinsella play catch with the ghosts of his father and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

On the other hand, a recent Pew study shows there aren't as many middle class folk to come to Deadwood.
The proportion of Americans who identify with the middle class has never been lower, dropping  to 44% from 53% in 2008 during the first months of the Great Recession, according to a survey conducted Jan. 15-19. The share of the public who says they are in the lower or lower-middle classes rose by 15 percentage points, from 25% in 2008 to 40% today.
Further, many do not believe their lives will get better.
A Pew Research Center analysis of government data found that, since 2000, the middle class shrunk in size, fell backward in income and wealth, and shed some — but not all — of its characteristic faith in the future. 
Seth Michaels points out businesses seem to be ahead of the game.
As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.
Businesses answer is to take steps to shrink the middle class even further.
As an employer like Darden Restaurants — owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster — sees profits falling from their mid-priced outlets, it’s easier for them to shift focus to higher-end restaurants than pay Olive Garden employees enough to afford to eat there.
Deadwood is an indicator of a far larger problem that South Dakota's legislators seem willing to blithely ignore because it's easier to throw red meat about the evils of sin or seek simple solutions like selling more booze.

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