Bill Maher on the vanishing middle class (via kateoplis)
50 years ago, America’s biggest employer was General Motors, where workers made the modern equivalent of $50 dollars an hour. Today, America’s biggest employer is Walmart, where the average wage is $8 dollars an hour. Which means you can share a room in a transient hotel with a drifter who cuts his toenails with a machete.
And Walmart released their annual report this month, and in it was the fact that most of what Walmart sells is food. And most of their customers need food stamps to pay for it. Meanwhile, Walmart’s owners are so absurdly rich that one of them, Alice Walton, spent over a billion dollars building an art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, 500 miles away from the nearest person who ever would want to look at art.
And she said about it, “For years I’ve been thinking about what we can do as a family that can really make a difference.” How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit?
Take the case of Belle Knox. She’s the Duke University freshman who was recently outed as a porn star. But she doesn’t have the typical porn star biography… No, she’s a level-headed articulate 18-year-old majoring in women’s studies.
So people are saying, why the porn? Because Duke costs $61 grand a year! Since 1980, college tuition has increased 600% above the inflation rate. I’m surprised they’re not all doing porn. …
This is what the Paul Ryans of the world don’t understand — that this is not a country of lazy people and good people, so much as it is a country of rich people and desperate people.
Do you know how much Americans owe in student loans?
$1.3 trillion dollars.
We’re going to have to sell a lot of ass to pay that tab.
dreams do come true!
"My wife and I have been married 16 years."
“Any particular reason?”
“I was just never sure I wanted to have a child. And I always thought that with a decision that big, it was better not to guess and be wrong. I’ve just always had this anxiety about fulfilling myself and accomplishing my dreams. I love kids, and I love my friends’ kids, but I just didn’t think there’d be room in my life for a child. Some of the parents I know think that not having a child is a selfish decision to make. But then again, a lot of those same people, after two or three beers, have told me that they envy my freedom.”
Fear of corporate control and consolidation is hardly new. As Ned Beatty put it in Network, 37 years ago, “There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.” Still, though, the above chart is striking.