Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > On the Necessity of Being a Multi-Millionaire under Late Capitalism: 1

On the Necessity of Being a Multi-Millionaire under Late Capitalism: 1

A few years ago, I wrote about how the Simpsons show was a marker for demise of middle-class in USA. The point I made in that post was that the Simpson family’s lifestyle, as depicted in that show, was not only possible, but considered normal as late as the early 1990s- when that show debuted. However, today the idea of a guy who barely completed high school having a stable job which pays enough to support a wife and three kids, own a modest house along with a couple of second-hand cars would be considered fantasy. So what happened between the early 1990s and today? How did we go from a point where a stable middle-class existence was the unquestioned norm in western countries to one where most people are heavily indebted precariats with zero chance of a better life in less than three decades- but especially in the anglosphere.

To better understand what I am talking about, let me tell you a little story. See.. there are two reasons why I took the educational trajectory which I ended up taking. Firstly, I liked my area of study and was very good at it. However, there was a second reason- employment in that area provided a guaranteed stable upper-middle class lifestyle for many decades (starting from end of WW2 to the mid-2000s). Even academics in that area could expect a very nice and stable upper-middle class, albeit a bit less well compensated than those in industry. For example, one of my academic mentors (born in 1945 or 1946) became a tenured professor by 30, got married, had three kids, was able to buy a nice house and expand it, buy a second vacation home, decent cars etc, take long vacations, a few sabbaticals, got a steady stream of OK grants and ultimately retired with a decent guaranteed pension.

The important thing is that he was able to all of that with an income equivalent to somewhere between 70-120k/yr adjusted for current levels of purchasing power. Sure, his wife worked too for some years, but she made probably 40% of what he made even in the best years. In other words, it was possible to enjoy a very nice and stable upper-middle class lifestyle for somewhere between 100-150k/yr even if you had three children who had to be put through university. Sure, it helped that the city in question was not coastal California or NYC level expensive. But still.. my point stands, and he was not the only one. As late as end of 1990s and early 2000s, this lifestyle was considered normal for someone in academia- at least in the parts where I lived. Industry paid better, and starting salaries of 80-90k after a PhD were fairly common even in late 1990s. A good number of them ended up making the equivalent of somewhere between 120-150k for most of their careers. Did I mention that the jobs were far more stable then?

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is as follows: it was perfectly possible for a couple making about 200k/year with one or both in pharma or allied sectors to live a very comfortable and nice lifestyle in certain places in NE USA (MA, NJ, non-NYC NY) or west coast (Bay Area, San Diego, Seattle). Also, these jobs came with excellent healthcare packages and defined-benefit pensions. Of course, this has not been the case since 2009- but that is another story. Now ask yourself a simple question, how was the pharma sector capable of providing such nice working conditions for many decades and why did this start coming to an end by middle of early 2000s? It is not as if pharma suddenly became a far less profitable industry, did it? So why did that sector change its business model after decades of it working nicely, starting in the 1990s. Yes.. the rot began a decade or so before things went to shit.

To understand what went wrong in that sector and many others all over the west, you have to begin by asking a simple question- who are corporations run for and by whom. Well.. as it turns out, for many decades after end of WW2, corporations in the west were run to achieve two ends- personal profit for owners of capital AND well-compensated stable employment for the rest. The idea was that a high standard of living would keep people from getting interested in more ‘radical’ ideologies such as socialism and even full-blown communism. But once state communism fell in Eastern Europe by 1989, the west (especially anglosphere) had no reason to balance the interests of capital AND employees. It is therefore not surprising that neoliberalism, which started in the late 1970s, did not really take off until 1991. Yes.. that is why a lot of the deregulation of western economies started after 1991. But what is neoliberalism anyway?

Well.. if I had to define neoliberalism, here is how I would do it. Neoliberalism is an ideology that pretends to profess belief in “free markets”, “free trade” and other totems of classical liberalism such as individualism while transferring power and money from elected government to unelected corporations using excuses based in the bullshit lies of pliant economists and other so-called “social scientists”. For examples, government deficits and ‘printing money’ are very bad if they are used to fund the needs of average people but very smart and correct if they are used to make corporations and a few people very rich. Here is another example- according to this ideology, allowing monopolies and oligopolies to exist is a great idea as long as you can pretend to show that they don’t overcharge customers. Here are a few more examples..

Pretending to care about black lives and diversity is the right thing to do, even if you are actively involved in trying to suppress wages, steal wages and otherwise screw your employees- many of who might be black and non-white. There is a reason why corporations are so enthusiastic about supporting “woke” activism. It is all about maintaining a fake image that nobody but their own inner circle believe in- not unlike Nazis pretending that they were committing ethnic genocide to make the world ‘a better place’ or Zionists pretending that they are on a civilizing mission in the Middle-East. Same crap, different bottle- rinse and repeat. As I have said many times, the difference between LIEbralism and CONservatism is that the former are more vain about their public image, while the later are clueless.

Anyway.. let us get back to the topic at hand, specifically the part about how it is necessary to be a multi-millionaire to enjoy living under late capitalism aka financialism aka Neoliberalism. A few months ago, I decided to calculate the amount of income and wealth necessary for somebody in 2020 to live like an OK paid professor in 2000- in the same city. After some calculations I arrived at an interesting range of numbers. See.. to do everything he did and live with same margin of comfort, a person would require around 300k. But wait.. some of you might say, haven’t you accounted for inflation. Yes, I have and that is why I listed his pay range as 70-120k/yr (over career) adjusted to current levels of purchasing power. And you know something else, that is very close to the current pay range for positions he occupied in that university over his career.

To make another long story short, he simply could not have enjoyed the lifestyle he did had he joined the same university 25 years after he did (so, in the late 1990s) or today. And this is true not just for him and other academics but for most people in pharma, biotech, law and even programming. While Google and FB reputedly pay 200-250k for some of new hires in the Bay Area, I would like to ask you to have a look at living costs in said area. Try finding a modest but decent house within a 30 minute drive of workplace that is less than a million. Have a look at the costs of houses in areas with “good school districts” (an insanity most peculiar to USA). Calculate the costs of sending kids to university even if you get a few scholarships.

And we are not even getting into issues such as age discrimination, poor job AND career security, risk of divorce leading to financial ruin etc. It is so bad that only types of professions currently make enough money to live a secure upper-middle class lifestyle as it existed twenty years ago- medical practitioners and established lawyers. I am sure that some silly valley fuckwit will jump in now and say something about “learning to code” or some other inane bullshit about getting the right credentials. But it doesn’t matter anymore. We have already reached a stage where entire professions from academia, scientists, engineers, accountants, mid-level managers and many many more have gone down from solidly upper-middle class vocations to working class.

And they are the “lucky” ones since professions that once used to solidly middle-class such as assembly line workers, retail staff, construction workers etc have gone from middle and working class to precariat, while those that were working class such as delivery drivers, truckers, hotel and restaurant workers etc have become the working poor. It is no wonder that more than half the people are a couple of paychecks away from irreversible financial ruin. In the next part, I will go further into how financialism aka neoliberalism destroyed affordable housing, healthcare, education and a whole lot more while boomers were cheering for deregulation in 1990s. You will also see more examples of how being a multi-millionaire is a necessity under late capitalism.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Jack Donovan
    July 5, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Unibrow lady has been harassing the wolves of vineland..

    I’m afraid she might seduce one of our members and then they will have a little diabolical…

    Please tell the unibrwbomber to STOP!!!

  2. MikeCA is a Crybabby
    July 5, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    “But once state communism fell in Eastern Europe by 1989, the west (especially anglosphere) had no reason to balance the interests of capital AND employees. It is therefore not surprising that neoliberalism, which started in the late 1970s, did not really take off until 1991. Yes.. that is why a lot of the deregulation of western economies started after 1991. But what is neoliberalism anyway?”

    hahahaha, you know who will accuse you of being a wuss ian troll trying to undermine democracy whilst his generation undermined democracy by setting up the younger generations to fail all while paying for their overpriced retirement…

    what a fucking ponzi scheme….

  3. blaquer
    July 5, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    How does this end? French Revolution style or just a continued sad, slow death with millions of miserable people getting by by punching down on those who they see as weaker than them? Imo, all of these online fraudsters selling the hopium of “if you are poor it is your fault” while showing off how much money they have made (mostly through luck and whiteness) are a BIG PART of the reason things have been able to go on for as long as they have. But this pandemic had really changed things. Even if the death rate continues to stay low, there are long term effects and everything is just fucked so hard. The next four years but be all of our last….

  4. P Ray
    July 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Don’t forget the fact that worldwide, governments literally “print the money they need” and there is 0 gold that is physically backing that money.

    Also there is the hypocrisy of “In the future things will be better” (witness 10th generation Intel Core laptop processors that have trouble compiling Java, that causes an operating system restart)
    along with “Settle the fundamentals first and all else will follow” (in many schools teachers find it too hard to teach grammar)

    And let’s not forget “Work hard and you will succeed” and “Fake it till you make it”

    Personally, I can’t wait to keep track of people from my past and how their lives implode while ignoring the grim realities of modern life by saying “You’re so negative”
    and “When you think good thoughts it becomes reality”

  5. P Ray
    July 5, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Oh ya, in the middle of all this … who benefits?

    People in social services (to convince everybody else that the situation is correct and just, and the negative thoughts and outcomes are just coincidences)

    and people in security services (to keep property and assets only in the control of the great and the good).

    As an aside, that is why I believe, for example, most cops have sexual partners …
    and most of the women who are in relationships are either nurses, psychologists, kindergarten teachers or social workers.

    • Jack Donovan
      July 6, 2020 at 11:07 am

      Oh hai PeeRay,

      So are you saying your next career move will be being a kindergarten cop?

      We here at the wolves of vineland tried to be boi scout leaders but they wouldn’t let us…

      The hom-0-phobia the hom-0-phobia….

    • P Ray
      July 6, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      The clitoris cartel has sewn up many openings for men to penetrate early childhood education, so I don’t think I will get a fair chance even if I were interested.

      I suspect another reason why feminism has become a growing religion is because they start indoctrination from young, and parents are too busy being either precariats, drunk, stupid or sex-crazed to care.

      But hey! Blame young people for “not knowing anything” as the parents put them in the care of “those who know the wrong things”.

      • Jack Donovan
        July 7, 2020 at 11:08 am

        Y’know PeeRay,

        I am gettin’ reel emBareAssed that us nazi’s are portrayed as potbellied drunk thugs…

        I mean I do lots of cardio to keep my pot belly leaner than these guys…

        …and yeah, they did visit the wolves of vineland…

        The pot bellies were a turn off but the swamp ass was like brisket and the dick cheese like caviar…

  6. July 7, 2020 at 2:57 am

    I’m a 3rd year CS student who has been basically indoctrinated by the Internet since my early teens that programming is where the money is. It’s basically a vicious lie, propaganda that big tech companies need because their product is programmer labor. The more programmers, the better. They tend to present examples of startup and big company founders, ignoring the 99% who are barely making the ends meet.

    The average for a programmer is $80,000 or something – much lower than typical doctors making upwards of $300,000. I wish somebody had told this to my 13-year-old self. I’ve been a reasonably good student so getting into medical school wouldn’t have been a problem. Now, I have no choice other than going back to high school, taking necessary biology classes and starting from scratch because of the way things are structured in my country.

    I won’t forgive Quora and Business Insider “geniuses” by brainwashing me, a relatively bright student, into taking unfulfilling, blue-collar work (programming) for his career.

    • Jack
      July 7, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Wait till the H-1B Indian takes your job.

    • P Ray
      July 7, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      They tend to present examples of startup and big company founders, ignoring the 99% who are barely making the ends meet.

      Ya, and also don’t forget the selfsame startup and big company founder … that doesn’t know how to code but convinces others to part with their money.

      With Google or Facebook as examples … it’s really wise to remember that the founders are not trusted to do the coding.

      Plus, with many thousands of engineers tweaking the algorithm, the founders definitely don’t remember or understand what’s going on.

      Wait till the H-1B Indian takes your job.

      Trump has already suspended applications for foreign nationals to work in America, I believe. So it will be some time yet.

      • Jack
        July 8, 2020 at 8:56 am

        No he hasn’t. His suspension doesn’t target H-1B visa holders within the United States or international students looking to convert to H-1B visa status.

      • P Ray
        July 8, 2020 at 10:26 am

        His suspension doesn’t target H-1B visa holders within the United States or international students looking to convert to H-1B visa status.

        Ya, but:
        1)not all H-1B visa holders occupy every vacancy
        2)they have to find a job very quickly if they become unemployed
        3)targetting people already inside your country can open you up to lawsuits.

        By the way, this also means that H-1B visa holders, inside the country, have more leverage for better pay because the company that has hired them, cannot find another person from outside the country to replace them at a cheaper price.

        Of course all these permutations of circumstances are moot if the company closes down due to Corona-Chan.

        And since you didn’t provide any sources, I guess I will have to provide mine.

        WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday temporarily suspended new work visas and barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States, part of a broad effort to limit the entry of immigrants into the country.

    • stoner with a boner's piss bottle
      July 8, 2020 at 9:26 am

      lolosatanlolo,

      • P Ray
        July 8, 2020 at 10:55 pm

        Advantages and disadvantages:
        Physician
        Advantage: Can test whether the nurses’ reproductive systems are working
        Access to a wider circle of moneyed honeys
        Disadvantage: #Metoo

        UPS drives
        Advantage: Start earning immediately after high school
        Once you have your own transport are attractive to many other companies
        Disadvantage: Smaller social circle, women don’t want to be around a man with a low-status job (unless they are anti-feminist, but that also comes with the entitlement that the man earns everything)

        Overarching blackpill:
        If you are tall and handsome, you can be a broke, drug-addicted pedophile murderer and women will still like you.
        (tall, handsome, broke, drug-addicted murderer) = Thomas Gilbert Jr.

      • Just A Programmer
        July 9, 2020 at 11:07 am

        180K for a physician as at the bottom, like doctors in civil service or public hospitals. 250 to 300K is more typical even for “ordinary” specialties.

  7. Just A Programmer
    July 7, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Joke I heard: These days you need to be in the top 10% just to be average.

    • P Ray
      July 7, 2020 at 2:55 pm

      A lie spread by people wanting more education for the same or less pay.

      But it’s also important to remember that being a software developer that can’t even troubleshoot their home computer is quire pathetic indeed.

      There are quite a few ways to earn some money while being technically oriented.

      • Just A Programmer
        July 9, 2020 at 10:56 am

        The point of the joke was not education but income. Only the top 10% get to live in what we have come to think of as an average manner. As AD has shown talking about Homer Simpson, that is, an ordinary guy can support a family in relative comfort.

        Though there is an unfortunate view about education that permeates Silicon Valley and its imitators. Hire the best, and fire the bottom 2/3 of those within three years of hiring.

      • P Ray
        July 9, 2020 at 12:02 pm

        Actually a proper look at Silicon Valley … is Silicon Valley.

        Mike Judge absolutely hit the nail on the head, it is very true that you have people who know nothing in positions of leadership and authority.

        Someone I know working for the Dassault Group – and very newly graduated, mind – did not know about the reality of pre-object oriented programming languages like C and C++ having perennial security issues due to buffer overflow …
        and didn’t realise that Java does away with memory management.

        Talk about a real “WTF are they teaching in Computer Science nowadays?”

        To compound the absurdity, the guy is a scholarship recipient.

  8. Jack
    July 7, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    “So why did that sector change its business model after decades of it working nicely, starting in the 1990s?”

    The Immigration Act of 1990 – creation of the H-1B visa program and student work permit program (OPT) for international students. White collar jobs outsourced to H-1Bs. See Disney: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/us/last-task-after-layoff-at-disney-train-foreign-replacements.html

  9. July 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    AD, all true. Combine the decline in purchasing power and loss of employment opportunity with the increase in education costs and other factors. These are the ingredients of shit soup. I graduated college in 1990 after 8 years of working and attending university. I paid my way through with construction hourly wage earnings while attending university half time. Today, this would not be possible especially for a Caucasian for at least a couple reasons. First, the labor market I worked in is now entirely Spanish speaking and comprised of mostly illegal immigrants who are employed by other illegal immigrants or second generation decedents thereof. Anglos (I am one) no longer have the opportunity to provide construction labor in many markets because they do not speak the language, the culture in most of such labor markets does not accept Anglos, and the vast majority of todays Anglos do not want to work in physically demanding jobs because they have been brainwashed to think that they are “above it” (neoliberal white supremacy). Second, the cost of education now completely prohibits anyone earning a wage as I did (even adjusted for inflation) from affording university. I was able to earn enough to pay my living costs and most educational costs during those 8 years. This would be impossible today.

    I see two causes of this current situation. First, Western Anglos have increasingly embraced the mentality that real work is something to avoid. Instead, time is best spent being entertained, playing politics, and on various narcissistic pursuits. Since the 1950s it has been “hip” to be a “Rockstar” a hippie, a “celeb”, a CEO (as every MBA grad expected to become without learning anything about how the real business world operates) or joining some trendy social engineering movement than to apply oneself to anything functionally productive. Anglo culture decayed beginning with the hippies getting high on drugs, sex and rock & roll, then was eaten (like by fungus) with the yuppies getting high on materialistic consumption. Saving money was out of vogue, real productive work went out of vogue. The civil engineer or student with the slide rule and then the TI calculator was (and still is) considered an undesirable social misfit ( a nerd or dork, there are even entire movies based on the ridiculous theme promoted by hollyweird) while John Lenin was worshipped for growing his hair out, banging Yuck O Dumbo and “Just sitting there watching the wheels go round and round”… because he really loved to watch them roll…. whatever the fuck that meant…

    The Anglo American females self definition morphed from how she could find the most productive stable male, keep him in line, and raise a family or become employed at some other worthwhile pursuit…. into how she could whore herself out to live like Cinderella or compete with men by hating men while simultaneously pretending to be a man and murder her babies. The Anglo American males self definition morphed from how he could build a bridge, a skyscraper or a home and raise a family or how to win a war…into how he could find his “soul mate” up some whore or harpies pussy and whether or how to become “John Galt” and who his “real self” is… could he be… The Bandit from Smokey and the Bandit, Zoro, Rambo, Barney, Harry Callahan, one of the Teletubbies, “Magnum PI”, Buzz Lightyear or one of The Wiggles….so many to choose from and all…. so…. so… so fucking stupid. Can it get any stupider? Yes it has.

    The second cause is the significant increase in power disparity between the ruling class and the stupefied white working class. The working class of this country was not so long ago almost entirely comprised of people who spoke the same language as those who employed them, went to the same schools, attended the same churches and civic organizations, and lived in the same neighborhoods or mutually accessible neighborhoods. Except the black have never been and still aren’t integrated as they are joined by working class whites and other skins coming from elsewhere and being exploited elsewhere. The “elite” have increasingly segregated themselves from the middle and lower class labor pool. Gated communities and exclusive organizations established for, and that cater to, the upper class thrive like never before. Like never before, there exists a geographical and legally enforced segregation between those in power and those who have only the power to vote. Those in power only associate with those who have only the power to vote exclusively for the purpose of scamming votes out of voters on all sides of the “aisle”.

    The boss used to have to answer to the employees and take their grievances into consideration to some degree. Now all the boss has to do is pay off the politician the employees voted into office no mater the political party. In effect both the boss and the politician are jointly screwing the hell out of the working class like the Walrus and the Carpenter in Lewis Carols poem of the same name and if the working class doesn’t like it, then the boss and associated political sociopaths can replace the working class with poor desperate poverty stricken subjects at home and or abroad.

    As observed from within, the basic problem with western Anglo culture is their own loss of vigilance, laziness, stupidity combined with a supremist entitlement mentality. No one can have freedom for free. No one is entitled to it. Nature itself prevents that entitlement no matter how much anyone or any group whines about it or expects Trump or Biden or any other jack ass to deliver it.

    • hHH
      July 8, 2020 at 10:42 pm

      Lol, even after being shown the obvious causes (financialism, neoliberalism, globalization) you literally can’t help but be a white retard and talk about Mexicans taking your precious blue collar jobs(?) and “everyone has poor work ethic except me cause I am special”

      You moronic CONservatives deserve to get raped by the system you propped up for decades.

    • Jim
      July 11, 2020 at 5:00 am

      I agree. I work construction. You leave out the blacks. Rarely see any blacks on construction sites. Never see them in any other blue collar jobs either They simply do not do manual labor. And a lot of people think they are lazy. A few I’ve worked with always claim racism when their work, or lack of it. is called out. I’ve also encountered some hard working blacks and have zero issues. But they are rare.

      Whites in construction are still there but their jobs are more technical now. Electricians plumbers, anything requiring those skills will be mostly white. Most heavy equipment is ran by whites. All job foremen and contractors are white. I even once saw a crew of brick masons of all young white males that got the approval from the Mexicans. These guys were hard working. Still, most of the grunt work in construction is done by mainly Mexicans. Also many of the whites in construction have issues. Alcoholism especially.

      Yes whites who do blue collar work are looked down on.

      • doldrom
        July 11, 2020 at 7:09 am

        Don’t know about construction, but gotta call BS on blacks not doing manual labor. They may be less gung ho about hard work, probably remembering that throughout history doing hard work is the lot of slaves. Only idiots think that working hard will make you prosperous. It has never been true. Yes, sometimes you just have to clean the toilet or fix the roof to avert worse, but continuous “hard work” is a recipe for getting nowhere.

      • Jim
        July 11, 2020 at 10:13 pm

        Where do blacks do blue collar work? The blacks I see who are in blue collar work are also usually in government. And most of their work is subcotracded out to private firms. Otherwise they are not to be seen anywhere. Don’t see them in construction. Don’t see them in automotive repair fields. Don’t see them in any trades really. Let me put it to you this way. I’ve seem more women in construction than blacks. Think about that. And using slavery as an excuse is why blacks for the most part have become lazy. That’s not a generalization but an observance. Blacks live in a government funded matriarchy. And their ability to feed and house themselves and their offspring are not tied into their ability to provide.

        Hard work is a means to an end. I mow yards on the side. It’s hard work. But I also average 100 bucks an hour. If I had enough leads to do it full time, I’d quit my regular job in a heartbeat. And work hard to have my own business.

  10. P Ray
    July 9, 2020 at 4:04 am

    The other fun part about life nowadays is the sneaking suspicion that some people simply had an easy ride – which is hard to prove, given that very few teachers and lecturers will be transparent about how they award their marks – and others used the power of lineage, connections and money.

    The deep social reset by Corona-chan is going to give a lot of people a wonderful exposure to the world of unemployment, where their LIEberal and CONservative platitudes no longer work, e.g.

    LIEberal – you can be whatever you want to be!

    CONservative – work hard and you will succeed!

    It’s great that these nonsense sayings will be abjectly proven false in many, many personal circumstances.

  1. July 19, 2020 at 8:41 pm
  2. August 2, 2020 at 6:18 pm

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