Thread: American Workers Drowning in Debt

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    Default American Workers Drowning in Debt



    American Workers Drowning in Debt

    “The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest numbers.

    Yet the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income was just $59,039 last year, suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their means.

    Here’s how much debt the average U.S. household owes in credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.

    Those numbers are unlikely to shrink anytime soon, according to NerdWallet. That’s because the cost of living in the U.S. rose 30% over the past 13 years, yet household incomes only grew 28%. As a result, more Americans are using credit cards to cover basic needs like food and clothing.

    Medical expenses have grown 57% since 2003, while food and housing costs climbed 36% and 32%, respectively. Those surging basic expenses could widen the inequality gap in America, as a quarter of Americans make less than $10 per hour.


    Politsturm: The fact that Americans are overwhelmed with onerous debts is not surprising to those who understand how capitalism works. These debts are largely the result of credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and auto loans. All of these types of debts are loans of money to purchase certain commodities, such as cars, houses, clothes, or even an education. When this loan is created, there is an interest which is paid from the lender to the borrower. The massive loans are simply a reflection of the debt owned as an asset by the capitalist class and owed by the workers. There are two dimensions to this relationship, lender and borrower, asset and liability, capitalist and worker.

    The companies and individuals who own this debt are able to profit at the expense of the working class. A portion of the unpaid labor of the working class is paid to the bondholders in the form of interest. This article propagates the absurd argument that the working class American is “living beyond their means”. This is just another way in which the idle, parasitic capitalist tells the worker to grin and bear the insufferable domination of capital. The workers truly have nothing to lose but their chains.
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    just lol at this poorly written article.

    A portion of the unpaid labor of the working class is paid to the bondholders in the form of interest.


    lol this isn't even true. The money came from "the working class" therefore it was from paid labor. And wtf? Bondholders? There aren't bondholders in any of the consumer debt categories the article lists, except maybe MBS.
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    just lol at this poorly written article.



    lol this isn't even true. The money came from "the working class" therefore it was from paid labor. And wtf? Bondholders? There aren't bondholders in any of the consumer debt categories the article lists, except maybe MBS.[/COLOR]
    Care to explicate at greater length? I recall that Marx wrote about the working class not being able to afford the products that they created, in the long run. Do you disagree with the 'crisis of overproduction' idea? Isn't it a fact that particular debts from individual workers are bundled up and traded like commodities? I thought that was the essence of the housing crisis circa 2007. Why should student loans and credit cards be any different from Mortgage Backed Securities in this context?
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    Care to explicate at greater length? I recall that Marx wrote about the working class not being able to afford the products that they created, in the long run. Do you disagree with the 'crisis of overproduction' idea? Isn't it a fact that particular debts from individual workers are bundled up and traded like commodities? I thought that was the essence of the housing crisis circa 2007. Why should student loans and credit cards be any different from Mortgage Backed Securities in this context?
    I was mostly criticizing the "article" which is typical of leftist activist writers who don't seem to know much beyond the few bits of Marx they've read.

    What you're referring to is the underconsumption theory developed by Sismondi and Marxists like Baran and Sweezy. Marx's theory of overproduction is actually different than this theory.

    Anyways, your point really doesn't make much sense either. Of course debts are bundled and traded, but what's your point?

    I pointed out the bond thing because it's clear that the writer doesn't seem to know what a bond actually is in relation to debt. Or perhaps I misunderstood and they meant corporate bonds? It's poorly written so doesn't really make sense.
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    I was mostly criticizing the "article" which is typical of leftist activist writers who don't seem to know much beyond the few bits of Marx they've read.

    What you're referring to is the underconsumption theory developed by Sismondi and Marxists like Baran and Sweezy. Marx's theory of overproduction is actually different than this theory.

    Anyways, your point really doesn't make much sense either. Of course debts are bundled and traded, but what's your point?

    I pointed out the bond thing because it's clear that the writer doesn't seem to know what a bond actually is in relation to debt. Or perhaps I misunderstood and they meant corporate bonds? It's poorly written so doesn't really make sense.
    I do not know a simpler way to put my question, so I will just repeat myself. "Politsturm" says this:

    A portion of the unpaid labor of the working class is paid to the bondholders in the form of interest.
    You say that is not true. That is an arguable claim so I would like you to argue for it.
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    just lol at this poorly written article.



    lol this isn't even true. The money came from "the working class" therefore it was from paid labor. And wtf? Bondholders? There aren't bondholders in any of the consumer debt categories the article lists, except maybe MBS.[/COLOR]
    Just lol at your complete inability to give a rational critique. I like how later you say the source of surplus is from wages, not the unpaid labor of the working class. The article argues the source of profit is objectively the exploitation of labor in the production process. This is the main argument. You need to provide evidence that this is not the case. Since you think the author only has a superficial understanding of Capital, I would like you to explain this quote from Volume III, Chapter 21 on Interest based on your superior understanding of interest-bearing capital:

    "What we have then is M', or M + ΔM, a sum of money equal to the sum originally advanced plus an increment – the realised surplusvalue (regardless of whether the amount of value increased by ΔM exists in the form of money, or commodities, or elements of production). And it is precisely at this point of return where capital exists as realised capital, as an expanded value, that it never enters the circulation in this form – in so far as this point is fixed as a point of rest, whether real or imaginary – but rather appears to have been withdrawn from circulation as a result of the whole process. Whenever it is again expended, it is never given up to another as capital, but is sold to him as an ordinary commodity, or given to him as ordinary money in exchange for commodities. It never appears as capital in its process of circulation, only as commodity or money, and at this point this is the only form of its existence for others. Commodities and money are here capital not because commodities change into money, or money into commodities, not in their actual relations to sellers or buyers, but only in their ideal relations to the capitalist himself (subjectively speaking), or as phases in the process of reproduction (objectively speaking). Capital exists as capital in actual movement, not in the process of circulation, but only in the process of production, in the process by which labourpower is exploited. "

    Marx argues that the realization of surplus value in the process of circulation is not based on the relations of the individuals engaged in a specific transaction. In your example, you brought up the fact that interest is paid from the wages of workers to money lenders. Firstly, this is focusing on the relations of individuals as sellers and buyers in a transaction which Marx disagrees with in the first highlighted text. If you think this is wrong, please state the counterargument.

    All interest bearing capital whether in the form of mortgages, credit card debt, student loans realize their profit based on the exploitation of labor in the production process. Interest represents a portion of the unpaid labor in addition to other forms such as profit of enterprise and rent. The fact that some workers pay interest from their wages does not negate this fact. In the aggregate interest is only able to be realized in the money form because the working class is exploited. The semantics as to whether the word "bondholder", "money-lender", or "financial capitalist" is used does not negate this fact. I am sorry that you were confused by this point, rendering the article unreadable to you. Perhaps try reading Marx. If you understand the references being made by the article it will be easier for you to comprehend.
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    Good article, true the great majority of the 320 million people of the U.S. need more money than they earn to satisfy the basic needs, because many services like the payment for the rent of apartments, houses and condo literally steal almost their whole monthly income, and people do not only need a house to live in. They also need a lot of things that are getting super-expensive. Even toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, detergents, meat, red meat, chicken cereals, dairy products electricity, internet, phone etc. this a hell of over valued things and services. So they are forced to get into loans in order to put food on their tables and basic survival needs.

    Maybe hunger and the current pain of the great majority of the US population will sway them to become marxists ideologically



    American Workers Drowning in Debt

    “The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest numbers.

    Yet the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income was just $59,039 last year, suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their means.

    Here’s how much debt the average U.S. household owes in credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.

    Those numbers are unlikely to shrink anytime soon, according to NerdWallet. That’s because the cost of living in the U.S. rose 30% over the past 13 years, yet household incomes only grew 28%. As a result, more Americans are using credit cards to cover basic needs like food and clothing.

    Medical expenses have grown 57% since 2003, while food and housing costs climbed 36% and 32%, respectively. Those surging basic expenses could widen the inequality gap in America, as a quarter of Americans make less than $10 per hour.


    Politsturm: The fact that Americans are overwhelmed with onerous debts is not surprising to those who understand how capitalism works. These debts are largely the result of credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and auto loans. All of these types of debts are loans of money to purchase certain commodities, such as cars, houses, clothes, or even an education. When this loan is created, there is an interest which is paid from the lender to the borrower. The massive loans are simply a reflection of the debt owned as an asset by the capitalist class and owed by the workers. There are two dimensions to this relationship, lender and borrower, asset and liability, capitalist and worker.

    The companies and individuals who own this debt are able to profit at the expense of the working class. A portion of the unpaid labor of the working class is paid to the bondholders in the form of interest. This article propagates the absurd argument that the working class American is “living beyond their means”. This is just another way in which the idle, parasitic capitalist tells the worker to grin and bear the insufferable domination of capital. The workers truly have nothing to lose but their chains.
    - - - Updated - - -

    By the way Mao said that hunger is good. Maybe hunger will make poor americans who are right-wingers, to quit being right-wingers and to become left-wingers instead
    A good answer for anti-communist hockey dads if they tell you to leave the USA: "If you force me to leave USA, I will leave USA. Otherwise I will stay in your Glenn Beck country trying to help the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency https://www.thecommunists.net/what-we-stand-for/ who will overthrow the US government in the near future, seize state power and destroy capitalism once americans cannot endure anymore so much pain and suffering caused the free market capitalist system of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin"
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    Maybe hunger and the current pain of the great majority of the US population will sway them to become marxists ideologically
    Has never happened ever. Anyone listening who is entertaining this fantasy: Please, please get this out of your head. Even if it were true, this mere counting on deepening catastrophe to wake people up - when it should be the deliberate creation of class-consciousness through education and organization, which would itself eventually create a similar "catastrophe" - betrays the radical's feeling of powerlessness.
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    How do you explain the Russian and Chinese revolutions? Both came after catastrophic world wars, a world depression, massive internal starvation. It seems unlikely that only education and organization created these "catastrophes."
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    How do you explain the Russian and Chinese revolutions? Both came after catastrophic world wars, a world depression, massive internal starvation. It seems unlikely that only education and organization created these "catastrophes."
    Catastrophe is semi-regular and frequent in Capitalism, it is an objective feature. But catastrophe doesn’t regularly or predictably lead to the working class contending for power, that the more subjective part.

    Imagine how hurricane Katrina might have been different if the US had something like the German Democratic Socialists and revolutionary communist factions like in World War Germany or workers and Revolutionaries who’d been in a revolution a little more than a decade earlier like in 1917 Russia.

    Having your back to the wall can sometimes lead to revolts like in Tunisia... but they might not, like most places most of the time. Having a radical working class and strong reformist and revolutionary socialist traditions will more likely lead to struggles, but by itself do not always mean there can be a massive popular revolt.

    But in the US today specifically, in the suffocation of even viable labor or electoral reformism, the trend has so far been workers turning more inward, even less solidarity as people try and keep their heads down, and adaptation to neoliberal capitalist ideologies. We are atomized, pitted against eachother, precarious, and work is “at will” - so people figure that if no one will help you and you are alone, a “bootstraps” mentality is the “common sense” approach to social reality.

    This is all to say that I don’t think there’s a reliable formula. It seems like it takes a combination of existing viable class methods of struggle and some level of class consciousness and organization but also random “sparks” to increase the urgency and pitch of those class alternatives in the view of larger swaths of workers.
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    The marxist books are beautiful and they say that hunger does not lead to revolutions, and that we have to wait for an objective situation and not for a situation of hunger and pain. But that only takes place in the books written by Marx, Lenin, Gramsci etc. But in reality it has not happened that way. I wish that the predictions of the Communist Manifest would've been true, but they have been wrong. Today the workers of Mcdonalds, Walmarts are right-wingers and the unemployed are also right-wingers. I think that is caused because poor people in the USA (poor Mcdonalds workers, Walmart workers, unemployed, undocumented people, sick people, prisoners etc. are still able to eat a lot of food) so that's why they dont need communism, a leftist revolution, to join a socialist party. They dont get into the internet to look for socialist websites and leftist parties.

    That's the sad truth

    And I think you are wrong to preach that US citizens should wait for a situation of class consciousness. Pain and hunger is really what in history has ignited the fires of revolution.

    In fact if you claim that it is better for US workers to have a high pay, high salaries, full medical services, a life of luxuries, instead of a life of pain. That's even worse, for the cause of communism.

    Because a situation of goodness, of a cool life of pleasures for the workers, will indeed chase away a communist-revolutionary situation further, than if they were living a situation of being forced to live in tent cities, in trailer parks, to cancel their cable-tv services. Specially in the USA were people are so arrogant and full of pomposity and vanity. People (even poor people) do any thing to boost themselves from the ground (artificially) like buying sports cars, cell phones etc. in order to trash and bash, those in the lower economic ladder, who cannot get into sports cars, cell phones etc

    That's the way all americans behave (rich and poor). They do any thing to bash others, to bully those who are lower than they are. even if they are latinos, poor, white poor etc. So a situation of pleasures and happiness will turn americans into more evil than they are already, into more trashers, more bulliers, more despicable more mainstream more into restaurants, than most americans are already. This is a nation of trashers and bulliers. So it is very hard to get them toward the left, to quit all those behaviour patterns that they love to have that are impediments for them to get into socialist parties

    I am a realist, not a book-slave. I use realism, what i see in reality in order to provide the best formula for the destruciton of capitalist-states and its solution which is socialist-states

    Has never happened ever. Anyone listening who is entertaining this fantasy: Please, please get this out of your head. Even if it were true, this mere counting on deepening catastrophe to wake people up - when it should be the deliberate creation of class-consciousness through education and organization, which would itself eventually create a similar "catastrophe" - betrays the radical's feeling of powerlessness.
    A good answer for anti-communist hockey dads if they tell you to leave the USA: "If you force me to leave USA, I will leave USA. Otherwise I will stay in your Glenn Beck country trying to help the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency https://www.thecommunists.net/what-we-stand-for/ who will overthrow the US government in the near future, seize state power and destroy capitalism once americans cannot endure anymore so much pain and suffering caused the free market capitalist system of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin"
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    Jimmy: you are right. i think that the 75% of USA who should be more communists than Karl Marx, are not joining the internet marxist parties, are not reading marxist news sources, because there are many things that people beating the bullets economically are doing in order to be able to survive within this current oligarchic-plutocratic slavery of The Democratic Party and The Republican Party, like e-bay side businesses, internet businesses, buying and selling stuff on craiglists, buying old houses and renting them, dumpster-diving, garage sales, moving to another city or country. and many many other things that are legal, but are not really solutions for poverty.

    Because even Aristotle said that if an individual, if a citizen wants to reach self-realization, he has to worry about the city-state in which he lived. To get, to find a good political system of life, a good system of governance, and then after the political system, after fixing the whole society, then as second priority comes the personal problems of each individual. But in this world people only worry about their individual problems and since most people do not have social identity, national idenity, social responsability. Are so narcissists and full of personality disorders, like evading eye contact, evading social contact, evading communication, low social skills, low communication skills (like Huey Newton said once that the oppressed does not have very well communication skills in order to turn into words their pains and pleasures), agora-phobia pessimism, nihilism etc.

    An many other problems that are hard and long to mention here, and are impediment for an objective communist revolutionary situation, all that makes it a supermanic task for the real far-leftists of the world who hate capitalism and would like to see a destruction of all capitalist states and see the world turned into 1 single communist country. All that makes it real real real hard for leftists. besides there are even problems, low social skills, problems in most ultra-leftists parties of the world.

    Something has to give !!

    Catastrophe is semi-regular and frequent in Capitalism, it is an objective feature. But catastrophe doesn’t regularly or predictably lead to the working class contending for power, that the more subjective part.

    Imagine how hurricane Katrina might have been different if the US had something like the German Democratic Socialists and revolutionary communist factions like in World War Germany or workers and Revolutionaries who’d been in a revolution a little more than a decade earlier like in 1917 Russia.

    Having your back to the wall can sometimes lead to revolts like in Tunisia... but they might not, like most places most of the time. Having a radical working class and strong reformist and revolutionary socialist traditions will more likely lead to struggles, but by itself do not always mean there can be a massive popular revolt.

    But in the US today specifically, in the suffocation of even viable labor or electoral reformism, the trend has so far been workers turning more inward, even less solidarity as people try and keep their heads down, and adaptation to neoliberal capitalist ideologies. We are atomized, pitted against eachother, precarious, and work is “at will” - so people figure that if no one will help you and you are alone, a “bootstraps” mentality is the “common sense” approach to social reality.

    This is all to say that I don’t think there’s a reliable formula. It seems like it takes a combination of existing viable class methods of struggle and some level of class consciousness and organization but also random “sparks” to increase the urgency and pitch of those class alternatives in the view of larger swaths of workers.
    A good answer for anti-communist hockey dads if they tell you to leave the USA: "If you force me to leave USA, I will leave USA. Otherwise I will stay in your Glenn Beck country trying to help the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency https://www.thecommunists.net/what-we-stand-for/ who will overthrow the US government in the near future, seize state power and destroy capitalism once americans cannot endure anymore so much pain and suffering caused the free market capitalist system of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin"
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    And I think you are wrong to preach that US citizens should wait for a situation of class consciousness. Pain and hunger is really what in history has ignited the fires of revolution.
    Where did I say to wait? "Wait" for class consciousness? How does class consciousness come about, do you think? What I was precisely getting at in my post was that class consciousness comes about through striving to attain class consciousness, so how could it be something you wait for?

    There is always some sort of spark that sends shit flying, but hunger and pain are never IN THEMSELVES enough to carry out a revolution. If things really get so bad that people are ready to riot, then you will get... riots. And that's about it. Then unless there is ALREADY some sort of organized movement with some sort of plan, people will look to anyone to provide them what they need, or to restore order, as the case may vary. I mean tell me if I'm full of crap here, but that is my contention from looking at history.

    Did the October revolution happen because of the rapidly deteriorating living situation during 1917? No. Did it happen, even, because of WW1? No. There was decades - DECADES - of work behind it. The ongoing crisis provided an OPPORTUNITY, but as Jimmie Higgins said, crises are a dime a dozen. They CAN provide you with opportunities, but if you don't know what to do with the opportunity, the opportunity is worthless.

    Analyzing revolution seriously, it seems to me, can only be done with these timeframes. Looking obsessively for "the thing that started it" blinds you with details, ascribing too much importance to single events. Events can be tremendously important of course, but the actual "spark" might be something trivial - I mean didn't the Tunisia thing start when the price of bread was raised by a few dollars?

    Frankly you're the one who seem to advocate waiting here. Despite claiming that you're not a slave to scripture, your post echoes the Comintern logic of "we have to wait for the right conditions" (the right conditions being the worsening of the situation) and "workers in the west are too pampered, they are not ready to revolt" (but they will be when the situation worsens).

    Tell me, if what you claim is true, how on earth did '68 happen? Worker's lives in Europe have NEVER been as good as they were back then. Class consciousness (in the post-war period) moreover, was never as high as it was back then.

    Many here know much more about this than me, but wasn't Lenin's "heresy" that he completely forewent the idea that we have to wait for some form of objective conditions, and simply declared that the conditions are right when we decide they are. And according to some, it is this that makes him the true Marxist, as opposed to the other 2ndInts.
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    Poverty and hunger can drive a person to the left... sure..... but they can also drive a person to the right!

    I love the proletariat but ehh....... you know there are many gusanos! Even amongst the poorest, you will find gusanos.

    And I get it. The poor person who betrays their loyalty to their fellows...... they are like Jesus in the story of Jesus in the desert where Jesus is starving and then is tempted by the devil...... the difference is that they give in and they surrender rather than resist as Jesus did. They were tested and failed. I don't hate them, I feel bad for them. But when the revolution comes, they should either stay out of the way or should be amongst the first to be... dealt with.
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    How do you explain the Russian and Chinese revolutions? Both came after catastrophic world wars, a world depression, massive internal starvation. It seems unlikely that only education and organization created these "catastrophes."
    But would those crises in themselves have been enough? Hardly. As everyone knows, the pendulum swung in the other direction. We remember it as an opportunity for communist revolution because there was an active workers' movement around. Had it not been around fascism would have had a cakewalk.

    My critique was aimed at this: The notion that a big crisis would just magically produce revolutionary consciousness, which is what TL expressed, and which is a tremendously widely held notion among leftists. And it's painful to see it come up again and again, because it shows someone lacks all faith in people themselves. They hope for some event independent of people to produce the revolution.

    I mean, crisis is not a new thing to us. And we SEE where it is leading, right now. But somehow, once things get even worse, the masses will swing sharply left. That is what this type of thinking is saying.
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    WE ARE ALL BORN TO BE DOWN, BOUND TO THE FLOOR, BECAUSE INTERNET SIDE BUSINESSES, E-BAY, AFFILIATE PROGRAMS, PASSIVE INCOME PROGRAMS ONLY WORK FOR OPRAH WINFRY, TOM CRUISE AND PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREDY RICH AND POPULAR !! COMMUNISM IS OUR ONLY WAY OUT !!

    <strong><font size="6">



    What a hell of existence. And then for example Youtube is full of on-line opportunities to make some extra dollars. But from what I've noticed, most of them [if not all of them] are really traps, scams. Specially the MOBE one, and even the ones by Tyler Prat. There are even the so called "Passive Income", i've tried to join them. But ive noticed that in most of them, you gotta be like a sort of Oprah Winfry, Joel Osteen, Bill Maher with like 5000 friends on Facebook and 5000 Youtube supporters in order for those side businesses to work

    In this hell of capitlaism if you are bound to the floor, oppressed like this song says.





    There are no solutions within capitalism. Socialism, Communism is the only way out






    American Workers Drowning in Debt

    “The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest numbers.

    Yet the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income was just $59,039 last year, suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their means.

    Here’s how much debt the average U.S. household owes in credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.

    Those numbers are unlikely to shrink anytime soon, according to NerdWallet. That’s because the cost of living in the U.S. rose 30% over the past 13 years, yet household incomes only grew 28%. As a result, more Americans are using credit cards to cover basic needs like food and clothing.

    Medical expenses have grown 57% since 2003, while food and housing costs climbed 36% and 32%, respectively. Those surging basic expenses could widen the inequality gap in America, as a quarter of Americans make less than $10 per hour.


    Politsturm: The fact that Americans are overwhelmed with onerous debts is not surprising to those who understand how capitalism works. These debts are largely the result of credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and auto loans. All of these types of debts are loans of money to purchase certain commodities, such as cars, houses, clothes, or even an education. When this loan is created, there is an interest which is paid from the lender to the borrower. The massive loans are simply a reflection of the debt owned as an asset by the capitalist class and owed by the workers. There are two dimensions to this relationship, lender and borrower, asset and liability, capitalist and worker.

    The companies and individuals who own this debt are able to profit at the expense of the working class. A portion of the unpaid labor of the working class is paid to the bondholders in the form of interest. This article propagates the absurd argument that the working class American is “living beyond their means”. This is just another way in which the idle, parasitic capitalist tells the worker to grin and bear the insufferable domination of capital. The workers truly have nothing to lose but their chains.
    A good answer for anti-communist hockey dads if they tell you to leave the USA: "If you force me to leave USA, I will leave USA. Otherwise I will stay in your Glenn Beck country trying to help the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency https://www.thecommunists.net/what-we-stand-for/ who will overthrow the US government in the near future, seize state power and destroy capitalism once americans cannot endure anymore so much pain and suffering caused the free market capitalist system of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin"

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