Start A Petition

The Great Risk Shift - Collapse of the Middle Class - Elizabeth Warren

Society & Culture  (tags: The Great Risk, Elizabeth Warren, UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures, Collapse of the Middle Class, bankruptcy, Harvard Law School )

- 1721 days ago -
We all have our ideas why the economics are not working for many of us. Many of us have done a lot of reading on the topic but I ask also that you take a bit of time to listen to this video of a lecture by Elizabeth Warren. Excellent presentation by her.


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Freya H (358)
Friday January 31, 2014, 7:08 am
If the middle class collapses, so will this great nation. Of course, there are plenty of signs that the middle class is hanging in there, if not thriving. The middle class is the lifeblood of every country, the true source of its strength. We may yet be able to save the USA.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday January 31, 2014, 7:51 am
I truly ask that you watch this video, it highlights some OVERLOOKED information and explains a lot of reasons as to where we are today. I like to say, goes to the ROOT. In combination with what we have been reading that is a bit more well known......this is an eye opener. A very bright woman Elizabeth Warren is and bases her Truth on a lot of facts rather than just "beliefs".

Arielle S (313)
Friday January 31, 2014, 9:45 am
Awesome lady - she'd make a great president, don't you think?

. (0)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:05 am
The lesson of what happens when you destroy the middle class is aptly illustrated in Nazi Germany and Uganda's expulsion of all East Indian businessmen who comprised their middle class during Idi Amin's rule.
Destroying the middle class destroys the nation and maybe that is exactly what the plan is.

Past Member (0)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:07 am
Sad but true.....this country is going turning to s**t

Past Member (0)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:08 am
Michael is right....the government knows exactly what it is doing, there can be no other explanation for such stupidity as we have running our country today....both parties.

Birgit W (160)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:19 am
Thanks for sharing Dandelion.

Ljiljana Milic (115)
Friday January 31, 2014, 11:04 am
@Michael & all
The lesson of what happens when you destroy the middle class is not only illustrated in Nazi Germany - that is history. It is very actual illustrated in countries formed from EX Yugoslavia (I am living that "life" of destroyed middle class) all countries from former SSSR and most parts of East Europe.

Terrie Williams (798)
Friday January 31, 2014, 11:13 am
When I was part of the Middle Class I would have said .....without the Middle Class, there is NO America. They are/were the true backbone of the economy. Since I am no longer considered part of the Middle Class and live on less than a THIRD of what hubby and I used to bring home.....if the Middle Class ends up on having to settle for a third of what their incomes are now....the Fascist Bastar*s will have won....which is exactly what they are after. We, as a nation, that means ALL of us, have to stop this insanity.....VOTE. Vote them ALL out and start over.

Love me some Liz Warren. Thanks for the video, Sheryl.

Athena F (131)
Friday January 31, 2014, 12:34 pm
She's great, thanks, noted!

LaurenBackSoon Kozen (173)
Friday January 31, 2014, 1:16 pm
Noted & Shared. Thanks Dandelion.

Edwin M (346)
Friday January 31, 2014, 1:48 pm
I wish there were more people in politics like Senator Warren, thanks Sheryl

. (0)
Friday January 31, 2014, 2:02 pm
Soon there will be only rich/poor. The miiddle class or what used to be the middle class is hanging by a shread. TY Dandelion

michael sullivan (1022)
Friday January 31, 2014, 2:06 pm
we have been and are continuing to become a nation of haves and have-nots -- our politicians are bought and sold by the rich individuals and large corporations who/that "run the show" -- we need to get big money out of politics before we can even start to think about 'leveling the playing field -- very informative lecture!

Sheryl G (360)
Friday January 31, 2014, 2:35 pm
She brings out some starting FACTS in this video that I wasn't even aware of that were backed up by kept statistics and she also places a slant onto this whole situation that really isn't being spoken about.
Don't only go on what this title is......there is a wealth of information in this video. Very thought provoking.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday January 31, 2014, 2:57 pm
Very true Ljiljana, we must remember, that for many people this is a reality of today, and if we in the USA don't get off of our butts it will be our reality too. For many of us over here it already is, our retirement was stolen, our jobs, our homes and our future for our children looks bleak. After one is so far up in age there is just no way to recoup and get back on track, it's gone, over and done with. But for our children's sake we must try for them and also to in hopes give ourselves a little better finish to our lives than what I'm seeing ahead if this remains the same.

David C (108)
Friday January 31, 2014, 3:29 pm
greed justifies more greed, suppression, destruction....and the greedy wealthy are very successful in destroying the middle class........not a fan of capitalism....

JL A (281)
Friday January 31, 2014, 7:15 pm
I am glad she is able to articulate it all in ways lay persons with limited understanding of economics can readily grasp.

Mary T (178)
Friday January 31, 2014, 7:29 pm
Elizabeth Warren is an awesome woman I would love to see her run for president I listen to her all the time, Thanks Dandelion

Charlene Rush (79)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:11 pm
SERVITUDE....... That's what the 1% wants from us. That includes enlisting in the military, which leads to enriching them further.
This is the goal of the Teapublicans, who want their pockets stuffed with cash.

It's truly amazing, how people, especially racists, will shoot themselves in the foot to spite President Obama. They are so dumb, they don't even realize that they are hurting themselves.
HATE always more damage to the hater, than it does to the person one hates.

Laurie H (818)
Friday January 31, 2014, 11:07 pm
Elizabeth Warren is truly a great speaker and explained a lot as well. This is very appreciated Sheryl, So Many Thanks!!!~

Gloria picchetti (304)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 12:31 am
I added it to the Watch Later List with all good intention but the whole world will probably collapse by the time I watch it.

P A (117)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 12:45 am
Excellent video - thanks Dandelion - green stars all over the place

Arild Gone for now (174)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 4:41 am
Soooooo happy to be Norwegian - Norway is a Social Democratic Country with high salaries and high taxation.This leads to very few poor a great majorty of a well of middle class and some very rich persons.Since we have this high taxation we also have a strong security net for persons who get sick,loose their job,death of one of the providers or need a disability pension.All Healthcare is free and when you reach the age of 67 you will be able to live a good life because the state will provide you with a good pension for the rest of your life.We believe in spreading the wealth of the Country fairly amongst everybody and I hope more Countries would start to think this way.
Thanks for posting Sheryl but USA need something better than the TEA Party and old stuck up GOP's.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 5:22 am
Unfortunately I couldn't watch the video properly due to the download speed my internet provider ( Vodafone) failure to provide me with the download speed mentioned in the my subscription package , They get our money and fail to provide the speed agreed upon. This how corporations make money. Unfortunately ALL internet providers ,at least in Egypt,do that.

As for the subject of this video, it seems that this is an international problem. The middle class in Egypt is suffering as well. The economic situation of that class is deteriorating due to several reasons but mainly because of the government policies that lead to higher inflation rates which in turn means less income and accordingly more poverty. Yes education is free for those who chose to join public schools but the quality of such education is deteriorating yearly. Yes Public hospitals are free but again the quality of health services provided are ,in most cases, not appropriate. How to stop this? I frankly admit that I can't find a way to stop it at least during the next ten years. Thanks Sheryl for sharing. I'll try later,may be after midnight when the internet service might be better, to watch it and listen to this wonderful woman.

lee e (114)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 8:05 am
Well I dropped my Saturday AM plans and spent the time riveted to Warren instead -- so glad I did! I totally agree this is an important speech for all of us - scary and important! Thanks for the share Sheryl - I sent it on to my son - who's soon to be a 2 child family - living so far on the "upper" end of the Warren scale, but who knows if one of the 3 set-backs should effect them!
Thanks so much - and let's have a Warren for President in 16!

Angela J (61)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 8:19 am
Thank you.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 8:44 am
Noted, thanks

Cynthia Davis (340)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 8:45 am
Thank you Dandelion...she is so good at making economics understandable.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 11:22 am
Thank you Lee and anyone else who did watch this. I can't twist arms but this really explains a lot. She is brilliant in her studies and presentation and a real asset in our Government. But she is ONLY one, so it is up to us to learn from her and pass this along.

Caitlin M (104)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 7:30 pm
I'd like to have had her as a professor in school. Her enthusiasm is easy to listen to. I do hope she runs for President. She may not be able to compete against Hillary because she's not as well known yet, but it helps to get this kind of information out about her. Thanks, DDLion.

Deb E (63)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 11:11 pm
All good points that she brought up. Really shows how much harder it is for the younger people today trying to make it. Many of them can't financially plan for any kind of a problem because they live paycheck to paycheck just getting by, and so if they get hit with any of those 3 she spoke about, they are done. And this was from 2007, before the crash. Thanks, Sheryl

Susanne R (236)
Tuesday February 4, 2014, 9:52 am
Just finished watching the video. First observation: when it takes five minutes to mention a speaker's accomplishments and credentials when introducing them, you know you're about to hear something very exceptional from someone who IS very exceptional. And that's exactly what I heard. Elizabeth never disappoints.

The scenario Elizabeth used in her lecture could have applied to my family situation. I married in 1972, worked until I became pregnant with my first child in 1975 and remained a stay-at-home mom until 1985. For ten years, we had a single income --and yet we managed. We even managed to do what Elizabeth said is causing this generation's families to spend so much more on housing --and that is to buy a home in a neighborhood based on the quality of its school system. When we bought our second home, we didn't buy a home based on the quality of the home. We did exactly what Elizabeth Warren described. We bought into a school system. We didn't have two cars for the majority of that time, and I cut coupons, shopped for bargains, and cut corners wherever I could, but we did have everything we needed and even managed to save for the future.

Fast forward to the next generation. My daughter has three children and she and her husband have worked hard throughout their 11-year marriage. Both are well educated. They recently bought a home that cost twice as much as their previous home because they wanted to get their children into the same school system that my daughter had been educated in --which is one of the highest ranked in the state. Upon being tested when they entered this school system, what my daughter suspected was correct. Her bright, inquisitive children were behind their peers in the new school system and are now playing catch-up. In the meantime, their parents are working their behinds off and depending on grandparents to provide baby-sitting services to avoid costly child-care expenses.

You're right, Dandelion. This was a fascinating and enlightening lecture and well-worth the hour of listening time. In her research to determine why families with two incomes are struggling in the 2000's to make ends meet while families with one income fared much better just one generation earlier, she thought that the cost of clothing, food, appliances, and owning a car might have been contributing factors. What she learned was that in the 2000's (in inflation-adjusted dollars), families are spending 32% less on clothing, 18% less on food (which includes eating out at fast-food places), 52% less on appliances, and 24% less on cars.

So what are they paying more for? For one, there's been a 76% increase in mortgage payments --even though the interest rates are lower now than they were then. They're paying 74% more for health insurance premiums (this lecture was given before the Affordable Care Act was a glimmer in President Obama's eye). They now need two cars instead of one because two parents have to work and therefore require transportation in order to make ends meet. There's been a 100% increase in the cost of child care. (There was little need for it in the 1970's when mom didn't work.) Finally, taxes have gone up by 25%.

There is a wealth of knowledge in this video. For example, a family's income is at twice the risk as it was in the 1970's because they're faced with twice the chance of being involved in a car accident and two jobs are at risk of being lost instead of one --and they depend on both incomes to make ends meet.

The days of a company providing a defined payment pension, which guarantees a defined monthly payment until the retiree's death, are all but gone. When a child is sick, a parent is forced to take time off from work --which puts that parent's job at risk. If one of their elderly parents needs care, they need to take time off to provide that care. The mom is no longer at home and able to provide such help.

Another interesting fact brought up by Elizabeth is that it now takes 18 years of education for a child to eventually become a member of our ever-shrinking middle class. That's because it includes two years of pre-kindergarten classes and a minimum of four years of college. In the 70's, all it took was 12-years of schooling to be able to earn a middle-class income, and those twelve years of schooling were paid for by the taxpayer. The additional 6 years we're talking about now are being paid for by the child's parents and/or by the child in the form of loans that they have to pay off.

The lecture is fascinating. I found myself grabbing a pencil and paper and taking notes as I listened. I recommend it to everyone. Thank you, Dandelion, for posting it. I learned a lot!

Devon L (54)
Wednesday February 5, 2014, 9:52 pm
I have liked Elisabeth Warren ever since I saw her debating Scott Brown for the Senate seat a few yrs ago that she won and that she holds now. I saw her as a light in the darkness..... and I've been following her uplifting oratory skills and passion for the right stuff that matters ever since, and will in all likelihood vote for her if she decides to run for president.......... Thank you for sharing her astute mind and heart here on care2 Dandelion!!!

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday February 6, 2014, 5:29 am
I'm so glad you watched this Susanne, it certainly backs up what we are seeing but it explains why we are now seeing this. And if you get hit with one of the three issues the fall from Middle Class is swift and certain, I know I got hit with 3 out of 3.

When the people bring up the wealth redistribution well this certainly has been wealth redistribution and then then add on the Housing Crises with the Economic crash it was a certain deal that the Middle Class would be loosing large ground. This lecture was made in 2007......remember what happened after that.

The other fact she brought up, with a shrinking Middle Class there is no room for the poor, there is no room to move up into Middle Class. Which means those born into poor families have little to no chance of ever getting out, and those families that were Middle Class and have fallen into hard times, most likely will never get out of poverty and therefore have now doomed their offspring, under this system, to live in poverty most likely never to get out.

Think about that when those people keep telling you to work hard, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, when all that is in front of you is a certainly you will most likely never get out from the spot you are now in no matter how hard one works. It's the proverbial carrot that you'll never quite catch. If you don't go to college you'll not get a good job, if you go to college, school debt, the high living costs, child care, will keep you always in debt so unless you get that lucky break, the bounce into a debt free lifestyle will not be possible. It's poverty with a day to day scrimping by, or looking like one is doing better but living in debt poverty waiting for the one shoe to drop which yanks it all out from under you despite how hard you worked or your educational level. As George Carlin said, "the system is rigged."

Natalie Away J (125)
Saturday February 8, 2014, 9:47 am
Noted, thanks Sheryl. I watched about 1/3rd of the video but will go back to it later. I'd never heard of Elisabeth Warren before, and she does makes sense. I'll be forwarding it on as well.
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Society & Culture

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.