both of you have stated facts and drawn flawed conclusions from those facts.
yes we have lost manufacturing jobs. why? first, what is the propose of business? it is not to pay you a "living wage", provided health care, and provided retirement. it is to supply a product at a profit. unions have made it impossible to provide product at a profit. it's not even wages that are to blame, for the most part. it is those other things that unions have demanded over the years. one of the reasons health care is so expensive is that it is very often provide though a 3rd party. any time you go through a 3rd party for a service, it is more expensive. with health care, the end user is not applying market forces to the product and the cost is higher.
most union pension plans, besides having been robbed by the unions for things like political contributions, have ridiculous guaranteed return. again, no market forces and no responsibility by end user.
the other thing that makes products in this country very expensive is regulation.
one of the best examples of what both labor and regulation cost can do to a market, is housing. when i was a kid, a nice house could be had for around 8 thousand dollars. 10 got you a place with some land. you can't even buy an empty acre for 10 thousand now. why? several things. labor costs, regulations, and that very increase in "disposable income". unfortunately, the disposable income has not kept up with the increasing cost of labor and regulation, so more debt needs to be incurred to buy the home.
we can see the increased cost using housing as an example, because it's one thing that can't be taken elsewhere.
it's not that labor has no value, it's that the value of labor has been artificially inflated and has caused the inflation of all else.
acebird, you assume that because one person is rich, another is poor. there is no cause and effect. if i earn one more dollar, it has not come out of the pocket of someone who earns one less.
the poverty level is continually raised by those on the left so that it appears we have growing poverty. in fact, the poverty level has stayed pretty much static. you also assume that poverty is a static condition. those who are poor today, will be poor tomorrow. this is not true. people move in and out of poverty all the time. the only people who remain in poverty are those who depend on the government to care for them. generational poverty is primarily found in the welfare class.
the poverty level also fails to take into account all the stuff that those below the poverty level get from state and federal govt.
you talk about screwing up and bailing out. this is what we do when we reward bad choices with government programs. if does not matter which party is doing it, or for whom. it is just as wrong to reward people for making bad choices as it is to reward business for making bad choices. however, when those choices are forced on a business, such as the requirements by congress that banks loan to people who could not make payments, we are left with a bit of a problem. government caused bad loans to be made. does government then have any responsibility to make sure that those same financial institutions do not crash? or, should government get rid of things like Fannie and Freddy, allow banks that were in bad shape to go under, and do a reset? should car companies have been let to fail? how about airlines?
my gut says let them go under, but fix the problems that cause them to fail, if those problems were cause by government. if institutions like ford and welfare can be ok, then maybe there was no reason to bail out gm and other banks? don't know. guess we'll never know. i do understand why the banks were bailed out, but i still don't know if i agree with the solution.