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Friday, January 27, 2012

Downward Class Migration: Not Falling Alone, Sliding Together

Jack Spirko has been talking about "Downward Class Migration" for quite a while on The Survival Podcast. I am hearing more and more media reports about people falling in the class structure, but that isn't what Jack has been talking about. His point is that what it means to BE middle class (or any given class) is sliding downward while the actual class structure remains relatively stable. I think of it like an avalanche or landslide in which a shelf of ice (the class structure) slides down a mountain so that everyone remains about the same relative to each other but everyone is actually lower on the mountain. The kicker is that this shift combined with all of the individual cases of falling down to a lower class (due to unemployment, etc) compound each other for those to whom it happens. Below is a video that Jack put together to better explain this concept:

WARNING: This isn't a graduate thesis. It's a discussion from a normal guy to his community. There is some PG-13 language, but nothing rated R.

Here is Jack's blog post at The Survival Podcast, with a growing comment thread.

The bottom line of Jack's entire focus at TSP is that if you become more self sufficient in providing your needs (and wants), you can combat the downward migration of the entire class structure while nothing else is going wrong on a personal, local, regional, or global scale (storms, medical emergencies, financial difficulties, civil unrest). Thus his slogan "Helping you live the life you want if times get tough, or even if they don't." - Jack Spirko

UPDATE - Here is a link to a story from the Wall Street Journal on cultural inequality. Many similar themes, but from a mainstream polished source.

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