America’s Future Underclass are being Monetized by Walmart and Amazon
The Death of the Middle Class can also be Profitable
There’s something ominous going on and nobody is talking about it. The death of the Middle Class and rural America and Malls are not isolated incidents. An IMF report finds that high household debt levels deepen and prolong recessions.
We know that U.S household debt is, well, at pre-Great Recession levels. For a supposedly strong economy and low unemployment rates, we have a household debt jump of over $500 billion in the second quarter to $12.84 trillion.
Rising Consumer Debt, Bleak Rural Prospects and Death of the Middle Class
High consumer debt levels point to the rise of discount shopping and a discount customer of the future, that Amazon and Walmart are fighting over, i.e. the future America underclass. With exponentially rising wealth inequality in the U.S., there’s a looming great decline of the Middle Class.
In 2017 it’s noted in the Retail sector, more than 8,600 stores could close, according to industry estimates, and many industries including transportation, finance, retail and others are embracing for the rise of AI and automation. The participating rate in the labor force is declining, and with robots, AI and automation this should hit a historic high by 2030, as implementations of a Universal Basic Income are experimented with and fully expected.
This Does Not End Well
It’s not just that Millennials will be poorer than their parents, it’s that the entire workforce is about to change, and while corporations and a smaller pool of elites benefit from it. Amazon even has a special Prime account for low-income Americans. Amazon announced that it is offering a 45 percent discount on Prime memberships — $5.99 a month instead of $10.99 month — to U.S. residents receiving government assistance. Welcome to the new America, where it’s not just consumer preferences that are changing, but that all important discretionary spending that fuels economies.
Consumerism in the Automation Economy
With a UBI, the state funds consumerism, and that robots are not taxed for the people’s benefit. By design or accident America’s decline is pointing to a permanent underclass whose only choice will be to become discount shopping natives. Actually, it’s already happend.
Walmart and Amazon monetize the dark truth about the death of the American middle class. With rising student loans, worse career prospects and mounting debt to income ratios, Millennials are in a tight squeeze with no light at the end of the tunnel. Only robots, AI and being “Amazonified” by neo-consumerism led by a few global corporations.
The Bottom 40%
Going after low-income shoppers online means Amazon and Walmart own an important and growing segment of the American population, the underclass. Many of these families and individuals might actually think they are part of the middle class. Chances are however, if you are an obsessive “discount shopper”, chances are you’ve fallen out of the middle class.
So you’re not skilled enough to find work in the future economy, no problem, here’s some “basic income” to participate as members of the exploited future underclass, basically that segment of the population that’s most at risk for future unemployment and permanent poverty. Silicon Valley really likes the model of UBI, because it keeps the “peasants” more or less at subservient, and at bay. While we’re at it, why not profit from them. We know with automation, the “perma-underclass” are only going to grow.
You don’t have to be an economist to figure out a little truth, as households become more indebted, the future GDP growth and consumption decline and unemployment rises relative to their average values. This is not even taking into account the jobs AI and automation will impact in the decades ahead.
The Age of Discount Prime Members
The average Amazon Prime member, now in the area of 90 million, used to have a family household income of $70,000 (2015), that won’t last forever. So the race to the bottom is not the price wars between Amazon and Walmart, it’s actually the race to owning the future American underclass. As department stores such as Sears and Macy’s are doomed, discount stores are rising to match the decline of the American Middle Class.
Amazon’s less-expensive Prime for low-income customers are attempting to change that. Dollar stores have proven that marketing to lower-income customers can be a profitable decision. Hey, are you destined to be a discount-prime member? Don’t feel defeated, you’re not alone.
But don’t fret, at least you’ll be taken care of.
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