Fiscal Cliff (or whatever dreaded scenario that Congress is creating to profit from personally) is just one more emergency to keep the American public in check panic mode. Meanwhile, Congress got a raise.
This brings me to point 2: the top earners keep earning more money but the middle class remains flat.
Recently, I was part of a group in Tampa opposing tax dollars to bring in another big box retailer. The jobs promised changed over a year of opposition - from 400 to 230; however, net new jobs would be a lot less as many other retailers would be closing or laying off. The new jobs would not produce much economic development. Retail positions don't pay enough money to cause a ripple effect in our service-oriented economy. How does someone making less than $25K per year spend enough in the community to float the other retail businesses?
Simply put, point 3, the middle class is getting stomped. Middle manager position went away due to automation, business cost cutting and outsourcing. As the middle class struggles, so does our economy. Again, our economy is based on service businesses. These businesses require a lot of VISA transactions per week to remain open and employing people. As Rich points out, brick-and-mortar are getting beat by mobile. Malls are getting hit too.
Our industry has laid off hundreds of thousands in the last 7 years (mainly due to M&A). These were all really good paying jobs too. Many didn't get a replacement gig, but a position that paid less. There is a ripple effect to this. Less taxes - income and sales - is just one ripple. More than 60% live paycheck to paycheck. And this is just ONE industry.
The jobs available today are either in sales or require skills that did not exist even 8 years ago. That has an effect on unemployment, but it also has an effect on business growth. See the cycle? I'm not the brightest guy when it comes to finance and economics (just check my college grades in those subjects), but I see how all this ties together - How come the highest paid CEO's don't? Or the Wall Street geniuses?
Maybe it's just that they don't give a hoot.
How Much Does the Average Federal Employee Make Now?
"2,035,000 federal employees making an average of close to $75,000 – not including benefits which would have bumped the figure to more than $100,000," according to Forbes.
Another example of crazy compensation HERE.